Travel insurance tips

Where to buy the right travel insurance? This is such important part of planning a trip abroad, and getting it wrong can be a very expensive mistake.

Here are a few tips:

  1. It’s vital to ensure that the insurance policy is the right one for the trip. In an ideal would be the cheapest travel insurance that covers the risks actually involved in the journey. So, if the trip will involve winter sports or adventurous activities, the policy needs to cover them, but there is no point in paying extra for this cover if it is not needed.
  2. Policies vary widely in the cover they offer for personal belongings. It’s important to work out the actual value of the things you will take with you and to plan for the worst; but again, it’s a waste of money to pay for more cover than is needed.photo – PDR
  3. Medical insurance is vital. The cost of even basic treatment abroad will mount up quickly, so cover needs to be adequate. Most people would like to be repatriated if they became seriously ill or injured, but not all policies will cover this. The insurer will want full information about pre-existing medical conditions, and it’s important to answer the questions honestly because otherwise the insurer will probably refuse a claim, even if the condition hasn’t been the direct cause of it.
  4. Sometimes it’s a good idea to seek out specialist insurers. Many policies won’t cover extended trips such as a back-packing gap year, but companies do exist which cater specifically for this market, and for other unusual requirements such as dangerous parts of the world. (For travel insurance purposes, the globe is divided into zones, and the map needs to be studied carefully as the policy won’t be valid even a few miles into the wrong zone.)
  5. The travel insurance policy will include information about what happens in the event of a claim. Some insurers are much more helpful than others, providing 24 hour telephone advice and access to local representatives, for example. In the event of a serious emergency (such as an accident or robbery) this kind of service could be crucial, and it is worth checking out user reports to find out how good and speedy a service has been provided to customers making claims.
  6. The cheapest travel insurance for several short trips abroad is likely to be an annual policy. Most of these do put limits on the total time that can be spent abroad and on the maximum length of each trip, but they can work out at much better value.
  7. Think about the possible risks posed to your belonging. If you think that an activity you are going to be participating in may cause them damage make sure that you have chosen a cover which protects this.  The most expensive cover is not always necessary. Travel insurance companies offer a variety of packages and if you are unsure about anything it is always possible to email or call customer services to have things clarified.

Greg is a keen blogger with a special in travel. In his spare time he likes to travel the world and try new things.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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