Travel Insurance Checklist – 7 Must-Haves on Your Plan
Travel Insurance Essentials
Unless you are made of money, it is definitely a smart idea to buy a travel insurance plan before you head off on your next adventure.
But it’s not enough to simply buy a plan; you should look for one that covers important and potentially costly events that are not all that uncommon.
Things like falling ill, getting into an accident or losing your bags can happen to just about anyone. With a good travel insurance plan though, you’ll have your shot at peace of mind as you satisfy your wanderlust.
Here is a list of covers that make a travel plan truly worthwhile:
1. Medical coverage
This is the number one expense that must be covered with your travel insurance plan, it’s non-negotiable.
If you get sick or meet an accident while overseas, it might be quite expensive to seek medical care in private hospitals. Worse still, some may not even admit you without insurance.
And while you might have heard that certain countries provide free medical care for tourists, exceptions may apply. For instance, in Norway, urgent care is free or subsidised for tourists that are citizens of the EU and who carry specified health insurance cards.
You have the right to treatment though, but the costs are still yours to bear. Thus, it is better to have your own travel insurance plan to cover you, just in case.
2. Medical evacuation/Repatriation
A cover for medical treatments and hospitalisation alone is not enough, you should also check that your plan takes care of repatriation and medical evacuation costs. But why would you need this cover?
Well, if you fall sick and need to be evacuated to another location for emergency treatment, it is going to be very expensive. Thus, a medical evacuation cover is highly recommended, so you can get the urgent care you need without having to worry about the costs.
You’ll also need an emergency medical repatriation cover on your plan to pay for costs to transport you back home to Malaysia to receive treatment if necessary.
With this benefit, you’ll typically have your travel costs covered, in addition to having a medical attendant accompany you home.
3. Flight delays
Flight delays are no fun; they can make a mess of your plans, dampen your travel mood and even cost you money – like the non-refundable deposits you may have put down.
If your flight gets delayed and you have coverage for this incident, you can be compensated for waiting. You could also receive reimbursements for deposits lost due to the flight delay.
Some exclusion may apply though, such as, if the delay was your own fault (missed flight check-in), etc.
The specifics and level of coverage will differ with plans, so do read through yours beforehand.
| See also: Best Long Weekends in Malaysia in 2019 |
4. Missed connections
No, we’re not talking about the infamous Craigslist page; we are talking about missing connecting flights due to delays on your incoming flight.
It is often very costly and definitely inconvenient to miss your connecting flight. Just think, when you miss your connecting flight, you may also lose your hotel reservations, car rental holds or other bookings.
Thus, having it covered on your travel insurance plan can help alleviate related costs.
Most missed connection cover amounts aren’t very high though, with the average ranging from a few hundred up to RM2,000 or more, depending on the policy. Still, it can ease your financial costs at the very least.
Do also note that this cover does not apply to missed connections that are the result of your own fault. For instance, if you arrive late at the boarding gate, etc.
5. Trip cancellation
Imagine meticulously planning for your holiday, paying for advance bookings, flight tickets, and hotel, and incurring other costs, only to have to cancel due to an emergency. It’s not a good feeling for sure, but thankfully, your travel insurance may be able to relieve some of these costs, if it is covered on your plan.
A trip cancellation cover typically reimburses your travel expenses like irrecoverable deposits only if the cancellation is absolutely necessary. Saying that you’ve changed your mind will not make for reasonable grounds to cancel your trip and claim reimbursements.
In fact, there are just a few reasons for cancellation claims that are generally accepted, such as:
- Serious illness, injury or death of an immediate family member (or yourself)
- Unforeseeable strikes, riots, or civil commotions at your destination
- Legal summons
- Serious damage (e.g. fire or flood) to your house in Malaysia.
Do check the terms and conditions of your travel insurance plan for other (or specific) cancelation claims reasons that are covered.
6. Trip interruptions
A trip interruption happens when you are suddenly forced to cancel the remainder of your trip due to emergencies, after you have embarked. And much like the travel cancellation cover, only certain reasons will be accepted for claims. However, there may be a few additional reasons covered.
For instance, the hijacking of the aircraft, the unexpected death, serious injury or illness of your travel companion (whether a family member or not); and natural disasters, among others.
Again, the specifics of your trip interruption coverage may vary slightly with policies, so do read up on the possible exclusions and permitted claims on your own plan.
7. Baggage delays and loss of personal effects
Having your bags delayed, lost or damaged can be massively inconvenient and costly, especially if something of value is misplaced or ruined.
This type of cover will reimburse or pay for replacements of your damaged personal items or lost baggage or compensate you for the delayed arrival of your check-in baggage.
For instance, AXA Smart Traveller Annual Platinum will pay “RM200 for every six (6) complete hours” that your baggage is delayed from the time you arrive at your destination.
Do note that some items might not be covered; for example, foodstuff, certain electronics (unless due to fire, etc.), and jewellery among others.
Also, this type of coverage doesn’t usually apply to items where compensation or recovery is the responsibility of the hotel or carrier.
Find the perfect travel insurance plan that covers all these incidents as well as others that make sense for your travel needs. Time to start comparing!