So you’ve planned your trip, booked your flights and even packed your bags – but aren’t you forgetting something? Travel insurance might not be the first thing on your list when it comes to planning your big vacation, but it’s definitely something that you shouldn’t overlook.
With more and more people choosing to jet off on big adventures, spend their summer vacations soaking up the sun in a distant tropical location, or trying out adventure sports while abroad, knowing what is the best travel insurance policy for you has never been so important.
It’s surprising the huge amount of travelers who simply neglect to purchase travel insurance before they leave on their trip. Even if you do remember to get the all-important travel insurance, did you make sure you got the right cover for you?
Choosing the best travel insurance to suit your needs can be a bewildering experience; it’s not just that there are so many different companies, it’s that they’re all offering hundreds of various types of policies – and all with slightly different coverage.
The world of travel insurance can seem like a confusing one, and with your happiness and health (and money!) on the line, it can be a difficult decision to make. Don’t you worry, we’ve got all of the information you need to help you choose the best travel insurance policy so that you can get on with enjoying your vacation, without any worry.
How to Choose the Best Travel Insurance Policy
What is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance can seem a bit more than a little overwhelming, so you get that it’s important and you should probably make sure you buy it – but what really is it?
The whole process of insurance can appear mind-boggling. Not only do you have to tell the insurance company a whole load of personal details about yourself, but you are also then confronted with a library of insurance policies that offer various coverage for all sorts of things.
It can seem like the insurance companies are speaking a different language, but the way travel insurance works are just like a regular insurance policy, except it provides coverage for all of the things that are important to you when you’re on vacation.
From last-minute flight cancellation, theft of your much-loved belongings to expensive medical bills, should the unthinkable happen during your trip your travel insurance should have you covered.
If you have done your research and made sure that you’ve purchased the best travel insurance to suit your travel needs before you set off on your vacation, then there should be no problem.
All you’ll need to do – should the worst happen – is contact your insurance provider, let them know what the situation is and they will try to help you with refunding costs of medical bills, compensate you if your travel operator goes bust, or supply you with emergency contact numbers.
In extreme situations, a good travel policy will also evacuate you from a bad situation or medivac you to better medical care.
Why You Should Buy Travel Insurance
You might think that it’ll be ok, that you won’t get sick and the flights will all be fine – that there is nothing to worry about. The thing with traveling is that you put yourself into situations you might not normally be used to, whether it be surfing in Australia or cooking authentic pizza in Italy or just lazing by a pool somewhere hot.
If something does happen to you when you least expect it and you need medical care in a foreign country, then – if you don’t have travel insurance – you’ll most likely be met with a huge bill and a very upsetting situation which could likely ruin your trip.
Travel insurance is essential: you may not be off snowboarding or trekking in a jungle, but you never know if or when something is going to happen to you.
As such, travel insurance is also a lifeline when you’re met with the theft of your belongings, or if you have lost your bags; your insurance policy can work with you to help you out when you’re in need and make sure that you’re reimbursed for what you have lost.
Who You Should Insure
If you’re traveling with your family or as a couple then you can cover everyone on your trip under the same policy. Multiple covers, for instance, means you have an insurance policy which covers you and the other people you have nominated in your party.
You can choose multiple covers if you’re traveling as a family group, a couple who live together or even just a group of friends.
Covering all of the people in your group doesn’t make the process of buying insurance much more complicated, but it does mean that it’ll be so much more simple dealing with an insurance company if your whole group has to claim money back for something, like a canceled flight, for example.
In fact, insuring more than one person on policy, rather than individually, can actually work out cheaper than if you each had your own travel insurance.
Make sure you read the small print when buying multiple covers: sometimes if your child doesn’t live with you permanently, or your child is traveling with someone not named on the policy, then it can be void.
You’ve saved up for months and bought that top of the range new camera, or you have packed your shiny new laptop in your bag so you can get some work done on your trip.
What if your expensive gear got lost whilst abroad or stolen or damaged while you’re away enjoying yourself? If you have your gear covered in your travel insurance then there should be no need to worry.
When choosing your insurance you need to select a policy with enough basic cover for the gear you’re intending to take with you on vacation; this means that the minimum claim limits of your policy are enough to cover the costs of an item such as a tablet, computer, or a smartphone.
It is very important that you read all the fine print when it comes to gear and that you ask questions.
Do not assume that a travel insurance policy will cover your gear for the full value. Not all insurance policies are created equal and you will need to do your homework. Most travel insurance plans are designed to cover very basic gear.
If you are a working content professional (photographer or videographer) that is carrying a large amount of expensive camera gear and/or electronics, chances are you will need a separate policy – potentially from an entirely different company- to cover your gear for the appropriate value.
Covering Car Rentals
There is often no better way to explore a new place than in your own set of wheels. So many of us choose to rent a car when on vacation: you can travel at your own pace and see places that you just wouldn’t be able to get to otherwise.
The thing is, however, that you might have rented a car, but then the rental company might try to charge hidden extras – like car insurance, which is usually super expensive compared to what you would usually pay for your normal car insurance back home.
Save yourself the stress of dealing with foreign car insurance policies and overpriced rental company policies and, if you think you’ll be renting a car on your vacation, choose an insurance policy that covers car rentals.
Protect yourself from soaring costs or unwanted situations and hard-sell tactics by the rental companies by simply adding car rental coverage when selecting your travel insurance policy.
Annual Policy vs Single Trip Coverage
When it comes to choosing the best travel insurance to suit your needs then you should think about what type of travel you’ll be doing and how much you’re planning on traveling each year. If you are a frequent traveler then you might want to think about purchasing an annual travel insurance policy.
An annual policy will cover you for all of the trips you make in that year, which often works out to be much cheaper and much simpler than buying travel insurance for every trip that you travel – especially if you have to travel at short notice and don’t have enough time to sort out travel insurance. Multi-Trip plans cover all your travels for an entire year, including vacation, work trips, and road trips.
Single trip coverage will work out cheap if you’re going to be making only one trip in a year. If you plan on making one long trip, which means you’ll be away from months at a time, then single trip travel insurance is the best choice for you.
We hold the Multi-Trip Executive Policy with Allianz Travel Insurance because we travel a lot. However, many people turn away from the annual policy because they don’t have our lifestyle.
Think of the big picture, the Multi-Trip plan covers all of your travels for a year. This includes vacation, road trips, and work trips. If you take more than one of these trips a year, you should really be looking at a Multi-Trip plan instead of a Single Trip plan.
Important Considerations When Selecting Travel Insurance
Insurance of any kind can be a minefield, but when it comes to travel insurance it is important to get it right and choose the best travel insurance policy that you can and not necessarily the cheapest.
When you’re inputting your details make sure that you declare any pre-existing medical conditions – if you don’t and you need medical treatment then your policy might become void and you’ll be left with a huge medical bill and stuck far away from home.
Another important thing to keep in mind when selecting your travel insurance is the company. You should choose insurance from a company with a longstanding reputation and one you know you can trust.
After all, they are the ones you’ll turn to if something goes wrong. You’re going to want them to be easily contacted, helpful, and efficient to deal with. The thing with travel insurance is once you have it then you can jet off on your vacation without the worry of what might happen.
It might seem like you are taking a chunk out of your travel budget to pay for something you might never need or to protect yourself from a situation that will never happen, but if something did happen to you or your belongings, your travel insurance will save you so much more than the cost of the policy itself.
So spend a little time, choose the best travel insurance for you, and then you can enjoy your much-deserved break away with the peace of mind that you’ve got everything covered.
At the end of the day, there is no one size fits all when it comes to the best travel insurance policy. Take the time to research companies and policies so that you can choose a plan that works for you and your situation.
Above all, don’t be that person that thinks they don’t need it. Of all the expenses that come with taking a vacation or traveling, travel insurance will be one of the smallest, yet provide you with so many benefits if you find yourself in a situation where you really need it.
Disclaimer:This post is sponsored by our partner Allianz Travel (AGA Service Company) and we have received financial compensation as ambassadors, but all opinions expressed are our own.
More on Travel Planning:
- How to Plan A Trip: Step by Step Guide
- Airbnb Coupon Code: Up to $100 in Free Promos & Discounts
- 10 Killer Tips on How to Find Cheap Flights
- 11 Easy Tips on How to Find Cheap Accommodation
- How to Save Money for Travel: A Step by Step Plan
- How to Get Over Jet Lag (Advice from 15 Years of Travel)
- How to Get Free Plane Tickets
- 5 Ways to Survive that Long Layover
- Your Guide For Doing Laundry While Traveling
- 5 Good Reasons to Use a Vacation Planner
- Is Travel Insurance Worth It?
- 10 Reasons to Have Annual Travel Insurance
- Travel Insurance for Europe Vacation: Do I Need It?