• Travel Insurance Blog

  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017

You’ve doubtless seen lists of favorite destinations published by various magazines, and whether you check each country on the list with a smile or a frown could well depend on whether you had adequate international travel insurance.

Every year, Conde Nast, the travel magazine, publishes lists of most preferred tourist destinations, and this year, Italy topped the charts for the title of favorite country for travel, followed by New Zealand, Turkey, and Australia. If you want their opinion about the best value for money, it’s Kenya and Mexico, and Brazil has the distinction for giving you the warmest welcome.

Your initial instinct may be to look at the list and mentally make a note of countries that one might need travel insurance to visit (most people probably think that Turkey, Kenya, Mexico, and Brazil will require it). However, remember that travel to any country outside of your own requires insurance.

Some countries will have it built into their visa regulations, while others merely rely on the traveler’s common sense. Also remember that while Western countries may in general be less prone to infection, accidents are very common, and your travel insurance covers accidents too.

Travel tip: The mere mention of a destination in a list such as Conde Nast’s increases its visibility and therefore, costs and crowds associated with it. Try working with lists a couple of years old.
When you see your $1,000 top-of-the-line, all features loaded camera dangling off a cliff when your son’s trying to become the next National Geographic star, it’s only natural that thoughts of your travel insurance appear uninvited. So, does your international travel insurance cover your camera?

The answer really is in the type of insurance you get. Some plans may offer it as an optional rider, but most international travel medical insurance plans only cover loss of items by a common carrier. That is, if the airline loses your baggage, and if your camera was in it, the loss is covered.

You may already have personal items insurance, renter’s insurance, or homeowner’s insurance that will cover your personal effects, but ensure that the coverage applies even if you travel overseas. Also remember that if you end up making a claim on a lost camera through your renter’s insurance, your premium may increase.

The best option is to check which plans offer the benefit using an online comparison site, and purchasing the extra coverage, if needed, as an additional rider. If you lose your camera to theft, ensure that you have the police report to attach with your claim. Of course, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Travel tip: Always hang your camera around your neck when in use, and the camera bag, across your shoulder.
It is a common misconception that missionary insurance is only valid for Christian ministers traveling on missionary work. Several plans offer the plan to other travelers—those doing humanitarian work, those affiliated with other religions, and sometimes, even to travelers who are looking for specific coverage that missionary insurance provides.

Missionary insurance usually has better coverage than regular short-term travel insurance, and is meant for longer periods. Short-term missionary insurance plans are very similar to regular travel insurance plans. If the trip is expected to last for more than a year, long-term missionary insurance is best. Long-term insurance might require a medical certificate.

Long-term missionary insurance follows a plan holder along his/her missions, and coverage is also available in the home country. Most missionary insurance offers 100% coverage (no co-pay) for medical care obtained outside the home country.

Pregnancy and scheduled physician visits are covered under most long-term missionary insurance plans, after a specified waiting period. One other benefit in missionary insurance plans—coverage for medical care related to mental health and substance abuse—may seem counter-intuitive, but it is true that most non-profit workers, similar to war veterans, are susceptible to mental health issues.
If your baggage is damaged, stolen or lost at the airport during your travel, here are some immediate steps to take which would be useful for filing claims at a later stage.

  • As a first step, you should never under-insure your baggage.

  • If you are taking any expensive items, do take pictures of it in your digital camera

  • Notify the airline office immediately of your baggage loss and ensure that you get a receipt attested by the baggage handler or the airline authorities

  • Call up your insurance provider and record a complaint. Note down the complaint number and name of the person whom you spoke to

  • When you want to file the claims, go through the small print of your international travel insurance policy carefully and look out for any procedures highlighted for filing claims of lost baggage

  • Prepare the necessary documentation to prove the worth of valuables. It could be the bills or receipts that you may have stored. Do not forget to send the receipt that you have received from the airlines

  • Keep a photocopy of all the documentation that you have sent to the insurance company in case it may be required for reference in the future

  • With the diverse customer needs on the rise, the insurance companies have come up with a variety of travel insurance plans to cater to the demands. This wide variety of choices can sometimes make it confusing for the consumer to finalize on a particular international travel insurance plan.

    To facilitate the decision making process, many insurance policy sites offer comparison engines. Typically, you are given a “free quote” form to fill in your criteria and you are given a list of plans which would suit your needs. This actually helps you focus on a certain set of plans for finalizing.

    You can compare the benefits, the premiums, the deductibles and waiting periods while choosing the international travel insurance policy. While some plans provide coverage in domestic country also, many of them offer highly restrictive benefits in the homeland.

    Every buyer should read the exclusions section carefully to see whether any of their basic coverage needs are excluded. In addition, individuals with pre-existing should be aware of what kind of coverage is provided in the case of such illness.
    In order to purchase an appropriate international travel insurance plan, you can contact an insurance provider of your local area who would recommend a policy based on your travel needs. However, with the widespread popularity of the internet, insurance companies have started selling the travel insurance policies online.

    There are many advantages of buying online. Firstly, you can save a lot of time in commuting in order to purchase the policy. Secondly, with appropriate research and the necessary groundwork, you can get highly beneficial quotes instantly. Many insurance companies give free quote forms where you fill minimum details and get the premium cost instantly along with the details of the benefits offered by the international travel insurance plans. There are lot of sites offering free comparison of policies, benefits and premium quotes.

    Most importantly, you have constant access to your policy information even while you travel around the world as the insurance company creates an online account which you can login to anytime to check the details.

    Lastly, once you finalize the insurance plan you want to purchase, you get the policy certificate mailed to you instantly on payment. Renewal process becomes very easy as you can carry it out online. This is a huge advantage especially if you want to renew or extend the policy from abroad.

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