So you've decided to sit down and sort out the essentials for your upcoming trip, but you have no idea how to choose travel insurance!
Not the most exciting part of your trip to research, but doing a travel insurance comparison of different policies is important. You may be confused about how to choose the right travel insurance. I get it, it can be a bit of a minefield choosing the right policy for you, but if you follow the tips in this article, you can buy your insurance with ease and have peace of mind on your travels.
Why buy travel insurance?
Traveling is an activity that usually costs quite a bit of money, so it might seem like travel insurance is an expense that's not worth getting. After all, if you plan your trip well, what can go wrong?
Of course, in most cases, things don't go wrong, but on the off chance that they do, it's best to be prepared. There are plenty of factors you don't have control over, no matter how much you plan. Your policy will cover you for things like lost luggage, flight cancellations, medical coverage if you get ill or injured, as well as loss of cash and bank cards.
These are things you hope won't happen, but it's always good to be covered. You don't want to have to decide between your health and your finances in case of a medical emergency, especially if you're traveling to a country that has high medical costs such as the USA.
What to consider when buying travel insurance
With so many companies offering travel insurance policies, it's hard to know which one is right for you. When you are researching travel insurance companies, you should consider the following questions to make sure you're getting the cover you need. This is the first step to how to choose travel insurance.
What activities are you planning to do?
If you're planning on doing specific activities while on your trip, it's an absolute must that you include them on any insurance quotation to make sure they are covered. This can even include some common activities like skiing and snowboarding; depending on the company, they may not be immediately covered.
If the activities you plan to do aren't included in the policy, you can usually add them for extra.
What's the approximate value of the belongings you're planning on taking?
If the airline happens to lose your bag or you have anything stolen, you'll need to know the approximate value of what you're taking with you to be able to make a claim. This is especially important for items such as your phone, laptop, tablet, and camera.
Most travel insurance policies have some electronics cover, or at least have the option to add it on, so you know that if anything happens, you'll get at least some of your money back.
Are you planning on drinking alcohol?
Sampling a few drinks while on holiday is par for the course for most travelers, but it's essential to check that consuming alcohol doesn't affect any claims you might make.
Some companies, for example, don't pay out for accidents and medical treatment if you have a certain level of alcohol in your system. Some may not pay out if there's even a slight amount, so be careful to check this when choosing your policy.
Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions?
Basic travel insurance policies don't cover pre-existing medical conditions, so if you do have one, you'll need to declare this on your policy and most likely pay extra. Even if you manage to control your condition while you're in your home country, you don't know what will happen abroad.
As insurance companies usually don't cover them as standard, you will have to pay for any treatment needed out of pocket if you're not insured.
Do you plan on driving a car?
If you're planning on driving a car while you're away, you may find that your current car insurance covers you for the country you want to visit, but this isn't always the case. Double-check this and then if you're not covered, you can buy a travel insurance policy that does protect you in case of an accident.
When to buy travel insurance
It's advisable to buy your travel insurance as soon as you've confirmed your dates of travel; this means you can get cover as quickly as possible for things such as cancellation of flights, tours or hotels if an issue arises that stop you from taking your trip.
Have any other tips on how to choose travel insurance? Please let me know below!
If you still need convincing you need travel insurance, have a read of this article.