Contact Us
Century International Hotels



Planning to travel? Be insured
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Jaser A. Marasigan
Date: 2008-01-11
ravelling is already expensive as it is.

You think about your airfare, accommodations and food. You havenít even left the country and yet, you are already thinking of how to keep as much money in your pocket as possible while on vacation.

Travelling also entails a lot of risks ó accidents, loss of baggage, money or valuables, flight delays and cancellations, or worst, terrorist attacks, sickness or even death during travel.

Regardless of whether your trip is for business, pleasure, or both, a travel insurance has become a necessity these days. Travel agencies are unanimous in saying that the demand for travel insurance has more than doubled since recent terrorist attacks.

Although a comprehensive travel insurance policy can add roughly four to six percent to the cost of your trip, it is still better to have one than having none. Buying a travel insurance reduces the amount of risk involved and the hassle of getting an assistance in cases of emergency.

Mamerth Banatin, president of Adamís Express Travel said that the amount it costs to protect yourself from such things is small compared to the amount you would need to pay if you are not adequately insured.

Explore your options

There are many ways to get insured. Many credit cards offer travel insurance if you pay for a trip on their card. Most travel agencies and airlines will also offer you different insurance options. But are these enough or the best option for your trip and requirements?

The advice of seasoned travelers is to shop around for travel insurance online where you can get the coverage you actually need, at the right price. Donít restrict yourself to buying only from your travel agent.

Randy Allen, a 32-year-old expat who travels in and out of the country, mostly for business, said that one should scout for a good travel insurance and must not feel worried about asking a lot of questions. "After all, you are paying, and you have the right to know exactly what is covered and what is not," he added.

The concept of a travel insurance is very simple. The insured pays a premium or the amount you pay to the travel insurance company. The company in turn pays any costs involved in case of accidents or other types of eventualities. In case there is no eventuality, the travel insurance company keeps the premium. The golden rule is to read the fine print very carefully.

Most travel insurances will offer you coverage for lost luggage, cancellation of travel, and medical expenses.

Banatin said that the medical part of the insurance is definitely the most important. "Medical costs in the US, Middle East and certain parts of Europe are quite expensive so you would want to ensure that you have the highest level of medical coverage in your insurance. On the other hand, if you are travelling somewhere like Thailand, where the costs of medical treatments are among the lowest in the world, then you may be fine with a slightly lower level of coverage, depending on your needs of course," he explained.

Be sure that for each country you are travelling to, you know exactly what you are covered for medically, and how to claim if something does happen to you.

Insurance benefits

Once youíve bought your travel insurance, remember that your insurance policy covers you between certain specific dates, so donít start your trip early or extend your trip without first changing the dates of coverage on your travel insurance policy. And this might cost you extra.

Also, it almost goes without saying that you should bring your travel insurance policy with you when you go abroad. You should also carry your travel insurance companyís hotline and other contact information with you wherever you go.

The most common problem of travellers is lost luggage. When this happens, contact your airline immediately or go to the nearest airline counter and inform them of the loss. Many airlines will compensate you on the spot especially if you need clothes, etc. But the level of compensation usually depends on the class of travel. In case your luggage has gone on a round-the-world-trip without you and the airline cannot locate it, then your insurance company should provide you with a reasonable sum as compensation.

If you are travelling with cameras, video equipment, laptop or any other gadget, check with your insurance company about the level of insurance and compensation for these items if lost or stolen.

If you are planning some "high risk" activities during your trip such as skydiving, bungee jumping, or white-water rafting, scuba diving or surfing, be sure to ask whether these are covered in your travel insurance.

You should also inquire how your insurance covers you in case of a terrorist situation or kidnapping.

Travel insurance should not take the fun out of travelling. While it can be a daunting task choosing the right policy, it will give you a sense of security knowing that you are prepared for any eventuality.

Now if we could just do something about the long lines at the airport.

Indonesia Thailand USA Europe Canada Hong Kong Philippines