If you have some preconceived ideas about travel insurance, you’re not alone, so we're here to bust a few myths!
Travel insurance covers a lot more than just your health expenses. It helps mitigate the financial loss arising from situations such as loss of baggage, delay or cancellation of your flight, cost incurred from losing passport or other important documents, etc.
For example, if you are on a solo trip to Australia, and your wallet with all your money is stolen, you can request your insurer to provide you with emergency money to continue your trip. Or, if your airline is delayed and if the airline company does not have a policy to provide compensation to its flyers for the delay, you can turn to your insurance company to cover the hotel costs for the night.
But I have health insurance, why do I need travel insurance?
Well, most health insurance policies do not cover your expenses internationally, and even if they do, the coverage may be limited to certain countries and regions.
You may have a spotless record of travelling without an incident, but there’s no guarantee that you luck won’t run out. You may contract a disease on a trip to Africa, or you may need to rush back home to attend to an emergency, in which case having travel insurance would facilitate a quick and cost effective return home.
Sure, travel insurance, of course, is a must for adventure seekers, but it is equally important for other travellers to have as a safety net in case they are caught in the middle of a natural disaster (i.e. Act of God such as volcano, floods, landslides, etc.) or if even if they have misplaced essential medicines. Nearly 40% of all travel insurance claims are for trip cancellations and just 11% of claims are for medical expenses!
Medical costs in countries in Asia, specifically South East Asia, may be relatively cheap, but as you move westwards, medical expenses are significantly higher. Hospital costs per day average around $250 (Rs. 15,000) in India, while in the US, the average cost per day is around $1500 (Rs. 90,000). Travel insurance also ensures that the hospital/clinic that you get treated in is of high standard and the doctors are comparable to the ones at home, even if you are on holiday in a developing country.
Most travel insurances provide full claim for valid claims filed by their customers. It is essential for you to read the policy document before taking up a travel insurance policy as there might be exclusions. For instance, insurers may deny a claim settlement for those individuals who have a pre-existing medical condition, claims for injuries caused due to adventure sports accidents, terrorist acts etc.
Often most travellers forget or choose to neglect the benefits of travel insurance, and often regret not enrolling in a travel insurance scheme. For a small price every time you travel, you can preserve yourself lakhs of rupees that can be reserved for even more sightseeing and exploration!
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