What is the importance of Travel Insurance? Or any Insurance?
When you drive with your car, you use only the four wheels. But still we all keep one spare. Why? 99% of the time it is just lying idle. Then why do people invest in such spare wheel?
Ask someone who was stranded in those far off region or in a no man’s land with a flat tire and had no spare wheel. This is exactly the situation with Travel Insurance too.
In the last 20 years of my travel, I have faced the problem of delayed baggage more than a few times. And twice been in hospital and it was the insurance that came handy in all these situations.
So, I thought I should compile a post to help others on the importance of Travel Insurance. And here is it.
Change is Permanent
Nothing is permanent except change. Sounds familiar? Yes.
Acts of God, nature, airline strikes, terrorism or even our own illness can impact our travel plans. Basically, any reason that can make you cancel your trips could mean all the money spent to go in vain. Moreover, we usually book cheaper tickets that come with strict cancellation terms.
So, under such a situation, we need insurance to cover our back. Saving yourself from not making a big hole in your pocket by canceling your tickets before you leave for the trip is one of the main reason for buying travel insurance.
Tip: If you are a frequent traveler, buying Annual Insurance coverage saves a lot of money and hassle.
Travel insurance can be of very much help when it comes to flight cancelation or unusual delays. You can get reimbursed for unanticipated hotel stays and non-refundable trip payments. Depending on the type of insurance coverage, you can also get your additional transportation expenses reimbursed.
On a lighter note, if you plan to transit the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, you better be prepared with the travel insurance!
Lost or Delayed Baggage
You land in Catania, but your baggage reaches Turin. And it will be more than 24 hours before you can get it back to your hand. Sounds filmy? No, this was my personal experience in 2006.
It’s still green in my memory for 2 reasons. One because it was my first trip to Catania, Italy. And the second reason was it was the day of complete blackout in the south of Europe.
I was forced to buy clothes & essentials to get myself ready for the next day meetings, and you are right. Got it reimbursed by insurance promptly.
Well, that was a good lesson for me, and till today I always pack some essentials in my cabin baggage.
Personally, I realized the importance of travel insurance in 2002 when I was in Japan. I suddenly fell sick, and need to visit Hospital. Nothing serious but stomach aches, probably due to food. It was regular checkups and finally was given a few tablets.
I loved the way they provided 2 papers of A4 size color printed with how the tables to be taken. Too much detailed.
Now, time to pay for the hospital. Medical expenses in a few countries like America or Japan are relatively very expensive.
I was shocked to get a bill of around 300 USD. Yes, the savior of the day was my Insurance. When I returned back to my home country and sent out the claim, it was promptly paid in full.
So, do you really need any further convincing statements about the importance of travel Insurance?
Thefts & Pickpockets
Myself & my friend from America was roaming around in Paris. While passing one of the pedestrian crosses, a lady tried to hug my friend giving some strange talks. Moments later he realized that his wallet is gone.
Yup, gone with the wind in seconds! His passport, cash and few of the cards are gone. We immediately went to Police and complained, and in few days he did receive his passport.
But the cash and other loss, are irreversible. So, having travel insurance cover these unpredictable instance is a must.
Things to consider before you buy a Travel Insurance
Before buying any insurance, make sure you read the fine print of your policy. Here are the various factors that should be considered for the coverage. Of course, you can tailor it based on your fund and requirement.
- Coverage is important. Make sure it has at least 100,000 USD for coverage and can handle medical expenses.
- To cover emergency evacuation and care
- To pay for transportation back home to your own country if necessary
- Covers the countries you want to visit. Some insurance does not include high-cost countries like the USA by default. Check and verify before you buy.
- Covers your personal valuables in case of lost or stolen
- Has a customer care number that can be reached all around the clock.
- To cover for all type of cancellation of the trips
- Most importantly, the price. Compare with multiple insurances before you finalize on one.
Hope this post was useful. What do you think? Have you ever had to file a claim with travel insurance before? Let me know your experience in the comments.