Do you really need travel insurance?
In one of our earlier articles, we mentioned that many among us still see travel insurance as a luxury, and not a necessity. This perception may be true 30 years ago when flying was a luxury. But in this day and age, air travel has become more and more common, thanks to low cost airlines such as AirAsia and Firefly. Now everyone can fly indeed.
Some of us save up for months, even years for that dream vacation in Europe or our honeymoon at a far off exotic island in the Pacific. We have everything planned for months before the trip. What clothes to bring, how many pairs of sandals, to pack a hat or not? We even spent several hours researching for the best sunblock lotion for the trip. We also made sure that our mom or trusted friend has the key to our apartment. And that they have our itinerary and emergency numbers should they needed to get in touch with us urgently.
Sadly though, many of us neglect the fact that emergency situations can happen anytime anywhere. This includes to us, during our vacations. Or while on a business trip in HK. At a remote island, or while walking down 5th Avenue in New York. You could easily crash into a sidewalk café while trying to get the hang of that rented left-hand-drive car. Ever thought of that?
If you are unsure what risks a travel insurance covers, we suggest you read this article.
Here are some events that can happen to you before and during your well-planned vacation. A travel insurance will not prevent these incidents from happening to you. However, it will provide you with some needed assistance. And in some cases, some extra money to overcome obstacles faced.
1. Travel cancellation – In the case you cannot start or continue your travel
- One week before your vacation, your daughter got into a bad road accident and the doctor doesn’t know how long she has to be hospitalized.
- 2 weeks before your trip, you got retrenched by your company! You didn’t see that coming. You have to worry about how to pay your home loan, how could you possibly spend money on luxurious trips now?
- Two days before arriving at your destination, you found out that the hotel that you have booked and paid for was burnt to the ground.
- While on the first week of a month-long vacation, you got a call from home that your mother is seriously ill. You have paid for all the hotels, car rentals and tours but all you want to do is be home with your mother.
2. Flight delay – In the case where your flight is delayed
- Your flight is delayed for 12 hours due to bad weather. Causing to you have missed your connecting flight, or your boat tour, or 1 night of hotel stay, which you have paid for.
- Your flight is delayed for more than 24 hrs and you and your family are stranded at the airport. So you ended up checking into the airport hotel. All these additional cost!
3. Personal belongings – In the case your personal belongings are lost or damaged
- You are sipping coffee at an outdoor cafe in Bangkok and a local thug runs past your table and runs away with your mobile phone or expensive digital camera!
- You were pick-pocketed in a crowded marketplace.
- Due to your carelessness, you left your handbag with your money and passport in the taxi!
- At the destination airport in Chiang Mai, you found that your luggage looked like it had gone through hell and back. Totally smashed. You will need a new luggage now.
4. Medical expenses – In the case you get sick
- On your way to Stockholm, the passenger who was coughing non-stop beside you on the plane gave you a nasty throat infection and high fever. You ended up having to visit the hospital and go on a very expensive course of antibiotics (yes this actually happened to me).
- You have been the victim of a snatch theft which left your knees scraped and bruised.
- Your appendix ruptured while you were studying abroad and had to have a surgery.
- You had a stroke while attending your child’s graduation in London and had to be hospitalized and treated there.
5. Emergency medical evacuation – In the cases you have an accident
- You are vacationing at the countryside or on an island resort and had a stroke and had to be rushed to the nearest hospital. You can’t be making the trip without professional assistance (including the right equipment).
6. Repatriation service – In the case you need to get home
- After your treatment in a foreign hospital, you are stable enough to go home but require some monitoring and assistance. The medical equipment on-board the plane isn’t cheap, not to mention the medical personnel that accompanies you home.
- The country where you were at when you had a stroke doesn’t have the medical facility to treat you. You had to be flown back home for treatment.
- You didn’t make it after your heart attack while on a business trip. Your family wants to bring you back home so that you can have a proper burial here.
7. Personal liability – In the case you caused injury to others or damaged property belonging to other people
- You accidentally crashed into a fellow holiday maker and left him with a broken elbow while learning to ski.
- You are not too familiar with driving on the “wrong” side of the road and accidentally crashed into somebody’s car
The list of things that can go wrong can be endless and you might have already experienced some of those unfortunate events yourself. But did you know that a travel insurance can help you pay for many of those burdens? Well now you do!
As mentioned in our article, there are exclusions or conditions to the coverage of travel insurance. Therefore you need to understand what each insurance company offers and select the right plan for your travel.
While planning for your trip, include also the agenda to research and shop for a travel insurance. When you ask yourself, how many days should we spend on our holiday, also ask yourself, what are the coverage do we think we need for this trip. When you plan for the remote places you would be visiting, also think about what are the possible risks that may involve and how can you be covered against them. An experienced insurance agent who is an expert in travel insurance would be able to guide you and help you in answering these questions.
We hope that these examples have shed some lights on to why travel insurance is an important part of your vacation or any kind of travels. Vacations shouldn’t just be fun and worry-free, but most importantly they shouldn’t have to cost you financial burden and heartache.