Travel Insurance Is Not One-Size-Fits-All |

Many people mistakenly believe that travel insurance comes in just one package – but that is not the case at all. It has become all too easy to visit a comparison website and just pick the cheapest policy that comes up, without looking any deeper. You have travel insurance so you’re covered, right? Well, maybe, but is it the right cover for your needs…

The cheapest policy may not be the best one for you. In order to offer that cheap price the levels of cover may have been cut somewhere, perhaps just where you need it – but you are unlikely to find out until something goes wrong. There may have been an increase in the excess (deductible) – the amount you have to pay towards a claim. Arguably, the most important aspect of travel insurance is for medical expenses, which should include medical repatriation (to transport you home) by air ambulance – especially if you plan to travel to far-flung parts of the world – so always check.

There are many different types of insurance, levels of cover, and options to pick and choose from. There is no point paying for cover that you are unlikely to need so it is worthwhile spending some time to choose the right policy for your needs. The less you spend on boring things like insurance the more you will have left in your holiday budget for the fun things!

Single Trip insurance is the obvious choice for those who plan to take just one trip in a year. Annual Multi-trip insurance is the cost-effective choice for people who travel frequently, or who are unsure of their travel plans but will probably take more than one trip in a year.

Other types of policies include Ski/Snowboard Insurance (winter sports), Backpacker, Seniors, and Motorcycle Travel Insurance. You can build on your policy with added options such as for Business Travel, Golf Holidays and Photographic equipment. Couples planning an overseas wedding will need to make sure they have adequate insurance that includes medical repatriation. A bonus for families is that on many policies children are included completely free of charge!

Backpacker Insurance (also called Long Stay) is designed for younger travellers, especially those travelling ‘light’. There is no point paying for full cover for luggage, valuables and other possessions if you are only taking a basic backpack.

Backpacker insurance is excellent value for money as it typically comes with the basic essential cover all travellers should have: medical expenses, personal liability and legal expenses. Again, there are several levels of cover so you can opt to up the levels a bit for additional cover for things like Cancellation and Curtailment, Personal Accident, Missed Departure, Scheduled Airline Failure, Mugging, Hijack, Catastrophe, and Travel Delay.

Fortunately, most trips go smoothly, and it can be easy to become complacent and think that you can forgo insurance next time. However, that next time may just be the one when something does go wrong and with that insurance policy in your hand you will be relieved to have a Helpline to call and a friendly voice to guide you!

Insurance terminology is never easy for the average person to understand, but it is worthwhile trying to get a basic grasp so that you know what you are getting for your money – and purchase the correct policy. This is just a brief overview of some aspects of travel insurance to illustrate that one size definitely does not fit all!

What Happened to Airline Travel? |

It’s not like it used to be. I am sure that you have heard that about airlines. The pressures of operating a successful and sustainable airline business continue to increase. Here we explore some of the changes and what might be done about it.

Increased Security, rising costs (fuel, staff and other resources), changing loyalty programs – where will it end. Seems like as airplanes are replaced the new ones seem to have less room for the travellers and their luggage. So, the weight limits continue to reduce for both cabin and check-in luggage. The meals are not as good and often we have to pay extra for them, if at all they are available.

Here are a few tips that might help.

Firstly, plan your itinerary including your time at the airport. Give yourself plenty of time by arriving early. Always have your travel documentation ready for presentation at both check-in and security. (This includes your boarding pass, if they allow you to print it)If you have a choice, travel at non-peak times to miss the bulk of the business travellers. Take the opportunity to check-in online (usually up to 48 hours prior to boarding) and you may have a shorter queue at baggage check-in. Choose your own seat. Choosing an aisle seat will also give you a little flexibly during the flight for stretching your legs.

Secondly, choose your flights carefully, and let it be known that you are flexible, particularly if you are considering and upgrade. You can also save money by taking alternate routes – they may take a little longer but you may get better value. Taking this direction means that you are shaping your travel around the airline’s programs.

Thirdly, when traveling on budget airlines, take a snack and purchase a drink at the airport. You will know what you are eating and it will be good! Make sure that your cabin bag (and your check-in bag) comply with the airlines requirements. However, do take the items that make ‘congested flying’ a little more comfortable, like noise-cancelling earphones, eye mask and small pillow.

It is unlikely that the airline will ask you how they can serve you better. During these changing times. It is far better for you to understand that system and take advantage of any gaps. Nevertheless, thorough planning is a great start and a discussion with your travel advisor may also provide a few extra hints. Happy traveling on the new improved airplanes.