InsureGuru Learn

Questions to ask before buying travel insurance: What are your priorities?

Buying travel insurance will always be a vital part of any trip planning process. No insurance can prevent the accident from happening. However, an ideal insurance is one that strives to return the insured to their initial state prior to an accident. That said, it is the work of an insurance cover to ensure that one walks away from an incident with minimal loss or damages.

A critical consideration for travel insurance is how much it will cost. However, there are other things that people should always pay attention to before taking cover. Below are the top questions to consider before signing a contract for travel insurance.

#1 Do I Need Travel Insurance?

The need for insurance might seem like a simple question, but still carries a lot of weight.  Taking time to brainstorm on the need for travel insurance is essential.  For starters, it is critical to have a clear idea of what a travel insurance cover is all about and the kind of mishaps it would be able to cover.

Now may also be the best time to come up with a list of items that an insurance company ought to cover while travelling. Some of the items include damaged personal items or unplanned trip cancellation. One should also ascertain the kind of medical coverage they would need in case of an accident while travelling.  Asking such basic questions will allow one to get the best out of their policy.

#2 Which Countries are Covered and How Much Does Excess Cost?

Polices from different insurance companies come with regulations that govern claims payments. Before taking cover, it would be important to ask an insurance company what countries they cover in their policies.

Making sure that a policy covers every destination of travel is essential.  It should also be clear from the word go of some of the detours covered in a policy. It would also be essential to inquire travel providers covered by a policy. Insurance companies have lists of companies they cover and those that they don’t.

Knowing what the excess in travel insurance is crucial if one is to avoid paying out of pocket. Excess is the amount deducted from a claim as is it is the uninsured portion of a loss. Getting details on excess would allow one to pay additional premiums to remove the option.

#3 Are Medical Conditions Covered?

One should always inquire pre-existing medical conditions covered before taking a travel insurance cover. Pre-existing conditions are the number one reason why most travel insurance claims fall through.

Making the company understand the kind of conditions you have is essential to avoid stand-offs along the way. Failure to mention such conditions could leave one exposed to unnecessary risks if they cause issues while travelling.

#4 Who is underwriting the Policy?

With most insurance policies, the company issuing cover is at times different from the one that pays for a claim. Such entities are known as underwriters tasked with the responsibility of investigating claims before making payments.

While carrying out due diligence, get the name of the underwriter. Take time to check them out to ensure they always come through when it comes to payments.

#5 How Long Does Reimbursement Take

In the case of glitches, while travelling, paying in advance while awaiting reimbursement from insurance is at times inevitable. While most elements in travel insurance are reimbursable, it is essential to understand the bureaucracy involved.

In case of tight finances, you would need an insurance company to reimburse as soon as possible.  The fact that the reimbursement period varies from one insurance company to another is one of the reasons why one should inquire how long it takes a company to make payments.


*The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified adviser.

Angie Quek

Financial Advisor

Angie Quek has been in Pana Harrison since 2008 and specialised in Life Insurance, Investment schemes, Estate Planning and General Insurance.