When you’re travelling, insurance is probably the last thing on your checklist. If it’s not mandatory most of us don’t even bother finding out about it. But I’ll give you 5 good reasons that will make you reconsider:
You contract a life-threatening disease abroad
While a deadly disease is not something you want to think of when you’re on vacay, it’s a possibility. According to this article, Mary Holland was down with dengue when she was in Saigon, Vietnam but the local doctor did not detect it. They dismissed her symptoms stating she might be allergic to something. After her second visit to the doctor, she realised she wasn’t getting any better and called her father. Her father informed her travel insurance company and they immediately got in touch with her. On asking several questions about her symptoms they realised something wasn’t normal and connected her to a new doctor in Saigon who detected the dengue and started treating her immediately. Not only did her insurance save her from the medical bills that she’d have to pay, but it saved her from a life-threatening disease. At the same time, it’s important to know that travel insurance doesn’t always cover all your expenses. For instance, John and Katherine Harvey thought they were fully covered with their travel insurance, ended up paying more than what they expected when John contracted pneumonia in Florence. Their insurance paid £2,300 (Approx. Rs.2, 07,000) for 18 extra hotel nights to the hotel, £570 (Approx.Rs.51, 300) for doctor consultations and prescriptions, and paid for the flight home. But it didn’t pay for additional expenses such as food, phone calls taxis to the hospital etc.
Your adventure stunt costs you a serious injury
According to data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) 3,000 travellers, every week contact their insurer to claim compensation for the emergency medical help they take abroad. For instance, a traveller claimed £31,000 (Approx. Rs. 27,87,596) for treating a broken leg that got infected in Nepal, while another who suffered multiple injuries after falling from a waterfall in Thailand claimed £300,000 (Approx. 2,69,76,742) for medical costs. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to take an insurance plan that covers such risky adventure sports and activities for all the holidays. The type of insurance you take depends on the place you’re visiting and the nature of your trip. For instance, if you’re travelling to the U.S. and plan on going cliff diving where you’re likely to get injured, make sure your insurance covers medical expenses. Medical costs in these places (United States, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Canada, and France) are extremely high, sometimes higher than the price of a house! And that’s why the cost of the policy largely depends on where you’re going.
You lose your GoPro
There’s one thing that can ruin your mood on a holiday- A lost gadget! Especially if it’s a brand new camera or your iPhone X. As per research, Australians pack electronics worth $5,000 (Approx. Rs.2, 50,000) in the form of phones, cameras, tablets etc. and 65% travellers don’t insure these items. Another research shoes British tourists take gadgets worth £200-£500 (Approx. Rs.17, 000-Rs.45, 000) while travelling. And 75% of them expect a standard travel insurance policy to cover their gadgets if they’re lost or stolen. But the truth is that gadgets aren’t normally covered under the regular insurance plan and you might have to pay an additional amount to get them insured. So if you’re a klutz and want peace of mind while travelling, make sure you get a policy for your gadgets as well. Don’t forget to read the fine print and terms and conditions of your gadget’s insurance. Before selecting a policy, ask all the relevant questions to the insurance company like – ‘Will the insurance cover electronics damaged due to water?’ ‘Will it cover electronics stolen or damaged while sightseeing and not only on an aeroplane?’ ‘What documents (receipts for purchase, reference number etc.) are needed at the time of making a claim’ etc. After evaluating all these things decide whether or not it makes financial sense to buy insurance for your gadgets and of course if you think it’s avoidable then just be careful with your gadgets instead!
You need to book an emergency flight back home
When you’re on a holiday a natural or manmade disaster won’t only put a damper, on your plans but also on your wallet. At such times travel insurance is pretty handy. For instance, without insurance an emergency exit from a country could cost you anywhere between Rs. 10, 00,000 – 40, 00,000 or medical expenses could range from Rs. 30,000- Rs. 3, 00,000. Although travel insurance won’t cover all personal expenses incurred during such disasters – earthquake, floods, terrorist attacks etc. they will compensate you for emergency evacuations, medical expenses, missed flights etc.
That’s why it’s pretty important to do a quick background check on the political and natural situation of the place you’re visiting. Depending on this pick your policy accordingly. Read what the policy covers and doesn’t cover, critically. And if this means shelling a few extra bucks for additional cover then do that. Apart from emergency exits, insurance policies also cover flight cancellations and delays.
Typically, travel insurance covers accidents and sickness (including medical evacuation, repatriation) baggage loss, airport mishaps (baggage loss, flight delays or cancellation, loss of passport) and emergency financial assistance. Anything over and above that might come at an additional cost. Keeping all these pointers in mind don’t forget carrying the insurance policy papers with you before leaving!