Imagine this; you have accumulated a good sum of money by saving for over 2 years with an intention of going on a European vacation. You have booked your vacation with a popular trip agency. You finally board the flight to Zurich and you finish your Switzerland leg of the European tour. But, you fall sick in Zurich due to heavy snowfall. You still have UK, France, Italy and Spain to visit in the vacation. Your health condition is so bad that you must receive medical assistance. The doctor advises hospitalization and the cost of hospitalization in Switzerland is super costly.
If you are to get hospitalized in Switzerland, then you won’t have enough money for the rest of the trip. You won’t have money for shopping. You won’t have money to take trams and buses. If you plan not to get hospitalized, then you take a high risk on your health, which may be fatal. Your savings of 2 years are of no use if you happen to return home due to medical reasons.
Just imagining yourself in this situation, gives you the chills. Falling sick and getting hospitalized abroad is a costly affair. Your whole trip is ruined along with the bank balance. You can keep this situation at bay by availing travel insurance.
Travel insurance is an insurance policy availed by travelers to cover medical expenses, losses due to trip cancellation or modification, loss of baggage, accidental injuries, and emergency evacuation when travelling both internationally and domestically.
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SEE ALSO: What does Travel Insurance Cover?
1) In Case of Medical Emergencies: Medical treatment abroad can drain your bank account and cut short the trip. Your medical expenses would be taken care of by the insurer, if you have a travel insurance plan. Travel insurance covers medical emergencies. You can avail cashless hospitalization with travel insurance.
2) Passport is Lost: Imagine this; you finish your two week long American trip. You check-in at the John F Kennedy airport, New York City, to board Emirates Airways Flight back home. At the check-in counter, you don’t find your passport. What a miserable position to be in? You first have to report the incident of the lost passport to the Indian embassy, to obtain a travel document and then book a flight home. You would not be able to take the booked flight as you don’t have the passport. Adding to that, booking a last minute flight is certain to burn a hole in your pocket. Travelling to the Indian consulate from the location where you lost the passport can be expensive and issuing travel documents cost money. Availing travel insurance would take care of expenses of lost passport.
3) Claim Flight Delays: Travel insurance plans reimburse the expenses of meals, accommodation and unused prepaid expenditures of the trip, if the delay is more than the minimum time outlined in the policy.
4) Trip Cancellation Fees: This is the most important parameter covered under travel insurance. This covers the non refundable prepaid expenses like air tickets and hotel deposits. Coverage is applicable only when the trip is cancelled due to the reasons mentioned in the policy.
5) Lost or Stolen Luggage: This is one of the most debated parameters covered under travel insurance. People often wonder if it’s really worth insuring their luggage. Airlines take up the responsibility when they misplace a traveler’s baggage. In fact, most airlines compensate for the loss of luggage on the spot. Ask the insurer about the limitations and coverage for lost baggage.
6) Insurance Coverage for Family: All travelling members of a family can be covered under a single travel insurance policy. In travel insurance, a family generally refers to two adults under the age of 60 years and 2 children under the age of 21 years. Family plans are also referred to as family floater plan and costs much lower than individual policies.
7) Protection Against Personal Liability: Under third party liability cover of travel insurance, damages caused to third party properties and individuals by the insured are covered. For example, you decide to hire a self drive bike or a car in Thailand, and unfortunately you cause bodily injuries to a third party individual, in this case, a third party liability cover would take care of the expenses related to the third party.
8) Stress-Free Travels: With all things being taken care, right from air tickets and accommodation to covering expenses that result due to unfortunate incidents, you are certain to enjoy peace of mind and a stress free trip. You don’t have to worry on the high expenses resulting due to incidents like medical emergency and lost baggage as they are covered under travel insurance.
9) Natural Disasters: If you are planning to go to Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, beautiful Southeast Asian destinations, then it is inevitable to think of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. These natural disasters are occurring far too often lately. Under these conditions, you might have to cut short your trip and take an early flight home. You cannot always rely on the airlines as they don’t offer refunds for cancellations due to natural disasters. Travel insurance policy would take care of the expenses occurring due to natural disasters.
10) Disease Outbreaks: You might be forced to cancel the trip due to an outbreak of a deadly disease. Nobody can forget the widespread Ebola from Western Africa in early 2010’s and Zika from South America in 2014. These viral diseases are rare and a real threat to mankind. Travel insurance policies offer compensation in the form of trip cancellation charges in the event of outbreak of a disease.
11) Extended Travel Plans: For those aged above 55, this package is ideal. Extended travel plans are necessary for fixed income individuals who can’t afford to get costly surprises. The premiums cost way lesser than what you think. Even travelers with pre-existing diseases are covered under these plans.
12) Annual Coverage Options: If you are a frequent flier, then annual coverage plans are tailored for you. Annual plans remove the need of availing travel insurance each time you fly; also annual plans are cheaper when compared to availing individual plans each time you travel. Annual plans offer coverage for all incidents that an individual plan covers.
SEE ALSO: Domestic Travel Insurance
Documents required for claiming travel insurance varies with the type of claim. The table below summarizes the requisite documents to claim travel insurance for various reasons:
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