Surely you've heard of the word 'travel insurance' being mentioned one too many times by close friends or concerned relatives when you talk about going overseas. ?And we can't blame them! Since the major pandemic of 2020, travel insurance has become one of the most discussed topics amongst the common folk as being the single most crucial purchase before travelling anywhere in the world.
But with so many resources available, we understand it can be complicated. So here is a breakdown of what travel insurance is, what it can do for you and how you can benefit from it!
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What is travel insurance?
At the very basic, travel insurance is a plan that you can purchase. It helps to provide financial protection from problems and losses you may encounter while on vacation. There are many travel insurance plans, each covering different losses. Possible situations that are out of our control include missing or delayed luggage, a medical emergency while overseas and a last-minute trip cancellation (which may happen due to covid these days ?).
How does it work?
Typically, travel insurance reimburses you for the financial losses covered in your plan. You can receive those reimbursements after filing a claim which needs to be approved by the insurance provider.
Applying it to a real-life setting, perhaps you had planned a grand solo trip. Your bag has been packed weeks ahead of time, and you're raring to go! ? All that’s left is to leave for the airport to catch your flight. Suddenly, you receive news that the country you're travelling to is in lockdown (due to a sudden spike in covid cases, for example), and no flights are allowed to enter or leave that country. Without travel insurance, you'd lose the money you spent on your vacation and flight altogether.
However, if you've purchased travel insurance (and depending on your insured plan), you would be reimbursed accordingly after filing a claim.
In certain circumstances, the reimbursement works differently, whereas travel insurance may pay your expenses up front in a medical emergency. Some plans even insure you to be airlifted if the medical emergency is dire and requires you to be.
What does it cover?
Most travel insurance policies cover:
- Lost or stolen bags
- Cost of cancelling, delaying or cutting trip short
- Overseas emergency medical expenses (for example, in extreme sports like bungee jumping or skydiving)
What isn't covered?
While travel insurance seems like the perfect protection against any incoming rainclouds, it does have its limitations and boundaries, such as:
- Having a medical condition (cancer, a severe heart condition, any diagnosed terminal conditions etc.)
- Persons above the age of 80 years old (may differ according to the selected plan)
- Expensive and luxury goods
Why do travellers need travel insurance?
If you ask us if travel insurance is necessary, the answer is a resounding YES! ??There are plenty of reasons why travellers should purchase a travel insurance plan, including the following:
- Cases of pickpocketing
Getting robbed while exploring a foreign country is more likely than most would think. Not only will you be without your essentials, but it can also leave you stranded in an unfamiliar and unpredictable land. Pickpocketing is especially common when travelling to countries like Europe, where it is a frequent issue.
- Cancelled or delayed flight
Flight schedules can be unpredictable due to many circumstances such as weather from natural disasters and COVID. And as exhausted as you may be from waiting hours for a delayed flight, it's even more stressful when it gets cancelled! ?
- Getting sick or injured
It's important to note that medical expenses overseas (like in Europe) can be costly. Regardless of what you may come down with while travelling, it's always good to come prepared with financial protection to avoid worrying about health and injury risks during your vacation.
- Accidental deaths & permanent disablement
Even though it is a very unfortunate and upsetting situation to think about, death is something we cannot think to predict, especially on vacation. As a result, travel insurance policies cover deaths and transportation of the deceased body back to their home country.
COVID-19 & Travel Insurance
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, travel insurance has become even more of a necessity than a commodity! As there is still much uncertainty about the nature and variants of the virus, certain insurers even offer Covid-19 Insurance policies that travellers can buy that cover:
- Trip disruptions (in cases where the traveller tests positive for covid in the middle of their trip)
- Travel delay expenses (COVID-19 hospitalisation or quarantine facility expenses)
However, there are also circumstances that travel insurance may not cover, such as expenses relating to the border closure. As a result, there have been demands for travel insurance plans to be inclusive of such situations which may encourage policies to expand and cover more risks and uncertainties.
? Do note that travel insurance is mandatory to enter countries (such as South Korea and Thailand) requiring a visa!
While it sounds like a very burdensome topic, it's also a crucial part of travelling in 2022, especially with COVID recovery still relatively uncertain globally. ? So protect yourself and your family from situations out of your control, and make sure you choose suitable travel insurance plans!