Travel Insurance: As you prepare for you trip, you may be advised to get travel insurance or you may have heard about travel insurance from an insurance broker, advert, tour operator etc; and all these channels shouting travel insurance may cause you to wonder, what is travel insurance, how does it work, do I need it, how do get it among other things.
Well, we are going to tackle some of your questions in this article so that the next time you come across travel insurance, you are well aware of what it is and all its additional information.
Travel Insurance is a special type of insurance that is usually acquired and needed by travellers as they prepare or as they are on their travel trip. This insurance basically covers costs that are associated with mishaps on one’s trip or travel plans.
Generally like other types of insurance this insurance covers unforeseen incidences concerning your travels or trip. It doesn’t cover incidences that were foreseen and not acted upon.
Different insurance companies sell different travel insurance plans that can be used either domestically or internationally but the categories covered by a travel insurance plan almost always remain the same and they are:-
- Personal Property
A traveller’s personal property will include baggage, phones, cameras etc. When the traveller losses or damages this property in the destination of travel or to and from the travel destination, the insurance will cover the replacement of the lost or damaged property.
- Rented equipment (e.g rental cars)
Travellers sometimes like to hire cars, sleeping quarters, hiking equipment and many other things that they can use to facilitate the success of their trip. Once these hired items or equipment are damaged or lost the traveller will be required to pay for the loss/ damage. With travel insurance the insurance covers the payment of the lost or damaged item.
- Trip cancellation
Sometimes known as a trip interruption, it includes trip delays, cancellation of the trip, reimbursements of funds to the traveller and rescheduling of the trip. This Travel insurance is awarded to the traveller when any of the above happens under some outlined situations that normally act as the terms and conditions for the insurance cover. The terms and conditions may include traveller falling ill to a point that they cannot travel, loss of a loved one especially close family, work or business related issues that render the traveller incapable of travelling, natural disasters, travel restrictions, climate related issues etc. Different insurances companies however may add or deduct some of these terms and conditions.
- Medical expenses
This category of travel insurance is deemed the most important because it ensures that you get the proper health care you need when you are on your trip. As the name states its insurance that covers medical expenses while you are on your travel or your trip. Medical expenses on a trip may be either short term or long term; travellers usually get short term because they rarely anticipate staying in the place of travel for a long time. Short term medical insurance normally runs for 5 days to 6 months max, and long term medical expense runs from 6 months to a year or more depending on the insurance company.
- Accidents or Death
When on a trip a lot of things can happen and some may cause accidents that can be fatal, lead to serious injury or disability. This insurance category normally pays benefits to the beneficiaries in case of death and it covers the cost of recovery in cases of serious injury and disability. Not many travellers purchase this insurance for several reasons but the main one being, you may not need this insurance if you have life insurance.
Those five are the main categories in travel insurance, however different insurance companies may include other things in their insurance plans to market their insurance plans and meet more customer needs.
A Traveller will choose to purchase travel insurance for various reasons but mainly they common reason is to shield themselves from several financial losses or setbacks in case of a hiccup on their trip or to help them get the appropriate and needed assistance in time wherever they maybe on the trip. That said different travellers may have different reasons for purchasing travel insurance thus the provision of several varying travel insurance plans by insurance companies.
When planning to purchase travel insurance from an insurer, a traveller should be sure of the following details, because they determine what category of travel insurance you end up buying and for how long.
- What exact travel insurance plan do you need?
- What budget are you working with?
- What benefits do you expect to get from your preferred insurance plan?
- Does the insurance plan fit your desired travel plans?
These questions and a couple of other factors will help you end up purchasing the right travel insurance plan that will cater for your needs of the travel insurance.
It’s said to be wise to purchase your travel insurance plan after you have made your travel plans; it helps get the best plan for your travel needs. However though your purchase the insurance after making travel plans, purchase the plan long before you embark on your travel to allow the insurance company ample time to work on all the necessary paper work and payments needed for the insurance plan.
When you are on a trip and you are in need of your travel insurance you will be required to file a claim and wait for the claim to be approved before the necessary reimbursements or financial help is given to you. Filing a claim mainly involves a traveller providing proof of unforeseen incident and different insurance companies have different timelines for claim approval but its normally not more than one week.
That said it will still be up to you to decide to purchase travel insurance or not. Some travellers will opt not to get travel insurance simply because the chances of having these unforeseen incidents are minimal, however it would be wise for one to acquire travel insurance to avoid massive financial loss or loss of life because of the inability to access needed services.