Do not forget the travel insurance, even if you are just going on a city break to a well-functioning neighboring country! You probably know yourself horror stories about vacationers who run into problems on the trip, both in terms of health and money. Insurance is “a must”! Here are the tips you need to choose the right solution.
Read the terms carefully before you buy travel insurance
The basic elements of a travel insurance policy are usually the same, no matter which company you choose. The offers are still different when you look more closely at the details. For example, you may experience variation in the maximum amount of compensation for lost luggage, payment in the event of an accident, or the like. There are also other differences that may be important to you, such as whether lost travel days are compensated financially.
We recommend that you obtain several insurance offers, and read the terms of each one carefully. Your travel habits, the value of what you take with you, your health and so on, will affect which insurance is best suited. Look at the price up against what is covered and what you need.
Our guide shows you what is common to include in the insurance. Also read our tips on how to get more travel insurance for your money.
Coverage in case of illness
You will be reimbursed for expenses resulting from acute illness or accidental injuries that require medical treatment, as well as in the event of death. Here, most companies offer unlimited compensation. Some include an urgent need for dental services. You can also receive compensation for extra expenses you receive if your travel companion becomes ill or injured.
For the employed, it is important to check that the insurance covers the loss of vacation days in the event of illness or accident. Remember that lost vacation days require a doctor to order you to keep the bed. A little cough is not enough.
Return due to illness
The insurance normally covers expenses for extraordinary travel home if it is medically necessary. In severe cases, this can mean own ambulance aircraft. For less serious cases, where scheduled flights are normally used, expenses for the necessary companion, such as a family member who picks you up, or expenses for your travel companion may also be covered. Home transport in the event of death is also included.
You will also be reimbursed for travel expenses in the event of a serious illness, accident or death that affects a family member at home.
Accidental injury while traveling
Accidents that lead to disability or death are usually covered by relatively low compensation amounts. Such conditions should in principle be covered through a separate personal insurance, and this part of a travel insurance is really only a supplement.
Note that insurance companies often have an age limit of 70 years for accident insurance. However, any treatment costs are covered, but here the amount of compensation is often low.
Damage to luggage, theft or loss
Most travel insurance cases involve the loss of luggage, either in the event of damage or theft. The compensation amounts are often too low in relation to the value of what you have with you. There are relatively strict rules for how you take care of your luggage yourself. Insecure storage of valuables, for example, is a typical case where you may not receive compensation, or the compensation is reduced. The insurance companies provide information on how it is assumed that you take care of your belongings. You will also be covered for loss of money up to certain sums.
Consider getting valuables insurance for particularly expensive items such as cell phones, SLR cameras and laptops. Another option is to increase the compensation amounts in the travel insurance by paying a supplement.
Delayed or lost luggage
Fortunately, this does not happen very often, but airlines may mess up your luggage. If the suitcase arrives late at the destination, the travel insurance will cover the purchase of necessities (clothes, toiletries, etc.). The amount limit here is normally around 5,000 kroner. If you are really unlucky and your luggage never comes in handy, you will receive significantly more in compensation.
You often choose the compensation amount yourself when you sign the insurance contract, but a normal rent is approximately 80,000 kroner (200,000 kroner for whole families).
Coverage during evacuation
This point is almost irrelevant to most people. You will hardly have to be evacuated from a city break in Europe, or in connection with a package trip to Gran Canaria. If you travel to more exotic areas, the situation is different in rare cases. As a rule, the requirement is that the evacuation is implemented by either local authorities or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here at home. Loss of vacation days up to varying amount limits is normally included.
Liability insurance and legal aid
The liability insurance covers any liability you incur if you cause damage to other people or property. The insurance also includes expenses for any necessary legal assistance. Both points are only relevant outside the Nordic countries.
Compensation in case of delay
You will be covered for so-called collection of itineraries in the event of a delay, usually up to NOK 25,000. An example is if you do not reach a flight change due to weather conditions, accidents, emergency landings, technical faults on the means of transport, and the like. Note that the insurance companies set requirements for how long you must have at least between switching flights, often 1.5 – 2 hours.
Acute illness, accidents and death are considered the basis for coverage in the event of cancellation. The insurance applies to yourself who is going to travel, family members, or the person you are traveling with as long as the party is not more than two people. It is also normal for the cancellation insurance to apply if damage occurs to your home which means that you cannot travel away.
When does the travel insurance apply?
All travel insurances have a limited duration. Single trips are usually limited to about ten weeks. In other words, having full-year insurance means that you are not covered for travel for 365 days. If the trip has a longer duration, you must extend the period in exchange for paying a supplement.
Travel insurance does not only apply to trips abroad, but normally wherever you go, also when you go to the convenience store or to the cabin. Exceptions here are for accidents and injuries that occur at home, at your workplace, at school or in the kindergarten of your children. However, a few insurance companies require you to stay at least 24 hours in order for short trips in your home country to be covered as well.
Additional insurance is often required here
Here are some typical examples of activities or conditions that may require additions or extensions to your travel insurance. If you are in doubt about whether your holiday plans meet the requirements, ask the insurance company.
Travel to conflict areas. The insurance companies follow the Foreign Ministry’s travel advice on this point.
Risky activities on the trip, such as rock climbing, martial arts and air sports. Ask the insurance company if you are in doubt.
“Children” over the age of 20 are usually not covered by travel insurance for families (sign a separate agreement).
Cancellation or travel sickness insurance usually does not apply to ailments during pregnancy.
Take care of the evidence
It is important to be able to document all expenses you apply for compensation for with a receipt. If you are exposed to theft, you must document that the matter has been reported to the local police. The same applies to receipts for medical assistance, medicines and the like. The more documentation you have, the better. Also use the camera in the mobile phone to document the relationship if it is appropriate.
You may also want to document what you have in your luggage, especially the most expensive items. Make a video of the contents of the suitcase and keep receipts. Remember to leave this at home. A video on the phone that is stolen does not help you much.
Some useful tips
You can insure yourself extra and for free by paying for at least 50% of the trip with some credit cards. The insurance also applies in the event of cancellation, as well as for a certain number of fellow travelers. Familiarize yourself with the terms here as well.
Remember that travel insurance is limited to a certain number of travel days. Take out additional insurance if the trip is to last longer. This also applies to those with year-round travel insurance.
If you are renting a car during the trip, you should consider having insurance for deductible if you cause damage to the car. Some insurance companies include this automatically, both directly from the insurer and when you have free insurance through a credit card.
Always bring proof that you have the insurance in order. You usually get your own card, or documents that can be downloaded to your phone, which can be presented when you need assistance.
Although a Norwegian health insurance card gives you the right to medical treatment within the EU and EEA area, the card does not necessarily provide sufficient coverage. Bring your card, but have adequate travel insurance as well.