People who travel often, be it for professional or personal reasons, would benefit from having travel insurance cover. The fact of the matter is that there is a lot that can go wrong with pre-planned trips too and you need to take those exigencies into account. Travel insurance secures you against numerous kinds of unforeseen catastrophes that you could occur, which may save you quite from many losses in the long run. But there are several factors you need to consider while buying travel insurance and here are some tips on how to go about it.

Do Your Own Research

A lot of times, travellers are unaware of the various types of travel insurance available out there. They blindly buy whatever is recommended to them by their agents, Credit Card Company, a friend or someone else. However, it is highly recommended that you do your own research and identify which type of insurance – trip cancellation cover, medical, evacuation expense, etc. – is best for you.

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Keep the Excess Fee in Mind

Excess fee is the amount that a travel insurance policy-holder must pay when making a claim. If you fix the excess fee low, the policy will cost more and vice versa. You have to think about what the ideal fixation is such that the policy does not cost too much, while the excess fee is also low enough to actually benefit you if you end up filing a claim. Thus, set your excess fee wisely.

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Get Cover for “Safe” Countries Too

A lot of people tend to set up insurance only when travelling to countries that are relatively “unsafe”. They bank on the lower likelihood of travel issues in “safer” countries and do not get insured for them. However, insurance records reflects that claims are made in large numbers by visitors going to these supposedly safe countries; neglecting to get insured for these may cost you heavily!

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Choose Nature of Coverage Intelligently

What is your biggest concern when you’re travelling afar? That you’re protected against exigencies that may cost you a significant sum of money. However, this does not mean you buy the most expensive travel insurance that covers all kinds of possible mishaps for you may end up paying too much for the possible of highly unlikely occurrences. Thus, decide what all you want covered against the price of the policy itself.

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Be Aware of Protocols for Claims

Every travel insurance policy comes with its own set of terms and conditions. They dictate the time period within which you have to file for a claim, whom you are to contact and how, and other protocols you’ll need to follow. A lot of times, policy holders are not well versed in these protocols and end up receiving no insurance benefit, despite being insured. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

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Consider Annual Coverage if You Travel Often

For those who travel often, i.e. more than three times a year, an insurance that covers the entire year’s travel with one fee is likely to be more economical than separate policies for each trip. However, you need to be aware of the numerous terms and conditions levied on such annual policies. For instance, they are typically valid only for trips as long as 31 days; so extended business trips or backpacking plans will not be covered herein.

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Watch Out for Age Limits

It is important for you to know beforehand, any age limits pertaining to your travel insurance. This is because most policies do not cover individuals over the age of 65, no matter what their health and fitness levels may be. Similarly, a lot of them do not cover pre-existing medical exigencies such as asthma attacks, etc. If you have such a condition, consider adding a special clause with payment of some extra premium.

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Inspect All Exclusions Carefully

Many travel insurance policies have an extensive list of conditions that they do not provide cover for. Peruse these carefully before you buy to ensure that what you’re at risk for is covered therein. For instance, many policies do no cater to accidents caused by “risky activities” that include many popular adventure sports. This would render your insurance redundant if you’re going bungee jumping, river rafting, etc.

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Compare Before You Buy

In this day and age, when there are numerous tools for comparing the various insurance policies available in the market, you should never purchase one without due diligence. See which policy gives you the best coverage relevant to your needs and make a decision accordingly. Do not follow the advice of an insurance company representative blindly.

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Be More Careful if You’re an Independent Traveller

Independent travelers are more vulnerable to mishaps such as missed flights, lost baggage and so on. They should thus be more careful than company-sponsored travelers and ensure that they have travel insurance specific to their needs.

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