Travelling can be one of life’s great experiences. The opportunity to visit new locations, embrace different cultures and try new things is second to none. However, despite our best intentions, there can be times when travelling doesn’t quite go as planned.
Think lost luggage, cancelled flights or medical emergencies. While travelling is meant to be a rewarding process, it doesn’t preclude incidents both large and small from derailing your plans.
To be as prepared as possible, it’s important to research travel insurance. Different plans and coverage levels will help to ensure that there are contingencies in place should something go wrong. All of which helps to protect yourself and the investment you’ve made in your trip.
What is travel insurance
While not a legal requirement for travelling domestically or internationally, travel insurance is strongly recommended by those in the industry. This is largely because travel insurance can provide coverage that is tailored to protect against the common risks and losses associated with travel.
These risks can be both minor and large. A minor risk would be opening up your luggage to find something missing or broken. On the other hand, a major risk would be falling ill or breaking a bone.
In essence, travel insurance is designed to protect travellers from the unexpected. As such, typical coverage extends from medical emergencies to cancellation and delays, issues with baggage and even car hires.
As a type of insurance, if an issue should occur, covered individuals will need evidence to support claims. Evidence can range from proof of travel to a doctor’s report. From there, the provider will assess the claim and provide the relevant support.
It is however worth noting that the cost of travel insurance will differ from individual to individual. This is because the cost of coverage will be dependent on a range of factors from age and trip duration to destination and the coverage limit and deductible.
Also of note is the fact that when applying for travel medical insurance, there are strict rules surrounding pre-existing conditions. Some providers may even enforce a look back period to check your medical history.
What travel insurance can protect
There are three categories that travel insurance can effectively protect. Firstly, you. Secondly, your belongings. Lastly, your travel experience. This broad range of coverage ensures that no matter the situation or the circumstances, you have an added level of protection.
In terms of personal protection, travel insurance can help in situations ranging from emergency medical insurances to medical evacuation and accidental death. It’s worth noting that this protection falls into two categories- primary and secondary. Primary essentially means that the insurance provider will pay the emergency medical bills. Secondary coverage will look to your health plan for payment and then the insurance will cover what’s left.
Travel insurance can also afford protection to your belongings. Coverage ranges from stolen/lost luggage and hotel/cruise ship protection to rental car coverage. A good tip is to photograph the contents in your luggage. This can make the claims process easier and expedited.
The final category of protection provided by travel insurance refers to protecting the experience. This means that everything from flight cancellations and delays to trip cancellations or interruptions are covered. Most coverage also offers travel assistance aimed at providing 24/7 help to those who may be stranded due to cancelled flights or accommodation.
When outlining what travel insurance can protect, it’s important to consider what this type of insurance will not cover. Typically, coverage will not be provided when travelling for a medical reason or when travelling while pregnant. Pandemic situations may not be covered, neither will participation in sports where the chance of injury or death is high.
Why travel insurance is important
Just like packing a bag before jetting off on a holiday, obtaining travel insurance is becoming an essential travel step. This is largely because travel insurance provides protection against the unexpected.
When taking out travel insurance, everything from medical costs to travel related expenses can be covered. This essentially works to protect your monetary investment in travel. This is highly important when you consider how expensive something like needing medical treatment or cancelling a trip can be.
For example, hospital visits in South East Asia can begin at $800 a day. There are even cases in the American medical system where evaluations have cost in excess of $75,000. Meanwhile, cancelling a trip after the cancellation period has ended can also be costly without travel insurance.
The impact of travel insurance on your adventure
Whether at home or travelling overseas, sometimes unexpected things happen. When at home, you are better placed to deal with issues such as medical problems or lost items. When you’re in an entirely new place, little obstacles can feel like daunting prospects.
Being protected by travel insurance can help bring peace of mind and a sense of ease when dealing with the unexpected while on vacation. While travel insurance won’t stop the unexpected from occurring, it can help to limit both the short and long term impact.