Travel Insurance Top Tips

It’s the season for travelling! If you’re one of the lucky ones fortunate enough to take a trip overseas, you may want to start thinking of purchasing your much-needed travel insurance online before the masses take over. Whether you’re running away from holiday responsibilities, jetting off to see long-lost family members, or simply want to maximise your holiday vacation by going all out, it’s the perfect time to check important must-haves off your to-do list; including finding a reputable insurance agency to help you through the process of purchasing travel insurance.

Of course, as with any type of insurance, there are a few things you need to look out for to ensure you’re purchasing the correct type of travel insurance online to suit your every need. Simply put, your needs may be somewhat different than the average traveller’s. In fact, you may be planning an extreme adventure somewhere, in which case you’re definitely going to need a little bit more coverage to ensure safe travels home.

When purchasing travel insurance online, keep the following questions in mind:

  1. Will your travel insurance cover accidental costs?
    It’s extremely important to check this particular need off your travel insurance list as the whole point of purchasing travel insurance is to be covered in case of an emergency. Of course, you need to be reasonable as to your expectations. You can’t expect to partake in extreme adventures such as paragliding and want 100% full coverage without paying that extra little bit. However, it’s important to look out for emergency evacuation coverage. You may be stuck somewhere with a broken leg, needing to be airlifted. Without the right kind of coverage, you may have to swipe your credit card.
  2. Are there any limits on the amount you can claim?
    In case of an unfortunate theft or cancellation of your trip, you need to know the exact amount that you can claim back. It’s definitely not worth your while if you end up spending large amounts on travel insurance only to find out you’re not covered for anything you lost. Also, be sure to find out what your insurance excess is in order to make the right travel insurance decision.
  3. Will you be covered for the duration of your holiday?
    It’s always important to make sure you’ll be covered for the duration of your trip. If not, your travel insurance may be invalid; even if you’re one day over the limit. Don’t let the unknown keep you from reaping the benefits of travel insurance; especially if you’re expecting a fun-filled holiday without the surprise of a lifetime.
  4. Is your travel destination included in your chosen package?
    Some travel insurance policies only cover certain travel destinations, in which case you need to ensure that your chosen insurance policy includes your traveling plans. Of course, some destinations legally require you to have an existing travel insurance policy before applying for a visa. Always check the requirements before making your visa appointment in order to avoid disappointment.
  5. Will your pre-existing medical condition be covered?
    We all want to save money wherever we can, but keeping important pre-existing conditions to yourself when purchasing travel insurance online can harm you greatly in the long run. Should you need medication or a doctor’s visit due to an existing condition, your claim may not be paid out if the insurance agency finds out you lied. Always tell the truth, regardless of how big or small the lie may be.
  6. In the event of theft, what’s the reporting procedure?
    One of the most important things to check off your travel insurance list is finding out what the reporting procedure is before an incident occurs. Some insurance agencies require 24-48 hour notice or even a police report in order for them to validate your claim. If you fail to follow important procedures, you may not be covered. Rather be safe than sorry.
  7. How will your personal belongings be covered?
    Depending on how carefully you kept an eye on your belongings, it may determine if your travel insurance policy even covers property loss in the case of theft. Some insurance policies have special requirements when it comes to your personal belongings being covered. You may need to carry your belongings with you or store them in a safe. Before anything gets lost, make sure you’re aware of the terms and conditions.

Things to remember when travelling abroad, whilst covered by travel insurance:

  1. Most insurance agencies don’t cover drug or alcohol-related incidents
    If being under the influence of alcohol or drugs abroad isn’t bad enough, then being involved in an accident due to these substances won’t get you far in regards to insurance coverage. Keep in mind, you most likely will not be covered and may find yourself in a lot worse trouble than not being able to claim back.
  2. You may not be covered for third-party liability
    Injuring someone else on the road may also not be covered, so it’s important to keep your eyes peeled, learn to drive on the correct side of the road, and find out whether or not third-party incident are covered by your travel insurance policy. It may not be. In fact, most insurance policies stay clear of that so always keep this pointer in mind.
  3. General check-ups and everyday doctor visits won’t be covered
    Since travel insurance is mainly there for emergency care, being able to claim back on check-up and regular doctor’s visits will be non-existent. It’s not there to replace your everyday medical aid/insurance. So please keep this in mind to avoid disappointment.
  4. Depending on the extremeness of your activities, you’ll need ‘extra-strong’ travel insurance
    Most travel insurance policies won’t cover extreme holiday adventures. These include bungee jumping, paragliding, cliff diving etc. If you do plan on partaking in such activities, be sure to find a policy suitable to your needs before having to explain to anyone what happened.
  5. If a rational person won’t partake in the accident you’re claiming for, you may not be covered.
    It’s as simple as that. Although there may be numerous variations of a story, unless any normal, rational person won’t naturally find themselves in the position which led you to claim in the first place, you most likely won’t be able to claim back. Keep activities relatively rational when abroad.