7 Most Essential Travel Insurance Coverages
You are going for your dream trip. You understand about travel insurance and what you need to take note of. You have bought a travel insurance right after you confirmed your flights. You assume that the travel insurance coverage is suitable for you.
Just one week before your trip, something bad happened. You might have been a victim of some common travel scams.
Now, you want to claim the travel insurance you have purchased. The insurance company advised that what happened to you is not covered by the travel insurance. You are shocked!
What is the point of a travel insurance then? Isn’t it supposed to cover any unfortunate events relating to my trip? Not exactly.
I am one of the many buyers who do not read the travel insurance policy in detail. We are just too excited about our upcoming trip. Besides, the policy terms are usually small, long and boring. Who cares? But this becomes especially important when you really need to make a claim.
In this article, I would like to share with you some of the most common and important coverages of travel insurance.
1. Flights Delay / Baggage Delay
Flights delay is a terrible experience. You are stranded at the airport with no other place to go. It is worse if you miss your connecting flight due to the delay.
Most travel insurance covers for flight or baggage delay. But, they often have a minimum duration (for example, 6 hours).
What does it mean for you?Make sure to read what is the minimum duration before you can start to make claims. This is important if you need to transit in order to reach your destination.
2. Loss of Personal Effects
When I travel, I will normally bring my iPad, mobile phone, digital camera and sometimes a laptop. What happens if I lost these gadgets which has become a part of my everyday life?
Most travel insurance will cover for the loss of personal effects. The coverage usually have different limits
There are 2 kinds of limits in any travel insurance policy – total limit and sub-limit.
The total limit refers to the maximum amount that you can claim under the loss of personal effects. The sub-limits are the per-item limits that you can claim. This means that you will need to know the sub-limit of your travel insurance policy as well.
For example, the maximum limit is $4,000, and the per item sub-limit is $250. If you lost an expensive watch costing $2,000, you can only claim $250.
Also, there are some special limits imposed on the loss of personal baggage. One of them to note is the categories of items lost. Certain insurance policy sets a maximum amount limit on jewellery or electronic products. You should check the policy terms set for these categories if you are bringing them for your trip.
What does it mean for you? The cheapest policy might not be enough to cover your losses of personal effects. Generally, the higher the limits, the more expensive the premiums will be. You will have to decide whether a partial coverage is good enough for you. Or, you can choose not to bring these expensive items with you.
3. Pre-existing Medical Conditions
In my opinion, this is one of the most important clause to look at. This is especially so if you are travelling with your parents or grandparents. I have been through a lot of hassle because I did not pay attention to this clause.
After graduation, I wanted to bring my mom for a trip to Taiwan. However, her cancer relapsed after 13 years from the first occurrence just before the trip. The doctor advised her not to go for the trip as she needed immediate medical attention.
We bought a travel insurance before this. We wanted to make a claim on the travel package we paid for my mom. The insurance company argued this is a pre-existing medical condition. As such, it is not covered by the policy.
The insurance company eventually approved our claim. This is only after we submitted a report confirming the low probability of the relapse. It took us several trips to the hospital. I am sure you do not want to experience this.
What does it mean for you? Every policy defines “pre-existing medical conditions” differently. You should check the definition of pre-existing medical conditions against your medical history.
4. Emergency Evacuation
You should always check the emergency evacuation coverage if you are climbing mountains. As much as we hope that nothing bad will happen, nobody can predict when the next disaster will strike.
The coverage for emergency evacuation is usually unlimited.
What does it mean for you? Always verify that the policy includes emergency evacuation coverage. Be sure to know the numbers to dial during emergency. You should be provided with them once you have purchased the insurance.
5. Terrorism Coverage
Generally, terrorism activities are usually not covered in travel insurance. However, some policies do cover for terrorism activities with certain restrictions.
What does it mean for you? With ISIS, the threats of terrorism is real. You will never know where and when they will strike again. Be sure to check whether the policy cover for terrorism activities and their exclusions.
6. Extreme Sports and Activities
Travel insurance policies usually exclude the coverage for undertaking extreme activities. Extreme activities include mountain climbing and scuba diving.
Any unfortunate events that happen during these activities will not be claimable since you are taking your own risk.
However, there are certain exceptions:
- The activity is available to the general public;
- You are not participating as a competitive or professional sports;
- You are accompanied by a licensed guide or instructors; and/or
- For mountaineering, the altitude is not more than a certain altitude.
What does it mean for you? Make sure to read this section carefully if you are participating in extreme activities. If you are not sure, please consult the insurance company or your insurance agent.
7. Medical Expenses
It is common for travellers to fall sick during their trip. There are two types of claimable expenses under travel insurance:
Medical expenses incurred overseas and medical expenses incurred in Singapore.
If you are sick during the trip, you can claim for medical expenses incurred overseas. You can also claim for subsequent follow-up treatments in Singapore.
On the other hand, you might not trust the doctors overseas. You may prefer to seek medical treatment when you are back in Singapore. In this case, you can still claim for the medical expenses, but with some restrictions.
What does it mean for you? Find out the restrictions on medical expenses incurred in Singapore. You might not be able to claim from the insurance company for your cough you got overseas.
Travel insurance is simpler product to understand than life insurance. We hope that this article helps you in choosing a policy that meet your needs.
Be sure to seek professional advice if you are not sure of your insurance policy.
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