As a traveler, unforeseen events such as missed flights, lost baggage, natural disasters, and tour operators going bankrupt are all too familiar; and protecting yourself against these would be a very wise decision. But which insurance should you purchase? Which one is perfect for you, and what are the things that you need to consider?
First things first: do you need travel insurance?
In deciding whether to get travel insurance and which one to get, the first thing you need to do is to check the coverage of your existing insurance policies. There are health insurance policies that cover medical emergencies overseas. There are credit card companies that offer insurance coverage for baggage loss, accidental death and dismemberment, and international medical assistance for an additional fee or a charge on their airline ticket. Most homeowner insurance policies also cover baggage loss.
If, after perusing your insurance policies, you find that there is not enough coverage as far as travel is concerned, getting separate travel insurance would be a sound choice.
What are the types of travel insurance and what do they cover?
- Medical Insurance. This includes several types of coverage. One of which is emergency medical evacuation insurance, which is highly recommended for those who go on cruises and those who travel to remote areas and developing countries. This covers expenses in case it has been determined by a qualified physician that you need to be transported to the nearest medical facility or back to your home country. Another type of medical insurance is cash disbursement to the insured or the beneficiary in case of accidental death, loss of limb, or loss of sight.
- Trip Cancellation Insurance. This covers you if you need to cancel or postpone your trip due to unforeseen events. In general, it covers illness, injury, or death of the insured or a member of the insured’s immediate family. There are policies that also cover for the cancellation of a trip due to illness, injury, or death of the insured’s companion. Some travel insurance companies also offer comprehensive “cancel for any reason” policies.
- Travel Document Protection. This helps you in case of a lost or stolen travel document such as passport.
- Baggage Loss and Delay. This protects you in case your luggage gets lost, delayed, or stolen. This coverage often includes cash payment if your bags are delayed for more than 12 hours upon arrival at your destination.
- Flight Delay and Cancellation. This typically covers the expenses for hotels, meals, and new travel arrangements incurred due to delayed and cancelled flights.
How do you make a claim?
As soon as something goes wrong, contact your insurance company. Remember that in making claims, you need to provide evidence. For example, if items have been stolen, you need to secure a crime reference number from the local police. In case of a lost or delayed baggage, make sure that the airport has provided you a form confirming it. Take note that when making a claim, you usually need to pay an excess or a participation fee.
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