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Insurance needs when travelling abroad

Many of you had great Chinese New Year holidays travelling around and enjoying winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. If you are now planning your Easter holiday, it’s important to ensure that the travel insurance you choose provides you with adequate protection for every aspect of your trip.

Most travel insurance policies available in the market provide coverage for dangerous sports. Customers should take out a travel insurance policy which provides this type of cover if they plan to participate in dangerous sports during their trip. Customers are also advised to take note if there are conditions governing dangerous sports, such as altitude limitations for skiing and depth restrictions for diving.

While they are away enjoying their trip, many customers may overlook the protection of their homes. Leaving their homes unoccupied for long periods poses not only an increased risk of burglary, but also increased likelihood of damage due to flooding, fire, etc. Such catastrophes may not only result in customers suffering loss or damage to their own property, but also to their neighbours’ properties. Because it is often difficult to estimate the legal claims and liabilities that may arise from such occurrences, some travel insurance may not extend coverage to home contents during travel periods. Customers are therefore encouraged to take out home insurance to better protect themselves during their absence.

Generally speaking, most home insurance policies stipulate the amount of time the insured premises can be left unoccupied. Customers must therefore inform their insurance company in writing to request an extension of coverage beyond that specified in the terms. It is assumed that when accidents such as flooding or fire occur, loss is usually minimised when the home is occupied. Similarly, the risk of theft and robbery is lower when the home is occupied compared to periods when it is left vacant for long periods of time. The duration of the stipulated unoccupied allowance varies from insurer to insurer and may range from 14 to 30 days.

If customers really need to stay away from home for an extended period, they may confer with their insurance company about measures to minimise risk. For example, customers may ask friends or relatives to help check on the insured premises on a regular basis, with these friends and relatives registering at the management office every time they do so. Therefore, even in the worst case scenario when an accident does occur, customers can file a claim along with the record of their friends'/relatives' visits, to prove that the insured premises were not left empty the entire time. This supplementary information will help the insurance company determine appropriate compensation.

Learn more about travel insurance plans.