The Golden Rules of Travel Insurance
Know your cover!
If ever there was a financial product that people seem to take for granted, it's travel insurance. As one journalist wrote recently, “We leave it until the eve of our journey to buy it. We quickly purchase it online, if we bother at all. We buy on price. We don't read the policy.”
This is self-defeating behaviour that can end up being very costly!
Our managing director, Kate Huet, explains: “When I travel anywhere – even in the UK - I take out travel insurance to cover me against all five potentially massive costs for overseas travel, and the last 3 in the list below for UK travel:
a) medical treatment,
b) repatriation back home,
c) extended travel disruption
d) in case something big happens which means I can’t travel, cancellation
e) and if I need to return home urgently, then I’m protected for curtailment of my trip
“I also know that should I fall ill or have an accident, my insurer's network will kick into action, doing things like coordinating my medical treatment and hiring an air ambulance to get me home if needed. These are things I couldn't do myself from a hospital bed.”
If you’re planning a trip, remember these golden rules:
1. It is part of the cost of travel. If you can't afford travel insurance, the truth is you really can't afford to travel.
It is a dangerous old world. Bad stuff happens. If you don't buy adequate cover, who would pay? Imagine your loved ones having to hire an air ambulance to fly you home, or to fund your medical treatment overseas... it would be an enormous financial burden.
Parents and grandparents: when your young family members head overseas, make sure they get insurance when they book their trip, even if you end up paying for it. One day they’ll learn…
2. Don't buy on price alone. Saving a bit of money makes little sense if the cover is poor and you’re left footing the bill anyway.
3. Don't assume every travel insurance policy is the same – they're not.
Insurance policies are about as much fun to read as a phone book, but if you don't read them, how will you know whether they suit your needs? Those 15 or 20 minutes can save you hours, days, or even months of stress – not to mention money.
4. Buy your insurance when you book your travel.
If you leave it to the last minute, you risk a Bali-like scenario where something happens to disrupt your trip, and you have no cover. You cannot buy insurance to cover something that has already happened or is already happening.
5. Travel insurance sales processes are not perfect. People who bought travel insurance online after the Bali eruptions began in September, probably weren't told the event wouldn't be covered by their policy. It was up to them to work that out.
6. Some Insurers won't like us saying this, but they can be a tricky bunch. Give them no excuse to turn down your claim. Know your obligations, and don't breach them. The "exclusions", ”terms” and “conditions” in your policy are absolutely essential reading.
7. Tell the insurer about any and all pre-existing medical conditions you have when you buy the policy. If these change or new medical conditions are diagnosed before you travel, tell your insurer.
These golden rules aren’t complicated, but they really are critical to getting the most appropriate financial protection that works for you when you need it to. Contact us if you’d like to discuss a policy for your next trip, or have a look at some of our popular options.
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