With the gradual reopening of borders worldwide, the buzz and excitement of planning trips can make it easy for eager globetrotters to overlook one essential detail: accounting for unexpected mishaps. From flight cancellations to lost luggage and sudden illnesses, unfortunate circumstances can happen anytime and easily derail our holiday plans. This is where having insurance for your travel plans can save the day and your trip. By being insured, you can travel with peace of mind knowing that there is always a safety net to fall back on and the impact of unpleasant incidents on your travel experience is minimised. With a limited budget to spend on your holidays, you may wonder if you should sacrifice coverage for cost. To help you avoid the dilemma, MoneySmart shares tips on how you can choose travel insurance wisely to achieve cost savings while maximising your protection.
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?Types of Travel Insurance Coverage
With different insurance offering diverse types of coverage, it can be tricky to know the specific forms of protection you can choose to include in your policy. Here are the broad categories of coverage available and the circumstances each category covers that will give you a better understanding of your options:
- Trip Cancellation or curtailment:
This category describes situations whereby you cannot travel or abandon your original plans and return home because of specific circumstances. Some of these include:
- Unexpected medical condition or serious injury.
- Unanticipated natural disasters and weather conditions.
- Winding up of travel agency company or airline.
- Legal obligation.
- Issuance of red or black outbound alert.
- Travel Inconvenience:?
Scenarios covered typically include baggage delay and loss of baggage, money, personal effects or travel documents. In some instances, this category also accounts for travel delays, trip rerouting, missed trips and overbooking.
- Medical Coverage:
This covers all medical expenses abroad, including the following:
- Dental, surgical, and medical treatments.
- Hospital, operating room, and ambulance charges.
- Emergency medical evacuation.
- Personal Protection: Burns, accidental death and disablement fall under this umbrella.
- Rental Vehicle Excess: This protects you when the vehicle you rent on your trip is stolen or damaged.?
- COVID-19 Protection
?How to Choose Travel Insurance Wisely
With a better understanding of the available coverage, you can start comparing travel insurance. Apart from considering a policy?s monetary value and coverage duration, below are some extra questions to consider so you can identify the most cost-effective option.
?1. Consider Your Travel Conditions
Generally, travel conditions are one of the most important factors to think about when choosing your insurance. Travel conditions include aspects such as the safety, environmental health conditions and medical cost of your destination country and your itinerary. They typically reflect a major area you require coverage for during the trip. Take travelling to a relatively dangerous country as an example. In this case, the probability of losing personal belongings due to theft will be comparatively higher than getting severe diarrhoea requiring medical attention. As such, insurance with more travel inconvenience coverage will be better than a costlier policy with equally high coverage for travel inconvenience and medical needs.
Meanwhile, if you are visiting a country with poor sanitation, you will appreciate having more medical coverage to cater to sudden illnesses. In particular, the amount of medical coverage is vital if your destination country?s healthcare services are expensive or if you plan to engage in high-risk activities. This is because it determines the amount of cushioning you have against the impact of medical bills, which may snowball. For the average traveller, going through these considerations can also help you gain perspective on your true needs and avoid overpaying for coverage you do not need.
?2. Research Your Travel Destination
Apart from factoring in your travel plans and conditions, you will also benefit from checking on the requirements of your holiday destination. For instance, insurance is required for travellers to enter countries like Singapore and the Philippines, and there is a stipulated minimum amount of coverage. By thoroughly researching what your destination country requires, you can avoid wasting money on the wrong insurance.
?3. Determine Your Region of Destination
As you browse through different travel insurance available, you may come across policies offering worldwide coverage and regional coverage. If you only intend to travel to a specific part of the world or a particular country, getting insurance with regional coverage, which is often cheaper, will help you save money. While some insurance with worldwide coverage may offer more benefits than regional ones, policies with regional coverage may provide protection that is more specific and relevant to your destination. By choosing these policies, you can gain from having a plan that is more value for money. On the other hand, if you plan to travel to different regions, buying insurance with worldwide coverage will be a financially smarter choice.
?4. Check Your Existing Coverage
Lastly, it is crucial to always double-check your existing coverage. For example, certain credit cards provide travel protection for aspects such as trip cancellation and rental vehicle excess. You will be entitled to these benefits if you have booked your trip with these cards. Consequently, you will be able to save money by opting for cheaper travel insurance that excludes or provides minimal benefits in the area you are already covered for.
?Find the Right Travel Insurance with Ease on MoneySmart
With a long list of things to settle for your trip, having to take time out to research and compare different travel insurance while juggling these tasks can be challenging. This is where MoneySmart can take the stress off your plate. By offering a platform that consolidates an extensive range of travel insurance, you can conveniently access all the information you need and compare them easily on one site. Sporting an intuitive design and different conditional filters, MoneySmart also enables you to narrow down your options quickly, giving you more time to focus on other pressing tasks. Enjoy a smoother and more efficient travel insurance sourcing process today on MoneySmart.?
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