Understanding Travel Insurance and When You Need It

Categories: Good To Know

Even the best-planned trips can be thrown off schedule by unexpected problems.

Consider this. You’ve sorted out scheduling issues, made sure to pack away all your necessities, and settled down to enjoy your flight. So when you land, you’re all set to get started on your relaxing holiday. Except for the small problem of your missing luggage.

Of all the complaints filed by passengers against these airlines, the majority were for lost baggage.

Travel Insurance Complaint Chart
Image Credits: trak

This is just one example of all the things that could go wrong and ruin your trip. When you’re in a new place and unfamiliar with the people and surroundings, you become a prime target for theft. Losing your wallet is always difficult, but especially so when you’re away from home. And this problem is compounded if you lose your passport as well.

It’s bad enough when a much-awaited holiday is interrupted, but even worse when you’ve travelled for work or an important meeting, and have to deal with these issues on a tight schedule.

While you can’t always prevent these problems, you can arrange for solutions for them before you even leave on your trip. When you’re planning your trip, you should also consider all the unexpected issues that might crop up, especially if you’re going overseas. This article will help you to understand travel insurance, so you can choose a policy that suits your needs the best.

So What is Travel Insurance?

Insurance is the best way of risk-management, especially in the face of potential loss. Travel insurance offers you a measure of protection from unexpected problems, cancellations and other issues that result in loss of money and time.Being insured ensures that you won’t have to worry about your finances in case a problem does come up when you’re away. Depending on your plan and its premium, most expenses will be taken care of by your insurance policy.The monetary aspects being taken care of is in itself a reassurance, and helps you stay calm and focus on resolving the problem as quickly as possible.

Why Do You Need Travel Insurance?

Some countries like the ones covered by the Schengen visa do not allow you to travel unless you have travel insurance. In fact, without insurance, your visa will not be issued.

Before making a decision, it is important that you have all the facts that will help you in understanding travel insurance. Before determining if you need travel insurance or not, you should look at what issues are covered by the policy.  While your coverage will be dependent on your premium and the specifics of your policy, there some things that most travel insurance plans try to cover.

Medical Expenses

Medical Expenses In Different Countries

Medical Cost per Country Chart
Image Credits: nbcbayarea

Medical emergencies can throw even the most organised of people into a state of confusion. Unfortunately, treatment expenses can be prohibitive, especially if you’re paying in a different currency.
Failing to take into account the possibility of health issues causing trouble when you’re travelling is poor judgement, because the journey itself is taxing on your body, as are the new surroundings. You can never be certain of your physical health in a new place, and should always make some allowances for poor health.

If there is a medical issue when you’re abroad, having travel insurance can make your life easier because your policy will cover the costs of your treatment and hospitalisation. Moreover, some policies also cover the costs of family members who might want to visit you if you have been hospitalized for an extended period of time.

Trip Cancellation or Interruption

Natural disasters, health problems, and security concerns can throw a wrench and halt your plans. Whether you’ve had to cancel your plans before you even had a chance to pack, or were already halfway there and need to return, travel insurance will cover you.

Most policies will reimburse you for non-refundable tickets or reservations, and even for emergency situations which may cause you to be evacuated from the area.

Loss or Damage of Baggage

A common thing that all travel insurance policies account for is mishandled luggage that leads to loss, damage or delay. Any additional expenses you might incur because of such a problem will be reimbursed by your policy. In case of total loss, if your policy allows, you’ll be able to get coverage for your valuables (to the maximum permissible amount), and replace your necessities with the monetary compensation you receive.

Trip Extension

Some policies account for the fact that you might need to extend your stay for whatever reason, and allow you to extend your policy for the same time period that your trip is extended for.

Thus, the insurance policies cover a lot of problems that might have slipped your mind when you were planning your trip. There are policies that even take care of your dependents back home when you’re away.

While travel insurance is not mandatory, now that you have an understanding of the coverage and peace of mind you will find that it is as useful and necessary for travelling as your wallet or your passport. So make sure that while you’re planning your itinerary, you’re also making arrangements to insure your trip.


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