It is becoming very easy to buy travel insurance. Every time you book a new ticket, your travel agent asks if you also need a travel insurance. Frequent overseas travellers who need visas are very familiar with travel insurance. Health insurance is mandated by many consulates for travelling abroad as healthcare cost could be very high in some countries. Travel insurance is becoming increasingly popular for domestic travel as well, either for business purposes or holidays. However, have you ever taken a closer look on these travel policies, what is included and what is not?
Let us examine scenarios in which you may need travel insurance to protect your financial loss. Health emergencies or accidents are quite common. This is especially true adventure tourism including skiing holidays abroad. You may face loss of baggage or theft. You may experience flight cancellations and missed connections with no fault of yours. Sometimes your airlines should cover you in case the necessity materialises due to operational reasons. But sometimes your airlines may not cover you – like in case of recent Bali volcano eruptions.
In all these cases, it is important to note the details as well policy exclusions. You also need to know the fine-print in the policy documents since at the time of claims your settlement may be rejected if you do not meet the terms of polices.
Read the fine-print
Did you know that flight cancellations are payable only if you return to your home base. For example, if your connecting flight is cancelled or you trip gets cancelled due to weather condition, you may not get claim settlement if you do not return to your home base. While this restricts your ability to be flexible and plan alternate routes, it is important to know how your policy claim process will work in case you ever need one.
While baggage lost is included in most policies you may question whether this is a requirement since most airlines cover it anyways. It begs the question whether most travel insurance policies sold alongside your tickets are even useful?
Similarly, some travel insurance will not pay for flight cancellations, putting the onus on the airlines itself. In some cases only health benefits are covered. You can buy policies which are linked with specific healthcare emergencies while travelling. For example, winter vacation insurance is quite common across Europe as accidents while skiing are quite common. Emergency airlift, a pertinent requirement, is normally provided under special policies only.
Right coverage for your needs
Lastly, be careful of buying annual travel insurance plans. As most travel insurance policies are region specific. You may find your travel policy benefits are not applicable if you travel to US or Latin America. You can buy South Asia specific travel insurance or only Europe or global coverage, the choice of region depends on your need. But make sure the region is covered under your policy before you travel.
At TrueCover we provide tools for customers to understand their coverage and identify any existing gaps. Watch out for our updates on how you can make your travel insurance work for you.