Are you planning a little trek to the Himalayas? Or booking a trip to Disneyland in Florida?
We are all particular about our passports, visas and bookings but don’t bother about buying travel insurance, but should we risk going without? After all, accidents and sickness can and do occur anywhere and it’s more difficult to handle when you are a strange land.
What is travel insurance and what are the benefits of investing in a policy?
Travel insurance provides monetary compensation for unexpected emergencies during travel. Travel insurance offers numerous benefits:
- Medical expenses for accidents or illnesses: Medical treatment can be exorbitantly expensive in some countries running into thousands of dollars
- Monetary compensation for cancelled or curtailed trips: If you need to cancel a trip, you may often end up losing thousands of pounds.
- Loss or theft of personal belongings or baggage: Lost or stolen luggage is a very common problem during travel. This especially relevant to jewellery, cameras etc. Travel insurance protects you against monetary loss
- Emergency evacuation services within 24 hours
- Lost or stolen travel documents: You can approach your travel company for assistance
How to choose the Right Travel Insurance Policy
There are several different types of travel insurance policies that offer different extents of coverage. It’s very important to read the small print before you pay for one.
Here are a few tips to select the right travel insurance for your personal requirements:
Annual or Single Trip Insurance
You can either invest in travel insurance every time you travel or pay for what is referred to as ‘annual multi-trip travel insurance’. Annual travel insurance is a better choice for those who travel often. If you holiday once in a while, you may want to buy travel insurance for each individual trip.
Long term (Backpacker’s Insurance) or Short term Insurance
Conventional travel insurance typically covers you for a period of upto 31 days. If you plan to travel for longer periods, you may have to apply for long term or backpacker’s insurance that is valid for three to eighteen months.
Adventure/Winter Sports Travel Insurance
Most travel insurance policies do not cover risky activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, mountain trekking or skiing. You have to pay for extra coverage and there is special insurance coverage for skiing, snowboarding etc called ‘winter sports insurance’.
Older adults can invest in specially formulated travel insurance policies for senior citizens.
It’s a good idea to invest in a suitable travel insurance policy for your unique travel requirements, after all, it is better to have the insurance in place and not need it, than to need it and not have it!