For most of us Malaysians, the last/ “make you feel most meh” thing on our travel preparation checklist would probably be: “Buy a Travel Insurance Cover”. Insurance is never an exciting topic; we’d rather just daydream or anticipate the travel memories we are about to make. And when you think about it paying for a travel insurance premium, it is one of those things that you just want to “tick off” and never want to use it.
We feel you when you say: “It is hard to find the best travel insurance cover even if we had wanted to!” Therefore at PolicyStreet, we strive on doing it a little different from insurance companies and peers/competitors/frenemies heh. To start, here are 7 tips to help you find the best travel insurance cover for you.
1. What in the world is travel insurance?
Wikipedia says that “Travel insurance is insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while traveling”
So, which travel insurance cover is best for you? Well, there are different levels of coverage depending on:
a) the available plans in the market. Some can be obtained online and others may only be obtained via an agent
b) the insurance company offering the product. Make sure to buy a product from a company of a reputable brand and international presence, superior after sales service and lightning fast claims processing!
c) the extend of the coverage – some provide high limits of personal accident coverage, some products have limited limits for medical benefits, or say baggage delay.
d) the size of specific benefits’ excess. As defined on Investopedia, “Excess is a contribution you are required to pay towards a claim you make on your car insurance policy. An insurer may have many types of excesses that can apply in different situations or apply concurrently.”
2. Seek within yourself…who are you going on a trip with and where are you going to?
Before you are able to buy the best travel insurance cover for you, you must ask yourself:
a) What is your travel destination, and how long would you be there?
b) Who are you going with? Going solo, with your spouse, with family or friends?
c) How are you guys travelling predominantly? Through flight, ferry, bus, or car ride?
d) Will you be doing a trip to multiple countries?
e) What are the leisure activities you’d be doing? Are you going to do any adventurous activities?
3. Ponder then research!
Asking yourself the questions in point 2 would help you to formulate the most crucial risks you may encounter during your travel. These will your guiding principles to choose the best travel insurance cover for you.
Perhaps a good recommendation is to research on the risk levels of your travel destination and potential danger you may come across. For instance, Hong Kong has tendencies of mugging/pickpocketing incidences, therefore perhaps you may look out for a travel policy that has a high coverage limit of loss/theft of money and personal effects. With the imminent threats of ISIS, perhaps it is safer to visit certain parts of Indonesia with a travel insurance that has terrorism coverage.
Afraid that you may injure yourself whilst doing adventurous activities but you read that the medical facilities at the travel destination may not be sufficient to help you recover fast or worse, keep you alive? Do search for travel insurance policies with a high emergency evaluation benefit. That means, this coverage provides for medically necessary evacuation to a medical facility, medically equipped flights to return home, if needed.
4. What are the other determining factors of the best travel insurance cover for you?
a) Claims requirements
What are the supporting documents you are supposed to attach to your claim?
b) Premium amount
Could you find an insurance policy offering the same benefit for a cheaper price elsewhere? Are you paying for the coverage you are seeking for?
c) What is not covered?
Most insurance policies do not cover:
i) Travel to high-risk countries (insurance companies will specify which countries belong to this
category, so read your fineprints carefully!)
ii) sports and adventurous activities…unless you buy an optional sports rider with additional premium
iii) pre-existing illnesses/sickness, do ensure you declare any pre-existing medical conditions you may have.
iv) own negligence – you went to the airport late because you accidentally slept in. Sorry doll, insurance company won’t cover that!
5. Read the exclusions of every travel insurance cover!
Travel insurance policies will have a list of exclusions they won’t cover you for. E.g:
a) Severe weather conditions or natural disasters at travel destination
b) Acts of God (think Mount Agong volcano in Bali causing flight cancellations)
c) Acts of war, terrorism, uprising or civil commotion (think Arab spring)
Check out PolicyStreet’s product pages as we help you understand complicated policy wordings of the best travel insurance cover in the simplest way possible!
6. Annual policy or single trip?
Well that depends on how often you travel. Some people prefer the convenience and also the value-for-money benefit from having an annual cover, knowing that their personal/business life demands constant traveling. Or if you’re the kind that is usually forgetful/last minute, perhaps an annual cover could be suitable as well.
Generally, when searching for the best travel insurance cover you should have a basic idea of your travel habits and plans.
7. Is cheap always cheerful?
Whilst PolicyStreet pride ourselves for finding the lowest prices for insurance, getting the cheapest travel insurance policy without first understanding what you’re covered for is not always the best strategy. This could cost you a lot more in the long run, when you are unable to claim for things you intend to claim for when you first choose that insurance cover.
So there you have it – now you have 7 tips to find the best travel insurance cover for you, under your belt. We hope that you are slightly readier to obtain your first travel insurance policy with a peace of mind. If you hadn’t already known, PolicyStreet has recently launched Allianz Travel Care, a comprehensive no-frills travel product, starting from only RM16/trip! Consider getting this product the next time you travel!