Imagine you get a wonderful holiday deal and you fly to Thailand. At Thailand Airport, the car is waiting for you to take you to your hotel. However, as soon as you reach the hotel, there’s a hurricane alert. You have to be evacuated immediately without your luggage. Here’s another image: You are on vacation in Paris, enjoying at the Eiffel Tower when suddenly you start feeling dizzy and have to be urgently taken to the nearest hospital for an emergency. Yet another: You are travelling to Singapore on work when you suddenly lose your handbag which has your passport and other important documents.
You might be thinking why I am asking you to imagine horrible scenarios while you are on a vacation, as after all, holiday is the time to relax and have some fun. But the reality is that accidents come unannounced and unforeseen events can strike anyone at any time. There are plenty of things that could go wrong while you are on holiday, even after detailed planning. The way you deal with these emergencies would decide whether the vacation will become enjoyable or turn into a nightmare. Therefore, it is always advised to ‘pack in’ travel insurance before you fly to a new vacation spot.
Unforeseen situations can spoil your holiday mood
With a rise in global business and employment opportunities and a surge in disposable income that can be spent on leisure holidays, the frequency of foreign trips has increased in India. However, when you decide to go to a foreign destination and explore all the fun opportunities that it has to offer, having comprehensive travel insurance makes complete sense. The policy comes handy as it secures you against all types of unforeseen medical expenses along with other travel-related emergencies. If any unexpected illness or accidents occur while you are travelling overseas or you face any emergency, travel insurance offers you financial comfort, and thus, ensures that the entire process is painstaking.
Wide coverage to cover people from all walks of life
Whether you are a businessman who is going abroad to unveil business opportunities or a leisure traveller who is travelling to a foreign location to unwind yourself, buying a travel insurance policy is an absolute necessity. International travel insurance covers all traveller categories for a wide range of events, including hospitalization, personal accident, death or disability, loss of passport, trip cancellation and interruption.
It is must to buy travel insurance if you want to enter into the Schengen area
In some cases, it becomes mandatory to have travel insurance to visit the Schengen area, which comprises 26 nations that function as a single entity. You only need to have one Schengen visa to travel to any of the member nations. Moreover, the insurance should be valid for the entire travel duration and should ideally not have any sub-limit.
Even if it is not mandatory to have travel insurance in a particular nation, it is imperative to buy it before you go because the medical cost is quite high outside India. Therefore, one should buy travel insurance, whether it is mandatory or not. Moreover, overseas travel insurance goes beyond medical insurance as it covers irritants like trip cancellations, missed flight cancellation, personal liability, loss of passport, etc. that could otherwise spoil your smooth journey.
Choose the travel insurance carefully
Ask the following questions before you buy a travel insurance:
- Where I am travelling?
Well, your destination would decide the size of travel cover, or in other words, the sum insured that you will need. Also, you will need to find the cost of medical services in the country you are heading to in order to decide the right amount of cover. Remember, the medical cover is an imperative part of your travel insurance policy, and therefore, it should be sufficient.
- How long do I stay abroad?
The premium of a travel insurance policy is directly proportionate to your period of stay, and therefore, it is important to decide the duration of stay at the onset in order to make a right choice. Similarly, if you are a frequent flier, you should go for a multi-trip plan which can keep you away from the hassles of purchasing travel insurance every year for each trip.
What is the purpose of my trip?
If it is a regular business trip to attend some business meetings or a leisure trip where you plan to stay, enjoy and relax, then you can go for simple travel insurance. However, if you have plans to indulge in adventure activities like rock climbing, para jumping, etc. you should go for an additional travel insurance which intends to cover any potential injuries.
If you carefully explore the market for travel insurance products, you will find policies that come without any entry age. Some of the policies offer coverage for newborn babies and octogenarians also. You will find various plans that will offer coverage in Euros to make your life simpler if you are planning to travel to Europe. There are some policies which offer fire and burglary cover for your home when you are away on a trip. In case you meet with an accident in a foreign land, your spouse, kids or any other doting relative can fly over to be with you. Your travel insurance policy can pick up the tab for that too.
Act carefully to ensure an easy claim settlement process
- Keep three separate copies of your travel insurance policies— one with you (in your purse/document case), one in your suitcase and one with your loved one at home
- Be careful about keeping money receipts, bills, invoices, etc. Just because you say that you spent Rs 50,000, the insurer won’t reimburse the money
- Contact your travel insurance company as soon as you think you require to file a claim
- File your claim as quickly as possible. Many insurers reject the claim if it is filed after a long time
As said by John Steinbeck, an American author, “A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” But thanks to travel insurance, it is possible to control your journey and curtail risks associated with it. So, before you pack your bags and set to travel the world, make sure you have a companion in the form of travel insurance. After all, travel insurance is as dependable as your best friend!
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