Being young is a great time to see the world; without responsibilities but with disposable income, new friends and minds hungry for new experiences you should take every opportunity you can. But, while travelling the world can offer heaps of fun, there are also a lot of things that can go wrong so it’s important you’re insured. Whether you’re travelling across Europe, backpacking on a year out or just going on a holiday with some friends; getting the right cover is essential, just in case the worst happens.
Do I Need Extra Travel Insurance?
If you’re planning a trip abroad and wondering whether or not you need to buy extra insurance you should check to see if you have any existing policies such as life insurance. Make sure you look carefully at the terms of any existing policies and see how they match up to what you expect you’ll be doing when you go abroad. This is important as although your existing insurance may cover you for some things like medical cover, it may not apply if you are driving a hire car and have an accident. It is also unlikely that your existing cover will include things like lost luggage insurance or cancelled flights which, although aren’t life-threatening, can end up costing you a lot of money.
Types of Insurance
There are lots of different types of cover available from lots of different places, choosing from the ones you need, and not from the ones you won’t, will save you a lot of money you could otherwise spend on your trip.
- Trip Cancellation/Delay Insurance – If you’re going to be putting down a large deposit or are booking with a small company who may not survive the economic downturn you may want to consider cancellation and delay insurance. This will cover you if the booking company, or you, cancel or delay your trip for reasons outlined in the plan.
- Medical Insurance – This can cover lots of different elements of medical cover; from paying for treatment to emergency evacuation. It is often a good idea to get the most comprehensive medical cover as even though most medical teams will treat you if you are sick you may have to pay a large amount of money afterwards. It is also useful to make sure that you are covered for things like reaching a doctor who speaks English and paying for the ambulance ride. With insurance it’s best to imagine the worst possible situation so you may also want to consider a policy that pays you or your family in case of death, loss of sight or loss of a limb.
- Baggage Loss – Every summer we are reminded of the numbers of items of baggage that go missing in transit. While the chances of your luggage being lost or damaged are quite slim it is still worth making sure you are covered in case you become another statistic.
- Important Document Insurance – When abroad your passport and visas should be kept on you at all times. If you lose your documents you will not be able to return home or prove your identity to the local authorities. Making sure you can get new documents sent to you will ensure you don’t get into any sticky situations and will give you piece of mind if the worst happens.
- Cash and Card Insurance – Just like your passport and travel documents you’ll be pretty stuck if you lose all of your cash. While it is always advisable to take both cash and traveller’s cheques it’s a good idea to make sure that cash can be sent to you just in case.
Where to buy Insurance
There are many companies that offer insurance and shopping around will ensure you get the best deal.
- Credit Cards – If you own a credit card, especially ‘gold’ or ‘platinum’ ones, you may have some types of insurance included as part of your deal.
- Private Medical Firms – If you are part of a private medical plan or co-operative it may include comprehensive cover whist you are abroad.
- Travel Agents – When booking your holiday you may also be offered insurance cover as part of the package. However, buying insurance from your booking agent can prove a lot more expensive than searching around so don’t just buy it because it’s easier.
- Specialist Insurance Companies – There are hundreds of different companies offering insurance; many of which specialising in certain activities. If you are going on an adventure holiday, going backpacking or are a student you may well find that searching around for a policy that is tailored to you will save you a lot of money.