Risks and Travel Insurance Cover
You face several kinds of risks during travel, both domestic and foreign. Your baggage could be lost, flight could be delayed, money could be stolen or you could fall ill. The risks have higher impact when you are abroad with unfamiliar language, customs and laws. The monetary costs could be quite high in some cases. Proper travel insurance cover could minimize the impact of such risks.
In this article, we look at some specific issues relating to some important travel risks.
Healthcare risks could arise from illness or accidents. Accidents are particularly likely if you are going on a sports or adventure vacation. Fractures are common during a skiing expedition, for example. Even healthy persons could meet with accidents.
In UK, the healthcare program might protect you. Once you are outside UK, it might not provide the same degree of, or any at all, protection. UK has signed reciprocal healthcare agreements with a number of countries. However, the extent of protection offered varies from country to country. You might have to incur quite heavy expenses yourself in some countries.
Then there are countries with which there are no reciprocal healthcare agreements, notably USA with very high medical costs. If you are a UK resident and suffers a serious illness while in USA, you could almost be bankrupted.
Adequate travel insurance cover could reimburse your medical and incidental costs, meeting even the costs of evacuation to nearest medical facility or even back home.
Other Travel Risks
Other common travel related risks include loss of baggage, travel documents or money, trip cancellation with no refunds and flight delays that might result in missing onward bookings. Less common might be damages that you cause to third parties with consequential liability claims.
A comprehensive travel insurance cover could protect you against all these kinds of risks.
Types of Travel Insurance Cover
You could obtain cover under different kinds of policies. If you are an infrequent traveller, you could take out a single-trip insurance each time you travel. A frequent traveller would find it more cost effective (and convenient) to go for annual, multi-trip travel insurance cover. Check that the policy covers the likely duration of each trip.
If you have children who travel with you, you could enjoy big savings if you select family travel insurance. Persons under 18 are usually considered children and there are special rates for them.
Business travel policies usually offer cover for office equipment such as laptops and PDAs, and might also cover a colleague if you are unable to travel. These are typically annual policies.
Persons aged over 65 might find it difficult to obtain travel insurance cover. However, insurance brokers working with several companies would usually be able to find good bargains even for this group.
Winter sports enthusiasts could go for the specialized policies that provide cover not only for healthcare but also for equipment, even hired equipment, and no snow conditions that effectively cancel their vacations. Specialized travel insurance cover is also available for other kinds of adventure vacations.
Travel insurance could also cover short stays or long stays of three to eighteen months. Backpackers, typically, go on long-stay vacations and could go for backpacker insurance.
The costs are higher if hazardous activities like those mentioned above are involved. So would cover for pre-existing medical conditions. Compared to likely treatment expenses, however, the insurance costs could be negligible. UK travelers could consider buying a European Health Insurance Card for travel in Europe, as it would lower costs of medical treatment in European countries.
Travel insurance typically covers baggage loss and delays. Check however that the policy covers loss of travel documents and money, as these might not be automatically included. On the other hand, if you have a home insurance, you might not need baggage cover.
Cancellation of your trip because of illness, death in the family or other specified reasons could affect you financially if your booking does not allow refunds. If your travel insurance covers cancellations, you could recover the losses from the insurer. Cancellations could occur before travel start date and ensure that your policy is effective from booking date.
Be Honest With Your Insurer
One reason for insurance companies rejecting claims is that the policyholder failed to disclose relevant information, such as a pre-existing medical condition. You would be financially safer disclosing what you know, and paying a little extra, compared to what you might have to incur otherwise. Honesty is the best policy for obtaining good travel insurance cover.