With everything online and at your fingertips these days, arranging a trip overseas has never been easier nor more exciting. The world’s holiday hotspots are literally a click away, from chic city breaks to sophisticated shopping, desert destinations and beautiful beaches, there’s something and somewhere for every person and every budget. Small wonder then that millions use the internet to book their great escape, and to purchase that all-important travel insurance to make their trip worry-free. But is it all as easy as it sounds? And are there certain things to look out for before you click to commit to that travel insurance purchase?
In this blog, we’ll explore some top tips for buying cover confidently online.
First Things First: You Need To Know What You Need
The first thing is to decide where you’re going and what you’ll be doing. The key to buying the right insurance for you is knowing what you need, so this step is the most important one. It’s a good idea to:
- Decide on your dates of travel and duration of the trip. This governs when to start and end your insurance, and how long the policy should run for. Insurers sell cover in blocks of days so it’s important to get this right so you pay for what you need. It’s also important to get this right so that cover is operative exactly when you need it. You don’t want to be left lacking by a day or two either at the beginning or the end of the trip!
- Although you’re booking a particular trip for a particular time, take some time out to consider whether you’re likely to travel again during the course of the year. If you’re planning to travel more than once in a 12 month period, you might want to consider an annual travel insurance, or multi-trip policy , which can work out more cost-effective in the long run.
- Research your chosen destination thoroughly. Take into account information such as typical temperatures, climate, any known issues with regards viruses etc that you might have to get vaccinations for. Also, are there any regulations with regards to compulsory covers? Do you have to have a set limit of medical insurance, for example? It’s wise to check this to ensure your cover is fully compliant.
- Make a rough plan of what you’ll be doing when you’re there. If you plan to just laze on a sun-lounger or shop til you drop, this is very different to speeding down a ski-slope or splashing through the waves on a jet-ski. Not all insurance policies cover activities, especially those that are considered hazardous, so be clear in your plans from the beginning rather than face nasty surprises later.
- Check any existing insurances you already have. Some people don’t realise this, but if you have a Home Insurance policy with a Contents or Personal Possessions section, items such as cameras, watches, mobile phones, laptops, etc may be covered up to a specified limit whilst away from the home. This can run in parallel with any cover provided under a Travel Insurance policy, so be sure to check what cover you have in place already elsewhere that could contribute in the event of a claim for loss of or damage to any of your items.
Step Two: Do Your Homework & Research Online
With so many insurance providers in the Travel Insurance market, you’re spoilt for choice! However, not all providers and products they offer will be right for you, so armed with your ready-prepared lists of needs from step one, you can start to do your research and narrow down your options.
It’s advisable to consider:
- What type of policies are available (Single Trip: providing cover for a single trip with a defined start and end date or Multi-Trip/Annual: providing cover for multiple trips in any one year, this is an annual policy based on a rolling 12-month period)
- What restrictions in cover apply (to ensure you’re covered for all of your plans)
- Any excesses that may apply (this is the level of contribution you need to make towards any claim you make under the policy)
Third Step Lucky: Select And Purchase Your Policy Online
Once you’ve researched all the options available, you can make a decision as to which provider and what product suits you best. You can now proceed to buy travel insurance online, but before you do, a couple of tips during the purchasing process:
- Have notes beside you of exactly what you need so you can ensure you have ticked all the correct boxes and selected all the correct covers before hitting the final button!
- Screenshot each stage of your transaction so you have a record of what you purchased prior to completion. That way you always have a separate independent record of what was entered in the system without having to rely on the policy documentation alone as the final outcome.
- Have your payment card and mobile phone next to you ready to make the premium payment: a lot of sites use OTP’s (one time passwords) which are delivered to your phone and time-bound, so you don’t want to time-out during the check-out process!
So, now you should be all set to prepare your plans for that next trip overseas and start surfing online for that that all-important travel insurance!