Travel insurance when defined simply, means securing your luggage, health and overall safety at a trip. This includes everything, right from lost luggage to reimbursements for any illnesses.
Several different policies cover different aspects, to ensure that one travels tension free for their annual vacation or a business trip. Some policies also offer money back options, on trip cancellations.
In most cases, it has been witnessed that either illnesses or injuries caused due to accidents are the major causes of cancellations of trips. Many a time, policies have certain pre-existing conditions, which are written in the fine print.
These include clauses like the percentage of money to be received upon the claim and exclusion period that is usually between 60 to 180 days before purchasing the insurance. Exclusions get waived off immediately after payment of the first installment towards the trip.
At times, policies consist of clauses, which in the fine print do not cover several aspects. These aspects are ones that do not cover elements like insurance cover from terrorism and other similar things. These are not openly stated, and when stated, they cost a bomb.
At times, policies do not cover claims from high-risk elective activities, for athletes participating in events, or on airlines that are often delayed. These are usually exempted and are shifted to the non-covered section. Complicated clauses exist for senior citizen insurance too.
The tricky part for every kind of insurance is the calculation of premiums. Most companies charge, something like 20 USD for every 100 USD insured. One lands up paying a premium of around 10% of the sum insured, in most cases.
Many companies also charge higher for travelers belonging to the senior citizen section. This can rise up to as high as 60 USD per 200 USD insured.
Where to purchase travel insurance?
Like any other insurance policy, one can directly purchase one from an insurance agency. Travel agents and tour operators too, at times have tie-ups with companies or banks and can recommend the same to you.
They, at times, obviously take a certain commission for the same. One must always remember that purchasing a policy online may not be the best thing.
One must see the clauses and the certificate of coverage before purchasing the policy. It is highly recommended that you opt for a company, which has been referred by a friend or a colleague.
Is it worth purchasing travel insurance?
Travel insurance is advisable to those who are making a business trip or carrying expensive luggage like electronics, jewelry, etc. For those going backpacking across the globe or just for a fun trip, travel insurance may seem like a futile investment.
On business trips, one may be carrying important papers and documents, which need to be well guarded. Misplacing them could mean losses of millions or maybe billion. Thus, insurance is vital.
Those traveling with senior citizens should also opt for insurance, as a change in weather conditions and those with a medical history may witness illnesses while traveling. It provides an element of mental peace, and one must remember that fear is the greatest marketing tool. All insurance agencies thrive on this principle.
Why Do You Need Travel Insurance?
In spite of a nearly non-existent economy, you’ve saved the money to make a dream trip to Paris. The travel package is paid for and the necessary paperwork is done. You have your passport and a credit card ready to rock.
And then someone asks you have you thought what to do if you get sick on your trip, or your luggage, which contains your prescription meds, is lost?
Someone else chimes in with the suggestion that your plane could crash and you’d need a doctor. Someone mentions travel insurance, and your face begins to get some color back into it.
What Is Travel Insurance?
There are travel insurance policies for the traveler at home, and policies for those traveling abroad on business or pleasure. For the person going overseas, travel insurance will cover such broad-ranging issues as:
- Lost luggage. To be reimbursed by the insurance company.
- Prescriptions in the lost luggage. To be handled by local medical authorities.
- Cancellation of travel arrangements due to illness or other catastrophes.
- Illness abroad. The traveler will be reimbursed for the portion of the trip not taken.
- Natural disasters. While no one may foretell a volcanic eruption, for example, if the trip is cut short due to such, the insurance would pay.
Travel insurance brokers will not offer policies, however, to those traveling to high-risk areas. These include war zones, activities that carry some risk, such as sky diving, or areas plagued by terrorism.
Where Can Travel Insurance Be Obtained?
The traveler should check with his own insurance company, for it may cover portions of his trip. Prescriptions and illness would come under his medical insurance plan. His homeowner’s insurance might cover lost property on a trip.
The traveler’s credit card carrier, also, might come in handy for some coverage. For instance, if the travel arrangements were booked onto the credit card, they would then be more amenable to covering some of the loss. Otherwise, many travel insurance policies are sold by travel agencies and online brokers.
Something to Think About
Many airlines and travel agencies are going out of business due to that non-existent economy discussed above. That would leave the traveler high and dry, with no chance of recovery. Policies exist for just such an occasion. A traveler would be wise to cover himself just in case this happens.
Did You Know?
Travel insurance policies exist which cover:
- Those making their own travel arrangements. Just purchase the policy and fill in the itinerary.
- Those called back to active duty or denied leave due to a change in military action.
- Those with pre-existing medical conditions.
- Travelers purchasing an insurance package 24 hours before they leave for their trip.
No one connects illness or disaster with a dream vacation. The possibility exists, and that’s why people buy insurance. Traveling overseas brings contingencies most people never think of, so insurance covering such things is simply good common sense. It certainly is not as expensive as paying out of pocket for illness or other catastrophes.
Top 3 Advantages of Travel Insurance
Travelling is an experience that most of us crave for from time to time and in most of the cases is something that is really needed in order to get refreshed and continue with your everyday duties pumped up. There are a great many benefits of going on travel.
First of all, you get to see a different setting, often a really beautiful one. Another one is meeting many new people and getting a taste of their culture. Sadly, there are some risks when you travel too and no matter how bad it sounds, it still is better to be prepared.
Even though such occurrences are pretty rare, there are the risks of accidents that might occur during travel such as a plane crash or a robbery.
That’s why it is good to have the security and know that even if bad things happen, you will still be able to cope with them because you will know that you are supported. The consequences from such events can be covered when you have travel insurance and when going on a trip, it is smart to purchase one beforehand.
Different Types of Travel Insurances
Travel insurances come in many different forms, each of which has specific coverage which will provide protection for the needs of different people.
The most common types of insurance that you are going to encounter include: international, which is used for travels abroad, domestic, which you need if you travel with your family, annual for multiple trips during one year, student, which is applicable for students desiring to study abroad, and finally leisure, which can be used for vacations and trips at a short distance.
Of course, depending on your needs, any of these insurance types can be changed and customized too. After all, the old motto that the client comes first is one of the most important foundations of any business.
Having travel insurance (or as the Danes say rejseforsikring) comes with three essential advantages. There are many people who think that travel insurance is something not that important and they might be right depending on their lifestyle.
Insured Against Travel Accidents
If you like to travel, however, being insured against travel accidents will be as important as having car insurance, so depending on your needs, travel insurance may be a must. Let’s see what benefits you can get from having one:
1. You will be compensated in the event of an accident – there might be people who have enough money to be able to overcome such hardships, but all of the people with not that big of a budget would find the financial support to be a necessity.
Accidents are related to costs – be it in the form of medical fees or damage mitigation. You will always have to pay for anything. Having insurance is the thing that will provide you with a financial backup when the time comes.
2. Financial protection – you can never know what can happen and in case you have booked a long sequence of flights, you might find that the airline has gone bankrupt. Refunds of your tickets will be given if that happens.
3. Legal fees – travel insurance will cover all the legal fees that you might need to pay, too which gives a piece of mind to any business.
6 Reasons Why You Must Have Travel Insurance
Why would you go on holiday if you had to stay in your room all the time? That is what might happen if you don’t have any travel insurance because going outside is not worth the risk. There are far too many things that could go wrong and you would be left in deep trouble.
We can take a look at some of the not-so-crazy things that could go wrong and you’ll see exactly why you need to be covered. All of these have happened to people all around the world, so don’t think they won’t happen to you.
The waiting game
When you walk to the baggage carousel you pray that your luggage will come out first because you want to get on with your adventure. You don’t want to wait around watching every other person run to grab their bag.
You wait and you wait then you suddenly imagine what would happen if your luggage didn’t show. After about 30 minutes you have to walk to the lost luggage desk with your tail in between your legs because you realize your bag has done a disappearing act.
A military coup
This one is a lot more exciting because as you’re walking down the street you notice tanks driving around everywhere. You run back to your hotel and look on the Internet only to discover the country is in dismay and the military has overthrown the government.
The airport is closed and you have no choice but to wait around for days until you can escape. This still happens in many places around the world and you could be stuck in the middle of it.
Climbing a mountain
Some people decide that they want to do something a little more adventurous when they are away, so they will climb a big mountain. Surely you must realize the risks involved when you climb something so high.
You might fall down and hurt yourself badly and the only way you can get down from the mountain is by air ambulance. Who do you think is going to pay your bill if you don’t have any insurance?
Renting a motorbike
In a lot of countries, the only way you can get around is by motorbike. They are not powerful machines and you won’t be able to drive very fast, but wait until you see how crazy some of the drivers are. Someone might try to cut straight across you and you could end up falling and breaking your leg.
Unless you want to hop onto the plane with your injury hidden under your jeans you will need to go and get a cast put on it. If you don’t have any insurance you’ll faint when you realize how much it’s going to cost.
A volcano eruption
Nature is beautiful and I’m sure you enjoy going for walks along the river, but wait until you see its nasty side and you won’t like it so much. I’m using a volcano eruption as an example because it’s happened fairly recently and it closed down most of Europe.
I’m sure all those people going to Spain for their holiday didn’t think they would have to wait around for weeks until the ash had cleared and it was safe to fly home. Nature is unpredictable and anything could happen.
Flashing the cash
Unless you are staying in a fancy hotel room that comes with a large safe it’s quite easy for someone to steal everything from under your nose while you’re dancing around in the local club. Walk around looking like you have money and people will notice you.
They will try to find out where you’re staying and they might decide to strike. When everything you brought on holiday is gone you’ll be happy you have insurance.
It’s Important to Check the Fine Print
Mostly, people take out travel insurance-or as a matter of fact any insurance- and then file the policy away in their luggage or in a drawer with a contented sigh. Most of them feel that the job’s done, and as insurance is in place, everything will be well.
That is until they’ve to make a claim. Only then they scramble to find the policy and frantically search for numbers to call the insurance company’s claims department to understand the terms and conditions and fine print. If this is what you have always done, maybe now’s the time for a rethink!
In case something untoward happens and you find that your “incident” was not covered under any specific section of the travel insurance policy and you cannot file a claim, who is to blame?
All types of insurance policies, be it travel insurance, home insurance, car insurance or any other type always have some terms and conditions. They are necessary because without them it would be free-for-all claims being made by everybody against everything. In this way, insurance companies won’t be able to stay in business for long!
For instance, if you go on vacations abroad, take alcohol to excess and then fall off from stairs and sustain serious injuries, nobody would foot your medical bills in these circumstances.
Without any insurance, unfortunate families of injured have to foot bills for medical care and even pay charges for flying them back home by air ambulance.
Enjoyment and fun is one thing and insurance providers are not for spoiling it. However, deliberately putting yourself in risky situations is not the best way and your travel insurance won’t cover you for any resulting mishap.
Carefully Choose Your Travel Insurance Policy
It is important that you choose your travel insurance policy with care and ensure that it covers all activities that you’ve planned for your trip, and also includes sufficient medical cover. You should also check the activities that are already covered by the policy. Many travel insurance policies already cover camel rides, scuba diving, horse riding, cycling, canoeing, water skiing, and so on.
In case you have any doubt, you should get in touch with your insurer to clear any confusion before leaving for your trip. There is no use of reading the fine print after something goes wrong, and you find that your policy doesn’t cover that particular activity. For instance, you may be covered for white water rafting, but not bungee jump, and so on.
Pre-Existing Medical Condition
In case you have any pre-existing medical condition, you should declare it to the company. If you fail to do so, it can lead to the invalidation of your policy just when you need it for making a claim. Most of the policies include automatic cover for various medical conditions so read your policy to check what all is included and what is not.
Definitely, the travel insurance fine print is annoying and difficult but it is also important and necessary. By failing to read that part, you are only hurting yourself but also putting your loved ones at the risk of financial loss.
It’s also not good to travel without adequate insurance. So it’s better if you sit down and take a few minutes to check the fine print and other terms and conditions of the policy before embarking on your trip!
Read also: A Guide to Travel Money Options