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Benefits of Travel Insurance

  • Published: 2008-12-29 (Revised/Updated 2017-07-29) : Author: Greath Owen
  • Synopsis: Explains the benefits of why you should always take out a good travel insurance policy cover before a trip.

The primary benefit of obtaining good travel insurance coverage is the knowledge that should something go wrong while you are abroad, you won't be responsible for finding the money to put it right, at a time when you are already stressed out.

As with all insurance policies it is important that you read the policy documents carefully to ensure that the cover you require is included, this is especially the case if you are of the sporting or adventurous persuasion as many activities increase the risk of injury and, therefore, may not be covered as standard or may only be covered for a limited frequency during the period of insurance. Policies vary quite a bit so it pays to shop around if you have the time, or speak to a specialist broker, to try and find a policy that covers your intended activity at no extra cost.

Travel insurance policies come in various forms but most policies include the following categories of cover, although you should always read the policy wording to find out what is and is not covered by the particular policy, also different policies may have the benefits in separate categories or bundle them under one heading:

Most but not necessarily all sections of cover will have an excess amount which is the amount that you are expected to pay in the event of a claim and the insurer only covers costs over and above that figure. This excess amount may be per person, per policy or per claim.

Although I have listed the standard covers, many policies offer you the opportunity to modify the policy either by adding on cover or by removing sections of cover completely. Common options are to waive the excess amount in the event of a claim, to increase the amount of cancellation cover included in the policy, to exclude the personal belongings section, to exclude the cancellation section and in some cases you can exclude the emergency medical treatment section. Another frequent modification is to add cover for a specific activity although the effect on the premium can be quite dramatic depending upon the type of activity as most policies will apply a multiplier to the base cost and this can more than double the premium.

To summarize, a standard travel insurance policy contains many different sections of cover, not all of which everyone needs, but for most people a standard travel insurance policy will cover all the unexpected events that can occur while away from home.

Please bear in mind that if you buy a travel insurance policy that doesn't provide the cover you require, you have wasted your money, not to mention the fact that you could be left facing a very large bill. With all insurance policies you must always read the small print, in the UK you have a 14 day period after purchase, provided that you haven't already made use of the travel insurance policy, where you can get a guaranteed refund if the travel insurance policy turns out not to be suitable, leave it later than that and any refund is at the insurer's discretion.

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