As you are about to complete your next overseas holiday booking for air tickets or a hotel online, suddenly a screen pops up that prompts you to accept the purchase of a Travel Insurance policy. You decline. You then get a warning that you are taking a risk. You think again. The price seems reasonable and it’s actually convenient to just click “Yes”, or so it seems. BEWARE! You may be paying a lot more than you think for just very minimal coverage. Below are 4 reasons why you should think again before buying insurance policies that come with airline tickets or hotel bookings.
1. Medical coverage is limited
One of the reasons why insurance policies purchased through airlines or travel agencies are so cheap is that they offer very limited medical and hospital cover. So even for “mundane matters” such as falling down a flight of steps or breaking your leg during a ski-trip in Hokkaido, it is unlikely that the insurance compensation is sufficient to actually pay for your medical expenses, hospitalisation, emergency medical evacuation and post-hospital accommodation bills. Often, by comparing online and buying separately, you can probably get a much better and more suitable policy for the same amount or just a little more money.
2. Trip delay and cancellation coverage may not be necessary
Typically, such insurance policies cover trip delay for more than 6 hours or cancellation. If such events occur, the policy will provide a small payout of around S$200 to compensate for some basic lounge use and refreshments as a result of the delay. However, most airlines already do give out free lounge vouchers and provide hotel accommodations anyway if the delay is too long.
3. Miss connecting flight at your own expense
You are flying on a budget airline to a secondary city and planned to connect on a domestic flight to the main city in a different carrier. If you missed the flight, then it is unlikely that your insurance purchased from the airline or travel agent will cover it. Regular Travel Insurances purchased directly from the insurance companies or through online brokers however almost always do cover missed connecting flights.
4. No coverage for personal liability
Many of the policies sold by airlines or travel agencies do not cover personal liability. Therefore, if you were riding a bicycle and accidentally crash into someone’s car, you are not covered. Particularly in unfamiliar environments, it is important to have these risks covered; so you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind.
What should you do?
Cheap Travel Insurance policies are usually no good and expensive ones are, well, expensive. What is more important is that you find a policy that is in line with your needs for that specific trip and that offers good value for money. The ones offered by airlines are generally cheap, but upon closer inspection, very expensive for what they actually cover, and they cover less than you think. You would be better off to use an online insurance comparison platform like Insurance Market to help you make personalised, unbiased, unpressured choices based on facts to find the policy best suited to you. The 3 minutes it takes, maybe the best investment you have ever made.