1) Why is travel insurance a necessity? What are the benefits of travel insurance (generally)?
Like any other insurance products, travel insurance is purchased to provide protection against travel-related accidents, losses or interruption. The cover is usually limited to the period of travel, however, some insurance companies may offer various combinations of protection to cater to the specific needs of customers, including long-term annual policies if the person is a frequent traveller. In Malaysia, travel insurance is a global and an affordable type of insurance, which can easily be purchased from an insurance company or its agent or simply on line. PIAM would however like to advise members of the public to purchase the right type of travel insurance policy which meets their specific need. Travel insurance provides a peace of mind that if things go wrong, there will be recourse and financial protection against any inconveniences.
2) What does it cover (hijacking, crash etc.)?
PIAM would like to remind members of the public that travel insurance policies may share common features, but there can be differences in the scope of coverage and the claims payment are subjected to a cap. So, it is important to always read the fine print.
Here are some of the common features and exclusions:
- Personal Accident: Compensation is paid in the event of death and permanent total disablement due to an accident. The compensation is paid based on a scale of benefits and may differ from one insurance company to another.
- Emergency Medical Evacuation/Transportation: Coverage for hospitalization, hospital or surgical expenses, outpatient medical expenses, as well as daily allowances up to a maximum number of days, should the insured person be hospitalized for more than 24 hours.
- Trip Delay: This benefit provides reimbursement for the expenses you incur if your flight or voyage is delayed for reasons beyond your control for a specified number of hours as specified in the policy.
- Loss of Luggage & Personal Effects and Money: This benefit covers loss, damage or delay of your baggage, clothing, personal effects and money caused by a carrier. There are usually limits to the claims payable for such losses and these are always specified in the policy.
- Travel Documents: In the event of theft or accidental destruction of passport and/or travel tickets, the insured will be reimbursed the replacement cost and the additional accommodation and travel expenses incurred while you are waiting for replacements. The insured person must report the loss to the police within 24 hours.
- Loss of Travel Deposit or curtailment of journey– the insured person will be reimbursed for expenses incurred due to loss of travel or accommodation expenses paid due to cancellation or curtailment of the journey because of unexpected events such as death hospitalization of a family member.
- Personal Liability – should the insured cause accidental bodily injury to a third party or loss or damage to the property of a third party, the insurer will indemnify the insured for the legal liability.
- Repatriation: In case of death of the insured person, reimbursement will be made for the cost of transporting the remains home.
- Hijacking: Your insurance will provide cover for death or bodily injury directly or indirectly caused by hijacking.
Some common exclusions include:
- War risks
- Suicide and insanity
- Provoked murder or assault
- Childbirth or miscarriage
- Hazardous sports
3) Is death/injury covered by any other policy (i.e. life or medical policies etc.) if it occurs while you are travelling/on holiday?
Please refer to response below for this question.
4) If someone buys travel insurance on top of the life and medical policies, will the reimbursements be less (because of an overlap in claims)?
A travel policy or a life policy are essentially a benefits policy. This means that these policies will pay you up to the benefits/limits allowed/purchased under the travel/life policy. For example, your travel insurance will respond to your claim if, for example, death or permanent total disablement occurs due to an accident whilst you are travelling overseas, subject to the limits allowed under the travel policy. Should death occur, your nominee can also make a claim under the life policy you have purchased.
A medical insurance policy is however paid on an indemnity/reimbursement basis, meaning the insured will only get paid for what he has actually incurred and nothing more. We also wish to highlight that the majority of the medical policies have a standard scope in terms of the territorial areas covered for the treatment of your illness/sickness i.e. the treatment is limited to hospitals located in Malaysia only. Therefore one needs to check if your insurer has extended the scope for treatment needed for your illness/sickness in an overseas country other than Malaysia.
5)How many of PIAM’s members offer travel insurance?
The majority of insurance companies do offer this product and interested customers can visit PIAM’s website for the list of PIAM member companies at www.piam.org.my .