Travel insurance is an insurance product designed to protect the insured against unexpected losses and expenses and any other associated risks involved while traveling. It is considered a smart investment to safeguard bookings and valuables when traveling to domestic as well as overseas destinations. Just like any other insurance product, an international travel insurance cover has its own set of specific list of inclusion and exclusion criteria, which must be considered while purchasing the product.
Why do you need travel insurance?
As exciting as it may be, traveling always involves certain risks-physical or financial. These risks might involve getting injured, falling sick, being involved in an accident, losing luggage or theft of valuables. While many people believe international travel insurance cover to be another scam, those travelers who have benefitted from it attest to the need for a great insurance plan. Travel insurance comes to the rescue in time of emergencies and can prove to be of great assistance when you are traveling overseas.
Risks you can neutralize with travel insurance.
1. Flight Delay or Cancellation
While planning any trip, the first thing we check is the availability of flights and at times the whole trip is planned around them. But what if there is a delay in your flight and as a result, you miss your connecting flight. Or due to some unexpected event, the flight gets canceled. Such incidents can derail the whole travel plan and turn the trip into a harrowing experience. With international travel insurance cover, such events and the expenses incurred thereof are covered. The insurance provider, if so mentioned would also cover the expenses that might have to be made for fresh bookings in such events. We have often heard that the airlines refused to board some passengers due to overbooking of the flight. If such situation arises, the travel insurance would help you book another flight and not leave you stranded. This also prevents adding extra expenses to your credit card bills. Sometimes flight insurance under the international travel insurance cover also provides coverage for you and your family in case of a plane crash.
2. Loss or theft of Baggage
Travel enthusiasts are witness to the fact that the odds of losing luggage in transit are quite high. At times the luggage may be delayed, lost or damaged during the course of your trip. While this risk factor is included in most international travel insurance cover, there may be certain sub-limit to your valuables such as jewelry, electronics etc. Such conditions must be considered while comparing and buying the insurance plan. It is also critical to note that in case the baggage was lost due to negligence on the part of the traveler; it is grounds for rejection of the claim. For instance, if the baggage or electronics were left unattended, leading to theft, the policy provider is not liable to pay the claim.
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3. Trip Interruption or Cancellation
Certain emergencies might result in you canceling your trip or cutting it short to rush back home. Such eventualities are covered under the domestic and international travel insurance cover. In the absence of travel insurance, the expenses incurred due to trip cancellation or interruption, are borne by the traveler. The insurance will cover your expenses if your trip had to be canceled due to some unforeseen reasons such as health issues or if a non-refundable prepaid tour gets canceled. If it's mentioned in the plan, travel insurance also covers the expenses in case the trip gets canceled due to unfavorable weather conditions.
4. Medical Expenses
Medical complications can not only create havoc for your trip but also mount the credit card bills. Purchasing a good domestic or international travel insurance cover, which covers a comprehensive list of medical expenses, is advised. Before leaving for the trip make sure the cover is in force, this might require you to declare any pre-existing medical conditions. Even if you are traveling with a clean bill of health and have a great health insurance, you never know when an emergency may strike. It could be worrisome and be tormenting to locate and pay for medical services on foreign land. Also, it is imperative to note that the policy won’t cover the expenses in case you are traveling to get a medical procedure done in the destination country.
5. Evacuation Insurance
Certain emergencies may require you to be transported to the nearest medical center so that you can receive the relevant medical services. These could mean the use of special services such as air ambulance, which can prove to be quite expensive. These costs are covered if evacuation insurance is included in your interstate or international travel insurance cover. Although, keep in mind that unless specified otherwise, the policy would not cover evacuation costs in case of adventure sports such as skydiving, scuba diving etc. In order to include costs for such dangerous activities in your insurance cover, you can look for a product that is designed keeping these activities in mind. Also note that most insurance providers exclude certain events from this such as political crisis, nuclear threat, terrorist attack etc.
6. Accidental Death or Disability
Travel insurance cover also provides a lump sum amount to the insured’s beneficiary in case of accidental death or disability subject to the terms of the policy. It is important to note that this claim however would not be payable in case the event occurs when the insured was under the influence of alcohol or drugs as most insurance providers consider it as grounds for rejection of claim.
While these are the six basic risks covered and neutralized by most of the domestic and international travel insurance cover, you could purchase an additional cover or upgrade your existing travel insurance plan to include specific risks such as identity theft, car rental insurance etc. to create specialized coverage. Buying travel insurance not only takes care of the many risks involved while traveling but also assists you in case of emergencies. Most of the insurance providers help their policyholders with an emergency contact number, which is available round the clock for any kind of assistance when traveling overseas.
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