Travel Insurance – affordable peace of mind
by Noah Patton
The most exciting holiday stories are of misadventures rather than adventures. While we wait with bated breath for the twists and turns of a horror tale, all-the-while secretly grateful that it wasn’t US that this happened to. The only happy ending to a MIS-adventured holiday, is travel insurance.
When planning our holidays, we picture a perfect getaway with no hitch in the plan, but sometimes when you travel things don’t go your way. You miss a flight, a medical emergency arises, your luggage is left behind, you crash a rental car, or maybe you just get bitten by a mosquito. Travel insurance is the remedy to nearly all travel problems.
“I can remember one of my very first bookings as a travel consultant (many years ago) was a man who was travelling on a 30 day Busabout tour of Europe. About a week in, he was bitten by a mosquito in Venice and by the time they arrived in Switzerland, he had developed a serious blood infection. We had taken out a comprehensive policy at the time he booked, and the insurance company covered his $1000 per day hospital bills and careful transport home one month later.” said Sam Patton – Product Manager, Cruise Traveller
Doing your research is crucial. Remember to check excesses (quite often you can cheaply “buy out” your excess); check your level of coverage (look for unlimited medical) and remember to factor in how remote you will be on your trip. While most insurance plans will cover the basics, if you are an intrepid traveller undertaking an expedition cruise to the Amazon or Antarctica or a skiier hitting the slopes in Banff, you must ensure your plan covers these specialist areas.
What about insolvency? Does your policy cover you against the financial problems of hotels, airlines, cruise lines or agencies? In our ever changing world, this really is a must.
To get full coverage, make sure you get travel insurance around the same time as you book your trip or pay out your first deposit. If you wait too long premiums may rise or you may even be refused coverage. For example, if you booked a cruise to Thailand and a few days before you leave a monsoon hits the coast, if you then apply for coverage it will almost certainly be refused.
You may believe that travel insurance is not important due to complimentary trip protection benefits on your credit card. In some cases, the protection these cards offer will be enough – they will reimburse travel delays, travel purchases and other minor travel hiccups – with an excess (again check this). But these cards usually will not offer protection against medical emergency air lifts or extreme sports. They may have age limitations and not cover pre-existing medical conditions. If you are relying on this form of coverage, please ask for a policy information booklet and speak to the covering insurer to ensure you have full coverage prior to departure. A medical emergency overseas can be more expensive than your entire holiday, some international countries will have extremely high medical fees, or you may need to be air-lifted off – all these will severely increase the expense of your claim.
Without travel insurance an unlucky circumstance can ruin a holiday – with travel insurance that unlucky circumstance becomes a minor nuisance. Check a variety of different travel insurance providers to find a policy that meets your needs, some websites will provide easy comparisons or ask us here at Cruise Traveller for a policy we recommend for your circumstances.