“Do I need travel insurance?” may be a question you ask yourself every time before you go on holiday. The answer to this question should always be a resounding yes, as having the right travel insurance policy will ensure that you are protected should anything go wrong when you’re in a foreign country. Despite this fact, recent interviews of 528 Hong Kong travellers revealed that only 71 percent of respondents had travel insurance. Of the 71 percent, 20 percent of HK travellers said that they experienced having their claims rejected because they did not properly study what was covered in their travel policy. Read on to find out how you can ensure that the plan you buy offers sufficient coverage for your travel needs.
What does travel insurance cover?
If you’ve ever searched for travel plans online, you’ll know that there are seemingly endless plans on the market. While every plan is different, generally speaking travel insurance policies cover the following:
- Medical emergencies
- Sickness or injury incurred overseas
- Emergency medical evacuation (i.e. transport to the nearest adequate medical facility available)
- Emergency repatriation (i.e. costs to travel back to Hong Kong when a traveller has sustained a serious injury or illness)
- Repatriation of remains (i.e. if a policyholder dies overseas, the costs of transporting their body back to HK will be covered)
- Lost baggage/ baggage delay
- Delayed or cancelled flights
One thing to be aware of here is that coverage limits vary, and cheaper plans will usually have much lower limits than more comprehensive plans. However, travellers often make the mistake of choosing a plan based on price alone, and end up buying a cheap but very basic plan with barely any coverage.
Things to watch out for before you buy travel insurance
As there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all insurance plan, the right travel insurance for you might not necessarily be the right plan for somebody else. To help, we’ve highlighted the following 4 things to watch out for before buying a travel plan in Hong Kong:
Read the fine print
While it can be tedious to read the terms and conditions of insurance policies, it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to read the fine print so that you are aware of what a plan covers and doesn’t cover before buying. By doing so, you’ll have a better idea of whether the plan is right for your travel needs. For instance, if you’re going on holiday to participate in extreme sports (e.g. scuba diving in Thailand), you’ll want to double check that the travel insurance you buy covers your sport; additionally, you may also want to consider plans that cover sports equipment damages.
Are “high risk activities” covered?
According to research carried out by the Democratic Alliance for Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), the HK travel insurance industry has improved its high-risk activity cover since the need for such cover was publicized after nine Hong Kong tourists died in a hot balloon accident in Egypt. Examining six single-trip travel insurance plans offered in Hong Kong, the DAB found that all of them cover “high risk” sport activities like diving, rock climbing and skydiving. However, their research also found that not all plans offer terrorism cover, with some plans only covering delays and flight changes resulting from such attacks but not injuries sustained from terrorist events. As such, these are also important coverage elements that you may want to look out for.
Most plans will have time limits
Most plans will have a limit on the maximum trip duration covered. Some insurers will cap this at one month while others will offer up to 3 months of travel insurance coverage. If you’re going away on a long holiday, this is also something you should watch out for.
Buying online from a trusted broker or insurer
There are many advantages to buying travel insurance online. You can get immediate quotes, compare your options, download key policy information, and use your credit card to purchase your travel plan within minutes. To learn more, or purchase single trip or annual travel insurance today, be sure to visit our travel plan page here, or contact our helpful advisors for more information.