Going back to Roman times, risks have been shared during times of tragedy and unforeseen circumstances, such as earthquakes, floods and the like. The first formal and recorded insurance company, Lloyds of London, was formed in 1769 and their founding principal remains intact today - to gather the premiums of clients as a pool of resources in order to return to clients who experience unexpected and unforeseen but covered events. So, that is the secret really, plan for the unexpected and unforeseen and make sure you are covered, especially when you are travelling. Whether your trip is a quick one or a round the world cruise, there are many good reasons for travel insurance. Here are just 7 things you should do before you buy your travel insurance:
Whatever you do, please explore the market and educate yourself with all the terms and terminologies of the travel insurance cover that will help you to avail the best travel insurance.
Certainly check what is included in your travel insurance policy but most importantly, check what is EXCLUDED from your travel insurance policy.
Research the area you are going to. What is the weather likely to be like? Is there any danger of hurricanes or tropical storms? Floods? How about Mosquito borne disease? What is the crime rate like? Whatever the perceived dangers your research uncovers then make sure that your travel insurance covers you for that eventuality. It is no good after the event to find out that you are not covered for rabid dog attacks (because there are so many in that particular area).
Discuss Your Existing Medical Conditions and Requirements - You need to carefully assess your likely medical requirements and make sure that these are declared to the travel insurance company.
If you intend to drive make sure that you are adequately covered. Many hire companies charge astronomic excesses in case of an accident. Make sure that you insured for that excess (and it will be a lot cheaper than paying the hire companies rates for that same cover).
Make sure you have the necessary documentation for travel in that country. Take Spain for example which is part of the European community and will offer free health care say to a UK citizen on holiday or living there. There are certain conditions, one of which is that you must have a UK E111 form, if you do not have that, you will not be treated. You must also go to a national health hospital, which are not in abundance in certain areas of Spain.
If travelling in Europe, it may pay to get a EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) as this will remove a lot of worry should you need any emergency treatment.
Okay, so there you have it. 7 things to do before buying travel insurance for the next trip you make. The other alternative of course is to not take out travel insurance, or to stay at home. Now, there is an idea. But seriously, as always when taking out insurance, especially travel insurance, read the fine print first. Importantly, find out before you go what is excluded, not just included. So, always read the fine print. For example, accidental coverage is not provided in case of drunken driving, driving under the influence of narcotic substances etc. Exclusions are also provided for accidents during risky sports like bungee jumping, car racing, (insert for your favourite potentially dangerous sport here), scuba diving, white water rafting, flying (except as passenger in regular airliners), gliding, skiing, bike racing, diving, mountaineering, windsurfing etc. The list goes on. That means in case of accidents in these situations the insurance company is not liable to pay any amount to the insured.
Allen Jesson writes for several sites, making sense of international travel medical insurance in particular. Also, Allen also writes regularly for various sites that focus on finance .