During your travels, anything that could go wrong, can go wrong and you are left between a rock and a hard place.
On a previous blog post, I had mentioned that travel insurance is one vital document required when applying for a Schengen visa. Most of the other countries outside of those regions also expect you to be insured and it is all for a good cause.
The last thing you would want is to become a liability to any state or its people. The unpleasantness that comes with getting stuck in a foreign land, hospital, morgue, airport and at the mercies of well wishers abroad, family, friends to desperately and, as a matter of urgency, fundraise to get you back home, is something you could easily have avoided in the first place.
Travel Insurance matters should not be wished away by any traveler at all. Let us now look into why it should not:
What does Travel Insurance cover?
Travel insurance basically protects or covers you from the unexpected including:
• Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation in case of death while you are away on a trip.
- Cancellation or interruption of trips.
- Emergency medical coverage.
- Trip delays.
- Loss of baggage and personal equipment.
- NOTE: Depending on the insurer and your location, insurance plans may include or exclude some of the items mentioned above therefore you may request, to upgrade your policy to cover more, depending on your needs.
You may have read stories where tourists have gotten robbed and lost all their belongings, including passports, suddenly fallen ill or encountered accidents during their trips, some of which have lead to death. Anything can happen at any time are we are no exception to such complications.
This is where travel insurance truly comes in handy.
Travel insurance does not cover:
– Sports or activities deemed ‘risky’ such as zip-lining, rock climbing, snowboarding, bungee jumping, rafting, sky diving, speed contests, skiing and scuba diving. If you intend to participate in any of these activities during your trip, please read and understand the travel insurance policy before appending your signature.
– Engaging in drug and substance abuse is likely to get your claims thrown out the door too.
– Loss of personal belongings that you left unattended. Out of your carelessness.
– Pre-existing medical conditions. This is a tricky one and has to be navigated carefully. It is initially not covered in insurance plans but a conversation to include them, if you are affected might be necessary.
– Trip interruptions, cancellations and rebooking as a result of not holding sufficient travel documentation or not complying with the rules and regulations of the country you are visiting. Drunk driving, drug involvement, participation in unlawful activities, arrest by police etc.
– Natural disasters including hurricanes, holocausts, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Do not purchase travel insurance to affected countries after the disasters have taken place. It is similar to walking on burning coal. Who would take a risk to cover that? The answer is ‘no one.’
-Pregnancy, childbirth and travel to seek medical attention and/ treatment abroad.
– Terrorism, political unrest, civil war and so on.
– Failing to check in for your flight on time, missing a flight and rebooking.
– Visiting countries where travel advisories have been issued prior to your trip.
– Mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating and trauma related disorders.
Travel Insurance Tips
- My top most tip is shop, shop, shop extensively before you settle for an insurance plan. Compare each of them, know and understand them. Ask questions and request clarifications in case you are unsure about anything.
- Travel Insurances differ by plan tier, specific benefits covered, maximum cost and length. Cheaper might not necessarily guarantee full coverage therefore you need to be careful prior to buying one.
- Some travel agents may sell you tickets that come with travel insurance at an additional cost. It is not mandatory that you buy one with them. Go an extra mile to find out what their deal is, their scope of coverage and terms of contract. However, please be careful as the coverage may have limits that might restrict you.
- Regular travelers could settle for a yearly plan to save time and money as compared to a standalone every time you are going on a trip.
- If you are employed by a company that has put you under medical insurance, check if they cover travel before you buy one. You might be surprised they could provide travel insurance for free, or an add-on with a set premium.
- Declare in case you have a pre-existing medical condition. It might work against you because most insurance companies do not cover this and they may shy away from selling you one. Whatever the case, you are better off safe than sorry so request to have your premiums increased to enable them cover your condition. Being honest will help you claim should you be taken ill during travel and require urgent medical treatment.
- When filing claims for lost items, you will be required to provide original receipts of purchase. Each company gives you a period within which you can claim so always have them saved on your phone for reference.
- Insurers are known to sometimes employ all sorts of games and trickery when they want to evade paying out claims. That does not mean all of them are quacks or out to take our money. You just need to be a little extra vigilant when identifying a potential insurer.
- Always run a background check of the country you plan to visit during the initial process of planning your trip. This will keep you updated should there be any travel alerts you need to watch out for.
As a traveler, you should always be prepared. Do not be caught off guard.
Thank you for your time. Cheers.