9 things to consider before taking out travel insurance
By Danny Newman, Beit Shemesh Branch Manager, Goldfus Insurance
When looking at travel insurance, many people only look at the price and the base cover for health coverage. Whilst these two are important the following 9 points may assist with finding the most appropriate and comprehensive cover for you.
Make sure you have the correct dates of departure and arrival
Travel insurance policies cover the length of your trip. That includes the flights to and from your destination. It is important to make sure that the coverage includes the date of departure and the date the flight lands on your return to Israel.
Are you a frequent flier? Maybe an annual policy is right for you
Depending on the nature, frequency, and length of trips in a 12 month period, it may be worthwhile considering an annual policy. Annual policies provide extensive cover for business trips, as well as making the process hassle free for spontaneous trips during the insurance year.
Business, leisure or extreme sports – clarify the nature of your trip
Regular travel insurance policies may not provide cover for specific events or activities beyond a standard tourist vacation. Policies can be extended to cover activities such as winter sports, competitive sports, extreme sports, backpacking adventures, business activities and more. Should your trip include any of the above or anything else out of the ordinary, it is advisable to consult with you insurance agent/provider to ensure that the most appropriate cover and policy is purchased.
Mature aged travellers – how age and length of trip can effect cover
Many insurance companies limit the length of coverage available for travellers over a certain age. Before planning and booking flights, it is worth checking insurability and length of cover available as this may differ from company to company.
Pre-existing medical conditions don’t have to limit you
The main reason for travel insurance is to cover unexpected medical expenses while abroad. Should one have any pre-existing medical condition (even something as minor as mild asthma or high blood pressure); or if they underwent a procedure or had medical treatment in the 6 months prior to travel, one ought to inform the insurance agent/provider. In many cases cover can be extended for pre-existing conditions to ensure that the insurance company cannot dismiss a claim. For people with pre-existing conditions, contact with your insurance provider should be made well in advance of the trip as the underwriting process can take time and insurability is not always guaranteed.
For those who have pre-existing medical conditions and take travel insurance via the kupat cholim, it is important to note that they use external insurance companies who are not automatically aware of one’s medical history, so cover purchased through them should not be assumed to cover pre-existing conditions.
Travelling whilst pregnant – expectant mothers
A standard travel insurance policy will not cover pregnancy related events. Cover can be extended for pregnancy subject to certain criteria. Sums insured for pregnancy related issues may be lower than the regular sums insured for other medical events. Cover for certain high risk pregnancies such as, multiple fetuses or IVF pregnancies may not be available so the nature of the pregnancy will need to be disclosed to your insurance provider.
When it comes to extending coverage for pregnancy, different companies have different limits regarding the maximum age of the expectant mother and also the week of pregnancy that they are prepared to insure until.
Travelling with valuables
Many people are unaware that standard travel insurance policies have limited cover for personal belongings and baggage. When traveling with items of value such as jewelry or portable devices, it is recommended to consult with your insurance agent/provider, as in many instances, a more comprehensive cover could be provided by extending one’s home insurance policy to cover these items of value on a worldwide basis for their true value.
Cancellation of travel – When can I get my money back?
Some claims arise even before the trip commences. Standard policies will cover cancellation of trips for specific insurable events such as certain medical episodes, house fire, emergency army call up (Tzav Shmoneh) and others. There are some policies that can provide cover for cancellation due to any reason. These policies require a special application. Level of cover and premiums are determined subject to underwriting on a case by case level.
Repatriation expenses – ensuring a safe return
Travel insurance policies cover medical expenses whilst abroad according to the terms and conditions of the policy. Insurance policies can also include search and rescue. It is important to note that some insurance providers include this as standard whilst others will do so at an additional premium and only as requested. Search and rescue cover should be considered especially if the nature of the trip includes hiking and other such outdoor adventures.
Before heading out on your travels, it is best to consult with an insurance professional to ensure that the policy purchased is right for you and will cover your intended activities.
For information on travel insurance contact us today!