Planned an exotic vacation with your family? You must have searched for some travel insurance plans to safeguard your trip. However, be actively alert in selecting an insurance plan to receive the maximum coverage and benefits.
There are thousands of plans available in the market ready to lure you in. What you would be able to see is the plenty of benefits that they may provide but not the hidden terms and conditions.
Similarly, we bring you some important aspects of an insurance policy that you should pay some attention to while finalizing a deal with your insurance agent. Without much ado, let’s begin our list.
In travel insurance, you need to be highly specific with your requirements to eliminate extra expenditure without compromising the benefits.
There are single-trip travel insurance plans available in which the validity of your insurance benefits remains intact for a single trip. An insurance plan with this term is suggested when you are preserving your budget and are not traveling regularly.
By purchasing single-trip insurance, you will be doing some serious savings that are not available in any other policy.
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However, the multi-trip insurance plan is the icing on the cake. If you like traveling and are a regular traveler, or own a business where companies shower you with business trips, multiple-trip insurance is your perfect choice.
You can also purchase a multi-trip policy if you don’t mind spending a few dollars extra, as it is more useful than single-trip insurance. Multi-Trip insurance will provide you the same benefits that you receive in single-trip insurance for your multiple journeys.
If compared logically, purchasing single multi-trip insurance is still much cheaper than fulfilling the premiums of single-trip insurance for your every trip.
An alternative to both single-trip and multi-trip insurance is year-long travel insurance policies. These policies range somewhere between single-trip and multi-trip policies and provide you all the benefits for a year.
Having lower premiums than multi-trip policies, you can also go for a year-long plan but have to buy one every year. You can discuss and compare the single-trip, multi-trip, and year-long plans with the same benefits of a company to get a better deal.
Not every insurance policy includes all the destinations of the world. Some can be restricted to only a few areas, while others can exclude specific regions.
Some regions that several travel insurance companies don’t consider are the areas of war and unrest. Similarly, places with extreme climates can also be an exclusion in many policies.
Some policies only cover some regions in times of peace. However, these restrictions can also be limited to a continent or some countries.
Therefore, after considering the possible destinations of your future trips, you can select a multi-trip insurance plan. For single-trip insurance, you don’t need to plan for your future journeys.
If you are not familiar with this term, we will help you out. Deductibles in an insurance policy refer to the amount that a claimant is required to pay to the insurance company before the processing of his reimbursement.
Usually, the higher the deductibles are in an insurance plan, the lower the premiums to be paid. Again, you need to buy an insurance plan considering the deductible amount you are ready to give.
In travel insurance, the deductible amount is usually required in the medical claims benefit. Once you pay the deductible amount, i.e., the amount from your pocket, your insurance company will take care of the rest of your medical needs.
You can discuss the deductible amount with your insurance provider before purchasing a plan and keep your premium low by planning effectively.
Comprehensive Vs Speciality Plans
Suppose you are not worried about baggage loss or do not consider it much of an issue. With specialty plans, you will only receive those benefits that you actually want.
These plans slightly differ from the comprehensive plans, which are inclusive of a long list of benefits. However, specialty plans are often not available for abroad trips and do not include the trip cancellation benefit.
Where purchasing a specialty plan remains your sole decision and provides complete control over your benefits, we suggest purchasing comprehensive plans for your family.
You can always use specialty plans to cover some extra benefits or bundle them up with limited insurance plans to do some cost-cutting. Specialty plans are usually cheap and do not take a heavy toll on your pocket.
Check out this page to get info on limited insurance plans.
The Claiming Process
Although the majority of the renowned insurance companies follow a similar claiming process, there are some minor differences that you should examine. An example of this is the claim filling duration.
While some companies may allow you to file a claim within the first 15 days, others may give you 30 days. These are the differences that you need to notice while purchasing your travel insurance.
Although the claiming process might not trouble you, this measure is required to ensure the maximum convenience for you. Some claiming processes can get on your nerves.
To dodge them, it is better if you buy insurance whose claiming process suits you the best. You can get info on a company’s claiming process by visiting its official website or contacting its agent.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Consider if someone has a medical condition in your family that can get worse during the journey, will your insurance policy provide for the expenses then? The answer is both yes and no.
Not every insurance policy will include the pre-existing medical condition benefit, which can be troublesome in some situations. Under this benefit, the insurance company pays even for those medical expenditures that are a result of a pre-existing sickness, disease, or injury.
This benefit is the most recommended to you if any family member of yours is suffering from a medical condition, is sick, injured, or still recovering.
The medical evacuation benefit is a preventive measure that people like to have in case if they have to evacuate to another country for emergency medical treatment.
As the evacuation costs more than other medical expenses, investing in this benefit can also be fruitful. However, what you need to think thoroughly while purchasing travel insurance is what type of medical evacuation benefit do you want.
If you are interested in the medical evacuation benefit, there are two options available for you. One of them is the ‘Hospitals of Excellence’ clause, and the other one is ‘Hospital of Choice.’ With a discussion with your agent, you can only select one of these two.
If you wish to return to your home country for treatment, then you don’t need to invest in this benefit. You should ask your agent about medical repatriation.
However, if you are interested in medical evacuation, read the information given below to know which one you should buy.
Hospitals of Excellence
Under this benefit, your insurance company will provide you a list of associated hospitals around the world where you can be taken to during an emergency for treatment.
Insurance companies only select the most-reputed and trustable hospitals and under this clause to ensure you the quality of treatment.
However, you can only file a claim if you evacuate to any of the hospitals mentioned under this list. Your insurance company won’t be responsible for any expenditures incurred in any other medical facility.
Hospital of Choice
Hospital of Choice is a limited benefit but provides you the choice of selecting a medical facility for your evacuation. Once you decide the medical facility or hospital, it will be mentioned in your policy document and cannot be changed without prior discussion. Under ‘hospital of choice,’ your evacuation expenses will be only paid if you visit your selected hospital.
You can buy the ‘hospital of choice’ benefit if your family trusts a specific hospital. Otherwise, the ‘hospitals of excellence benefit’ is also reliable as you can select any nearby hospital mentioned in the list.
Policy Renewal Options
Good policy renewal options provide you with simple premium payment options. Some insurance companies even allow you to extend the tenure of your insurance if you continue to pay renewal premiums on an agreement.
You also need to check the grace period and any applicable late premium charges before purchasing a plan. As seen in most companies, once the policy renewal period is over, policyholders are given a grace period to submit their premiums.
If they fail to do so, the insurance company can levy some charges or in the rarest of cases, can even lapse the insurance plan.
Each and every policy has some exclusions, which depend upon the type of insurance you buy. Where the comprehensive insurance plans are literally a benefit of ‘all the benefits,’ there still can be several things that they do not cover.
Usually, insurance policies include an exclusions section that you can review in the money-back period. However, checking the exclusions before purchasing can save a lot of time.
By the term ‘exclusions’ here, we not only mean uncovered benefits but activities, situations, losses, and expenses of any type.
For example, if you plan to swim with your family, then what you need to notice is if your interested insurance plan covers this activity under its benefits.
You can ask the insurance agent about all such things before finalizing on a travel insurance plan.
Several insurance companies advertise full benefits at a cheaper rate. However, will they actually cover your whole expense? Checking the claim limit of a travel insurance plan is as important as selecting the benefits themselves.
Where a lot of companies might offer you several benefits in an insurance plan, it does not mean they will provide 100% coverage. Even the actual claim percentage can differ with the benefits themselves.
For example, for Benefit A, your insurance company can have a claim limit of $1000, but for Benefit B, it can be $750.
If the insurance company has claim limits on its benefits, then it is not liable to pay you more than those limits. You are required to consider the claim limits of the benefits according to your needs to purchase a reliable travel insurance plan.
Customer Service and Emergency Assistance
People suspect the customer service of any company before purchasing their product, which is what we should also do while buying an insurance plan.
With little research, you can find out what kind of customer support an insurance company provides to its clients. Some companies offer 24/7 customer assistance throughout the journey, which is appreciable if your insurance also includes the same.
Similarly, you can check the reviews of your interested insurance company online. While their customer service will help you in understanding any insurance-related query, good emergency assistance can help you stay afloat of a lot of troubles during an emergency.
Compare Premiums and Benefits
Out of the hundreds of policy options available to you, you are only interested in buying one. You can find a reliable travel insurance policy for your needs by shortlisting and comparing several insurance plans.
This method will not only help you in comparing the benefits but will also allow you to check which plans have lower premiums and simple policy renewal options.
You can also visit an insurance industry professional or use some software to compare the best policies. We at TIM can also help you find a reliable insurance plan.