Whilst travel insurance is designed manage the risk of travelling, it is important to bear in mind it is not an ironclad shield against everything. It is still a contract that spells out what is to be covered or what not.
Here are some tips which we hope will save you some frustrations.
"Disaster-Proof" your holidays!
Not all travel insurance are created equal. There is a myriad of options out there. Do study the benefit listing and ensure the benefit fits your prime concerns. We noticed those that are offered as freebies or packed in as part of a travel package may at times have 50% less scope of benefits than the usual offers.
Purchase your travel insurance early. Many things that could go wrong when you are travelling, and unfortunately half of these things could happen even before you depart. Moreover, most insurer will not offer enrolment after you have departed. Some benefits like "trip cancellation" is only effective if the policy is issued before the event happens. i.e. a trip has to be cancelled because of riot at destination. So it is sensible to get your policy as early as possible.
Some can be cancelled for full refund. If you change your mind about travelling but has already enrolled for a single trip travel insurance. Fret not, call into customer service to verify if the policy can be cancelled for a full refund. Do note the cancellation request has to be lodged before the stated departure date.
File your shopping receipts. The insurer will always ask for the original receipts to substantiate the items you have filed for damage or stolen. If you are unable to produce the receipts, the insurer will depreciate the item further. The trend we notice is a further 20% off. So it pays to file the receipts diligently. Do snap a picture of receipts that are printed on thermal paper, it does fade fairly quickly.
Leave your blings blings at home. Jewelry and watches often has limited cover or in some cases, not covered at all. In other words, you will get "peanuts" or even nothing after losing your "precious" overseas. Some insurer also impose a timeline of 24 hours for a police report to be filed for the loss, else the claim will be nullified.
Negligence is a dirty word. The insurer will examine your statement of accounts or police report to determine if your claim for damage or loss of belongings is resulting from your wilful act, negligence, or carelessness. If proven so, your claim will be nullified.
Annual plan maybe cheaper. If you travel frequently like more than 3 times a year, it may be cheaper to enrol for a annual travel policy. The policy covers for all trips made within a policy year in the specified region, also it saves you from situations where you realised you need to enrol on a travel policy only when your plane is taxiing on the runway.
Pregnant and travelling. Travel policy typically cover for incidental maternity issues not more than 36th weeks into gestation. If your baby is conceived through fertility treatment, the period of cover will be shorten to 18 weeks into gestation. If you are concerned about childbirth expenses, do get an international medical insurance. A travel policy typically excludes deliveries.
Travelling for Extreme Sports. Some high risk activities are covered conditionally. i.e. scuba diving only if you are certified and not diving alone. If you are participating in the activity competitively or professionally, these activities will typically be excluded from the cover.