Living in the UAE gives rise to many opportunities of which Travelling to a lot of countries becomes possible with ease. As a UAE Resident we gain the possibility of visiting many countries with the benefits of Visa on Arrival. While travelling can be an exciting and fulfilling experience for most, it can also come with unexpected risks and challenges for some. That’s why acquiring reliable travel insurance is essential for anyone who frequently travels.
Travel insurance itself has a lot of options to choose from: single trip for those who are travelling only once in the year, multi-trip for those who travel to the same destination(s) frequently, and annual for those who want to travel at any time worry free and without compromises.
For most, annual travel insurance plans seem to be best as it’s a policy that may offer the widest coverage without having to worry about purchasing a new plan for every trip you embark on. This is best suited to those who frequently travel and have 2 or more trips in the year.
While these options may seem compelling, in this blog post, we’ll explore some key points to consider and remember whenever you renew your annual travel insurance plan. From checking coverage limits to understanding policy exclusions, we’ll provide you with some valuable insights to help you make the most informed decisions and ensure you’re fully protected on your next destination and adventure.
1. List of countries and regions you plan to visit in the coming year:
- Some travel insurance policies may exclude coverage for certain countries or regions due to high-risk factors like political instability or natural disasters.
- Check for an update with the current insurer on this and also be ready to switch insurers while renewing
- Insurance companies often update their policies and travel policies from time to time to cater to the current requirements
- Ensure that the policy you are about to renew or insurer you switch to covers the destinations and activates you are planning for your upcoming trips.
Check for territorial limits:
- Some policies may have territorial limits that restrict coverage to specific countries or regions.
- Make sure you review the policy documents to see if there are any territorial restrictions and whether they align with your travel plans for the year
Consider multi-trip coverage:
- If you plan to visit multiple countries in the coming year, consider a travel insurance policy that provides multi-trip coverage.
- This type of policy typically covers an unlimited number of trips during the policy period, so you can travel to as many countries as you want without worrying about your coverage.
2. Policy Coverage limits:
- Medical coverage is a crucial component of travel insurance, especially if you’re visiting a country with high healthcare costs.
Your policy’s medical coverage should specify the maximum limits for emergency medical expenses, hospitalization, and medical evacuation to ensure that they are adequate to meet your needs in the event of an unexpected medical emergency.
- Trip cancellation coverage: If your travel plans change unexpectedly, trip cancellation coverage can reimburse you for non-refundable trip expenses.
Every travel policy has trip cancellation limits to ensure they are adequate to cover the complete trip or specific covers of the trip, like flight tickets, hotel bookings, excursion costs, etc.
If you’re planning an expensive trip, ensure that the policy’s coverage limits will cover the cost of your trip in the event of a cancellation.
- Baggage and personal belongings coverage: Travel insurance policies may also provide coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage and personal belongings.
3. Coverage for activities like adventure sports and excursions:
- Some travel insurance policies have a list of covered activities and sports. Based on your next trip plans, if you are planning to include any adventure activity, ensure to check your policy for the adventure sports or activities covered.
- If an activity is covered under the policy, beware that there may be exclusions or limitations.
For example, the policy may exclude coverage for injuries sustained while participating in certain extreme sports. Make sure to carefully review the policy’s exclusions and limitations to understand what’s covered and what will not be covered.
- If the policy does not cover an activity you plan to participate in or has limitations that may not fully cover your needs, consider purchasing additional coverage. Some travel insurance providers offer optional coverage for adventure sports and other activities.
- Some adventure sports and activities are associated with a higher level of risk than others. If you plan to participate in any such high-risk activity on your trip, make sure the policy provides adequate coverage for potential injuries or accidents.
- Some adventure sports and activities may also have specific requirements for insurance coverage.
For example, if you plan to scuba dive, the dive operator may require proof of dive accident insurance. This is to ensure that you are fully insured before taking on such an activity and the organiser would not be responsible for any ill event that occurs.
4. 24/7 Emergency assistance and support:
- The insurer you choose must provide 24/7 emergency assistance and support contact details to verify that the provider is available to help you no matter where you are in the world.
- It’s always best to understand and confirm the type of assistance the policy covers such as, medical emergencies, emergency travel arrangements, or other types of assistance.
- Ensure that the assistance you will receive is adequate for your needs and that the assistance provider can help you with the specific kind of emergency you may encounter during your travels.
- Even if the policy offers 24/7 emergency assistance and support, there may be exclusions or limitations.
For example, the policy may not cover pre-existing medical conditions or certain types of emergencies. Make sure to carefully review the policy’s exclusions and limitations to ensure that you are fully covered in case of an emergency.
5. Updates with policy terms and conditions:
- Review the policy renewal documentation carefully to understand the terms and conditions and coverage benefits.
Make sure to pay attention to any changes from the previous policy year.
- Contact your insurance provider to check if there have been any updates or changes to the policy’s terms and conditions or coverage benefits.
- Understand the changes, if any: If there have been changes to the policy’s terms and conditions or coverage benefits, make sure to fully understand them. Ask your insurance advisor to explain any changes that are unclear or confusing.
- Determine the impact of the changes on your coverage needs. If the changes affect coverage for specific countries or activities, for example, make sure that you have adequate coverage for your planned travels.
- Consider alternatives: If the changes to the renewal policy’s terms and conditions or coverage benefits are significant and do not meet your needs, consider shopping around for alternative travel insurance options that provide better coverage.
6. Shop around or compare policies online:
- Coverage: Check if the policy provides adequate coverage for the types of risks and activities that you plan to undertake during your trip.
For example, if you plan to go skiing, make sure the policy covers winter sports.
- Exclusions: Look for exclusions in the policy to understand what is not covered. Some policies may exclude pre-existing medical conditions or certain high-risk activities.
- Limits and sub-limits: Check the policy limits and sub-limits for various benefits that are offered. Most common benefits are such as emergency medical expenses, trip cancellation, baggage loss, and personal liability. Make sure the limits are sufficient for your needs.