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Tourism

Five ways you can save on travel insurance – if you need it at all

It’s not only important to know how to get the right policy, you also need to think about when travel insurance is a good idea – and when you may not need a policy at all

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 November, 2017, 7:16am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 November, 2017, 7:10pm

While travel insurance can be pricey, buying a policy is the best way to ensure you don’t lose money when a trip is cancelled or interrupted.

Plans vary from carrier to carrier, but most offer coverage that kicks in if weather, illness or unforeseen events interrupt your travel plans or ruin them in some way.

If you’re looking for ways to save on this important coverage, it’s important to know what to look for in a policy. It’s also crucial to know when travel insurance is a smart idea and when you may not even need a policy. Consider these tips before you take steps to insure your next trip.

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1. Use credit card coverage

Before you buy certain types of travel insurance, you might want to see if your credit card offers any coverage for free. Many rewards cards offer trip cancellation/interruption insurance, primary car rental coverage and baggage delay coverage (among other types of insurance) as a cardholder perk.

If your card offers these benefits free of charge, there’s no reason to pay for them. Make sure to read the terms and conditions to see what coverage, if any, is offered free of charge and if levels are adequate for your needs.

2. Shop around

While you can typically tack on travel insurance when you buy a plane ticket, a hotel stay or a travel package, these add-on policies aren’t always the best deal. Keep in mind that you can buy your own travel insurance policy from a company such as Allianz Travel Insurance or World Nomads.

Buying your own policy lets you tailor your coverage to your exact needs. Just make sure you’re getting the best price by shopping around.

3. Buy an annual policy

While you can buy tailored travel insurance policies that cover the intricacies of individual trips, you can also by annual travel insurance policies. If you travel a lot, these policies are generally a good deal and a lot less expensive than buying travel insurance for each holiday you take.

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4. Know which trips need to be insured

If you’re going on a trip that is refundable – meaning you’ll get your money back if you cancel – then you don’t need to buy travel insurance in the first place. Keep in mind that some hotel bookings and even flights are refundable, making the value of travel insurance negligible at best.

5. Only buy coverage you need

Last but not least, make sure you’re only buying travel insurance to cover the components of your trip that need coverage. If you’re not renting a car, for example, you won’t need car rental coverage. You don’t need costly international travel insurance coverage if you’re taking a domestic trip.

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By tailoring your travel insurance policy to your needs and taking advantage of free coverage offered through your credit card, you can avoid overpaying for travel insurance and save money on the total cost of your trip.