There are certain types of travellers who see travel insurance as a needless expense. For them, a little positivity is enough to warrant a smooth and incident-free travel. In an ideal world, not a single aspect of one’s travel plans will go wrong. More often than not, though, unexpected events get in the way of an otherwise well thought out trip.
Before you decide to skip on insurance for your next trip, consider the following reasons why having travel insurance is a must.
- Cancelled flights
Based on data from the International Air Transport Association, a trade association for the world’s airlines, average airfares across the globe have gone down by at least 12% in 2015 and has continued to decrease in the current year. With the growing number of airlines offering great deals, the number of flights and travellers have also surged. While many destinations have become available to many travellers, the incidents of cancelled flights have subsequently increased.
While it cannot always be avoided, the inconvenience caused by cancelled flights can be softened by travel insurance. In such a scenario, the right insurance package could do any of these things: provide you with access to an airport lounge, put you on the next available flight or prevent you from having to spend a night at the airport by letting you stay in proper accommodations in instances where alternative flights are not available.
- Lost luggage
Knowing what you can claim from airlines when they lose your luggage may provide some small consolation. Claims from airlines for lost luggage, however, may take days – sometimes even exceeding the number of days of your vacation!
It’s not always a lost cost. Major airlines such as Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM), for instance, have systems in place for delayed, lost or damaged baggage. KLM passengers with delayed baggage can use the airline’s World Tracer tool when the baggage hasn’t been found in 3 days. But while it’s comforting that airlines have such systems in place, not having clothing and other travel essentials requires immediate remedy and this is where travel insurance saves the day. Insurance companies can reimburse expenses and provide compensation based on the value of the lost items, unlike most airlines’ coverage which is often limited.
- Medical emergencies
You’re giddy with excitement for your well-deserved vacation. Having planned a Summer soiree for months, you picture yourself sipping cocktails on a coconut, and spending hours under a rainbow-coloured beach umbrella listening to the sound of the crashing waves. Even if it feels as if nothing could go wrong, by its very nature, travelling almost always involves an element of surprise. Such surprises sometimes come in the form of an illness.
Health travel insurance helps in such situations by saving you from paying medical bills, which is particularly helpful if you’re travelling in countries with very expensive medical care. Health insurance may not cover for injuries or illness arising from travel-related sicknesses, but travel insurance certainly will.
- Emergency transportation
Being in unfamiliar territory while on holiday can be unnerving for certain travellers who are in the middle of an emergency. In case of a health-related emergency, having readily accessible transportation can spell the difference between safety and further danger.
Encountering an actual health emergency means you will also need transportation to get medical assistance as soon as possible, something that a comprehensive travel insurance package should be able to provide.
- Refundable travel expenses
No matter how carefully planned your trip is, unavoidable events can happen. Family emergencies or sudden extreme weather changes can cause you to cancel a trip that has long been planned. In such an event you would want to recover most, if not all, of your expenses. Travel insurance provides refunds for non-refundable deposits for any travel-related expenses, including airfare, accommodations, and advance payments on tour operators and cruises.
- Access to concierge services
Having a toll-free number that you can call when you need to make reservations in restaurants, inquiring about concert tickets, asking for the nearest hospital in case of medical emergencies, is another perk to having travel insurance. Even with all the travel apps on your smartphone and a data roaming service coverage that reaches even the North Pole, it never hurts to have an extra source of assistance.
- Peace of Mind
If you’re the adventurous sort, you should be able to enjoy your vacations doing the things you love. Are you into heli-skiing, parasailing or bungee-jumping? As long as you have the right insurance coverage, you could indulge in your favourite extreme sports and feel safe. What would vacations be like without an adventure every once in a while?
Frequent travellers stand to gain the most from having travel insurance and here’s why: aside from the usual suite of benefits, being insured for your year-long travels gives you peace of mind, which can be very comforting. On the other hand, those who travel less frequently as well as those who prefer less adventurous trips have the option to buy an individual insurance travel plan.
Do you think travelling with an insurance is a must? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments!