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Planning your holiday can be stressful yet exciting. It is all about getting the best deals on flights and accommodation and also coming up with an itinerary that lets you see just about everything. But, what about insurance? 

When traveling, travel insurance should be a foregone conclusion, yet most of us think we can do without it. What’s the worst that can happen, right? Well, a lot. 

Kevin Lim, Head of Personal Business for Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad explains “Malaysians habitually hold on to the notion that a travel policy covers everything under the sun. A travel insurance policy does not work that way. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all policy. So put an equal effort when shopping around for travel insurance as you would while planning your trip.”

When buying travel insurance, consider the following rules: 

No1: Know what you’re covered for
Understand and compare the benefits. A standard travel insurance policy would offer coverage for Death and Permanent Disablement due to Accident, Medical Expenses, Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation, and Travel Delay and Luggage Delay. For overseas travel, make sure the benefits include Travel Curtailment, Personal Luggage, and Missed Travel Connection and others.

No.2 Customise your travel insurance
Whether you are planning a cuti-cuti Malaysia or an adventure trip to New Zealand, always remember to customise your travel insurance to fit your travel plans. That means, if you are planning to do white water rafting in New Zealand, make sure you get an optional rider that covers water sports or extreme sports. Besides that, medical assistance at remote locations may be hard to come by or prove costly.  

No.3 Read the fine print
Take a keen interest in the policy and what it covers and for heaven’s sake, do not just focus on the sum insured. And always, always read the fine print. If you are too busy to read the policy booklet, go online and look up for the policy on the insurer’s website use your keyboard shortcut, press Ctrl+F, and look for keywords such as 'compensate' and 'reimburse' to fully understand the coverage your policy offers. Look for the asterisks too.

“On a whole, what we lack is awareness and mindfulness. Most people save on buying travel insurance because they believe that; it won’t happen to me. False sense of security will get you in trouble because your health and wellbeing may seem cost-free, but it does come at a price,” said Kevin.

“Travel insurance can complement your health insurance cover whilst abroad. People tend to overlook the fact that when you are abroad, exchange rates come into play. So if you are involved in an unfortunate accident or taken by illness, the cost of treatment or admission in a hospital is multiplied. The question you should ask yourself is; can you afford it? That is why it is important to have travel insurance that works for you.”

So, with travel being more affordable and accessible than ever, whether you are traveling locally or overseas, never take your holidays for granted. 

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