Holiday Travel Insurance - Balancing Excess And Coverage

These days, there is information overload on holiday travel insurance coverage options. Different insurance companies and plans offer varied choice in the coverage they provide. To make an informed decision, you need to know the basics and when it can apply to you.

Step 1: Understand The Basic Insurance Terminology:

Deductible, or excess: A predefined, basic amount that you need to pay out-of-pocket, before the insurance provider starts making the payments. The deductible can be an annual payment, a fixed amount for the duration of the policy, or an amount per incident. For example, in the event of an accident, you need to pay the first $20 for any medical services before the insurance company starts paying. You can receive travel insurance excess waivers under certain conditions particular to each provider.

Co-pay: The amount of total medical expense you must pay, after the deductible has been paid. For example, for a 20% co-pay option you will pay for 20% of the total incurred medical expenses and the insurance company will pay 80%.

Maximum Policy coverage: This coverage provides a ceiling to the kind of money the insurance provider will pay for covered expenses.

Exclusions: There are certain medical expenses that insurance companies will not pay for. These can include illness caused due to pre-existing medical conditions before the policy was purchased, illegal use of drugs, incidents associated with high-risk sport or dangerous activities.

Step 2: Evaluating Trip Cancellation Insurance

Other than the above, you need to consider whether to purchase trip cancellation or travel protection insurance. If you taking an exorbitant cruise or booking expensive airline tickets that cannot be refunded, then obtaining trip cancellation coverage can be optimal for you. Many protection policies are now including ‘act of terrorism’ clause that will provide coverage if your flight is cancelled or delayed due to acts of terrorism.

Step 3: Identifying Which Coverage Is For You

If you are an adventure traveler you need to have a comprehensive medical insurance policy, which can provide cover for accident, illness, hospital stay, emergency surgery, evacuation, reunion or repatriation benefits as well as other travel assistance services. If you take more than four trips a year, it will be economical for you to get multi-trip or annual holiday insurance.

If you are a student or young person, traveling during your college years, it will be feasible for you to get cheap insurance coverage which should include basic medical and lost baggage cover.

If you are a frequent business traveler you should consider getting annual trip coverage including medical, flight accident insurance, travel protection inclusive of ‘act of terrorism’ clause and international medical cover, especially when traveling abroad.

Your premiums are very strongly linked to the deductible or excess payment of your policy. You can opt for double excess travel insurance where your excess payments are higher, but the premiums are lower.

If you are traveling with your family, you should explore the various family plan options available from insurance companies. The medical policy should be first on your list, and depending on your mode of travel, by land or air, flight accident and travel protection should be considered. After all nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of your loved ones, and by providing the right insurance coverage, you can rest easy and enjoy your holiday!

Step 4: Obtain the Prices & Purchase Your Policy

Once you have identified your needs and desired overages, you can start calling up travel insurance companies to get quotations as an informed consumer. Be wary to being oversold features that you may not require. Travel insurance does not typically require any medical checkups, so once you decide on the correct provider, simply make the payment and your policy will arrive in the mail generally within 3-5 business days.

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