Traveling within the country and outside is a normal occurrence. The transportation systems, the world over, have developed so much that traveling is no more a trying task. People travel for work and sometimes even for pleasure. All that it needs is a little planning and scheduling. However, there is one important aspect that is quite often overlooked. And that is “Insurance”. So, here are a few important things that you need to know about travel insurance or travel cover.
What Is Travel Insurance?
When you travel unforeseen incidents can happen. These incidents might involve flight cancellation, loss of baggage, illness, accident, injury etc., and have financial repercussions. In fact, trouble does not come knocking only when you have reached your destination of choice. Sometimes, it comes even before the planned travel starts. When this happens you might be forced to cancel your holidays. Travel insurance provides financial protection against such risks. Some people often refer to travel insurance as holiday insurance or holiday cancellation insurance. They do so because traveling is usually associated with holidays.
Is It Necessary To Buy Travel Insurance?
To answer this question you need to first study all your existing insurance policies. What do you need to check in them? Well! You need to check their coverage. See if your health insurance policy and life insurance policy cover medical emergencies overseas or out of state. Check if your motor vehicle policy is applicable even when you are traveling. When you get a credit card, there are benefits attached to it. These benefits include accidental insurance, loss of baggage etc. So, be clear about all these things. After checking your coverage, if you feel that all the traveling aspects are sufficiently covered, you need not buy travel insurance. However, if you feel that your existing policies do not give you sufficient coverage, you have to buy a travel insurance policy. After all, you have to protect your interests.
Is Travel Insurance Compulsory?
In some countries, having travel insurance is mandatory for all outsiders or travelers. At the time of entering such countries, your insurance papers will be checked. However, this is not strictly true for all countries. But think about it, when you travel you have limited local currency. What will you do if it is not sufficient to cover the expense of unexpected situations? Having travel insurance or travel cover gives you the peace of mind that you can take care of all financial eventualities in a foreign land.
Ultimately buying travel cover or holiday cancellation insurance is your call to make. But if the reality is understood clearly, it will help manage the financial situation if things don’t go as planned. So fundamentally speaking, it is good to have a fall back plan and hence getting travel insurance is good.
Types Of Travel Insurance And What It Covers
Broadly, all travel related mishaps can be categorized under 5 major heads. Each of these constitutes a comprehensive travel cover. You can either buy a mix of these or a whole travel insurance policy.
When you travel, there is a possibility of falling ill. In such a case, medical insurance gives you protection by ensuring that you cover only a portion of the medical expense. It includes doctor’s fees, cost of medicines, hospitalization charges etc. Similarly, there might be a chance that you have to be evacuated due to a medical emergency. Mostly, such a scenario will arise when you are either on a cruise or traveling in a very remote area. When such is the case, you can buy emergency medical evacuation insurance as a part of medical insurance cover. This covers your emergency transportation charges.
Travel Document Protection
When you travel you carry travel-related documents. These could include a passport, driving license, identification papers etc. Loss of such documents will ruin your plans and also you will have to bear the cost of replacing them. Travel document protection cover will help you at such times.
Baggage Loss And Baggage Delay
Those who travel by air are well aware that your baggage can get delayed, lost or damaged in transit. Your travel insurance policy protects you by bearing a part of the expense which you incur in replacing the lost or damaged items. Additionally, it also gives cash payment if your baggage remains missing even after 12 hours of your arrival at the destination.
Flight Delay And Flight Cancellation
Flight tickets are really costly. Any delay or cancellation of flight will mean additional expense for transportation to and from the hotel, hotel bill, cost of meals etc. A good travel insurance policy will help you cover all these expenses with ease. Not only that, it will also aid in making new travel arrangements.
Unforeseen incidents can compel you to either cancel your holiday or delay the plans. An ideal trip cancellation policy will offer a comprehensive cover. It means that irrespective of the reason all cancellations will be covered.
How To Claim Travel Insurance
You have purchased travel insurance to safeguard your finances during travel. When something goes wrong, you have to initiate a sequence of actions to claim the insurance money.
- Contact your insurance company and inform them.
- Ask the company representative what all documents are required to prove the said incident.
- Collect all information as requested by the insurance company including the crime reference number if applicable.
- In case of loss or delay in baggage, ask the airline representative for a written confirmation of the same.
- In case of medical expense, get copies of all bills including doctor’s fee, hospitalization charges and cost of medicines.
- Submit all the information with the supporting documents to the insurance company.
A good travel plan is that in which you cover all bases. Having a comprehensive travel insurance makes your travel tension free. Carrying your own travel first aid kit will also be handy. If it’s a holiday that you are going on, a holiday cancellation insurance will help you overcome adverse situations. Nobody is stopping you from buying a befitting travel insurance policy. Therefore, discuss your needs with an insurance agent and buy the policy that suits your pocket the best.