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Get your head around travel insurance

No tricky insurance lingo here. Just simple articles on complex topics.

FEATURED

20 September 2015
Annual Travel insurance vs Single Trip insurance

Which is the more popular choice?


There are so many long weekends in a year to plan for great getaways, you could be wondering like most of us, whether an annual travel insurance or a single trip insurance would be a better choice.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance allows you to roam Malaysia and the world without worry of travel hassles, such as losing baggage, travel delays, and trip cancellations. Find out the greater benefits as well as misconceptions about this type of security for your solo and family adventures. You can compare travel insurance plans with GoBear and see how easy it is to get you covered for up to RM10,000,000.

Q: Should I get travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a type of insurance that prepares you for the unexpected when you’re on a trip. It provides coverage in case your expensive luggage goes to Macau when you’re originally headed for South Korea. It takes care of the damages made during your Airbnb™ stay, or the loss of your passport or other travel documents. It accommodates children aged 1 month and above and adults up to the age of 79. 

Travel insurance companies offer various types of flight insurance with different coverages and benefits. A number of companies also cater to those with specific or special requirements, whether they be businessmen with highly valuable documents and gadgets, collectors with priceless treasures to bring home, or families who want to enjoy peace of mind while on vacations.

Q: What are the different types or categories of travel insurance?

Travel insurance categories include: one way trip, single trip, annual trips, individual trips. Below are the most commonly used categories and plans explained in detail:

1. Single trip: A short term policy that covers a specific trip, usually always commencing from and returning to Malaysia.

2. Individual Plan: It covers the policy holder or an individual person.

3. Annual Cover: A policy issued for a 1 year period covering trips commencing from and returning to Malaysia. This insurance will cover the insured person only.

4. Family Plan: A policy insurance covering the policyholder and his immediate family i.e. his legitimate children and his legal spouse. Some insurers put a cap on the number of insured persons under this plan.

Q: What are the typical coverage benefits of travel insurance?

Before applying for travel insurance, you should know what the company is actually willing to cover for you. Some offer great benefits for emergency medical expenses with high limits, while others offer better coverage for accidents from extreme sports. Here are a few a common coverages and benefits most travel insurance companies provide:

•  Emergency medical and hospital expense coverage
This covers most medical expenses incurred while travelling. Most insurers won’t pay expenses upfront, though, so you may have to pay first and then submit a claim to your travel insurance provider.

•  Worldwide assistance hotline
You’ll be able to access your travel insurance company’s hotline whenever needed. You may also request for emergency evacuation or even trip accommodation.

•  Travel inconvenience benefits
Problems such as losing your baggage, delayed flights, and missing your connecting flight are also covered by most travel insurance plans.

Q: What else could my travel insurance cover?

•  For businessmen who travel frequently, an annual travel insurance plan will cover each trip taken during the year.

•  Adrenaline junkies addicted to extreme sports and similar activities such as bungee-jumping, rafting, and wildlife tourism can apply for a travel insurance plan with extreme sports coverage.

•  People travelling with expensive goods and important documents can have their items covered by their travel insurance policy.

•  Students studying abroad can also subscribe to student travel insurance plans that cover different types of applicable emergencies.

Q: What do I have to take into consideration before choosing a specific travel insurance plan?

For specific advise you should always liaise with an insurance company or broker (which we are not) but in general it's recommendable to check certain needs and expectations you have before taking a decision such as:

1. Do you travel alone or with your family? How frequently do you travel?

2. Which country are you travelling to? Do they have access to good hospitals, medical facilities? Will you be travelling to more remote areas where there could be malaria, natural disasters, etc.?

3. Are you travelling within Malaysia? If you are, then you should be looking at plans that include domestic coverage.

4. Are you travelling for pleasure or business?

5. What sort of activities will you be undertaking? Skiing? Diving? Adventure?

6. What is your budget?

7. What are your expectations? Do you only require personal accident and medical expenses benefits, or do you also need coverage for repatriation, delayed departure, trip cancellation, loss of baggage or travel documents, etc.

Q: What are the travel insurance terms I need to know?

•  Premium
This is the cost of applying for insurance coverage. It could be paid in full or through instalments during the duration of the insurance policy.

•  Coverage
This is the risks that the insurance provider is willing to cover for the insured persons. An insurance company might cover expenses occurred due to travel delays but won't cover the bag you lost.

•  Deductible
This is the amount the policyholder must pay before the travel insurance company starts making payments. Think of it as paying for a down payment.

•  AD & D
This is an acronym for accidental death & dismemberment. This is coverage for accidents that cause the insured's death or loss of body parts during the trip. A coverage like this is recommended for travellers that know they'll be doing something dangerous.

•  Repatriation benefit
This refers to the covered expenses of preparing and sending a deceased person's body back to their home country.