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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Travel Insurance Warning : Ignore at your own Peril

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Imtiaz Ullah
Imtiaz Ullahhttps://nomadlawyer.org/about/
Imtiaz Ullah is the founder of travel website - NomadLawyer. A Corporate Lawyer, Senior Travel Correspondent, The Traveller Trails magazine and also acts as an Advisory Member, NGO - Sarvahitey. His travel philosophy is exploring new places, meeting new people, knowing the culture, eating like a local. He always believes in the idea-“ Don't just be a traveller but a Responsible one”.

Travel Insurance

COVID- 19 has taught us that travel insurance has become important like never before and has become an absolute necessity.  I believe that law should be implemented to make it mandatory and one should not be allowed to travel without travel insurance. Let’s take an in-depth look at some facts and frequently asked questions, and ensure that you’re informed before you opt for travel insurance.

Let us start with the basics before delving deep into the details. Travel Insurance is designed to provide benefits to the travelers that cover them from any unexpected happening on a holiday. In the sense, if your accommodation gets cancelled or if you get yourself injured while trekking or doing any adventurous activity or if we imagine the worst-case scenario, then it could be loss or damage to your possessions. In such a case travel insurance will help you get covered from the mishaps caused while travelling.

My own experience– I was in Thailand in 2016, while snorkelling in Railey beach, I injured my ankle. Immediately, I looked for a medical shop for immediate treatment and after some toil, I managed to find one. The nurse applied some pain relief ointment and put plaster  around my ankle.  For this, I had to pay 2000 INR or $30, which I considered was really on the higher side but I had to pay for it and ironically, back then I did not have travel insurance  and this is  when I realised the importance of travel insurance. 

Next was while I was travelling  from Indonesia to India by Malindo airlines,  some of the belongings were missing from my wife’s locked backpack during the transit. Under such circumstances a travel insurance plays a pivotal role and acts as a saviour.

Here’s our Malindo Air article , it was a scam we went through.

What does Travel Insurance cover

Depending on the policy, travel insurance reimburses you or offers services when something goes awry:

  • The policy holder makes non-refundable reservations and then has to cancel or end a trip early because of sickness or due to some personal emergency.
  • The policy holder’s baggage is lost or stolen.
  • The policy holder misses a flight or has an emergency and needs help finding a hotel, doctor or legal help.
  • The policy holder gets sick while traveling and needs medical care.
  • The policy holder has a medical emergency and needs to be transported to the nearest hospital or back home.
  • There’s even coverage for the worst-case scenario: if the policy holder dies in an accident while traveling. Accidental death coverage pays the policy holder’s beneficiary a lump sum in that case.
  • Travelers also need to keep in mind there are many other hazards involved with travel, especially international travel, including injuries and other types of illnesses outside of COVID-19.

Importance of choosing the right insurance

Contrary to popular belief, cheapest is not the best. Choose a policy which meets all your needs, not just the basics. 

So if you’re going deep sea diving, I would suggest you wisely choose a policy! 

Read your policy documents carefully, so you don’t need to worry about what’s covered and what’s not. 

Choose a trustworthy insurance provider, because any Tom Dick and Harry insurance may not be worth.

Fill your medical forms carefully. Following up with your insurance company during travel will not be a cake walk. 

It is a good idea to get insurance for your luggage and any valuables you may be carrying, as their loss might make a big dent to your finances.

There are the two types of travel insurance you can buy after the pandemic:

  1. “Cancel for any reason” travel insurance. It costs between 10% and 12% of the price of your vacation, and it will refund part of your travel costs if you decide to cancel. 

      2) “Named perils” travel insurance. This is the more common kind of travel insurance. It’s less expensive (7% to 9% of your trip cost), but as the name implies, it only covers the perils named in the policy. And a pandemic is probably not included.

NomadLawyer’s recommendation for some notable travel insurance companies in India are:

1. Tata AIG Travel Insurance

2. Apollo Munich Travel Insurance

3. Religare Travel Insurance

4. Bajaj Allianz Travel Insurance

5. HDFC ERGO Travel Insurance

6. ICICI Lombard

Please Note: this is not an exhaustive list.

You can easily apply for a travel insurance policy online. The process is really easy  and hassle-free. You don’t need a travel agent’s assistance on this.

So, next time while you  travel around the globe don’t forget to opt for travel insurance.

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