Travelling abroad is an exciting experience for everyone, whether you’re a student on a break before joining college or a couple on your honeymoon. The weeks before your trip are a whirlwind of planning outings, booking hotels, stocking up on holiday clothes and bookmarking restaurants, and for good reason!
There is, however, one crucial element in travel planning that many travellers miss out on – travel insurance. This type of insurance is designed to safeguard you against injury, illness, theft, missed flights and other troubles. Travellers often make excuses about travel insurance isn’t really worth investing in – when things get tough, however, it’s travel insurance that will come to the rescue!
Read on to know about some of the commonest myths about travel insurance, and the truth behind them.
Travel insurance is only for adventurous travelers
Many travelers argue that insurance is only necessary for those who plan to indulge in adventure sports like kayaking, mountain climbing or skydiving where the risk of injury is high. However, this is a flawed argument for two reasons.
First – accidents can happen to anyone, no matter how careful you are. A road accident, for instance, is completely beyond your control. Second – travel insurance is not just for medical aid but also for other emergency situations.
For example, if a pickpocket steals your passport, then your travel insurance will cover the cost of obtaining a new one. And a new passport can be quite expensive, not to mention the lengthy formalities involved!
Travel insurance is not needed for healthy people
As mentioned above, accidents can happen to anyone no matter how careful or healthy they are. For instance, you may eat something that triggers a case of food poisoning and require a consultation with a doctor, or you may injure yourself in a car accident.
There may even be some calamity that hits the country you’re traveling in – like an earthquake or a terrorist attack – and you are forced to fly out as soon as possible. In addition, travel insurance covers you not only for your own illnesses but also for those of your family.
If your parent falls ill or passes away back at home, for example, travel insurance can cover the cost of a flight for you to go back home and support your family.
Travel insurance is too expensive
Good travel insurance, of course, comes at a price. However, this isn’t a good enough excuse to avoid buying insurance. The cost of medical care in a foreign country can be alarmingly high, especially if you require hospitalisation. By spending a little extra on travel insurance premium now, you can save yourself a hefty chunk of money later if you require medical attention.
Airlines cover the cost of missed flights
While airlines often offer some insurance in case their flights are delayed or canceled, this doesn’t always hold true – especially with budget airlines and for connecting flights. Airlines always recommend keeping time in hand for catching a connecting flight, and they usually do not refund you anything if you miss them.
This is where travel insurance comes in handy – under the right policy, you get covered for missed flights as well as cancellations and delays, regardless of whether it’s due to personal emergencies, routine delays or bad weather.
Employee benefits already include travel insurance
While travel insurance may be part of your employee benefits if you’re traveling for business, it may not cover all possible contingencies. It is advisable to check whether your benefits include the costs of trip cancellation, family members who are not part of the trip and friends/family who come to stay with you in case you are hospitalized during the trip. In case anything is not covered or you are unsure, it is advisable to get your own travel insurance for the rest.
Travel insurance is not available for older travellers
Many travellers argue that insurance companies do not give travel insurance to senior citizens. This, however, is untrue. Any traveller of any age can obtain insurance. For older applicants, your insurance company may need you to submit a medical questionnaire. You also need to provide full details of any existing ailments you may suffer from so that you know the exact limits to which your policy can cover you.
Travel insurance is impossible to claim
Claiming insurance can be a lengthy process, and travel insurance is no different. Your insurance company will want to see suitable proofs of your requirement, which can be a tedious process when you’re in an emergency and need money fast.
However, as long as you keep records of all your transactions, there should be no problem in obtaining your insurance. Moreover, in case you’re unsure about what your insurance policy covers, you can always clarify your doubts with your insurance agent so that you know exactly what to do if something goes wrong.
When it comes to travel insurance – or any kind of insurance for that matter – the bottom line is ‘prevention is better than cure’. While you will naturally take every precaution to ensure a safe trip, things may happen that are beyond your control and having insurance that covers you in such scenarios could save you huge sums of money.
Before heading out for your vacation, therefore, invest a little extra money in a comprehensive travel insurance policy. That way, you can rest easy about being covered during emergencies and focus on having fun!