Get travel insurance for a stress-free holiday

Rumi M Sanjana, director of general insurance at Nexus, on why it is necessary precaution to protect you and your loved ones from mishaps, lost luggage and theft.
If you are keen on playing sports while on holiday, it is vital that you include sports coverage in your travel insurance . istockphoto.com
If you are keen on playing sports while on holiday, it is vital that you include sports coverage in your travel insurance . istockphoto.com

You'd be surprised by the number of people who fail to take out travel insurance before going on holiday simply because they see it as an inconvenient cost. But, Rumi M Sanjana, the director of general insurance at Nexus, says it is a necessary precaution to protect you and your loved ones from mishaps, lost luggage and theft - all of which can ruin your trip.

1 Don't be complacent

Dismissing travel insurance as an inconvenient additional cost to your travel budget can be a huge mistake. Regardless of geographic location, a holiday can be full of unforeseen risks and you need to be adequately prepared.

2 Plan ahead

Naturally, the last thing you want to think about is all the things that can go wrong, but it is far better to plan methodically before you take off and forget about work than scramble around, attempting to adapt to language issues and unfamiliar processes should a problem arise in a foreign country.

3 Choose wisely

While purchasing travel insurance may sound relatively straightforward, it could, in fact, turn into a somewhat overwhelming exercise. Today's market is overflowing with options and offers, so the first thing to bear in mind is that the cheapest option is not always the best one to adopt.

4 Ask plenty of questions

Consider your personal situation and the activities you are likely to enjoy. What areas of the holiday do you definitely need coverage for? Is it worth paying to get compensation if your flight is delayed or your baggage or passport is lost? If you have your credit card stolen, will you have funds for the rest of the holiday? What if you get injured while taking part in thrill-seeking activities such as rock climbing, waterskiing or trekking along a route infested with potentially poisonous creepy crawlies? Even a seemingly pedestrian sport such as golf has its risks - for example, recent studies suggest that one in every two golfers suffers a lower back injury at some point.

5 Get some help and be honest

While it is possible to get insurance through your travel agent, you need to make sure you obtain a cover that is appropriate for you.

To this end, it may be a good idea to talk to an independent financial adviser about the available options and narrow them down. Bring your itinerary and provide a full explanation of what you are planning to get up to. Don't withhold any details, no matter how trivial you may think they are. This is particularly important when it comes to any pre-existing medical conditions or medication you are taking, as this may invalidate your policy. Be aware that there are often additional charges if you plan on getting sporty and many insurances offer a sports package, which may well be worth taking out. A few insurers also provide for the cost of an economy air ticket in the event of premature return following the death of a close relative.

6 Be aware of the costs

The cost of a travel insurance policy will vary depending on how extensive you want the cover to be. The cost for a standard policy providing cover for medical expenses, some travel inconvenience financials (such as interruption in travel services, delay in departure with money invested in non-refundable prepayments), and other losses incurred while travelling, will generally depend on your age, geographical area of travel and the number of travel days selected. It would be both prudent and useful to have two or three comparative costs from insurers but this should, of course, be viewed in conjunction with getting the desired breadth of coverage.

pf@thenational.ae

Published: July 7, 2012 04:00 AM

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