YOU ASK:

How do I know what kind of travel insurance to purchase?

WE ANSWER:

Purchasing travel insurance has now been made easy, thanks to the wonders of technology. Really, the problem is not in how to buy travel insurance but how to choose a plan that suits you, out of the many travel insurance plans available.

  • The first step in buying travel insurance is knowing the kind of coverage and benefits you want.

    Are you going on a short holiday aboard a cruise ship? Are you a business traveler and will be bringing your laptop? Are you one who is fond of designer clothes and is worried that some of these will be lost when your baggage is stolen or lost by the airline? You should first sit down and determine the benefits that you want and need. That way, you are not covered for insurance that you don't need.

    And don't buy cover that you already have. Most homeowners or renters policies (especially those that have an all-risk floater on specified items) can already provide cover for your camera or your laptop. In this case, you won't need to buy insurance for lost personal possessions.

  • Know what's being offered in the market. These include medical and dental care, accidental death or dismemberment, trip cancellation or curtailment, lost personal possessions and money, lost baggage, airline or carrier default.

Avoid buying travel insurance at the last minute, as well as travel insurance sold in vending machines. If you have time it is best to buy travel insurance beforehand so that you can shop around, compare prices and benefits and basically get the best price for your travel insurance plan.

Also, avoid buying travel insurance from a travel agent, since you will lose not just your trip but the insurance on that as well if the travel agent suddenly goes bust. You should also try to buy directly from the insurance company. Choose one that has a good reputation (this can be indicated in the reviews made by other previous customers) and a good claims processing policy.

When you have chosen your insurance provider and travel insurance plan, you can go to the insurance company's website and then fill up the application form, submit it and pay for the premiums. You may use your credit card or an internet payment facility like Paypal.

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