5 reasons to get travel insurance early
Family holidays require a lot of logistical planning. You need to find activities and food that satisfy everyone, and this is more challenging if you choose the free-and-easy route. In contrast, travel insurance is such a breeze to buy that it often gets purchased only at the last minute.
But there are five reasons why you shouldn’t leave travel insurance to the last:
1. Your trip may get cancelled
When planning for a holiday, it’s difficult to imagine cancelling or postponing it. But anything could happen, and bad luck has nothing to do with it.
The government may warn against unnecessary travel to your destination if there’s a natural disaster or terror threat. Or someone in your family falls sick, or there may be a family emergency. Or the travel agent you engaged has gone bust and ruined your planned holidays.
In such cases, travel insurance policies can cover you for the non-refundable fees that you have already paid.
Pro-tip: Check that your policy provides cover for trip cancellations, and loss of advance travel payments (e.g. deposits) due to insolvency or bankruptcy of the travel agency.
2. You may need to see the doctor
Caught up in the excitement of being on holiday, your children may fall sick and need the doctor. Travel insurance can reimburse you for the medical expenses made overseas and extend to follow-up treatment when you return home.
Even if your child catches a cold just before the trip, some travel insurance can provide coverage for journey cancellations or postponements as early as 30 days before your trip.
This means your family is covered before, during, and even after the trip.
Pro-tip: Some policies even have a referral list for medical service providers and interpreters. So, you can be assured of the quality of medical care and know exactly what the doctors are telling you.
(Travelling with baby for the first time? Here are 5 baby-friendly destinations for you to explore.)
3. You may need medical evacuation
This is important if you are headed for a remote location, or a country that doesn’t have the health care standards that you require.
Take the Swiss Alps for instance. It’s picturesque, but the spot you’re at may not have the facilities to deal with extreme altitude sickness – dizziness, vomiting and a dangerously-high fever.
Emergency transport to a suitable medical facility with proper medical care can be incredibly expensive, reaching five or six figures in many cases. Medical evacuation coverage will allow you to arrange for this emergency transportation without incurring a hefty bill.
Pro-tip: Save your insurer’s contact number (complete with the +65-country code) in your phone.
4. You may lose your luggage
Imagine reaching your destination only to find out that your luggage hasn’t arrived, or that it rolls out on the conveyer belt with a broken zip or even a missing wheel. Or imagine losing your wallet or backpack to thieves in a foreign land.
Travel insurance can allow you to make claims on the lost contents, and sometimes even the clothes, innerwear and toiletries that you purchase to tide you over the trip.
Pro-tip: Take along photocopies of your important documents in case they get stolen. Also, keep all related receipts and reports so you’ll have a smoother experience when making insurance claims. (Want more travel tips? Read our great vacay guide here.)
5. You plan on skiing, hot-air ballooning, or taking a helicopter ride
Never assume that an activity is covered by a standard travel insurance. Even though hot-air balloons and helicopter rides are not strenuous, they are considered to be “adventure sports”. This puts them in the same league as skiing, diving, canoeing, paragliding and skydiving.
Pro-tip: Check if your travel insurance covers you for any possible injuries in the course of enjoying these adventures.
Travel insurance should not be an afterthought
Insurance is something that we hope not to use, but helpful to have when things go wrong. As there are many things involved in choosing the right travel insurance for your trip, it is important not to rush the decision.
So never leave travel insurance to the last. It takes the stress off, so you can have more yays in your holiday.