Getting the right travel insurance


May 24, 2011

How to put your travel insurance policy to work?

Travel insurance is designed to protect you from any unexpected incident, from travel inconvenience such as baggage loss or flight delay, to emergency medical situations. 

Therefore individuals who want to protect their travel investment for themselves or their family should consider purchasing this coverage. If an illness, accident or any other unfortunate incident forces you to interrupt your travel plans; you are exposed to potential financial losses.

It’s easy to assume that nothing will go wrong on a holiday and that travel insurance isn’t really essential. But, as those that have had a travel accident or incident will confirm, this kind of policy can be a real money saver. Travel insurance works as a security blanket that could save time and money in the long run.

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Tips to choose the right travel insurance policy?

There are travel insurance products available from different insurance companies, based on the type of benefits and coverage limits offered. It is important to understand the different types of policies that are available, and the coverage benefits that may be useful to each individual which is essential to select the right travel insurance.

If you are a frequent traveller, it is highly recommended to purchase an annual multi-trip plan that covers you throughout the entire year for unlimited number of trips. If you will be travelling with your family you should include them as well.

Reasons for travel can vary from long trips, adventure travel, third world travel, multi-stage itineraries and you would need to check the policy terms and conditions to clearly ensure that your requirements are met.

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What are the biggest myths about travel insurance?

The most common myth about travel insurance is that people having the standard health insurance believe that their policy has a substantial cover for travel insurance. Most regular insurance policies have limited coverage for travel purposes. In addition, there are situations in which your existing health insurance may not apply in a different country and even the benefits are limited to a few situations.

Another common myth is that travel insurance covers only medical emergencies, whereas in reality it will also provide travel inconvenience and personal accident benefits.

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What are the biggest mistakes one makes when choosing a travel insurance policy?

The biggest mistake is travellers not reading the terms and conditions of the travel insurance policy. We strongly advise all our customers to read the policy terms and conditions; review the common exclusions and have a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances that are covered under the policy for each benefit.

This will help avoid any delay at the time of filing a claim and to avoid any miscommunication between the traveler and the insurance company.

Said al Adhali is head of personal financial services support and operations at HSBC Oman. If you have any queries on this subject or another topic related to his area of expertise, e-mail muscatdaily@apexmedia.co.om