The hospital was great. Efficient, caring and competent. As was my travel insurance company. It reminded me of why I have travel insurance. For me, it is essential as clean underwear.
Yet it is estimated that a very high percentage of travellers have no insurance. In a survey conducted in 2012 for the US Travel Insurance Association found that one in eight U.S. adults (12 percent of travellers)—had their travel impacted. Yet, of the travelers impacted, only 29 percent had purchased insurance.
Tips for buying.
- Do some research. People spend weeks searching for the best air fare, hours poring over the best hotels and seconds choosing travel insurance
- Don’t just buy what your travel agent tries to sell you-they are on commission
- Likewise I avoid buying what an airline tries to sell you on line.
- Don’t grab coverage from one of those machines that you see at some airports- usually huge fees for low coverage
- Many Credit card companies offer automatic travel insurance. Check carefully. Do you actually have to pay for the fare with your card to be covered? What is excluded?
- What benefits do you need? I want Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical Insurance, Rental Car Coverage, Death. Helpful is Lost or Stolen Baggage but I travel with as little baggage as possible so I am not too worried
- Check your company’s coverage levels – is it sufficient to cover the cost of medical attention in the place(s) you are going to visit?
- What is excluded/included? Make sure your policy does not exclude activities you are planning to do eg water skiing
- What parts of the world are excluded? eg Are you covered for evacuation if you are in Egypt? Are your medical expenses covered on Kashmir? Will you get assistance in Bangkok?
- Carry the company’s telephone number and your policy number with or on you.
- Back your travel insurance documents on Dropbox or Google Docs
- Make sure others on your travel group have your company’s phone number and policy number
- Give your travel insurance details to your next of Kin (seriously) unless they are travelling with you (again seriously).
- Make sure someone at home has your details
- Treat insurance claims staff with respect and politeness
- Listen to the advice of the insurance company and consider it before reacting
- Be firm with your insurance agents if you need to be
- Keep all paperwork
Here are some sites where you can compare policies. I make no claims or recommendations here. Click on the country name to be taken to the relevant site.
Australia: Compare Travel Insurance
Canada: Insure My Trip
New Zealand: Compare Travel Insurance
United Kingdom: Money Supermarket
USA: Square mouth