Travel Insurance: Everything you need to know about it, and more. March 20, 2020 – Posted in: Blogs
It is a very common practice to get travel insurance while traveling abroad. While others prefer to pour cash in the travel itself, most frequent travellers treat travel insurance as a non-negotiable part of their total travel expense. Whether you’re a first-time traveller or a frequent one, it is natural to have questions like, “What really is travel insurance?”, “How many types are there, and which one is the best?”, and the big one, “Do I really need it?” In order to answer all these questions, we must understand why a travel insurance policy is something you should consider getting for your next trip.
1.1 What is travel insurance and is it worth it?
Most of us are all too familiar with a myriad of problems while traveling; be it cancellation of a journey because of unforeseen emergencies or falling sick and requiring medical treatment on your travel, or an early unexpected return home. Even though these are all probable events that may occur, there is also a chance that they may not. This situation can be perplexing for any traveller and can put them in a conundrum. Furthermore, due to various policies that cater to different customers depending on their requirements, different insurances cover for different contingencies. In general, a travel insurance policy will cover cancellation of your flight due to adverse weather condition or theft of baggage. These scenarios might seem far-fetched, but in reality, they are very probable situations.
So, the circumstances in which your travel insurance can come to the rescue are far-ranging; from you arriving with your family for a connecting flight, to discovering that it has been cancelled. Travel insurance, in this case, would enable you to find new flights or make alternative arrangements.
Travel insurance also comes in handy in the events of stolen passports and wallets: a safety net of emergency cash will allow you to circumvent this unforeseen, stressful event, and help you replace your passport. Accidents can happen anywhere: they can happen outside your workplace, on the way to the supermarket, or even in your own living room. Or, they can happen while you’re scuba-diving in the fresh, blue waters of Greece. Accidents cannot be predicted, and most of them cannot be prevented. The only way to prepare yourself for an accident is by really preparing yourself for it: travel insurance takes care of the medical expenses, which can be quite expensive when you’re already on a vacation.
1.2 Types of Insurance Coverages
- Cancelled Trips
This is the big ‘what if’ that is the most worrisome for newbie travellers. What happens if some unimaginable obstacle arises that makes me cancel the whole trip? What about all the money I already spent on hotel bookings and travel fare? Trip Cancellation Coverage reimburses you for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses if you need to cancel your trip before you depart. Here are the acceptable reasons of cancellation that can be reimbursed.
- Medical Emergencies
We are all used to our comfort zones. When you travel, you’re placed in foreign situations in alien places. Any number of medical problems can arise, which will automatically be taken care of if you have coverage.
- Delayed/Misplaced Luggage and Late Flights
The systems that take care of these things, although improving, are currently not that great. Flights get delayed all the time, making you miss some crucial time commitments. Your bags, containing laptops and other valuable artefacts, can get delayed in the transit, also causing much trouble.
Baggage Coverage can reimburse you for your personal belongings if your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged.
Baggage Delay Coverage provides money to buy essential items until your delayed bags arrive, such as a toiletry kit, a swimsuit, or another change of clothes.
Travel Delay Coverage provides reimbursement for additional expenses if your flight is delayed, such as an extra night in a hotel or a meal at a restaurant.
- Additional Coverages
- Life Insurance coverage for accidental death or dismemberment, while traveling.
- Hazardous Sports extends the medical coverage to cover activities like scuba diving, go karting, mountain-climbing etc.
- Rental Car Collision stretches from your personal insurance to the rental company policy while driving a rented car as a guest in some destination.
- Identity Theft provides assistance in the event of identity theft while traveling. This includes wallet theft, document theft
1.3 Is There a Downside to Travel Insurance?
Like everything in our world has its own set of cons, so does travel insurance.
A common concern is that not all policies cover your particular requirements, and it might seem illogical to spend a significant amount of money on a policy that will not compensate you should there be a mishap which is not covered by your policy. While this is a legitimate concern, a prudent solution to this is not avoiding insurance altogether, but rather being as thorough as possible with the travel insurance agent, and ask as many doubts, questions, and follow-up questions you have, before choosing a policy that works best for you. Insurance companies encourage their clients to be specific so that they can help them better.
It can be costly, and in the event that everything goes smoothly on your travel, you might feel in retrospect that the investment was an unnecessary expense. You might also feel aggravated that you could have spent the money on improving the quality of your travel instead of insurance. As with any other type of investment and security that affects our lives, if we could look into the future our lives would perhaps be easy. However, in the real world, the potential for accidents and mishaps are an everyday reality. If we are prepared for them, such as insurance for a flight, then we have significant peace of mind. And eventually, isn’t traveling all about being in a peaceful state of mind, away from the chaos of our daily lives?
It’s always better to have it and not need it, than the alternative!