YOU ASK:

How to choose travel insurance?

WE ANSWER:

Choosing travel insurance can be quite tricky, especially if you are not familiar with what coverage a traveler needs. You can also get caught up with the tangle of legalese and insurance jargon that is stated in the terms and conditions of a standard travel insurance policy.

However, when you need to travel, you need to choose travel insurance, and you need to choose the plan that will best suit your (and the ones traveling with you) needs. Yes, we ask you not to tempt fate by traveling "unprotected and unarmed".

So, here are some things to do to help you choose your travel insurance:

  • One, know what you want and need.

    As you plan your trip, you should also keep an alert eye on what can go wrong. Imagine yourself traveling and picture in your mind's eye your utmost concerns and worries about your trip. This is where your travel insurance benefits should focus.

    Are you worried about getting proper and qualified medical care? Are you worried about having to cancel your trip due to the fact that you have a sick parent and you are not sure whether they will suddenly need your care? Did you consider the possibility that you may need to pay for additional accommodation if your flight is delayed? Are you thinking of indulging in activities that have a higher potential of causing injury to you?

    When you know what you need in a travel insurance plan, you are able to focus on the products that offer these.

  • Next, look at what insurance you currently have.

    Remember, you can't claim against the same thing twice, so there's no use paying for coverage you already have.

    If you are traveling on a business trip, ask your employer if they already provide the cover. If you have an existing health insurance, ask if they also cover international trips. If you can't understand the policy, call your insurance provider to ask, so that someone can explain it to you in plain English. Also, if you booked your trip using your credit card, the card may also provide insurance coverage. If you are a member of an organization, you may also have coverage there. Even the airlines or transport carriers also provide travel insurance at times! So, check. It will only take a few phone calls.

  • Now, once you determine the coverage, the next thing you should ask is whether the existing coverage is enough.

    Does it have sufficient maximum limits? Are there exclusions that are not acceptable to you? If you think some of the benefits are not that comprehensive and only offer limited amounts, you can buy travel insurance that supplements what you already have.

    You should also check the excess or deductibles. You see, when you make a claim, the claim is often deducted with the amount you are supposed to "pay".

  • Another thing you should consider is the travel insurance provider you will be buying from.

    Determine whether the company is a reputable company and that it pays claims promptly and fairly. The insurance company should also have toll-free contact numbers that provide 24-hour service and prompt customer response.

  • Also, to make a good deal, think about your travel plans for the year.

    If you are only traveling once for the year, it would make more sense to buy single trip travel insurance. However, it will be cheaper for you to purchase annual multi-trip travel insurance if you will be traveling three or more times a year. Also, if you are traveling as a couple or as a family, you can buy a family or joint travel insurance plan.

  • Lastly, you should always make sure and check, check, check!

    In insurance, you should never assume anything. If there is something vague or something you don't understand about the policy, ask an insurance company about it, and then list down the gist of your conversation. This way, when you need to refer to this later when you claim, you have records and the statements of a representative from the insurance company to back you up.

Whew! This is quite a long list! But really, all these information is at your fingertips. Most travel insurance companies and agents provide insurance details and quotes over the internet. Information you can't get from the internet is just a phone call away. Now, if you are unable to get a quick response from the company, you already have an indication as to their customer service and how they will treat your claims later on.

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