With all the benefits travel insurance can offer to travelers today, it is best to start thinking of this item as a necessity instead of a luxury. As such, buying a plan should be on your to-do list whenever you go out of the country.
If you travel often because of your work or business, purchasing an annual insurance plan can be a smarter move than buying single-use ones. This is because multi-trip coverage offers these benefits:
- It is cost-efficient. A reliable annual travel insurance plan allows you to save more money the more often you travel. Although the initial outlay is considerably higher than buying single-use ones every time you take a trip, in the long run, you will find multiple-trip coverage to be more affordable. You will get more from your investment as well.
- It is convenient. Although you can buy a plan quickly online, it can be quite inconvenient and time-consuming when you do it before you travel. Whether you go on a trip every other month and regardless of the duration, annual coverage will give you sufficient protection wherever and whenever you go. Renewing it every year will be easier, too.
- It is tailor-made to meet your needs. Annual travel insurance plans can be customized to cover your particular requirements. If you want the medical coverage to include certain diseases or to offer longer protection for visiting certain countries, you can have them added to your policy.
Since an annual travel insurance policy offers more advantages than drawbacks, it is best to buy one before your next trip.
How to Buy an Annual Travel Insurance Plan
Purchasing a multi-trip insurance policy can be quite different from buying a single trip one.
If you are getting an annual travel plan for the first time, ensure you purchase the best one by following these tips:
Make Sure Buying One is in Your Budget
Annual travel insurance plans can be pretty expensive. When you purchase one a few days before your first flight of the year, you will end up paying even more.
Since you know you will be traveling a lot in the course of a year, start saving money for buying a multi-trip travel plan as soon as possible. Shop around for the best policies, taking note of the benefits and perks they offer as well as their costs.
By making your plans early when buying an annual travel insurance plan, you can save more money. You can also avoid the mistake of purchasing one that does not provide enough coverage or that cannot be customized to meet your individual needs.
Ensure the Policy Covers the Basics
Basic insurance plans cover trip cancellation and restriction, medical emergencies, and loss of baggage, which applies to the country or countries you will visit.
If you want more coverage and better peace of mind, you can also have the following included in your policy:
- Emergency evacuation
- Medical repatriation
- Scheduled airline failure
If you often mix leisure with work or business on your travels, find out if the plan will cover activities that you usually engage in. This is something that you have to look into if you engage in extreme sports such as bungee jumping, skydiving, and mountain climbing.
Most insurance plans do not cover these high-risk sports, so before buying one, make sure they are included in the policy.
Read the Fine Print
Many of the most important things you have to know about travel insurance plans are written in fine print. As such, read and understand this part before purchasing a policy.
Check the details pertaining to the excess or amount you have to pay towards a claim. Find out if you have to shell out money once per application or for each section of the policy, which can be more expensive and inconvenient for you.
Lastly, take note of the caps on losses, particularly on electronic devices. With capped values, you may end up receiving only a fraction of the amount you spent and lost. For instance, if your stolen laptop costs a thousand dollars if the cap on electronics is five hundred dollars, this is the only amount that you can claim.
If you value your mobile devices, look into specialist coverage for your electronics.
Study the Claims Process
When shopping for an annual travel insurance policy, look into the steps involved in making a claim. Find out how simple it is. Can you do it online or visit several offices to file one?
Take note of the requirements you need to submit to file a claim as well. For instance, if you lost a bag that contains your smartphone and other devices, what documents do you need to present when filing?
Lastly, find out how long you can receive your claim. Although the policy has these details, you can get a better picture by reading the stories or feedback of people who have already filed a request with the insurance company you are considering.
Ask Questions about Specific Scenarios
To be sure you are getting the right annual travel insurance plan, prepare a list of specific questions about situations that you may find yourself in whenever you travel.
For instance, if you will be traveling to a high-risk country, will they cover emergency repatriation if things take a turn for the worse?
List down as many questions as you can and call the customer service hotline or send an email to the provider you are considering. An agent or representative should be able to provide clear and satisfactory answers to all of them.
If you receive vague answers or ones that leave you more confused, look for another company and plan.
Using an online travel insurance plan comparison tool is a good way to start finding the right annual coverage. By using these platforms, you can wisely narrow down your list of potential providers and policies within minutes. You can then spend more time studying your best options.