Need Insurance When Travelling?
There’s a lot that can happen while travelling; accidents, missed flights, lost baggage, illness, terrorism, cancelled tours, tour operators becoming bankrupt, and more. In addition to the great physical and mental stress these incidents can have, there is a parallel financial risk too because flight tickets, tour bookings, baggage, etc. can cost a lot. The potential loss of each traveler will differ depending upon his unique circumstances; health status, baggage value, the extent of the trip being prepaid, the extent of refund possible on air ticket, etc. as also the type of cover that has been purchased.
Insurance could be a very good deal for some travelers while others may not miss it so much. A lot also depends on about the risk-taking ability, and the capacity to take the mental and financial stress. It is best to understand all the options available so that you can make a decision that is based on information and reason.
The Basics of Travel-Related Insurance
There are five principal components of insurance when applied to travel; trip interruption and cancellation, lost baggage, medical, evacuation, and flight insurance. These components are usually packaged in some combination or the other by insurance companies, and it is not unusual for customers to buy a policy that includes all or almost all of them – these are termed to be comprehensive covers. You can, of course, buy policies for any of the specific components, if you so like. Many companies nowadays offer comprehensive packages that act as your primary insurance. This translates to a huge convenience as the reimbursement is done without reference to any other insurance cover that you may have.
The travel insurance premium can vary widely depending upon the sort of cover required and the age of the insured. Those above 50 may find it considerably more expensive than children who or 17 years or below. You can expect the premium to cost anywhere between 5-12% of the cost of the total trip. It is common to find travel agents pushing insurance sales because they earn if you buy a policy, and also they need to explain the options to you to protect themselves from any liability for a loss that you may incur. In case, if you have any specific queries, you need to ask the insurance companies directly because travel agents may not always be insurance agents. Make certain that you only buy a policy from an insurance company that is licensed in your state of residence, else it will not be possible to make a claim if you so desire.
Trip Cancellation or Interruption Insurance
A conventional trip cancellation or interruption cover is the most useful to have as it covers the losses that you would incur if a trip has to be cancelled due any of the reasons acceptable to the insurer, and which, include the inability to travel due to illness, injury, layoff, death, etc. It also comes into play if your airline or tour operator cannot deliver services as expected, either due to going out of business or because of any factor outside its control. You can avail of this cover if you have to opt out due to illness or death of someone in the family or miss your flight due to reasons outside your control.
Even if your health cover extends internationally, it may still be worthwhile to acquire additional health cover that can cover what your primary plan does not. In many medical emergencies, it might be practical for hospitals to work with these insurers rather than you standard health insurance company. Check with your company regarding the status of pre-existing illness coverage as it depends on how recently you have undergone a checkup, and when you acquire the cover. Check for health advisories issued by the government, as travel to specific countries may not be covered by your insurer.
Another advantage of getting specific travel-related insurance is that it covers medical evacuation so that you can get medical treatment even if you get ill or are injured in a remote place. Usually, the cover gets you to the nearest medical facility where you can receive appropriate treatment but not back home unless it is essential. Check with your insurers to understand the scope of the cover, especially if you are engaging in adventure sports.
A standard insurance cover will almost always include baggage insurance to cover you for baggage that is damaged, delayed or lost during travel. Usually, there are strict reimbursement caps on stuff like electronics, jewelry, photographic equipment, etc. Check with your carrier because they may already be covering you for baggage delay or loss during the flight. Also, check your homeowner’s insurance cover to see if you really need to buy additional baggage insurance for items specifically excluded.