Travel insurance is meant to cover loss of luggage, trip cancellation, medical expenses and any other losses that are incurred during a trip. When you book your reservation for a flight or for hotel accommodation online, most travel sites will instantly market travel insurance to you. If you are wondering if the extra expense is really worth paying for, this simple guide provides some of the pros and cons of buying travel insurance.
Pros of Purchasing Travel Insurance
Cover for Trip Cancellation
Travel insurance provides coverage for trip cancellation, delay, or interruption and this is why most people buy it. For instance, the insurance firm will pay for all the non-refundable aspects of your trip if you need to cancel it because of the death of a loved one, personal illness or any other form of mishap that is listed on the policy. Some more expensive policies, which normally cost at least 50% more, can provide cover for any form of cancellation, whether it is listed on your policy or not.
Takes Care of Medical Bills
When you buy travel insurance, you will be protected against unexpected medical expenses if you are injured or sick during your trip. Your regular health insurance at home will seldom cover all your medical expenses overseas. Travel insurance will help you pay for consultation and treatment fees as well as medical evacuation fees if you have to be flown back home as patient in a normal plane or in an air ambulance.
Low Cost Insurance
Travel insurance is usually purchased per trip although regular travelers can reduce their premium by paying an annual fee. It is one of the cheapest forms of insurance in the industry, especially when compared to the amount you pay to insure your home or car. Typically, trip insurance costs about 4 to 8 percent of the total cost of the trip and it depends on the amount of coverage provided in the policy. This makes it affordable for most travelers.
Cons of Buying Travel Insurance
Terms and Conditions Need to Be Studied Carefully
Most travel insurance policies are very long and difficult to study for most travelers who do not have a financial or legal background. Most of them contain about 14,000 words with a lot of terms that need to be carefully understood before you pay for the policy. You must not assume that the positive reviews the firm has will be sufficient to meet your needs, you must study the terms and conditions diligently.
Certain Exclusions Are Hidden in Fine Print
The benefits in each insurance package are usually boldly written (for marketing purposes). But the exclusions, that could make the policy a total waste for you, are usually in fine print. Before you purchase a policy, make sure you download the PDF file containing its terms and conditions and search for terms such as ‘exclusions’, or ‘not covered’.
Level of Cover Varies Across Board
The amount of cover provided by policies that may cost the same amount varies from firm to firm. Make sure you check for things like age limits, particularly if you are 65 years or older. Find out what the policy says about loss of property. For instance, some firms may not provide cover for losses that exceed a particular dollar value. Be sure that your most important needs will be covered before you buy from a particular firm.
That was a brief guide on the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing travel insurance. If you are traveling abroad and your health care provider at home does not cover medical expenses overseas, it is very important to do some research and purchase travel insurance that will cover such expenses.