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Travel insurance covers you, your luggage, your trip, your flight, your accommodation and in fact every aspect of the travel experience. For a relatively small amount you can have full peace of mind during your trip. If you are a frequently traveler you can even purchase an annual multi-trip policy which will cover you for an unlimited amount of travel.
Who is a potential candidate?
Many people still travel domestically and abroad without any level of insurance. This can be a dangerous game to play as potential medical, legal and emergency travel costs can escalate into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Insurance, however, can be bought for a fraction of that amount.
Just consider when you are on holiday you could have any sort of accident, or you may accidentally cause an injury to someone else, or your luggage may have lost, stolen or damaged. If you are uninsured you have to pay for the cost out of your own wallet. Travel insurance is normally a broad policy that can give you full protection and peace of mind when you are on holiday.
What typically does it cover?
Travel insurance tends to be comprehensive, even at the lower end of the market. You should be able to receive overseas legal, medical, liability and repatriation costs. Coverage for lost, stolen or even delayed baggage is standard. Coverage for delayed or cancelled flights and costs associated with missing connecting flights is also standard. You will be covered for any loss of documentation such as travel tickets, driving licenses and passports. The cost of even one of these events happening to you will be far cheaper than the premium of a typical policy.
What typically does it not cover?
Travel insurance can, but doesn't normally, cover extreme sports such as skiing. You will need to get extra cover for this as you are considered to be in a much higher risk category than the average traveler.
Your travel policy may also be inadequate if your country of travel has government travel advisory warnings issued against it. You may be seen as not taking proper care if you choose to travel to an area deemed as dangerous and may be unable to be make a claim in the event of a problem.
Additional coverage that policy holders might take out in this area
If you are going to long trips, or on numerous holidays, in one year consider buying an annual multi-trip insurance policy. Even if you are going on a single trip, most insurance policies have a 30 day limit on them so it would be advisable to seek extra cover if your holiday extends beyond this period. The ever increasing number of long term travelers and 'backpackers' has meant that travel insurance companies have created more policies tailored just for your circumstances.
This product type is usually very comprehensive but don't forget to check the standard exclusions. You may find that your limits are low in areas you need. You may need more coverage for laptops or other personal electronic equipment. You may want to increase the cover of your luggage because you have several high value items. This should be done before you depart as you cannot make these claims retrospectively.
What will it typically cost?
Travel insurance varies massively as premiums are determined by your length of travel, the circumstances under which you travel, where you are traveling to and even who you are traveling with. All these factors determine your risk factor. Naturally, someone who is taking a weekend trip to Canada is likely to have cheaper insurance than someone who is planning to spend three months in the Amazon. For short, low risk trips, we have seen insurance under $50 through some providers. For higher risk holidays look top pay several times that amount.
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