Travel Insurance – Yes or No
Most people (and governments) will advise travelers to purchase travel insurance, especially when traveling internationally. Our personal insurances (medical and other) do not normally cover us when we are in another country. Taking out appropriate travel insurance will reduce the risk of high costs should something bad happen. Most travel agents will offer some travel insurance and in order to satisfy yourself, you should review the policy.
What Travel insurance will You Need?
Generally, the two largest risks associated with travel are the medical and emergency assistance risks and the risk of altering your travel plans. However most policies will include other items like lost/stolen baggage, loss of travel documents, flight delays or interruption, death insurance, car rental risk, specialist equipment and other items.
When purchasing our tickets for a vacation, we usually look for the “best price” option. However, the “best price’ option is often the one that is most expensive to alter. So, if circumstances change, you look to the travel insurance to support you. There are several clauses in insurance policies that detail the circumstances for support. Be aware that in some cases, if you purchase a discounted ticket and circumstances change, and the discounted fare is no longer available, the support from insurance may fall short of the new price. You should always read the clauses relating to cancellation and change as they impact the cost of the premium, particularly the “deeming” phrases.”
Cheap policies may be more restrictive
Medical Care and Emergency Assistance are often expensive in foreign places. Most places have hospitals and doctors of varying proficiency. However, they will most likely want payment in advance. Contact your insurer as soon as you can for advice and direction. Should you fall ill on a cruise, for example, and need to be flown to the nearest hospital, the costs will run into the tens of thousands.
Consider the other items listed above, but if you have the opportunity you may be able to reduce the cost of the premium by lowering the insured amounts and even taking up a small excess. That is, you agree to pay the first $100, say of the claim.
Most times we think of what is the best that can happen. In considering insurance, however, it may be better to ask, what is that worst that can happen. This may be the cancellation of the whole trip coupled with the associated cancellation costs or some emergency medical mishap that will require emergency evacuation or local care. Not good thoughts before a vacation of a lifetime, but necessary, especially when considering that travel insurance is not expensive.