A short guide to travel insurance


Travel Insurance – A Need to Know guide?

Travel insurance protects holiday expenses against adverse events such as cancellation and interruption and also reimburses medical expenses, the loss or damage of property and transit delays.

Many millions of travelers and holidaymakers purchase some form of insurance every year, but few people know really what it is and how it can be defined. If you know what is included, and what is not you will be able to make the most of your protection, and get reimbursed fairly.

There are four main categories of travel insurance:

1. Health and Medical reasons

Emergency evacuation: This guarantees emergency transportation to either a local hospital in the event that the traveler is unable to get there by themselves or back to a hospital near the traveler’s hometown. If family members are covered on the same policy they can travel back home also.

Medical reasons: This reimburses emergency medical and dental costs. Nearly all holiday insurance plans work by reimbursing the traveler after they have paid locally for treatment. Claims are usually paid within 7 – 10 working days. Pre-existing medical conditions are covered by most policies if the policy is purchased within (at the most) 21 days from the date the traveler made the first payment or deposit.

2. Delays and cancellation or curtailment

Cancellation: Reimbursement comes into effect if travellers have booked and paid for a holiday, but are unable to embark because of personal illness or injury, death (of the individual or of a family member), adverse weather conditions, transport strikes, terrorism, bankruptcy, sudden unemployment, jury duty or by sustaining serious damage to their home causing it to be uninhabitable due to fire or flooding.

Delay: This reimburses travelers for hotel, food or clothing expenses in the event of a flight delay. Some plans also cover costs associated with catching up with a cruise should another delay cause the traveler to miss embarkation.
Interruption: Insurance companies pay money to policyholders abroad if they have to cut short their trip due to illness, death (of the traveller or a family member), terrorism, weather, airline strikes, bankruptcy, sudden unemployment, and other adverse conditions which mean that, due to events outside the control of the holiday-maker, a trip has to be curtailed.

3. Death:

Accidental death – covers death or dismemberment at any time of your trip. Usually guarantees the lowest amount of coverage due to a higher risk
Air Flight accident – this covers death or dismemberment during an air flight only. Usually guarantees the highest amount of coverage due to the fairly low likelihood of this occurring.

Common carrier – Covers death or dismemberment while traveling on public transport such as a plane, ferry, train bus or taxi.

4. Loss or damage of property:

Baggage loss – reimburses travelers for lost, stolen or damaged personal items. This coverage is usually restricted to the duration of the trip and not confined to baggage damaged or lost by the airline. There are two policy limits, total claim and per item maximum. Some policies also place limits on the type of items that can be claimed for – such as precious jewelry, laptops, and sporting goods

Hire Car damage – This reimburses travelers for damage or loss to a rental vehicle. It is designed to allow the traveler to decline collision damage waiver (CDW) coverage offered by the car rental companies. Liability coverage should still be purchased through the car rental company. Rental Car Damage coverage is also often included with the credit card used to pay for the car rental which often matches the coverage provided in the policy.

Assistance services – guarantees a 24-hour collect telephone advice and assistance service to travelers. This service can be used anytime a traveler needs advice. Make sure you keep a copy of this number in several places in your luggage or on your person when you move around.


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