Shopping for travel insurance can be overwhelming.
With hundreds of policies to choose from, each unique in its own way, it’s hard to know which direction to turn.
How can you be sure you’re getting the best deal?
And what do you need to be on the lookout for?
What Should I Look for in a Policy?
First things first – the policy you choose should be the best fit for your specific trip.
A discount policy with low coverage limits won’t help much if you’ve booked an expensive holiday.
Likewise, a high-priced, comprehensive plan might be overkill if you’re just taking a short, inexpensive trip.
There are a few important benefits your plan should include, regardless of your finances or destination.
For example, emergency medical repatriation is a very important benefit.
This ensures you are transported to the nearest adequate medical facility if you’re sick or hurt while you’re travelling. In most cases, this benefit will also transport you back home once you’ve recovered enough to travel.
Medical evacuations can sometimes cost in excess of $100,000, so it’s important you have insurance coverage in place for this sort of scenario.
Once you’re sure a plan offers these essentials, take a look at the other benefits and limitations. Be sure the plan covers you adequately for your financial situation.
What Else Should I Pay Close Attention to?
There are a few things you should pay particular attention to when shopping for a travel insurance policy. These items will not only affect your coverage; they may also factor into the cost of your insurance policy.
When you file a claim, the excess is the amount you’ll be required to pay before insurance picks up the costs.
Many travellers are surprised to learn their insurance policies don’t cover for certain things. Here are some common exclusions:
- Hazardous sports
- Drug or alcohol related illnesses/accidents
- Certain geographic locations
Policy benefit maximums
All insurance policies have benefit maximums. This is the maximum amount the policy will pay in a particular situation.
Some policies have overall maximums, while others have benefit limits for different kinds of claims.
How Can I Get the Best Deal?
As with anything else, getting a good deal on travel insurance will require some research and a bit of shopping around. Your insurance premium – the cost for the policy – will depend on several elements.
Most travel insurance companies relay on these factors to determine your premium.
Travelers over the age of 65 often have higher premiums.
The length of your trip
Insurance coverage for short trips is cheaper than coverage for longer trips.
Certain destinations may be considered higher-risk and therefore carry a higher insurance premium.
The deductible and/or co-insurance you select
Higher deductible or co-insurance amounts typically results in lower insurance premiums, whereas low deductibles make the premium increase.
Optional coverage add-ons
Some travel policies offer certain add-ons, like coverage for hazardous sports or pre-existing conditions. This additional coverage will make premiums rates increase.
With these factors in mind, you can play with the numbers to a certain extent. Of course, you can’t change your age, and you probably won’t change your destination or length of your trip. But you can adjust the benefit maximums you choose, the deductible you’re willing to pay, and the add-on benefits you select.
Like with any insurance policy, the more coverage you get, the more you’re going to pay for it.
And don’t forget to read the fine print. Some policies may include additional benefits that are automatically added to your premium unless you indicate otherwise. If you find you don’t need these add-on benefits, be sure you opt-out to reduce your premium.
There’s no magic formula for getting the best deal on your travel insurance policy. Premiums are based on many factors, some you can control, others you can’t.
The best deal comes when you find the balance between adequate coverage for your trip and benefit limits that fit your financial situation.