Travelling overseas is an exciting prospect for anyone, but it can also be filled with the unexpected.
One such unfortunate event involved the late Nur Haslinda Abdullah, a young Sarawakian who travelled to South Korea to work. She suffered respiratory issues a few months into her journey, passing away suddenly on December 25th 2023.
Her family then struggled to bring her remains home, as it costs as much as RM50,000 to complete the deed. However, with donations from kind Malaysians and help from the Minister of Women, Family & Community Development, that amount was soon raised.
This story illustrates why travel insurance is so important.
In the case illustrated above, adequate insurance coverage would have eased the deceased's family's financial burden in bringing her home.
Here, we attempt to answer some common questions about travel insurance, including what to look out for when buying travel insurance and why you need travel insurance. With this information, we hope that you can make more informed decisions to protect yourself when travelling.
🔎Common Travel Insurance Questions and Answers
When considering which travel insurance to purchase, it is pertinent to do some research in order to compare coverage and prices. This will allow you to better meet your specific travel needs.
1. How Does Travel Insurance Work? 💁
Once you’ve booked your flights, you’re advised to buy a travel insurance policy. These policies will reimburse you for selected untoward or unexpected incidences that can occur during your travels. These include losing your luggage, needing medical attention, accidents, missing your flight and more.
You can file a claim with the insurance after the incident. The insurance provider will then process your claim and reimburse you the amount stated in the policy upon approval.
2. How much does travel insurance cost?💸
Travel insurance plans are relatively affordable. Costs often vary according to your destination, the number of people covered, what the travel insurance covers and the quantum of claims you can make under various circumstances. Additionally, policies that cover a longer period of travel tend to cost more.
In general, individual travel insurance plans can be as affordable as RM20, but can go up to RM250 per person for coverage lasting less than 30 days. How much
Group travel insurance plans, sometimes called family travel insurance, can range anywhere from RM80 to RM250 for policies lasting less than 2 weeks. These plans cover two adult parents and up to 8 children under the age of 21 (or older in some policies).
3. Is travel insurance worth it?😎
Seeing how affordable travel insurance is, buying a policy to cover yourself and your loved ones is definitely worth the price.
The average claim you can make far outweighs the cost. If your travel plans fall through due to natural or man-made causes, your insurance claims will be able to cover any material costs and losses.
For example, most travel insurance policies offer between RM250,000 to RM500,000 limits for medical expenses. Some policies even offer unlimited claims when it comes to medical emergencies overseas.
Yet another example involves lost baggage claim limits, which range from RM5000 to RM10,000. These will most likely cover the losses you experience, and is worth many times the premium you paid.
4. Is travel insurance and international health insurance the same? 🤒
The short answer is no, they’re not the same.
International health insurance is designed for individuals who plan to pursue medical treatment overseas. This includes the costs for consultation, medication, check-ups and hospital admissions. Usually, this type of policy is meant for patients facing chronic illnesses.
Travel insurance, on the other hand, is designed specifically for holidaymakers. It covers a lot more than just medical expenses or accidents. Among the conditions you can claim for include lost luggage, cancelled or delayed flights, robberies, loss of personal identification and natural disasters.
5. What Happens To The Travel Insurance if My Trip is Cancelled?😱
Usually, you are allowed to cancel travel insurance policies within what is known as the ‘review period’.
This varies from one insurance provider to the next. Some providers allow you to cancel with or without a refund as long as you have not departed for your holiday. Others stipulate a review period of two weeks from the time of your policy purchase, as long as you have not departed on your trip.
Still others stipulate that cancellations can be done at any time, except within a few days of your planned departure.
6. Can I Buy Travel Insurance after Departure?✈️
Yes, it is possible to buy post-departure travel policies. However, these types of policies are rare and not many providers offer them. In other words, they are difficult to find and have limited coverage.
Most insurance brands usually allow purchase of travel insurance until the day before you’re set to depart. Of course, it is best to purchase travel insurance at the same time or immediately after you’ve made a flight booking.
7. How Long Will My Travel Insurance Last? 📆
A single trip travel policy can last for up to 180 days in some cases. However, more commonly, insurance providers offer them in blocks of days, such as 1-7 days, 8-14 days, 15 to 21 days and so on.
Shorter policies usually cost less compared to packages that last longer. Therefore, it is easier to buy travel insurance after you have finalised your departure and arrival dates, as this will influence the cost of the policy.
8. Are There Countries Where Travel Insurance is Mandatory?🌎
Belize is one such country, where all visitors have to buy health insurance of the country’s government, known as the Belize Travel Health Insurance.
Other examples include Ecuador, The UAE, Qatar, Jordan and the Schengen countries.
9. What Does Travel Insurance Cover?👨✈️
This depends on the policy you’re purchasing. Generally, all insurance plans will cover the basics like lost luggage, trip cancellations, delays, accidents and medical expenses. Basically, these are what you should look for in your travel insurance.
Some offer added coverage for natural disasters, crimes, lost passports and transportation home if you’ve lost your belongings.
For most policies, you will have to make a claim after covering these expenditures on your own. However, some providers offer policies where you can call a hotline during emergencies, and either financial or other forms of support can be channeled to you as soon as possible.
It is important to also note what your travel insurance does not cover. In most cases, any pre-existing medical conditions cannot be claimed for.
10. Can My Travel Insurance Policy be Extended?✍️
There are only 2 conditions under which you may extend your travel insurance policy. The first is before your departure, whereby you may contact your insurance provider and explain that there have been changes in your travel plans.
For post departure situations, the policy can only be extended in emergency situations, such as accidents that require prolonged treatment in the hospital, or a sudden natural disaster that prevents your return
✈️Travel Insurance: The Earlier The Better
When planning a trip, the best time to buy your travel insurance is as soon as you’ve booked your flights. Finding the best travel insurance involves making comparisons, and the perfect place to do that is right here at CompareHero’s travel insurance page.
Some travel insurance policies also come as part of credit cards. Travel credit cards are a great way to collect rewards, cashback and other benefits as you traverse the globe.
Alternatively, you can contact us to find out how to buy travel insurance, the travel insurance policies available and let us help you find the one most suited to your travels.u