Travel insurance is an element of going abroad that many of us tend to ignore. It was revealed that as of 2011, one in five holidaymakers don’t take out travel insurance. However, insurers have seen a surge in people taking out travel policies as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Zika virus a global public health emergency.
Why Should you Get Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance covers you against unforeseen events, both prior to and during your trip. Insurance should always be a part of your travel plans, as the recent Zika outbreak demonstrates. As soon as the WHO declared the virus a public health emergency, health officials advised pregnant women to cancel planned trips to affected areas. Many airlines have offered refunds to affected passengers, however not everyone has been fortunate enough to receive reimbursements. Travel insurance can protect you financially in the event of unexpected cancellations.
Medical Coverage and Loss of Possessions
When faced with the possibility of a health emergency or losing expensive items such as electronics or passports, travel insurance is essential and is perhaps the most obvious reason to take out a policy. A medical emergency whilst on holiday quickly becomes expensive, but with insurance you will have one less thing to worry about. Similarly, if you lose your passport or your belongings, travel insurance means you don’t have to cut your holiday short.
Should you experience last-minute illness or a death in the family before going on a trip, you can be reimbursed through your insurance policy’s cancellation coverage. Any illness must be disabling to the point that cancellation is necessary and most insurance policies specifies the type of emergency under which cancellation claims are entertained, so be sure to check before you buy insurance.
When you are looking at purchasing travel insurance there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, ensure your policy covers the full duration of your trip. Most insurance policies have a limit on trip duration, and if you are abroad for longer than that, your insurance becomes invalid. You should also check if your intended destination is included in your policy.
Disclose Medical Conditions
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions it is important to be honest about it, as a failure to disclose a medical condition could render your insurance void should anything occur whilst you are away.
Most travel insurance policies will have a limit to how much you can claim back. Check that you are covered for what you stand to lose. For instance, if you are taking thousands of pounds worth of expensive electronics equipment, but your policy only covers you for 500 pounds, it almost defeats the purpose. If you will be taking part in activities such as skiing, surfing or hiking, make sure the insurance company you are using knows this. Likewise, you should find out what the excess is on lost items. This can be quite high, and can exceed the cost of the lost item itself. If the policy coverage is insufficient for your needs you should look elsewhere.