Should you invest in travel insurance?

Should you invest in travel insurance?


By KAVITHA SUBRAMANIAM

WITH the popularity of travel going from strength to strength, it’s only natural for travellers to focus on the most cost-effective tour packages, flight tickets and latest promotional deals.

But, what about travel insurance? How important is insurance when it comes to planning your trips, be it local or overseas?

We are lucky to live in a time where options for travel insurance are plentiful. Not only are we able to look to the airline companies providing insurance in addition to our flight tickets, we are also able to purchase them through insurance agencies and banks.

Furthermore, we are able to purchase insurance for single trips or opt for a yearly premium. With all these options, purchasing a travel insurance plan should be just as important as getting the best flight ticket and accommodation for your trip.

Emergencies

As you travel around a new country or city, you never know what to expect. Most of the time, your trip will proceed with no hitches and your itinerary goes as planned.

In some rare cases, accidents may happen, a natural disaster may occur or you may trip down a staircase. In such scenarios, it is imperative that you have adequate financial coverage to help you get through these harrowing times.

A friend of mine recently had her mobile phone stolen in the middle of a busy street in Hanoi. Upsetting as it was, thankfully her travel insurance covered the cost of a new mobile phone once she returned home.

A number of travel insurance packages are equipped with 24/7 worldwide assistance. This way they will be able to attend to your enquiries any time of the day, regardless of where you are or what time it may be on your side of the world.

Hospitalisation

Travelling to a new country or town brings about a special kind of excitement, food-wise and culture-wise. So, it’s only natural for you to head out to try street food or the best restaurant recommended by friends.

More times than not, you would have no reaction to the food you eat when you travel. But there can be times where you may ingest something that was not prepared well. This can bring about a severe medical reaction such as diarrhoea, migraines and nausea, to name a few.

In extreme cases, you may need to be hospitalised and attended to immediately. With hospitalisation comes potentially extensive medical bills that you are not prepared to pay for. This is where travel insurance comes in to save the day.

You’ll be able to focus on your treatment and recovery instead of fretting over how you will pay for all of this. In certain dire situations, some insurance companies are even able to fly you out to seek treatment in another country, if needed.

We all hope that is never the case, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Flight delays or cancellations

Some flight delays may be minor and may not affect your plans too much. However, in certain unfortunate cases, flight delays may last for 12 to 14 hours or more. This will most definitely mess up your connecting flights, tour itinerary or accommodation plans.

Since there will be a loss incurred financially, your travel insurance will be able to reimburse you. The same applies to flight cancellations which will ruin pretty much your entire trip!

Lost luggage

Nobody likes to lose their luggage. The last thing you want is to arrive in a wintry cold country with all your essential winter gear lost in transit or worse, headed to the Pacific Islands.

This would most certainly require you to fork out extra money to buy some new clothes to tide you over until the airline locates your luggage. All this can be claimed for with your travel insurance. If the airline fails to return your luggage, you can even claim for all goods lost.

Winter clothes and gadgets (and even some luggage bags) do not come cheap. So, it only makes sense that you have proper insurance coverage for losses.

Peace of mind

At the end of the day, we all want to travel with peace of mind – knowing that we and our belongings are taken care of. Things happen and things may get lost along the way, but that doesn’t necessarily have to ruin our entire travel experience.

Some may see travel insurance as a wasted expense. However, it never hurts to be prepared for all unforeseen circumstances. After all, travelling is very much like life, in that you never know what will happen. So, why take that risk?

With the right travel insurance plan, we can enjoy our itineraries without having to worry about rising costs. A worry-free trip. Now, who doesn’t want that?

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