DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
You finally get a break from office stress and are setting off on the perfect vacation. The weather is perfect. Flight's on time. But then your baggage goes missing. And to make matters not any better, all your travelers' cheques were in your suitcase. What do you do?
A vacation isn't as big an investment as your car or your home. But it still costs a lot of money. You purchase airfare, accommodation, excursions, or other activities in advance. And all these are worth insuring in case some unforeseen problem threatens your travel plans. Yes, in most cases, your travels will go without a hitch. You might not have to experience the nightmare of a baggage loss or being seriously ill or injured in a foreign country. But if you do, the last thing you want is not having the support or financial means to fix the mess. For that alone, travel insurance is worth every cent. Let's take a closer look at why you should buy travel insurance.
5 REASONS YOU NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE
1. You Lose Your Passport, Baggage, or Documents: This is probably the worst situation you can imagine while traveling. Whether your luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged, it could get expensive to replace all the contents, including clothes, electronic devices, and medication. But if you have travel insurance, you have help at hand. With coverage for luggage that is lost, stolen, or damaged, you will be compensated for your loss up to an approved sum. You will be compensated for new clothes and personal items. And if your baggage gets delayed, you will be reimbursed for the personal effects that you might have to buy for the meanwhile. This can be a huge help as you wait for your baggage to turn up. In case of a passport loss, your insurance will cover the cost of replacing and paying for a new one.
2. You Develop Health Issues: Probably the most common cause of ruined vacations. No one wants to fall ill while on vacation. But medical complications or a serious bodily injury could arise at any time. If you or a travel companion were to get sick right before your planned trip and you have to cancel, you could lose the full cost of the trip. Or if medical emergency crops up during your trip and you need to come home early, in many cases there may be no compensations available. That is why you need travel insurance. It will ensure you get the necessary medical attention in case of an emergency be it to take you to a hospital or have a close family member flown to you if you are a student. This also includes dental treatment because it's quite understandable that when you're in a new place, stopping yourself from going on the sweets can be a little difficult. With travel medical coverage, you won't be paying a huge medical bill. You'll also have assistance services to locate a suitable medical facility and arrange transportation. Your travel insurance will take care of other related expenses as well.
3. Your Flight Was Cancelled or Delayed: This is a common glitch nowadays. It could be an airline's fault, a natural hazard, or a personal problem. In all cases, you will be either reimbursed or refunded a certain amount as per the policy schedule. What if you are the one who needs to cancel? Say you fall ill at the eleventh hour or there's a sudden death in the family and you need to cancel your travel plans. What happens to the money you spent on the air ticket and hotel bookings?
With trip cancellation coverage, you'll be able to recover your out-of-pocket expenses for these covered reasons and more. Trip cancellation coverage generally covers you for costs if you suddenly find you can't go on your trip for some unforeseen reason such as illness, an accident, or the death of a close relative. Your insurance will reimburse you for the unused hotel cost and travel tickets. For this section to be useful though, you have to buy travel insurance when you start booking tickets and not the week before you leave. Not all travel insurance plans cover cancellation, so read the description of coverage relevant to you in the policy carefully.
In case of a delayed flight, your travel policy will cover additional expenses, including an unplanned night stay at a hotel and food, among other things.
4. You Need Medical Evacuation: Your health insurance often doesn't apply in foreign countries, so you could get stuck paying for an entire hospital stay unless you have the right travel coverage. If a medical condition requires you to be transported from the scene of incidence to the nearest hospital or evacuated from a danger zone, helicopter transport could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. But with trip insurance, You don't have to worry about the expenses. If you have medical evacuation coverage, you can arrange safe transportation to a medical facility. If you are already admitted to a hospital and need to be taken back to your country for further medical help or to be with your loved ones, your travel insurance will take care of that too.
5. You Are A Victim Of Fraud: If you lose your credit/debit card while you are on a vacation and you start getting texts that someone is using it. Not only are you losing your money but you are losing money in a place where you might not even find help easily. So you had better buy travel insurance. Because your insurance policy will refund you for the money lost through stolen payment cards for up to 12 hours before your first reporting of the incident.
Not all travel insurance is the same. All travel insurance policies have specific benefits, conditions, and exclusions so it's common sense to take the time to read the policy carefully. These vary depending on your country of residence.
One more thing. Travel insurance usually ends the minute you arrive home, so if you have bought a policy for 12 months and come home after four, you aren't entitled to a refund on the 'unused' portion. We'll say this one more time... Always read the policy carefully.