The Jakarta Post
Putting off insurance has become a sort of habit for some travelers. However, this tends to mean there are policies with advantages and perks you may miss out on. (Shutterstock/File)
Opting for the cheapest coverage available may be second nature for many avid travelers, as expenses saved on insurance means there’s more money to spend on the actual trip. However, a hasty purchase may mean missing important details in the fine print.
One such example was relayed by Reader’s Digest about a Singaporean traveler who discovered that her travel insurance did not cover flight delays.
Here are several things to remember when purchasing travel insurance:
1. Purchase as soon as everything else is booked
Putting off insurance has become a sort of habit for some travelers. However, this tends to mean there are policies with advantages and perks you may miss out on. Some insurance plans can cover you for up to 60 days, which is almost two months, before the trip.
This means cases of serious injury, plan alterations or other unforeseen circumstances, such as the loss of luggage, can be covered, and possibly compensated.
2. Read the fine print
Travel insurance does not always cover every aspect of your trip. Policies will differ from one provider to another, or from one plan to another with the same provider.
Accident coverage, overseas and local medical expense coverage, flight delay compensation, loss of property compensation, medical evacuation and personal liability coverage are several of the usual things that should always be on your list.
Other things to look out for are rental vehicle excess compensation, if you will be renting a vehicle at your destination, and coverage for travel agency booking, in the event that the travel agency involved in the booking becomes unable to pay funds owed.
3. Know the reputation of an insurance provider
A quick search of customer reviews and asking for opinions from friends and family could help you quickly glean insight into the habits of travel insurance providers.
Some other things to take note of are whether the insurance provider has a 24-hour hotline that you can contact to get advice on how to proceed, what the policies are and what to do in the case of an emergency that could be covered by the company.
Reader’s Digest cautions travelers to take note that most insurance providers will require customers to submit a report on any incident within a certain time period.
4. Remember what is not covered
Having most incidents and possible delays among other things means that travelers can rest easy when it comes to what is covered by their travel insurance. However, there might be exceptions and exclusions that travelers need to be aware of, more so than what is covered.
Things to bear in mind are hospitalization or pre-existing medical conditions. For example, no coverage will be provided for hospitalization of a traveler who suffers a heart attack due to a chronic heart condition.
Other things, like accidents that happen during extreme sports, such as mountain climbing, scuba diving, spelunking and the like, usually are not covered by the general travel insurance policy -- travelers might need to pay a premium price for this sort of coverage.
There will be policies that do cover extras, so it would be mindful to look out for them when purchasing travel insurance.
Traveling can be exciting, but there are many things that can go wrong, and unexpected circumstances and changes could make or break a trip.
Being careful about the kind of coverage you are getting from your travel insurance plan could save you possible hassle or compensate you for an unfortunate incident during your trip. (acr/kes)