“If you can’t afford travel insurance then you can’t afford to travel”

Is this really true?

Having worked in the travel industry for a few years I have seen and heard all the horror stories from those who did not take insurance or took a really cheap policy out and had no idea what it did, or more importantly, did not, cover…

If you insure your car, your home, your contents, why wouldn’t you therefore insure your holiday and, more importantly, yourself!?

Most times your travel will go without a hitch and you won’t need to experience major flight delays, serious illness or accidents or any of the thousands of reasons you would make a claim on your insurance. But if something like this does happen then it’s important to have support from the professionals to help you deal with the situation quickly and with ease.

Travel insurance is worth every cent. 

Here is an interesting fact: 30% of claims are made before you travel. This is for things like illness or accidents, severe weather or travel warnings that prevent your from travelling.

These days most of the airlines, booking websites and credit card companies will offer some form of travel insurance. The best advice I can give you here is to KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING AND ALSO WHAT YOU ARE NOT GETTING

Here are some tips on what to look for in your Travel Insurance provider:

• Excess

The excess is the amount you must pay towards the claim that you make on your policy. The remaining amount is paid by the insurer up to the limit set in the policy. Typical excess amounts range from $50 up to $250. Generally speaking the higher the excess the lower your insurance premium will be.

• Duration

When providing the dates for your travel to get your insurance quote always make sure your return date is the date you land back in your home country (often this can be the day after you have departed). These finer details are important!

If you plan to travel a few times within the year it pays to check out an annual policy.

• Medical and dental expenses

This covers you if you suffer an injury, sickness, disease or require emergency dental treatment.

Always disclose any pre-existing medical conditions and check whether or not they will be covered (sometimes in order to cover these there will be an extra charge and it must be disclosed).

An interesting note here (especially for those of us living outside of the USA or any country that requires you to have private medical insurance) is that a medical bill whilst in the United States can easily reach $10,000 USD per day!

I have seen and heard stories of the costs involved to bring patients and their family members home after a serious accident. These bills can easily reach over $100,000.

• Amendment or cancellation costs

This covers you for circumstances outside of your control that require you to cancel or amend your journey.

Something super important to point out here – BUY YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE WHEN YOU FIRST START BOOKING AND PAYING FOR YOUR TRIP. If you leave it till a few days before your trip and something unforeseen has already happened… this will not help you.

• Personal item cover

This is cover for things like your laptops, smart phones, cameras, jewellery, etc. Always check what the per item limit and the total cover is. I have found that often (especially on the cheaper policies) this will not cover the true value of these items. You can pay a little bit extra to cover the full value.

• Activities

For us adventurous types this is where it pays to check the fine print! Know what activities you will and will not be covered for. Often extreme adventure sports such as sky diving or bungee jumping are not covered.

IMPORTANT NOTE – I just want to stress that not all travel insurance is the same and sometimes you get what you pay for. Always check the tips given above and always look at the small print of the policy wording. If you are not sure about something, ask your insurance provider.

My Travel Insurance recommendation – 

Whilst working in the travel industry our sole provider was CoverMore. I have used them myself on countless occasion and I have made claims for myself and on behalf of many clients. I am more than happy to recommend this company! They were always fantastic to deal with and a great support to myself and my clients when travel hiccups occurred. Here is a link to check out their website: www.covermore.com

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

Wishing you safe and happy travels!

Xena xx

PS – Would you like some travel support on the road? I offer a TRAVEL SUPPORT SERVICE where you have unlimited access to me via email and Skype whilst you are on your travels. Whether you have travel disruptions, visa issues, are missing home or just need a listening ear, I am here to help. I can offer emotional support, guidance, advice and tips. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE

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  • Cath L

    I couldn’t agree more – I haven’t had to use my travel insurance but it has come close. I have friends who have had to and as you say, medical costs can escalate quickly. Having worked in general insurance, I agree about checking the fine print about what cover you have for your effects. Both the cover type (replacement vs indemnity) but also what they consider unattended (I know someone who had his camera stolen and as it was in his backpack in the luggage rack above him in hte train, it was considered unattended!). Also, check if you luggage is covered while left in a locked car, if it is visible (I.e. not a proper boot/hatchback cover) as some smaller cars just have an uncovered boot, negating your cover.

    • xenajones

      Hi Cath. Thanks for your awesome tips & advise!
      Wishing you safe & happy travels.
      Xena xx