About Travel Insurance

Travelling comes with a lot of fun and excitement, albeit it often costs a lot of money. No one plans to be involved in danger of any sorts but life just happens.  In most cases, travelers tend to be more concerned with the fun things they will do on their trip, forgetting that traveling embodies a world of responsibilities. Over time, travelers have often wondered why they should bother with travel insurance, especially if they have a private health insurance. Some travelers fail to ask themselves pertinent questions like; is there a possibility that my trip might be cancelled or is there a possibility that I might get injured in course of my holiday and need travel insurance? All of these dangers come with related costs, all of which travel insurance helps to cover.  However, travel insurance comes in different varieties. It is noteworthy that travel insurance is a compulsory prerequisite at all Schengen embassies. 

Do you need it?

An unwritten rule of traveling says that if what you’re spending on a trip is more than an amount you feel you can lose, then you need travel insurance. In the event that you’ve paid in advance for a good part of your trip, deposited huge sums of cash (nonrefundable) or you’re planning on taking a cruise tour, then travel insurance would come in very handy, as it can strike the difference between losing a few bucks or being out the whole cost of the trip. While on a trip, travelers could be victims of theft or need medical voidance, all of which come at a cost, which makes travel insurance pertinent.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

A travel insurance policy covers a plethora of potential dangers, one of which is the likelihood that you may not eventually embark on the trip. Travel Insurance covers medical expenses obtained during traveling. These medicals expenses include emergency medical fees, repatriation of remains and funeral expenses, accidental death, and evacuation. The cost incurred during travel could either be lost totally or in part, if you’re not able to travel due to some unavoidable circumstance. Thus, travel insurance policies cover cancellation of flights and missed departure. Travel insurance also covers losses resulting from flight delays, loss of documents and luggage.  However, the more circumstances that your travel insurance covers you for, the more expensive the policy will become. 

What Does It Not Cover?

In as much as travel insurance covers a host of things, there are also some things it doesn’t cover. Against this backdrop, travel insurance doesn’t cover sicknesses like diabetes and cardiovascular problems. In a similar vein, in the event that travellers break foreign laws or get involved in criminal activities, travel insurance would not cover that.  Also, travel insurance doesn’t cover losses incurred as a result of war and its attendant effects as well as terrorism and suicide. Also, travel insurance would not cover a traveler who gets involved in an accident as a result of ‘excessive’ drinking. 
What Kind Of Insurance Do You Need?Travel insurance comes in different ways, so for best practices, you are advised to consider specific details of your trip, in order to guide you in knowing which situation is most likely to suffice.  Travel Insurance that covers canceling of trips caters to reimbursement for trips canceled in line with covered reasons.  For interruption of trips, the travel insurance covers compensation in the event that you miss a flight or if some emergency makes you cut your trip short. The Medical coverage covers cases of medical treatment outside the country. In some cases, there is also a case of adventure coverage which implies that the insurance will cover any negative event arising from partaking in activities like climbing and diving, which may be carried out by travelers in course of their trip. There is also a special insurance called ‘cancel for any reason’, which caters to compensation for cancellation of trips for any reason at all- even those not covered by standard insurance policies, howbeit this kind of insurance costs more than the other kinds of insurance but it’s a good option for those who think they might cancel their trips for any reason whatsoever. 

Against this backdrop, when considering the type of travel insurance you would need, you need to consider several factors like; do you have a medical condition, do you have a family member who would need your constant presence, are you traveling to a location that may require medical evaluation, are you are going to get involved in some high-risk activities, are you traveling with expensive valuables, have you made deposits for the most part of your trip? With a good knowledge of these factors, you would be able to make an informed choice, as regards the kind of travel insurance you will need. 

Should I Buy A Single Trip or Annual Policy?
This is very much dependent on what your travel schedule looks like. For example, if you usually take a two-week annual holiday, in addition to one or two short trips abroad, then you should go for insurance to cover specific trips but if you embark on a lot of trips within a year, then you buying the annual policy would suffice, as it allows you an unlimited number of overseas holidays in a year, limited by maximum number of trips. The limit can however be extended if you pay an extra sum.

How Much Should I Pay?

Travel insurance costs between 4-8% of the total (nonrefundable) cost of your trip, albeit it may alter as a result of factors like price, length of the trip, age, and probability of getting involved in high risks activities. The ‘cancel for any reason’ option costs between 7- 10% of the total (nonrefundable) cost of your trip. Anything insurance policy that is less than 4% of the total cost of your trip would certainly not provide adequate coverage. Nevertheless, travelers who have a minimum of N7,000 can purchase a travel insurance from any of the issuing organizations. Thus, before purchasing  a plan, travellers are advised to carefully examine and compare the insurance plans of the several providers in the country.

What Do I Need To Have To Purchase Insurance?

In the process of applying for insurance, there are certain pieces of information you will  need to supply such as; personal information, contact information, destination, travel date, date you want insurance to begin, type of insurance policy (single, couple or family), and your personal valuables that you want covered. Above all , you would need your funds prepared. 

When Should I Purchase Insurance?

You can buy travel insurance anytime, including the day before your trip, but the ideal thing is to buy the insurance almost immediately after you book trip, as the validity of some coverage only applies in the event that the insurance policy is purchased within two weeks of the inceptive payment. Thus, the earlier you buy your insurance, the earlier you will be covered in the event of any situation.

Where Can I Purchase Insurance?

There are several options when it comes to choosing the right place to purchase travel insurance. These companies include Linkage Assurance, Cornerstone Travel Insurance, Mutual Benefits Assurance, Industrial and General Assurance, AIICO Travel Insurance, Mansard Travel Insurance, Zenith Insurance, and Leadway Travel Insurance. All companies offer a 10-day free looking period, so travelers are free to assured of getting a refund of their money, if after purchasing insurance, they feel that it is not ideal for them.

My Trip Was Canceled, Now What? 

It can take up to four weeks to process a claim and get its approval. In order to avoid any hitches and hasten the process, ensure that documents regarding your insurance are complete and available, as incomplete documentation is one of the most common factors which stalls travelers’ claims to insurance . It is also advisable that while traveling, you have both soft and hard copies of your travel insurance documents, in case the need to contact the insurance company arises.  

Do I Have To Read The Fine Print?

Some travelers who buy travel insurance make the mistake of not adequately reading the terms of contract until the need to file a claim arises. In the event that you are applying for insurance and you are not really sure about any anything, call the insurer and ask for explanations in writing. Insurance policies have a “free look” grace of 10 days, so in the event that you’ve already hit the buy button, you can still review your choice. In other words, if after reviewing the policy, you feel that purchasing it was not the right choice, you can cancel it within that period and demand for a complete repayment. 

Need To File An Insurance Claim?

So in the event that your trip gets cancelled or you need to be evacuated due to some medical reason, you’ll surely need access to your travel insurance. Now there are certain things you need to know before you file for that travel insurance, such as; ensuring that you read the instructions, you know the limits of your insurance policy, collect your receipts, documents or other paperwork, and don’t wait too long after filing a claim, because at every stage of the travel insurance policy, timing is a vital factor.  


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