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Selecting Travel Insurance Cover To Suit You

Jan 27, 2008
Seasoned travelers will be well aware that having travel insurance is one of the best ways to protect your holiday and business trips from the unexpected. This is the best way to guarantee that your dream vacation does not turn into your worst nightmare. As a general rule, travelers should read the policy wording or ask their insurer if in doubt as to what benefits are included before they buy travel insurance cover. The following are a few questions that are worth considering though to ensure that you end up with the most appropriate and cost effective cover.

What are you taking with you? Travel insurance cover often has maximum per item claim limits as well as maximum total claim limits for luggage so do a mental inventory of what you are taking with you and check whether the cover provided by the policy will be sufficient. Some insurers will allow you to buy additional travel cover if required. It is also good practice to keep a record of items and belongings that you are taking with you before you travel - with receipts if possible.

Will you be driving a rental vehicle? If you are driving a rental vehicle it is advisable to ensure that rental excess cover is included before buying travel insurance. Keep in mind that you will be driving on roads you don't know, potentially on the 'wrong' side of the road, potentially with changed road rules, and potentially in conditions you are not used to.

Are you covered for any existing medical conditions? Cover for existing medical conditions is generally not included when you buy travel insurance. This means that you may not be able to make any claims stemming from or related to existing medical conditions. [Some insurers do provide automatic cover for some medical conditions - travelers should check the policy wording for more information.] Generally it is necessary to apply for travel insurance cover for existing medical conditions - if accepted it will generally mean a loading amount is payable but you will get the extra cover.

Are there limits to the cover? General exclusions are common and will be defined in the product disclosure statement and/or policy wording. These exclusions are generally fairly standard, but compare the travel insurance company you intend to purchase cover with against other insurers. Be aware of what you will be covered for and what you will not be covered for. Typical exclusions may include war, acts of terrorism, existing medical conditions and unattended luggage.

Does it include features that you don't need? Unnecessary features will drive up the cost of travel insurance, so think about what you are want cover for and what you don't want cover for. By shopping around you should be able to find a level of insurance cover that suits you. It can also be worthwhile looking for travel insurance online and avoid the high commissions paid to travel agents that only drive up the cost of cover to you.
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