Do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance is the best way to insure against damage to baggage or personal effects, trip cancellations, trip interruptions and accidental illness or even death. Yet millions of dollars are wasted each year by travellers who purchase unnecessary travel insurance or travel assistance policies. It’s tempting to think you can go without – after all, how likely am I really to lose a bag or catch a serious illness in a two-week vacation?

We would always advise that you don’t take the risk.

However, it’s sensible to look very closely at the policies you take out and consider whether you need the full coverage. Here are our top tips:

  • Buy only the insurance you need

Frequently several types of insurance are bundled together and sold as comprehensive travel insurance. Make sure you only purchase what you need.

  • Analyse the coverage you already possess

Often, personal liability and property protection is already covered by your home owner’s insurance policy.

  • Check the specific limitations and exclusions of the policy

Make sure you fully understand exactly what is covered, and what is not. There is nothing more frustrating than taking out travel insurance and finding that your specific circumstances prevent you from claiming.

  • Check policy excesses

It may be worth taking out a second travel insurance policy, if your other insurance has a high excess and would be expensive to claim. Make sure you understand how much it would cost you to make a claim, and whether this is likely to be worth it.

  • Make sure you understand the difference between trip cancellation and trip interruption

Trip cancellation insurance will cover you if you need to cancel the trip before you’ve left. Trip interruption insurance will cover you if you need to cut short the trip.

  • Check for coverage of ‘acts of god’ and terrorism

It’s an unfortunate fact that terrorism and natural disasters are becoming more common across the world. While it’s unlikely you will be affected, it is best to check if any travel insurance policy will cover you just in case.

Follow the above steps and you won’t go far wrong when taking out travel insurance. Safe travels!

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