Top 3 Travel Insurance Plans For Overseas Travel
Yes, yes and YES! Especially when travelling overseas, a good plan will be the travel buddy you’ve always wanted (and dreamt about, maybe). A good plan will help (financially) if you’ve been bitten by a snake in an Amazonian jungle or lost your luggage en route to Madrid or even if you missed your flight to China! As you may have guessed, traveling overseas comes with a different set of challenges when compared to road-tripping around the West Coast of Malaysia. You may not speak the language, know anyone within a 100-km radius and are likely to be unfamiliar with your surroundings, leaving you open to risky situations and the financial costs that follow. So unless you’re extremely well connected in various regions of the world and don’t mind spending your own money to cover overseas medical bills and travel inconveniences – yes, you do need travel insurance.
What to look for in a good travel insurance plan
Not all plans are created equal but your mission should choose to accept it, is to find one that meets all (or as many) of your needs as possible within an affordable premium. Here’s a list of important benefits to look out for:
- 24-hour emergency assistance
If you get into an accident or sustain injuries from a bear fight, who are you going to call? Your provider’s emergency hotline – that’s who! Now they might not be able to assist in every situation but if you need emergency medical aid or to be evacuated to a medical facility, the cost of help will be covered. Other emergencies that might be covered include assistance with lost or stolen travel documents, prescription replacements as well as providing you with emergency cash if you lose or are robbed of wallets and credit cards.
- Medical cover
Getting sick while overseas is never fun and often expensive. With a medical cover on your travel plan, you won’t have to pay when seeking treatment if hospitalised and may even remain covered for follow-ups when you return home. Some policies may also include a compassionate visit benefit that will cover the cost of flights and accommodation for a relative to be by your side if you are hospitalised and travelling alone. Do bear in mind that the level of cover differs with plans and some treatments may not be covered at all. Thus, it’s best to check with your insurance provider prior to receiving treatment.
- Delay, loss or damage to luggage
So what happens if your airline loses your luggage? Chances are you won’t have a fresh change of clothes until they find it. However, with a travel plan that covers delays, loss or damage to your luggage, you’ll likely be reimbursed or paid a benefit if it occurs. The specifics of when, what and how much you can claim differ slightly with plans but most will cover your expenses for essentials if the airline does not compensate you and your luggage is delayed for more than four to six hours. A benefit amount, if any, depends on your plan and level of cover.
- Missed flights
It happens. People miss flights – but people with a travel plan on their side, may just get reimbursed when it does. Remember that when you miss a flight, chances are you’ll miss other bookings too, like a connecting flight, your rented transport and hotel room. It’s a whole mess and it can you cost you your deposit or even full payments. Some plans cover only missed flights but others may also pay-out for missed connections, overbooking and car rental returns.
- Personal Accident benefits
If you’re superstitious, you won’t even want to entertain the thought of getting into an accident especially while on holiday, but unfortunately, these things still happen, whether you think about or not. Getting into an accident while overseas isn’t one of those travel experiences anyone looks forward to. But if it does happen, a benefit like this can help pay for your treatments and other costs, sometimes even a lump sum depending on your plan.
- Trip cancelation
If you for some (valid) reason you suddenly need to cancel your trip or cut it short, a travel plan with a curtailment or cancelation benefit can help cover some of your costs. For instance, if you fall sick or if a close relative suddenly passes away, this benefit would cover some of your cancelation or trip interruption costs. Not all cancelations are covered though, like if you just don’t feel like making the trip or if you changed your mind about the destination, you’ll likely be denied your claim.
Read the fine print
With every insurance plan you buy, there are always restrictions, exclusions and limitations; travel plans are no exception. For instance, certain plans may exclude cover for travel to regions like Iran and Syria or may not cover travel inconveniences like a loss of luggage. Thus, don’t assume everything is covered; do go through your plan before you buy and once again after purchasing, for clarity on what you may and may not claim.
Top 3 travel plans when you’re headed overseas
Here are our top 3 plans for overseas travel:
1. AXA SmartTraveller VIP
This plan covers a host of unforeseen (and unwelcomed) situations when travelling, there’s even a pay-out for kidnap and ransom demands. The value for the usual benefits are rather high as well; RM300, 000 for personal accidents and medical expenses, respectively. In terms of travel inconveniences, this plan covers overbooked flights, delayed trips, loss of bags, belongings and personal cash as well as missed connections. Best of all, this plan starts from just RM48 per trip and is also conveniently available for purchase online. Read more about AXA travel insurance here.
2. Tune Protect Travel Easy
Currently with a 25% discount, the premium for this plan also starts at RM48 per trip, offering higher medical and personal accident cover at RM500, 000, when compared. It does not however, cover overbooked flights and kidnap or ransom situations. Thus, if you are travelling to high-risk regions, do consider the lack of cover for the latter carefully. This plan also offers other similar benefits to the AXA SmartTraveller VIP like cover for cancelled or interrupted trips, loss of passport and baggage delays.
3. Zurich Gold Plan
With a slightly higher premium, starting at RM55 per trip, there are extras provided that could make it all worth your while. For instance, apart from the usual medical and travel inconvenience benefits, you are also provided a childcare benefit of RM15, 000. This figure will pay for the travel and accommodation of a close friend or relative to take your children home, if you are hospitalised (more than three days) and no other adult is present. So if you are travelling alone with kids, do consider this plan.
No overseas travel insurance plans are made equal. Discover the plan that’s just right for you!