How to choose the right travel insurance for your family?
Get this on the first item of your vacay checklist, so your trip will be more yay than nay
With the school holidays coming up, it’s the best time to travel with your family. While you must pack the right clothes, snacks and blankets, it is also paramount that you choose the best travel insurance for your family, especially with the global pandemic still ongoing.
Before you get into deciding on anything, read this article to find out why you should get travel insurance (if you didn’t know already), the documents you’ll need and the factors that come into play when choosing travel insurance.
Why do you need travel insurance
Having travel insurance helps ease the financial stress of making last-minute changes to plans and additional travel arrangements. In the case of a delay, cancellation, natural disaster or terrorist attack, travel insurance products are designed to give you the peace of mind you need.
These are 3 reasons why you need travel insurance:
● In the event of trip cancellation or delay, your trip expenses will be covered (up to your coverage limit)
● It reduces the cost of a delayed flight or damaged or lost luggage
● You can avoid being hit with big medical bills if you get sick while away from home
To sum it up, travel insurance provides you with peace of mind in unexpected situations and a helpline if you ever get stranded or lost in a foreign country.
Factors to consider when you are purchasing a travel insurance
1. Not all travel insurance are the same
There is a common assumption that all travel insurance policies are the same, which makes it tempting to go with the lowest-priced option. However, travel insurance, while seemingly similar on the surface, might offer different coverages that can only be seen after reading the policy wording.
For example, because many travel insurance providers do not cover claims related to pre-existing medical issues, the cheapest coverage may not be the best option for you or your family members with pre-existing medical illnesses.
2. 24-hour helpline & medical expenses coverage
A 24-hour helpline is a must-have when purchasing insurance coverage. In the event of an emergency while travelling in a foreign nation, this helpline would come in useful .
Most policies cover medical expenses, but it is important to double-check that the coverage is enough. Serious medical claims made while travelling abroad might cost tens of thousands of dollars or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
You must add the phone number for your emergency assistance to your phone's contacts list once you get travel insurance.
3. Ease of making claims
It's common to equate filing a claim with lengthy paperwork and meetings with insurance agents, but this isn't always the case.
With a few documents and a few clicks, you should be able to submit claims online from the comfort of your own home or even while you're on the road if that gives you more peace of mind.
4. Types of coverage
Not all travel insurance is created equal, and you should see what coverage you need and purchase accordingly. There are five types of travel insurance coverage before comparing and buying a plan.
Trip cancellation or interruption
The first type of coverage is the most fundamental: Trip Cancellation or Interruption.
Some of us might have gone through last-minute trip cancellations due to unforeseen consequences, such as a medical problem (getting positive for COVID-19) or even last-minute family emergencies. Or maybe during our trip, there was social unrest in the country you visited that you had no choice but to fly home early.
Trip cancellation occurs before the flight, while trip interruptions are unwanted unforeseen events occurring during the trip. Travel Insurers tend to offer this basic coverage in their plans.
Overseas medical coverage
The second type of coverage would be medical coverage. Most travel insurance plans tend to provide overseas medical expenses & emergency medical evacuation. Some personal accident plans provide worldwide hospitalisation coverage in case of an overseas accident.
Do check if your insurance plans offer worldwide coverage for hospitalisation in case of an accident abroad. This coverage also tends to include infectious diseases (COVID-19 coverage for medical expenses overseas)
This pays for the cost of medical evacuation to move you to a safe location where you can access the appropriate aid and treatment during an emergency.
Non-medical evacuation coverage arranges transportation from a dangerous area to somewhere safer in the event of civil or political unrest or terrorism.
Loss of personal belongings
This provides reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage and other personal items. Note that this coverage is offered for your entire trip, not just flight-related activities.
Some insurers, such as Great Eastern, would also provide compensation for baggage delays.
Similar to how life insurance works, in the event of an untimely demise or dismemberment, your beneficiaries would be paid the sum assured stated in the travel insurance policy.
Travel insurance plans usually cover one of these three incidents: Flight accident, a common carrier accident (accident death/dismemberment from riding transportation that carries a large group of people such as plane, cruises, and public transportation), or even whole trip coverage.
How to keep track of your travel insurance
Ensure that you keep track of your coverage dates, certificate of insurance, maximum limits, policy number, claim information, privacy notice, and covered supplier list, amongst others. Using a travel insurance app is the most convenient way to do this.
Most sophisticated travel insurance applications allow you to buy insurance on the go. They provide access to emergency medical services, broad embassy and hospital contacts, and even real-time medical support.
● Making Claims
Travel with your insurance policy number and emergency contact information. In the event of a problem, you'll know who to contact and how to fix it. Before embarking on your trip, double check that you’ve saved the phone number in your phone.
If you need to file a claim after you return home, check these things first:
● If you can still file a claim.
● Your claim is covered
● How big the surplus is. Excess is the amount deducted from your claim by your insurer.
A claim valued less than this may not be worth pursuing.
Most insurers provide a claim form on their websites. Make a copy of the claim form and keep it safe. Include copies of all supporting papers, such as receipts and medical certifications. In case your claim is denied, you should keep a copy of the originals.
You must transport your items in good shape. The insurance company will ask for proof. Notify the police if you lose or have your belongings taken within 24 hours. Otherwise, a tour salesperson, hotel management, or transportation company can offer a written report. If you need new toiletries or clothing, retain the receipts and submit them with your insurance claim.
If you need medical care while you're away, call your insurance company right away. Even if it isn't practicable in an emergency, you should do it beforehand. Prepay for medical care and submit a reimbursement claim when you return home. Ask for invoices for all treatments and drugs.
If you don't tell your travel insurance provider about a pre-existing health issue, it may not be covered. Your insurance may not cover the medication you need while on vacation.
Travel with peace of mind
Even if your vacation does not go exactly as you had hoped, you will be protected by travel insurance. If you're travelling alone, this is especially critical because you may find yourself trapped without a way back home or a friend to turn to for assistance if you run into problems.
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