How To Choose Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is one of those niggly things that you hope you don’t need but need to get anyway. Need is such a strong word – but I assure you it is absolutely necessary.

You said you don’t plan on getting injured while going overseas. The same can be said for any traveller! Accidents aren’t planned.

Bad things can happen to people who go bungy jumping from a place without a license or who eat from backstreet stalls. Bad things can also happen to people who stay inside all day. Read: bad things happen to people!

Bad things also tend to happen more to travelers. This study says tourists are twice as likely to be A&E’s than locals. This is likely due to foreigners being naive, confused, or generally unaware of hazards in the country they are visiting.

But please don’t cancel your flights just yet. Yes bad things happen to tourists, but this is just a fact of life. It’s unlikely something will happen to you, but you should rest assured knowing you have options.

Enter travel insurance. Travel insurance isn’t just for medical emergencies. It can also cover theft, lost baggage and even missed flights sometimes. What your travel insurance covers differs for each offer.

Unlike flights, there is no handy site that takes each package and compares them. You need to do all the legwork. But to save time, there are a few things you can look for.

Firstly is cost. Keep it mind that cost is not always indicative of how many benefits are offered. The first instinct is to choose a high cost package as it presumably covers more but this quite simply isn’t the case.

While you shouldn’t get the cheapest, most basic package, you should be wary of price. After all, costs are determined on a daily basis. So a small difference in daily prices can lead to a monumental difference.

Next you need to learn what the different benefits mean. Travel insurance policies use some tricky terminology. However be aware that the definition for one policy may not be the same for another. So try and stay clear of blanket definitions. Instead check for individual policies.

Once you have an idea what kind of benefits you require, you can determine which kind of cover you need. Usually insurers offer basic and comprehensive packages. Some offer other packages alongside these.

Since you are traveling for such a short amount of time, it is unlikely you need a comprehensive package. But this is completely up to you. The best case scenario is finding a comprehensive package for a standard package’s price. However this is like unicorns tears – rare and incredibly valuable.

Once you have selected your package, there are a few things you need before you can make your purchase. This includes travel dates and possibly proof of Visa.

In short: Finecomb through policy wording.

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Please note: The information in this article is intended to be general in nature and is not personal financial advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided and should seek independent financial advice.