7 Things That Can Go Wrong When You Are On Holiday
Travelling, be it international or domestic, is an incredibly popular pastime. There really is nothing like visiting new places and expanding your horizons with new views and experiences. It certainly is no surprise why people like taking extended breaks and vacations to go on a week-long (or more) adventure to a brand new location.
However, travel insurance is something that becomes an afterthought for many as they plan their dream vacation. While it is understandable that you want to focus on the fun and exciting times you will have on your vacation, it will pay dividends for you to go through the process of researching travel insurance policies that will cover your trip. After all, anything can happen during your travels.
You could get sick and become unable to continue your travels. Flights can be delayed or cancelled. Your luggage can get lost in transit. We cannot predict any of these situations. Travel insurance exists to ensure that you will at least gain something back should your travel plans fall apart.
Following are some of the most common things that can go wrong while you are on holiday. They also make up the “must have” items that should be in your travel insurance policy before you pack up and leave.
The ”must haves”
These are the bare minimum essentials that every travel policy should have. If you see a policy that is missing any one of these, you might want to consider skipping it. Some examples of a “must have” include:
1. Medical expenses
This will provide cover towards the costs of emergency medical and surgical treatment while you are off enjoying your holiday. This is absolutely essential to any travel insurance policy. Policies that offer medical coverage between RM300,000 and RM500,000 are pretty good, but those that offer up to RM1,000,000 and more are excellent.
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2. Repatriation and evacuation
This service is essentially for getting you back home, especially if it is a medical emergency. It may be necessary to transport you home because you cannot get the appropriate treatment where you are, or because it may be cheaper for the insurance provider to do so. In the unfortunate event of a death, it should also provide you with funds to repatriate mortal remains back home as well. The best kind of offering will include this coverage automatically. Do note that any treatment or surgery that isn’t immediately necessary and can wait until you return home will likely not be covered.
3. Cancellation or curtailment
Accidents happen and can come in any form. As such, you may be forced to either cancel or cut short your holiday should any emergency occur. These can be medical, work-related, or otherwise. This covers you for any travel and accommodation costs you have paid and are unable to use or claim back. Benefits that cover between RM20,000 to 50,000 are good. However, do keep in mind the terms and conditions for this benefit. It may not cover you under some very specific circumstances.
4. Missed departure
This benefit covers costs of extra accommodation and travel expenses if you miss your departure flight, boat or train due to situations outside of your control. Such situations can include anything from our car breaking down, being involved in an accident or public transport being delayed. Anything between RM500 to RM1,500 is quite good. Do be aware that you will need to be able to prove that the situation was outside your control. For example, providing receipts that prove your vehicle broke down.
We all have experienced delays when it comes to travelling, and it most likely will not be the last time either, since delays are rather common. If your travel plans become delayed, for example due to bad weather conditions, the insurer will pay you a certain amount. Check your policy to see how long of a delay is required to qualify for this benefit. Generally, having RM3,000 or more for this benefit is good.
6. Lost, stolen or damaged baggage
One of the most important features in travel insurance is a policy for baggage insurance It ensures that you are reimbursed in the event that your baggage is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed. There are two forms of baggage coverage: baggage loss and baggage delay. However, it should not be too hard finding insurance that bundles both into one benefit. Try to get a policy that has RM5,000 or more on baggage claims.
7. Personal liability
Personal liability coverage is a benefit which allows the insurer to reimburse the amount for any liability charges caused unintentionally or due to very specific reasons. Basically, if you accidentally cause harm or damage the property of a third-party in a foreign land, this benefit will help you cover the cost. Since you can never really preemptively tell how much damage you might end up causing, having up to RM1,000,000 coverage or more is ideal.
Things to look out for
Now that we have looked at the must-have benefits for travel insurance, it is time to look out for the caveats of your travel insurance policy. While generally, you do not have to read between the lines to understand the intricacies of your policy, insurance jargon can make understanding some conditions a little confusing.
Different deductibles amounts
Your insurance company might apply different deductibles depending on the type of claim. For example, amounts might differ according to whether a claim is for delays, baggage loss, medical, or repatriation.
In Malaysia, these deductibles are not very common, but they do exist, especially for certain niche situations. For example, some insurance policies may charge deductibles to cover mountain sickness in certain countries, or even to cover damage to golf clubs for avid overseas golfers. If possible, try finding a policy which assigns one deductible per claim. Some insurance companies charge deductibles per person, or even per person per section of the policy claimed under.
This is the maximum duration for any one trip during the policy period. Always keep an eye on this to make sure you don’t end up in trouble after your policy’s trip duration expires. The general rule of thumb for this is 30 days.
Baggage claim receipts
When you need to claim for your baggage, some insurance companies will insist on proof. This will usually come in the form of a receipt for all baggage items or all items above a certain value. While this may seem reasonable, there are some insurance companies that require no receipts. Getting such a policy will save you some headache if the need arises for you to claim for missing or damaged baggage.
Malaysia has a large variety of insurance providers, and each provider often offers different policies with different levels of coverage. As such, premium rates for travel insurance can vary wildly. Some can be very cheap and affordable, while others can get exorbitantly expensive.
For example, Allianz’s Travel Easy domestic insurance can be as low as RM19 and can get as high as RM187 depending on your needs. Prices will differ further if you plan to buy the policy for an overseas trip. There is even a combined overseas and domestic option which changes the prices even further. Either way, it is best to pick the best option to fit your vacation needs to avoid paying excessive premiums.
If you are having trouble figuring out where to find the right travel policy for you, you can start with iMoney’s travel insurance portal, which can connect you to some of the top travel insurance deals that are currently available.
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