While going on business trips, holidays and leisure trips, whether it’s just you, your family or in a group, it is advisable to take out a travel insurance policy that covers you in the event of anything going wrong whilst you are away.
If you travel often, it may be cheaper to opt for a multiple annual policy which covers unlimited number of trips per year rather than a single policy that covers single trips only.
You can also cover your spouse, family or a group of people on the same policy. You need not wait till some few days before your trip to take out a policy, as it may cost you dearly to do so – you may miss out on cancellation cover or delays in the countdown to your travel dates.
You can get a quote now, and choose a date in the future that you want your policy to commence, but not later than your travel start date. Cancellation cover starts from the day you purchase the policy for single plan, whereas for multiple plan, your policy will not start until its start date.
You might want to check again to ensure your policy covers the length of time you’ll be away, as your policy may become invalid if it runs out mid-way during your trip.
Length of cover restrictions
Some policies have length of cover per trip restrictions. For example, you may not be eligible for claim if your trip lasts for more than 30 days per trip. Please check the small prints if this restriction applies to you.
Extras & Options
You may need to add extras and options to top up your policy if your need is not covered under the standard terms. Activities that are high risk e.g. skiing, snowboarding, sports etc. tend to require extra cover, or premium price. Confirm with your provider if this cover can be added to your standard travel insurance.
Most travel insurance policies in Nigeria offer local and international travel cover. Travel within Nigeria is local travel, and international travel covers Schengen area, locations for pilgrimage and other parts of the world. Check with your provider if you would require special cover at certain locations.
Note that some locations are more high risk than others. Consider all the places you think you may travel to in the duration of the policy.
Stay Safe within Reason
You should not deliberately take risks simply because you know that you have a policy in place. If you miss a flight due to your own fault for instance, you may not be refunded.
What do you need to cover?
There is standard cover that comes with a travel insurance policy i.e. medical cover, lost luggage, delay or cancellation of your flights. However, there are instances in which you may need to top up your policy e.g. cover for pre-existing medical conditions.
Never assume your other travel activities are covered as standard under the policy, check your policy terms and conditions to ensure your travel is duly covered. Also, review the amount or value you are covered for, as your premium and pay-out is dependent on the value of your cover.
Delays and Flight Cancellations
If you experience a delayed or cancelled flight, your airline should in the first instance secure a seat for you on the next available flight, or pay you a refund.
They are generally not obliged to pay for your flight on a different carrier. In case of cancellation, your feeding, accommodation and other basic needs should be catered for by the airline.
There are instances where delays or cancellations are due to natural disaster or events beyond your carrier’s control. In this case, you may not be entitled to any compensation, but some airlines may still offer to provide some basic needs.
Your claims from your travel insurance provider kicks in if you are delayed over a long period of time, the length of which may vary according to the terms of each provider.
Why you should compare
Traditionally, most people buy insurance directly from agents, brokers or from the providers. More recently though, you are better off getting quotes and comparing prices and terms from different providers, thereby increasing your chances of getting a better deal every time!
Check for value
Ensure you take a holistic view of available policies, as the cheapest or most familiar deal may simply not suit your needs; try to review the cover type, the extras and options, the provider and other terms and conditions.
Also ensure that you can make a claim when you need to, review the type, price, value, and level of cover; and be as honest as you can because any incorrect or misleading information given in the process may invalidate your policy, leaving you with nothing.