You want to visit a new tourist destination and you are looking forward to buy a travel insurance policy to secure your trip.
You are also spending hours on the Internet searching for pro tips to purchase an insurance plan. Good going.
What you should do next is screen travel insurance policies and select the one is affordable and suits your preference. Screening, in this context, means comparing. Compare several policies to select the best.
Here are some tips to make it easy for you:
Travel duration-wise comparison
Don’t compare a short-duration travel insurance policy with a long-duration one. Oftentimes, consumers make this mistake. Short stay travel insurance plans are cheaper than long stay plans for short stay trip duration is 1 to 5 days. Consumers often naively fall for the low price tag and regret their decision later.
To clarify, short stay plans are called single trip. Most short-stay plans only cover journey to a specific travel destination. Long-stay plans, on the other hand, are called multi trip as they let you travel around the world. Buying a RTW (round-the-world) ticket isn’t compatible with a short-stay plan. You may end up not getting any coverage at all.
So when comparing two policies, make sure both are of equal time duration. Either both are long-stay or both are short-stay.
Length of medical coverage
Yes, all travel insurance policies offer medical coverage, but when it comes to the length of the coverage, these policies substantially differ. Your task is to select a policy with a comprehensive length of coverage.
How to compare policies in terms of their coverage limit and extent?
Check if the plans cover pre-existing conditions for medical services. Always choose a travel insurance plan whose medical coverage includes pre-existing conditions. Most insurance policies cover primary health facilities; check what they offer beyond that.
Do they offer medical evacuation? Does the coverage include mental health conditions? Do they penalize for hospital pre-certification? Does the range of medicines only include OTC pills? All these are important? A travel insurance plan might be cheap, but if its medical coverage is limited and doesn’t include most of the said facilities, don’t go for it.
Consider your age
That’s right. When comparing two policies, check what age group they cater for. It’s a bit tricky as the insurance company pitching the policy would make you believe they don’t discriminate on the basis of age, and that’s largely true. But you should respond back mentioning not all policies fit all age groups.
Old people are not as enthusiastic to travel as people who are young. This is the norm albeit there can be exceptions. Old people are not frequent travelers, hence they prefer long-stay trips. Companies know this and they design insurance plans for travelers this way. If you are over 60 year old, don’t have too much expectation from short-stay policies. Our advice, go for multi-trip and choose a long-stay policy.
It has financial benefits as well. Long-stay policies could eliminate over 15% of your expenses if you visit overseas for more than three times a year. Short-stay travel insurance policies are designed for young people who travel quite a few times a year.
List of countries covered
Another important consideration for selecting an insurance policy. Not all companies extend coverage to all countries. You may be permitted to travel to nations that are on your country’s alert list, but getting an insurance company that extends its coverage to such nations would be tough.
If you live in the US, check with the US State Department. Additionally, ask your insurance provider which countries are outside of their coverage. As insurance providers don’t reimburse when consumers are injured or dead due to an act of god such as natural calamity or political turmoil or war.
If a nation is on your country’s alert list, it is for good reasons. Chances of bodily injuries are high if you go there and your travel insurance plan won’t cover the damage. Keeping that in mind, ask your provider whether the coverage is exclusively applicable to developed nations. Compare policies by checking how many nations they cover.
As a rule of thumb, riskier activities are less likely to be covered. That being said, there are no dearth of adventurous consumers whose only motivation to travel is to indulge themselves in venturesome pursuits.
Insurance agencies know this. Hence, they extend coverage to selected activities. Comparing different travel insurance plans by checking how many activities they cover. Go for the one that covers more activities; having said that, don’t forget to read the fine print. There might be conditions that you have to abide by.
The odds of selecting the best travel insurance plan depends on how efficiently you can compare one plan with the other. The tips shared here in this article can guide you in doing that.