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Global Travel Insurance & Travel Insurance Companies

Travel Insurance & Travel insurance Companies: What is Travel Insurance?

 

The basic meaning of travel insurance is to protect your trip investment. To define it in simply, travel insurance refers to financial protection for a person and the money that a person prepays for his trip. It covers personal accident, medical expenses, air ambulance, loss of effects, repatriation costs and all other expenses that may arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience occurring to the person who is traveling.

Need for travel insurance arises not only to protect your baggage but to protect you from some major problems. For example,

Case #1 : if a person books his family’s tickets for a cruise to the Caribbean and a few weeks later, a close loved one becomes critically ill

Case #2: Family books an airline ticket joyfully and the next week, that airline has declared that it has gone bankrupt.

Travel insurance is made for such situations. It can usually be arranged at the time of booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip or a more extensive, continuous insurance can be purchased from (most often) insurance companies or banks, which covers all traveling during the period for which the insurance was obtained.

   

The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance are: Cancellation, Curtailment, Delayed Departure, Loss, theft or damage to personal possessions and money (including travel documents), Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items), Medical expenses, Emergency evacuation/repatriation, Overseas funeral expenses, Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit, Legal assistance etc. Travel Insurance can also be beneficial in many cases like: Emergency Dental Treatment, Medical Evacuation/Additional Expenses, Standard Luggage and Personal Effects.

A travel insurance company basically provides services for travel insurance, there are several things that need to cover while taking travel insurance package from a creation travel insurance company, several times the travel insurance company gives lucrative offers and it looks cheap to buy that policy, but it does not cover several aspects, which might end up in loss. So before buying a travel insurance policy, one must take care of the points that go with the travel insurance plans that provide coverage for vacation and trip cancellation, travel interruptions and delays, emergency medical and health expenses, lost baggage and more.

Always go with the travel insurance plan that is flexible in choosing the coverage that meets the travel needs. From additional limits for medical or baggage, to special coverage for adventure travel, while purchasing a travel insurance policy one must assure that the policy includes the following coverage: Trip Interruption, Trip Cancellation, Supplier Default (also known as "Financial Default"), a Trip Delay Benefit, and at least $25,000 worth of Air Evacuation in the event of a medical emergency.

Also one must be sure that the policy is real insurance. One must not get fooled by buying "travel protection" offered by non-insurance companies. These other companies are often fly-by-night outfits who are not governed by the same rules and bonding/reserve requirements that insurers are. Never buy travel protection or insurance issued by a travel agency, airline, or cruise line. There is bound to be some contention from fellow travels.

  • One must read the entire policy before buying. Usually the policy and the exclusions can be found online. Always look for a document titled "Evidence of Coverage". Make sure it covers you for any scenario that you would like to get covered for. This is important because some policies do not cover potentially dangerous activities like scuba diving, bungee jumping, sky diving, and hang gliding. While reading the policy, don't forget to review the definitions section which dictates how the insurance company defines all of the terms (like family member, medical necessity, and covered trip) and the State Exceptions section which provides any state mandated exceptions and add-ons which may affect travel insurance policy.

  • Always look for carrier exclusions to make sure that cruise, air, or travel operator that a person would be considering is not on their list of excluded companies. Excluded companies are not covered by insurance if they go under. Insurance is usually based upon the total cost of the trip (on a per person basis).

  • Be sure to include the cost of the airfare or other public transportation. Some companies would cover minor children for free. Very important point in the event that there is a requirement to make a claim, one must be sure to collect every receipt and keep them in one place, when required the documents can be easily found.

  • Be sure to keep the receipt from the travel agent with cost of trip, all unused airline tickets and transportation receipts, medical bills, copies of theft or other official reports, and any other pertinent receipts relating to the specific claim. Some travel insurance companies provide cheap annual travel insurance which is an alternative choice for those budget - conscious travelers who are making more than one trip a year. The main feature of the annual travel insurance against regular travel insurance is that it saves money.

For a once annual payment, one can get covered whenever there is need to travel during the year. The terms and conditions vary between companies, but annual insurance for unlimited travel is also available. Cheap annual travel insurance provides substantial cost savings than any regular type of travel insurance. There are some tips for choosing the best cheap annual travel insurance: Always sign up with a reputable insurance company that has worldwide offices which can easily be contacted during emergency needs.

The insurance company should have a 24/7 customer assistance which is an essential for international travelers. Always make sure that the office number of the travel insurance company ay is available while traveling abroad. Make sure the travel policy is valid for the whole journey and includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover. Always take a photocopy of travel insurance policy, along with a note of any 24-hour emergency numbers. Also, a claim could be turned down if one does not look after his belongings properly. For example, if someone’s things get stolen off the beach while taking a dip in the sea, the insurance company might decide that the person has not taken "reasonable care" and refuse to pay up.

Insurance companies are also growing increasingly concerned about fraud, especially with travel insurance. If someone claims for anything that has been stolen they'll probably want evidence that actually that person owned the item in the first place. Keep photos at home of personal belongings that one would like to take during travel. Some insurers even ask for receipts. So basically one must assure for all the points before taking a travel insurance policy form a travel insurance company, so that one can travel with peace and is able to enjoy the travel.

Contributing Author: Deepti Varshney, presently working as a Freelance writer. I have also worked as a Busienss Development Manager for a UK based MNC. I find article writing very interesting as it gives you wide areas to explore your knowledge and ideas. rite2deepti@yahoo.com

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