Complex Made Simple

What’s hidden in the fine print of your travel insurance policy?

Before you put your signature on the acknowledgment box of your travel insurance policy, review every specific aspect of the coverage offered

Pre-existing medical conditions are always excluded from standard travel insurance plans Insurers do not entertain any claim for medical emergencies or loss or damage to personal property arising due to engagement in high-risk activities Trip cancellation benefit can only be availed pre-departure in case of death or illness involving you, your travel companion or an immediate family member

The fine print of your travel insurance policy document may not be the most gripping read, but a thorough understanding is essential to minimize the risk of losing some hard-earned cash over a technicality. We elaborate on why reading through the fine print of your travel insurance policy is important to ensure you are adequately protected.

By: Ambareen Musa, Founder & CEO of Souqalmal.com

Before you put your signature on the acknowledgement box of your travel insurance policy document, it is essential that you review every specific aspect of the coverage being offered. While it may be true that the terms and conditions run into several pages and are ambiguously worded and difficult to comprehend, their importance cannot be overemphasized. It may be surprising how an insurer may or may not respect your right to a claim based on what is evidently mentioned in the fine print. 

Souqalmal.com reviews the terms and conditions of a general travel insurance plan to help you understand the actual extent of coverage.

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Medical conditions

Pre-existing medical conditions are always excluded from standard travel insurance plans. Individuals with pre-existing illnesses or ailments can only apply for travel insurance plans with existing medical conditions excluded.

You will also not be covered if you travel against medical advice or are specifically travelling to seek medical care and treatment abroad.

Pregnancy and childbirth

How insurers deal with pregnancy and childbirth can be extremely varied. Travel insurance plans, therefore, always specify their particular policy regarding pregnancy and childbirth. In most cases, cover for pregnancy is provided up until a certain number of weeks before the due date of birth. 

Travelling with a pregnancy-related complication, however, warrants a separate cover. 

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High-risk activities 

Considering the nature of high-risk activities and the danger involved, these are normally excluded from standard travel insurance policies. Insurers do not entertain any claim for medical emergencies or loss or damage to personal property arising due to engagement in high-risk activities. However, for an additional premium, this too can be covered through an optional policy add-on.

Adventure sports or winter sports enthusiasts can opt for a separate hazardous sports cover, which includes most high-risk, winter and extreme sports provided they are performed in suitable surroundings and under professional supervision.

Terrorism

Most travel insurance plans do not cover injuries, damages or even death resulting from acts of terrorism. If you are concerned about terrorism affecting your trip in any way, you can opt for the additional terrorism extension available at a premium. This add-on cover will provide comprehensive cover against acts of terrorism.

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Trip cancellation

Under mainstream travel insurance plans, trip cancellation benefit can only be availed pre-departure in case of death or illness involving you, your travel companion or an immediate family member. Some policies may also extend trip cancellations benefits to situations where you’re left unexpectedly unemployed after issuance of the policy or are required by law to be present in the UAE.

Therefore, if you think the trip cancellation feature will cover your flight and accommodation booking costs for any other reason apart from the ones mentioned above, you’d be disappointed.

Theft or Loss

Damage due to theft or loss is compensated provided it is reported to concerned authorities within 24 hours of the occurrence of the event and proper documentation is obtained.

The insurance company will not approve any claim that is not backed with proper records.

Because each policy is different, it is a good idea to read the fine print since it is a part of the final legal agreement between you and the insurer. It is also recommended that you reach out to the insurance company to seek clarification about the policy features and terms that aren’t clear to you.