What to Look for When Choosing your Travel Insurance Provider

When you prepare for your adventure away from the restlessness of real life, the last thing on your mind is travel insurance. Sure, you’ve sorted out your passport, paid any airport taxes, secured awesome window facing airline tickets and pre-booked a list of attractions you absolutely must fit into you jam-packed itinerary, but travel insurance? Isn’t that for overly paranoid travel luddites without a sense of caution? Not at all. Things go wrong all the time, striking when you least expect it, despite how experienced you are or how lucky you’ve been in the past – unfortunate events know no bias. So what is travel insurance, anyway? In laymen’s terms, travel insurance covers you in the event you are robbed, lose your luggage, find yourself injured and, depending on the plan you purchase, protects you in the case of missed flights. It’s certainly very important, but what do you look for?


Multiple Cover

If you’re travelling with a partner, family or group, you’re in luck, occasionally it ends up quite cost effective to place everybody in one party under a single insurance umbrella, reducing paperwork and excess. Though it may be difficult to discover a plan that allows you to separate and explore different corners of the country or continent, they do exist, so keep an eye out.

Inclusions and Exclusions

Now, this is where the article enters a grey area. Every circumstance is unique and travel plans vary from person to person, so there’s only so much guidance one can give in this regard. Shop around on these factors and determine what inclusions are non-negotiable, those that are and those you can either take or leave. Categorising your desires and needs accordingly will assist you in eliminating poor contenders; sadly, most travel companies, including fan favourites and big blue chips generally prefer customers to chase them, distributing a bare minimum of information on their website. It may be painful to spend so much time on the phone, but it is well worth the time to talk to a professional and nail down your needs, work through inclusions and ask questions.

The Proof is in the Pudding

It is one thing to take out insurance, pay the premium and be protected, and quite another to make a successful claim. While the majority of companies do the right thing by their customers, researching customer service and past claims on travel forums will give you an idea of how you will be treated if things do indeed go wrong. Are they speedy and efficient? Were they empathetic? Did they match the right service to the customer’s needs and was the end result satisfactory? These are all very essential questions to ask yourself before signing the dotted line.

Of course, things go wrong all the time, without warning or exception. Don’t think about it too much; instead, be safe, sane and secure, keeping a money stash aside in the form of a Cash Passport to cover immediate emergencies. Between planning and insurance, your trip away will be one to remember for all the right reasons.

Photo by Iaszlo-photo via Flickr Creative Commons