Travel insurance is often perceived as an ‘additional cost burden’ by most travelers. Interestingly, even travel agents tend to downplay the role of travel insurance – due to the fear of the increased package pricing and hence losing customer base – wherever it is not mandatory.
Whether you are a domestic traveler or international flyer, the travel insurance offers the following benefits and major coverage (actual benefits may vary based on your chosen package)
- Health (dental/medical) coverage during your travel and at your destination
- Accident related coverage is must for any type of travel
- Loss of baggage cover and theft related coverage
- Legal support cover during your stay abroad
- Emergency evacuation and delayed departure cover
- Death related and funeral expense cover
- Natural calamities (earth quakes, flood, volcanic) related damage cover
In addition, there may be optional coverage benefits such as car rental, war and terrorism related coverage, adventure sports coverage based on what you opt for.
With airline and hospitality industry fighting margin pressures and economic slowdown related issues, the need for traveling related insurance coverage gets all the more important. Flight cancellations and reservation issues are becoming a daily affair these days, isn’t it?
Travel Insurance Tips
Just like any other insurance coverage, the travel insurance too comes with a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ and hence it’s very important to pick the right plan.
Firstly you need to consider a travel insurance plan based on your trip frequency. For example, if you are frequent traveler to a particular country you have to opt for multi trip insurance plan rather than a single entry plan. Similarly if you are more of a domestic traveler, then you need domestic travel insurance.
Next, it is important to make sure that you have the right medical coverage as part of your plan because your domestic medical coverage just does not work in a foreign country.
Once the medical part is taken care of you need to worry about the purpose and duration of your visit. If you are going on a long vacation that involves a lot of traveling from country to country (e.g. a Europe vacation for a month) you need to make sure that your coverage is valid with respect to the prevailing situation and rules of all those countries.
If your purpose is to be part of any extreme sports, then you need to opt for such special coverage and pick the insurance company that offers the same as an option.
If you are visiting a country affected by terror or war situations or wherever travel advisory has been issued, then it is important get that option covered as well.
It is also important to cover for very expensive cruises and luxury vacations. Obviously, you don’t want to lose money on additional expenses such as hotel stay, travel to main port etc without having travel insurance while going on a life time cruise that costs $20,000 – Just in case of a cancellation for example.
Essentially, you must get coverage for most important scenarios such as health, flight cancellation, baggage loss etc and on top opt for coverage for those prevailing conditions. A good travel agent can always help you with the situational requirements while a good insurance adviser would help finding the right plan.
I hope the importance of travel insurance is very clear now!