Travel Insurance Guide For Malaysians
Having travel insurance can be beneficial as it protects you from emergencies during travel, especially today as international borders are opening up after several years of pandemic restrictions.
Below, we’ve listed a few circumstances which we think would make sense to consider taking travel protection:
- Risky Destinations. If you are travelling to a risky destination, it may be wise to consider taking out travel insurance. Examples include war-ridden states, politically unstable countries or places exposed to terrorism.
- Frequent Traveller. If you love travelling, or travel frequently due to work, it makes sense to consider taking up an annual travel insurance coverage.
- Expensive Holiday Package. If you have spent a lot for your holiday package/tour, it is sensible to insure the travel.
Valuables. If you are travelling with valuable items or important documents, an insurance pacakge can set your mind as ease.
- Special Needs. If you are bringing along children, elderly or disabled persons, you may need to find a goood policy that covers their needs in case of emergencies.
- Dangerous Activities. If your idea of a vacation includes ski-diving or scaling a snow-covered mountain, it would be best to insure yourself.
- Medical Concern. If you have existing medical conditions that may be triggered while travelling, you should think about taking out a policy to cover for possible medical care and unexpected costs.
- Other Emergencies. If you are afraid of facing sudden crisis that may change your travel plans, get a policy that will cover these emergencies.
What should your travel insurance cover?
Travel insurance, like all insurance policies, serves as a solution to most of your travel problems and the purpose is to help you in times of emergency.
The price you pay for a travel insurance policy is based on your age, duration of travel and place of travel. The scope of coverage and benefits may differ among travel insurance companies and all these are of course bound by certain exclusion.
Here’s a list of common things a good travel insurance package may cover:
- Personal accident and medical expenses: Travel insurance provides you the benefit of monetary compensation for accidents incurred during your holiday. This includes severe injuries and accidental deaths. Bear in mind that the likelihood of food poisoning or other illnesses is higher when you are exposed to a new environment. Hence, with travel insurance as your sense of protection, you can worry less on the expensive medical costs abroad.
- Cancellations and travel delay: This covers sudden trip cancellation or travel delays due to events beyond your control. If your flight is delayed by a certain number of hours, your travel insurance policy may reimburse you reasonably for the inconvenience as well as any cost of accommodations, if incurred. Of course, this would depend on your insurance policy terms.
- Loss of possessions and theft: Being extra careful may just not be enough for some situations. If you lose your luggage or other personal belongings, a travel insurance policy normally compensates you and helps you with all the lengthy procedures involved (e.g. if you lose your passport).
- Repatriation: You may not be well versed with the formalities that come along with repatriation should one of the travelers dies abroad. But with a travel insurance policy, the insurance company will normally handle all the hassles. The insurance company will normally cover the arrangements from transportation to the fees incurred for the entire repatriation process.
Having a good travel insurance package for you and your family not only gives you financial assistance in times of need, but also a peace of mind knowing you are well prepared for emergencies.
What else should you find out about the travel insurance policy?
However, before taking up a travel insurance policy, be sure to shop around and compare all the packages available for you to ensure you are adequately covered. Also, be wary of the exclusion clauses – which are clauses in your contract that specify things that are not covered by your travel insurance policy.
Here are some other considerations that may help you in your decision-making:
- Other Existing Insurance Policies. If you have previously purchased other insurance packages such as health insurance, check your existing policies and see if it covers for situations abroad. Also, remember that you will be compensated only once in cases of medical expenses even though you have multiple policies.
- Your Eligibility. You need to consider the conditions laid down for age criteria, the type of travel and your period of travel.
- Good Network with Foreign Affiliates. This is an important feature as the insurance company you choose need to be able to assist you in the country you visit. Therefore, an insurer with a good global network connection helps tremendously in times of emergencies.
- Emergency Assistance. Confirm with the insurance company the types of emergency assistance available. Most importantly, make sure you are able to contact them anytime i.e. there is a 24 hour emergency service available to you.
- Exclusion Clauses. You are advised to read and understand the policy exclusion clauses properly. An exclusion clause is simply things that the insurers would not cover / compensate for. For example, most insurance policies do not cover death by suicide. Before taking out your travel insurance policy, find out if there are any places or activities that are restricted /excluded.
Do you travel a lot? Check out our travel credit cards comparison tool