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Travel Insurance

From the outset, I will assume that everyone knows they should read the policy wording, and that everyone is very probably tired of being told to read the fine print. The following are a few other considerations for travelers who are about to book travel insurance for an upcoming business trip or holiday.

1. Not all policies are the same

Policies have common features, but the benefits included with the cover and the price of the cover are rarely the same. To ensure the most cost-effective travel insurance policy for your needs, it is necessary to spend a little time reviewing a few insurers to determine which is more suitable. Though price should be a factor in this review, it is not the only factor nor is it the most important. Consider where you will be visiting, what you will be doing, and the personal possessions you will take with you. With these factors in mind, it should be possible to rule out some providers and narrow down the policies available.

2. Reputable emergency assistance is essential

Emergency assistance should be a primary factor in choosing travel insurance. By definition, to provide effective worldwide emergency assistance a company needs to have significant international reach, with an established network and offices throughout the world. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean in every country, it is important that they have bases in all regions of the world to enable immediate response if required. Find out the name of the company that provides emergency assistance with the policy you are considering purchasing, and check out their website to find out whether they are established and reputable.

3. Avoid high travel agents commissions

The most expensive policy doesn’t necessarily equate to better policy benefits and cover. Many travelers aren’t aware that travel agents are paid significant commissions when they sell travel insurance, and it is these commissions that push up the cost of the insurance to the traveler. Though it can be convenient to book travel insurance through a travel agent at the same time as booking the holiday itself (that is, flights, tours, cruises, etc), it tends to be worth separating the purchase of the holiday from the purchase of international travel insurance. Comparing online quotes makes it possible to avoid high commissions.

4. Be wary of automatic credit card travel insurance

Just as the most expensive cover may not be the best, the cheapest cover is similarly often not the right cover. Travel insurance cover that is automatically included as a benefit with a credit card, for example, may be limited in the range of cover and maximum amounts. For some trips this may be sufficient, but it is important to be aware of any limitations in what is and isn’t covered, and whether actual policy benefits will meet your needs. It is also important to be aware of any eligibility requirements that may need to be met to automatically qualify for the cover.

5. Be prepared and enjoy your holiday

A little preparation before leaving will leave you ready in the event you do end up needing to make a travel insurance claim. Make sure you have receipts or valuations for luggage and possessions – if possible receipts and valuations less than 12 months old are preferable. Insurance underwriters are renowned for disallowing claims or using high depreciation rates where there is no recent valuation. Keep a copy of your policy saved at home and a copy with you (including emergency contact phone numbers). If anything does go wrong and you need to make a claim keep all related documents, police reports and receipts as they are always more difficult to track down later when you have returned home.

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