There are numerous viable options for comprehensive travel insurance. But you should still ask the right questions before putting pen to paper on a policy.
The devil is in the details of comprehensive travel insurance. While you must pore through the fine points of any coverage policy, the package you eventually choose for your trip, no matter how short, can seem intimidating. Rather than hastily sign away on the first vaguely professional offer you happen to stumble across on an internet search, it is smart to find a range of solid options, and then ask the right questions.
Is my medical history relevant?
You may have identified a comprehensive travel insurance policy that has the requisite depth and flexibility. It covers all manner of eventualities, from lost documentation and the cost of natural disaster to unpredictable cancellations and stays in a medical hospital. But before you sign it is important to recognise that most firms do not treat every potential client alike. Your prior medical history may affect your ability to claim. For example, people with recurrent illness - which they are able to manage and treat yet not resolve - may find that should an accident or illness be linked back to the symptomatic occurrence of this illness, they may not be remunerated. It is very important to query your provider on the limits and potential extra costs that may come from any medical conditions that you have.
Is it tailored to my trip?
There is now such a broad range of events and eventualities covered by comprehensive travel insurance that even a simple examination could be exhausting. But it is worth your while to ask if this breadth and depth suits your particular journey. Everyone travels differently and we are all very different travellers. The business trip to an island golf course is different to the seven-month sojourn in a foreign university. Personal belongings, disability, ski cover, golfing extras, natural disasters, sports injuries, cancelled flights – all these and more are issues that present risks differently for each and every traveller. Weigh up your particular risks and make sure your extensive package suits.
Is it thorough enough for my destination?
Sometimes it is easy to broadly assume that most destinations carry similar risks. A resort in Guam and a resort in Sri Lanka may seem to pose similar risks of baggage loss or tour bike crashes to the same traveller. But providers of comprehensive travel insurance are well aware of the dangers specific to each destination and calculate their policies accordingly. It is up to you to query your provider on whether all the support, financial or otherwise, that you expect is covered for all the destinations you wish to journey through.
Am I aware of the exclusions?
On the first page of each offer for comprehensive travel insurance the benefits are lauded. But you need to check the following pages to be sure of all the exclusions. Many travellers are frustrated when they find their concept of exhaustiveness does not match that inherent to the policy. This frustration is largely caused by assuming that the exclusions will not affect you. To avoid the unpleasant experience of needing support or remuneration and finding that your incident is excluded from your policy, double check the exact circumstances of exclusion with your provider.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of Insuremore. We provide comprehensive travel insurance and offer a range of policies including single-trip, multi-trip and family insurance. For all your travel cover needs, Insuremore can help you in the quickest and most cost-efficient way.
By Lisa Jeeves