Travelling often costs a lot of money and we spend the rest of our budget on additional excursions and meals out, so why would you want to waste a chunk of that money on travel insurance that you might never use. To make this assessment you really need to consider the risk. Is there a chance that your trip might be cancelled? Is there a risk that you might injure yourself whilst on holiday and need medical assistance? All of these risks have an associated cost with them, and travel insurance can help you to manage the cost, but different types cover different scenarios.
What does travel insurance cover?
Travel insurance is great if you think that there could be a risk of the trip getting cancelled. For example, if you’re travelling to a politically unstable region of the world, it could become quite hostile at any point and some forms of travel insurance can cover you in this event. If you miss a connection and cannot make it to your final destination or incur additional costs to do so, then travel insurance will also benefit you. However, the more scenarios that your travel insurance covers you for, the more expensive the policy will become.
When travelling outside of the U.S. it’s best to make sure that you’re covered by insurance to avoid any significant costs when you fall ill. Often travel insurance does not include health care abroad and your health plan will not cover you during your time abroad. Luckily, you should have access to free health care should you travel to a European country or alternatively, you can find specialist travel insurance that will cover you for any health care you receive during your time away.
Where’s the best place to look for travel insurance?
With the power of the internet today, it’s now easier than ever to compare travel insurance quotes and find the best one for you, at the right price. Of course, if you’re buying directly from a travel insurance vendor, they’ll encourage you to purchase the policy that will reward them with the best commission. To avoid this, it’s certainly worth doing the research to get a good idea of what is going to suit you to prevent you from getting hoodwinked. You should definitely make a point of making sure any potential insurers hold the U.S. Travel Insurance Association (UstiA) accreditation to ensure that they’re approved and will offer you a satisfactory service.
How much will it cost?
Price is important because it’s likely coming straight out of your holiday budget, which means less cocktails! The cost of your travel insurance is completely dependent on how long you plan to spend away, how old you are and what activities you’re likely to participate in and therefore will require the relevant add ons for. For example, if you know you’re likely to participate in water sports, you’ll need the add on that covers to insure you for any damage and injury. If you include additional extras, such as the policy that allows you to cancel for any reason, then the price will increase further, but you’ll be covered for the full cost of the trip if you need to cancel it.
The fine print is boring, do I need to read it?
You’re likely paying a substantial price for your travel insurance, so you need to ensure that you fully understand what it offers you. This means that if you ever need to claim on it, you are aware of your rights and what you’re owed. If there’s anything in the fine print that you’re unsure of, it’s essential that you ask them to clarify. The last thing you need is for your trip to cancelled and the insurer refusing to pay out over a cleverly worded clause that you thought would cover you but doesn’t. The important thing is that you make sure the policy you buy covers all the scenarios that you feel pose a risk, so that you’re protected if they do occur.
How long will I have to wait on a claim?
If you’ve had the gutting news that your trip is being cancelled, then you’re going to have to claim on your insurance. After your insurances has formally recognised that you have made a claim, you can expect to wait two months until you receive a decision. For an efficient process, you must make sure that you fully complete and supply all documentation, otherwise incomplete documentation can slow it down considerably.
If you’re unhappy with the decision, then you always have the opportunity to appeal. Within the appeal, you should include any additional documentation that you feel will help to support your case. Often, more senior employees within your travel insurance company will review the appeals, so your case will be seen with a new pair of eyes and hopefully your claim will be successful. Patience is required with claims because your insurer will be receiving thousands of these a day, but by paying close attention before you purchase the policy and reviewing it thoroughly after your purchase, you should have no trouble claiming on your travel insurance should you need to.
There’s no one size fits all answer to whether you should buy travel insurance. You must consider the cost of the trip, the stability of your destination, your overall health, what kind of activities you’re planning, and, perhaps most importantly, your aversion to risk. If you decide that you want the peace of mind of travel insurance protection, be sure to compare prices, check out the insurance company’s reviews, and read the fine print. If you do this, you can be confident that your travel insurance will be there if and when you need it.