How to Compare Travel Insurance Companies
September 1, 2014
Are you searching for travel insurance, but completely confused about what’s what? Are different providers offering you different things? And if so, how do you decide what policy to choose?
Like any type of insurance, different travel insurance providers will offer different types of insurance options. Here are some tips on how you can compare various companies and find a policy that’s right for you:
1. Start with you
If you’re unsure which travel insurance providers you should be comparing, start with you and your trip.
- Make a list of all the circumstances and items you feel you require cover on your holiday; a good way to think about this is to take into account your tangible items (e.g. luggage, valuables) and also consider what other risks you will be taking (e.g. will you be going diving? Hiking? Cycling? Driving?)
- Where possible, attribute a dollar value to each item to help you understand how much cover you need
- Make a list of “nice to have” insurance inclusions to help guide your decision further; this might include things like cover for loss of income or pet insurance, if you’ll be putting your pet into a boarding home while you’re away
- Once you understand what you need, you can conduct a simple check of each provider you are considering to see whether they offer what you want
- You can then narrow down your choices into a shortlist of potential providers; three to five companies would be a good amount to compare
2. Do your research
- Grab your travel insurance shortlist and do some research on each company; find out as much as you can in regards to their cover, service and quality
- You can look at their websites, read about them on other news sites, check out their social media pages – and most importantly, you should also read their customer reviews
- While there will almost always be good/bad points about each, be wary of choosing a company who has received a high volume of negative reviews and feedback
3. Look carefully at what’s offered
Now that you’ve got a definitive shortlist of providers, you’ll need to start looking carefully at what types of cover and limits are offered for each of your required items (the ones you wrote in your list in Step 1). Does one company provide more cover than another?
- Tip: Drawing up a rough table to help you compare each limit and cost can be helpful at this stage
4. Put your glasses on and read the fine print!
The fine print – otherwise known as terms and conditions – is where you get to learn exactly what is and isn’t covered in the insurance policy, so it’s essential to read this carefully for all the policies you are considering.
If you notice certain circumstances, limits or exclusions are causing issues for you, you can eliminate that policy from your consideration or move it lower down on your priority list.
- Tip: If you’re still unsure at this stage which policy is better or if there are two or more companies that are offering similar packages, go back to your research and see which company has garnered better reviews and feedback from customers
5. What other perks are there?
Finally, if you’re at the finishing line but still can’t make that final decision on who to choose, consider what each company is offering in terms of perks or additional benefits. Common perks can include:
- 24-hour insurance support /assistance while you’re away
- Free phone support if you need help or experience an emergency
- Promotions or offerings that can save you money
- Benefits for kids, such as free cover or additional cover for certain items
- Quality upgrades that you can use to tailor your package (e.g. upgrading to include business cover, winter sports, etc.)
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