Travelling is a hobby many of us wish to have, and now with a deteriorating currency, we need to ensure that we take measures to protect our travel time from unwanted issues.
Buying travel insurance is something most of us ignore. Few of us buy travel insurance ahead of time, and even fewer compare policies to find the best travel insurance in Pakistan.
Here is everything you should look for before buying travel insurance in Pakistan.
1. What does Travel Insurance cover for you?
A good travel insurance policy covers many situations, from minor to terrible inconveniences. This can be having your luggage delayed, or it could be a severe medical emergency, like getting stung by a poisonous insect and needing immediate medical attention.
You need to be covered for everything from lost and delayed luggage, flight delays and cancellations to medical treatment, medical evacuation and even transportation in case of severe illness and death. All these situations have different claim limits, of course.
Travel insurance also covers financial issues like reimbursing deposits or if your credit card is used fraudulently overseas.
2. How to choose Travel Insurance
With so many different benefits in a travel insurance plan, it can be hard to select which one is worth your money. You should look for how much you are reimbursed for common travel hiccups.
Look for travel insurance that covers flight delays and cancellations since delays happen more often than we realise. They can be highly inconvenient, mainly because they cause you to miss your connecting flight. Ensure that your policy covers you for a decent period.
3. Which Travel Insurance to Buy?
Like anything you buy, the best travel insurance gives you the most value for money. Say you are only travelling to Thailand for a weekend trip. You’re probably travelling light and don’t need significant coverage for loss of baggage.
You shouldn’t buy the cheapest in this case. The cheapest insurance will probably have lots of terms and conditions when it comes to claims. The important thing is to read the terms and conditions of your preferred policy carefully and make sure you are not caught unawares. This is especially important when you have pre-existing medical conditions
4. Common mistakes In Buying Travel Insurance
How many of us know how to buy good travel insurance that suits our needs? Here are some common mistakes to avoid when buying travel insurance:
- Don’t just buy the first travel insurance you find. It is important to go through the details of the coverage provided to see if they are adequate for your needs or to cover the risks of the destination you’re travelling to, e.g. medical coverage and loss of personal belongings.
- Not reading the policy carefully: Many people make the mistake of not reading it carefully and end up with a policy that doesn’t cover what they thought it did.
- Not buying enough coverage: Another common mistake is not buying enough coverage. People sometimes buy the cheapest policy available without considering the coverage they need.
- Not disclosing pre-existing conditions: If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it’s important to disclose it to the insurance company. Failing to do so can result in a claim being denied.
- Not understanding the claims process: Make sure you understand how to make a claim and what documentation you need to provide. This can vary between policies and providers, so it’s important to be familiar with the process before you need to make a claim.
- Buying your travel insurance at the last moment: Like while waiting to board your flight or going to the airport? You should know that extra travel insurance benefits are applicable if you buy travel insurance ahead of your trip. For instance, coverage for natural disasters is automatically included.
- Not comparing policies: Don’t just buy the first policy you come across. Take the time to compare policies from different providers to find the best coverage for your needs and budget.
- You shouldn’t buy travel insurance just for the days you are overseas: You should include flights to and from your holiday destination to cover overall travel time. In the case of baggage delays, accidents during flights and connections, or even missing a flight, you will be able to claim damages.
- Not reading your travel insurance policy: like I always say, you need to read all policy documents carefully to see what is covered and what is not. Reading through the policy document lets you know what’s included and excluded, the claim limits, and what you need to do to file a claim.
- Assuming all travel insurance is the same: If your holiday includes adventurous elements like skydiving or scuba diving, check to ensure that the travel insurance you are considering covers these high-risk activities. Not every insurer will cover such activities, including sky diving, hot air balloon rides, and bungee jumping.
5. When should I buy Travel Insurance?
Many things can go wrong when you’re travelling. Half of these things can happen even before you leave Pakistan. It is generally a good idea to purchase travel insurance as soon as you have made any non-refundable payments for your trip, such as flight tickets or hotel reservations. This will ensure that you are covered for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise, such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost or stolen luggage.
6. Why should I compare Travel Insurance before buying?
It is important to note that travel insurance policies’ exact coverage and terms can vary, so it’s a good idea to carefully review the policy and understand what is and isn’t covered before purchasing. Additionally, some travel insurance policies may have a time limit for when you can purchase coverage, so it’s best to do so as early as possible to avoid any potential issues.
Sadia Zaheer holds a Masters in Business Administration from IBA, Karachi. After working in several financial institutions in Client Management, Corporate Lending, Islamic Banking and Product Management she jumped careers to pursue a career in writing.
She is a Finance, Business and HR Development writer with four years of experience. She reads a lot and takes care of her multiple cats to remain calm.