How to buy Travel Insurance?
If you have been always travelling without travel insurance, that is a big no-no. I hope you have been lucky enough not to get into any sort of problem or even run out of cash whilst on your vacation. The main purpose of a travel insurance is to protect you from any financial losses which might arise before and during the trip. Now that you know the importance of travel insurance, let’s go through some tips on how to buy travel insurance online or from your travel agent.
- COMPARE: This is a basic procedure which every travel insurance applicant should consider. Before comparing quotes, you know about each insurer’s policies and what they cover, for example:
1. flight cancellation policy – will you receive a refund when a flight is cancelled. If yes, that makes them a good company.
2. is your health and medical bills covered during your holiday, i.e. does the policy cover and pay for medical bills if you get sick during the flight or have a medical emergency while at your destination.
3. do they have baggage coverage which caters for your baggage if stolen.
4. are you covered for any risky sports that you plan to take part in.
- REQUEST FOR QUOTES: You can get different policies from your travel insurance provider to offer you the cover you need, however, to avoid confusion, it is better to get independent quotes for each policy. These quotes are free and you can easily get them online using the insurers website or their agent. When you communicate with the insurer, it’s also worthwhile to note their response time and the customer care they provide because you want to make sure that they are available 24/7 if you need to contact them during an emergency.
- BUY ONLINE: If you intend to purchase your travel insurance online, you need to fill in application form so that the travel insurance agent can tailor the appropriate coverage for you. Before submitting your application, you need to read and understand all the policy benefits that you will be covered for. Please ensure you are comparing like-with-like and don’t fall for the cheapest policy as it may not cover all your requirements. Also, you need to know what the excess is for a claim; generally, the higher the excess, the lower is the premium.
- PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS: If you plan to travel to another country, your travel agent will make sure you get immunized for diseases like Malaria especially when your travel plans include Africa. You may also be required to undertake a medical check-up to see if you have no pre-existing medical conditions. These tests need to be performed by a licensed doctor because the insurer has to cover you in turn. Therefore, the insurer will require proof that the doctor is qualified, properly trained and allowed to perform medical check-ups. If you apply online, the insurance company or agent will ask you to email them the necessary documentation from your doctor.
- SINGLE TRIP COVERAGE: If you want to save money, you can choose the single coverage plan, which is valid for only one trip. However, for people that travel frequently, you need to opt for an annual coverage plan, which offers better value-for-money. It might look expensive at first, but it’s a lot cheaper if you travel every week or every month. This annual travel insurance plan is ideal for business people.
- TIME: If you decide to apply for a travel insurance online, you have to do this in time and prior to your trip. Travel experts advise you to apply for travel insurance at least 2 – 3 weeks before travelling; processing time is generally between 2 – 5 business days.
- TRAVEL DESTINATIONS:- As you apply for this nature of coverage, you need to tell your insurer where you’re going, this will give them a clear insight of the destination, if their harm doesn’t not stretch to that destination, they might suggest a good travel insurance company in that area. If you apply through the internet, you need to put all documents about your destination (s) and submit them to the insurer. Online forms are processed very first, so you will get response from them in a few days.
SHOULD I BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Yes, it’s very essential to buy travel insurance; we all love to travel, discover new destinations and experience new cultures. For some people, travelling is a hobby; they enjoy life by being in different locations all the time, however, in this day and age, as much as technology has advanced, travelling has become risky and unsafe. The main purpose of this policy is to cover you for flight cancellation, lost luggage or medical expenses or emergencies or other causes such as financial losses which may occur when traveling.
The importance of your travel policy is whether the travel insurance company will honour and pay once you lodge it. Therefore, please read all the terms and conditions before you sign up and make sure all your travel needs are covered by the policy.
CHOOSING A TRAVEL INSURANCE COMPANY
To avoid making last minute decisions, it’s better you plan ahead of time. Travelling is fun but it’s also a hassle especially if you decide to do everything on the last day. It’s better to organize and plan everything in advance so that you are ready to make the most of your vacation. Now that you realize that travel insurance is a must, let’s see what you should consider before signing up with a travel insurance company:
- ARE THEY INTERNATIONAL: If you will be travelling overseas, it will be more prudent to have a travel policy with a company recognized internationally. A few of the big insurance companies have agents in different countries, so ask them if they or their agents are based in that particular location you’re heading.
- WHAT IS COVERED: In June 2014, travelers who were traveling to West African Countries were facing the huge risk of being infected with the deadly disease “EBOLA”. So, this should serve as a prime example that your proposed travel destination might have a disease outbreak which you may or may not be aware of. In this case, it is better to know whether your travel insurance will cover for medical evacuation.
- REFUND POLICY: Make sure that the insurance company you have decided to work with has a refund policy. If yes, please take the time to read and understand all the fine-print of the policy before paying for travel insurance. In most cases, if the company is well renowned, you should have a full refund of your money if you cancel your travel plans and give them sufficient notice. If for any reason you know you won’t make the trip, please don’t wait, as most insurers will not refund when you cancel your travel plans at the last minute.
- PURCHASE FROM A LICENSED AGENT: If you decide to buy travel insurance online, you need to look at licensed agents. In most cases, their accreditation / license number are displayed in their offices. If unsure, please enquire from the parent insurance company.
BEST TRAVEL INSURANCE COMPANIES
I have compiled a list of my top pick of the best travel insurance companies, in alphabetical order, that you can get a quote from:
|Top Travel Insurance Company||Website||Underwriters' AM Best Ratings||Insurer's BBB Rating:|
|Allianz Travel Insurance||allianztravelinsurance||A-||A+|
|CSA Travel Protection||csatravelprotection||A, A-||A+|
|Travel Insured International||travelinsured||A+||A+|
|Travelex Insurance Services||travelex||A+||A+|
Bestinsurancereviews.org wishes you a safe and enjoyable trip with the hope that you have selected the best travel insurance for your needs.