Often in the excitement of booking a holiday, we can forget about some of the finer details. The type of details that could make all the difference in the off chance that you or whoever you’re travelling with end up in some form of difficulty.
Whether it be medical insurance cover, covering the prospect of theft or mugging, or even just the security of knowing that if anything happens your flights or hotel that may cause a cancellation prior to the big departure date, it’s nice to know that there is something there to break the fall if anything should go wrong.
You might ask yourself why travel insurance is necessary, and most people are of the opinion that ‘it will never happen to me’, but don’t let yourself fall into this trap. I have friends who have had the pleasure of working in a call-centre helpline for travel insurance and they never had a free moment. The phone lines were always red hot with various different emergencies and queries. This article is by no means a way to scare people into not travelling and I must stress that I could not be more pro-holiday. However, I thought I would help you break down an important part of the holiday planning process, as buying insurance and scanning through policy documents, as we all know, can be an unholy nightmare. So what insurance is best for you and what will suit your needs? Are you looking for Family Travel Insurance of Single Trip Travel Insurance specifically? I have gathered some useful information in this article for you.
I have picked the three most well known travel insurances and created a little travel insurance comparison in Ireland to focus on. I will go through some of the pros and cons of each, and hopefully by the end of this article the prospect of insuring yourself for your holidays won’t be anywhere near as daunting. :)
Ask yourself these questions
To start, when you’re shopping around for holiday insurance, you should have the answer to the following four questions in your head;
“What type of holiday are you going on?”
“Where are you going?”
“Who are you going with?”
“How long are you going for?”
It is a different story when you need a single-backpacker travel insurance in comparison to an insurance for a “simple” sun holiday to Spain with the family. When you know the answer to these four questions, this will cut out a lot of the speculative, fact-finding questions that insurance sales people will ask you on the phone in order for them to be able to make a sale. Once you hear information that is irrelevant to you, you can simply say so to the broker and they will be more direct to your needs. It is just a way of controlling the conversation or even a web transaction, so that you’re getting what you need and not paying over the odds that something that’s not worth a monkey’s to your plans!
Travel insurances Comparison
It can still be difficult for you figure out what travel insurance is best for you to buy or what a travel insurance should cost. With the below list of insurance companies I am hoping to help you understanding the conditions better and making an easier pick on your cover.
Cornmarket Travel Insurance
The Cornmarket Travel Insurance product has a lot of perks to it. It is relatively new on the market after a re-branding phase and what they are offering is very transparent. It is important to note that most travel insurance policies have a basic level of cover and a starting price. The more you will go through the sales or through the online process, you will see that more than likely you will have to add on extras to give yourself ample cover. Things like Winter Sports Cover and Excess Waivers are often extra expenses. What I like about the Cornmarket product is that Winter Sports and the Excess Waiver are included in your price from the beginning.
From the point of view of a consumer it is very frustrating when you see what looks like a low price quoted, only to have these add-ons shoot the costs upwards. It is nice to know that when you’re buying this particular policy you often have ample cover from the beginning. Of course though there are always other variables you should be wary of such as your trip length and things like that.
One important thing to note is that when other the age of 24 you have to call Cornmarket directly in order to buy a policy. They do still have some great perks for adding dependents which is also a plus.
Multitrip.com offer you the chance to buy insurance just for single trips. I bought this cover for my own trip to New York last November and I was delighted by how easy the whole process was. The quick delivery of your policy documents is incredibly helpful, especially if you’re travelling to anywhere that requires a Visa to be organised prior to your departure, such as Russia or China.
A problem I have with the policies for Multitrip.com travel insurance is that they can split up a simple insurance policy into three separate titles (Essential Cover, Premier Cover, Premier Cover Plus) and charge more money with the benefits increasing each time. In the world of travel insurance, this for me is an unnecessary complication. Generally though, when compared to it’s competitors, the level of wholesale cover you get is better and more comprehensive than most.
VHI Multitrip is probably the most well known policy because they have the health insurance company’s name to piggy back on. However, the reason this is such a good policy is because the support systems that they offer their customers in case of various different types of emergency such as a 24/7 emergency line. The cover also offers you a benefit which looks after your house while you’re away and actually covers you when you are taking trips in Ireland too.
The problems with this policy for me are that you must have a private health insurance policy in place in order to be insured for travel. If you don’t have you’re own health insurance then the VHI will not cover you for your travel. They also don’t offer you the option of insuring a single trip, offering only year long policies instead. This means that even if you just plan on making one trip, you’re tied to a contract for a full year.
Watch Out for the Fine Print
The last few nuggets of advice for you would be the following:
Different insurance companies charge if you’re older than a certain age (i.e over 60 or 65). Plus there are also discounts for couples and families so be sure to research and ask!
If purchasing an annual policy, be aware that most companies have “Automatic Renewal”. So know your policies renewal date and remember to cancel it if you don’t need it.
Make sure that if you’re going on an adventure seeking holiday with dangerous sports, that your activity is covered under the policy you are buying.
Most policies have “trip limits”. So if you’re taking an extended holiday, make sure that your holiday falls within the trip limits of your policy or your cover will run out while you are away.
If you have any underlying, pre-existing health conditions, make sure you clarify straight away if it is covered, because some policies will not cover this demographic.
Regardless of which policy you chose, remember that holidaying is supposed to be fun, first and foremost. I pray that you will never be in a situation where you will have to avail of your insurance. However, if you are, it is nice to know that what you have paid for is the best option for you, financially and coverage wise. There of travel insurance policies on the market from AIG, Blue Insurance and Aviva which are also worth researching.
The Guru is all about saving you lovely people a few Euro here and there, and making the holiday experience easier as a whole. So if even one person has picked up some useful information to help find the best travel insurance from this post, I know that writing this will have been worthwhile! :)
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