Insurance is something of a grudge purchase. We don’t know if we’re going to get something out of it. In fact, we hope we won’t have to. But with thoughts of everything that might go wrong while we’re traveling in mind, we know we must get it.
Since it’s a must-have that we hope we won’t need, looking for the best price on travel insurance is the next logical step, but we still have to make sure our coverage is adequate. How can we get the cheapest travel insurance that still gives us peace of mind? We’ve researched a list of tips and tricks – feel free to add your own advice. Our community is all about sharing helpful money-saving information.
#1 Skip the middleman.
Travel agents, tour operators, and airlines are all too happy to offer insurance. Don’t accept the deal until you’ve compared prices. Chances are, there’s a hefty commission going their way, and if you can bypass that, your insurance will be a lot cheaper.
#2 Know what you want to cover.
The bare-bones travel insurance package will have cover for your luggage and medical insurance. If you’re one of those people who don’t take valuables along and you don’t plan to pack the kitchen sink, luggage cover could cost you more than it’s worth.
Then again, if you’re going to pack some pricey jewelry and a bunch of expensive gadgets, a little extra cover is called for.
#3 Check your existing cover.
You could have travel insurance you don’t even know about. For example, your credit card package might offer free travel insurance as a perk. Check with your bank and ask for all the details so that you can check out what’s covered and what the excess is. It’s very likely quite a basic package, so you need to decide if it’s adequate.
#4 Use aggregators.
Aggregators are online tools that help you to compare costs. We use them when we’re booking cheap flights, but there are also plenty of insurance aggregators out there.
Squaremouth.com is a great example, and its endorsed by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
#5 Think through the excess.
If you’re willing to shell out a larger portion of the costs out of your own pocket when you make a claim, you will certainly pay less. However, you should be careful. Too high excess might make your entire policy all-but-useless if the worst happens and you have to claim.
Check out the T&C carefully. Some policies charge an excess per type of claim, so if two things go wrong, you pay excess on each of them. Others charge a flat rate for your entire claim.
#6 Regular traveler? Consider a longer-term policy!
If you’re a frequent traveler, it’s worth considering a policy that covers you for the entire year, not just one trip. Although the policy will be more expensive overall, it’s likely to work out a lot cheaper per trip than a whole bunch of per-trip policies.
#7 “Worldwide” might not mean you’re covered everywhere.
You may not like reading the fine print, but it’s always important to do so. Most “worldwide” policies have exclusions, and they may not be limited to obvious places. Clearly, buying a policy that doesn’t cover you for your destination is nothing but a waste of money.
#8 While you’re at it, check out all exclusions.
If you’re over the age of 65, the cheapest policies might not have you covered for healthcare emergencies. The same is true if you already have a medical condition. Sometimes, you just have to pay more to get adequate cover.
#9 Watch out for “risky activities” cover.
Are you adventurous? You probably already know that means extra cover in case of injury. But even activities that seem rather tame might be excluded on the grounds that they’re risky. Take horse riding, for example, it’s hardly adrenalin sport, but many policies would exclude it.
Winter sports cover is a must if you’re going skiing. Remember, paying more could be a huge saving if you have an accident.
#10 Cancellations, failures and delays.
If you’ve booked a package, you’re probably covered, but do check. If you’re acting as your own travel agent, consider contingencies. What if your airline goes bust? It wouldn’t be the first time. Insurance is about planning for worst case scenarios, so weigh risks against benefits and have a backup plan if you don’t insure certain aspects of your trip.
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