Travel Insurances: Are They Worth It?
Traveling is one of the best ways to boost happiness and satisfaction in your life when you need a break. But when you finally manage some time and start planning, then comes the inevitable question of getting a travel insurance. Do you really want to spend extra on an insurance which may come in handy if any mishap occurs during your trip? Or do you want to skip it entirely and convince yourself to remain careful while enjoying the trip?
The answers, however, can both be affirmative depending on the type of your trip, the location of your trip, the type of baggage you will be carrying, the adversities you may face in the trip etc. No matter how perfect the planning is, there may be a sudden change of plan and you may have to end up cancelling the whole thing.
There may be a travel delay or a sudden interruption in your trip. Your luggage may be damaged or worse, lost. A medical emergency may occur. Whether your travel insurance will be worth the cost or not, it depends on all these issues and how much you are willing to take the risk of losing something on the trip.
What Is a Travel Insurance?
Unless you are already familiar with the term, here are a few key points you need to know about travel insurances. Like other insurances, travel insurances cover any losses but only when you face those on a trip. You can arrange a travel insurance during the time of booking your trip to cover the probable losses. This insurance will last till you end your trip and arrive home safely. Moreover, you can reach for the ‘multi-trip’ policy which will ensure security in a longer time frame while you travel in more than one destinations.
How to Know Your Travel Risks
If you are not sure whether you should worry about any uncertain turns in your trip or not, sit for a moment and think about your position in the trip. There may be some certain factors which lead to a possibility of facing risks in a trip. Here are some situations which can help you determine your own concerns:
A group which has an old or disabled or sick member may want to look for a good medical coverage in case they need it while being in the trip.
A single parent may want to ensure that a sudden cancellation is possible, and she can get back her money if the child falls ill or becomes injured and needs to be taken home in the middle of the trip.
A volunteer or a journalist may want to ensure a secure way to get back home if a medical evacuation or an emergency departure is needed from their covered areas.
In this way, some specific factors can increase the risks of financial damage which can be minimized if you buy a travel insurance. However, such insurance can be costly and may not be needed in every single trip you make. Therefore, consider your situation first, think about the risks and then come to a firm decision.
When You Should Consider Getting A Travel Insurance
As much as some people like to travel without a travel insurance and would advise you not to worry about it, you should always think about your own reasons for getting or not getting a travel insurance. Even though these insurances often sound very promising, you don’t necessarily need them on every trip. Here are some factors which may help you to decide when you should consider having a travel insurance:
If you have already invested a significant amount of money
As it happens with all of us, when we decide to go on a trip, we start planning and often end up investing a good amount in it. While nobody usually thinks of cancelling, there may be some unexpected events resulting in forcing one to change plans. You can get sick or a relative may fall ill, you may lose your passport or an important document, and much more. Accidents can happen anytime, without any prior notion. Cancelling or delaying your trip on a sudden notice may cause you monetary loss. A travel insurance, in this case, can help you to regain the money you invested.
If you are travelling somewhere where your current health insurance won’t be useful
Quite often, people fall ill when they travel outside of their comfort zones. The condition can be as bad as a minor fever or a food poisoning, but it will be very unfortunate if you catch a serious disease due to lethal local virus in the area you are visiting, or if you suddenly become injured while travelling. The medical expenses can be very high or budget-friendly depending on the locations. In case you are planning on visiting a country, such as the US or Canada, where medical expenses are relatively high, you can consider buying a travel insurance which will cover your medical costs if you need any.
If you are carrying valuable contents
Some trips are for personal refreshment or for family gatherings but quite often you have to make business trips or personal trips where you may need to carry some expensive or significant items. Any damage or losing of these items may result in causing you a huge loss of money. If you are not willing to risk the cost of the important items, a travel insurance may be a good option for you.
Travel Insurance Coverage Types
A travel insurance can cover many risks that you may face in your trip. However, the cost is not the same for different coverages you will be getting. Each of these factors is broken down into more factors and as you are spending a handsome amount in it, you may want to read all the clauses carefully. You have to consider it as a legal document and go through all the policies until you understand exactly what you will be receiving.
There are some major coverages that a travel insurance offer. Some of these are briefly discussed below:
Medical Emergencies and Sudden Evacuations: As mentioned above, travel insurance cover many factors, but medical coverage is probably the most important thing you want to ensure first. It will cover the cost of medical treatment and the cost of transportation needed to reach the medical facility. Moreover, you may need to leave the area in case of a medical emergency. In that case, a solid medical insurance will help you to cover the cost.
Trip Cancellation or Interruption: While no one expects any unfortunate incident, which cuts the trip short, you can never be sure of what may occur. Travel insurance will cover the cost if you need to cancel the trip because of an emergency. The policies also include interruptions which may take place due to a harsh weather or a terrorist activity. However, you want to read the terms carefully as they do not cover every sort of interruption and cancellation.
Baggage and Document: If your baggage is lost or stolen or somehow damaged in the trip, you can still get back the cash worth the contents. Moreover, any important document or personal belonging that is worth insuring, you may consider buying a travel insurance for it. In that way, you don’t have to fear losing your valuable items. However, if the damage occurs due to your own carelessness or without any significant reason, you will not be benefitted from this policy.
Accidental Death or Severe Injury: This is the worst thing that can happen to someone on a trip. But you never know when someone’s time or luck runs out. In case there’s an accident which causes severe injury or death, travel insurance will cover the cost of returning the person home. They will also bear the necessary expenses needed in a situation like this.
Additional Coverage: Along with the more crucial factors, there are also some optional coverages that you can get from a travel insurance. You may avail rental car coverage, AD&D coverage, specific event coverage etc. from different travel insurance policies.
However, you must keep in mind that you need to get a travel insurance while booking a ticket, not a day or week before you start your trip.
Travel Insurance Cost
Now that you know the basic ideas of a travel insurance and why you may want to consider getting one, we will give you an approximate idea of the cost.
Usually travel insurance cost around 4-10% of the total vacation cost. If your budget for your trip is $4000, you may be looking at a travel insurance which will cost around $160-$320. However, a basic budget plan can be less than 4% whereas a premium plan can cost over 12% of your budget for the trip.
The costs can differ from the approximate percentage depending on the features you are going for, or some additional factors regarding the destination, the length of your trip, total trip cost, age of the travelers, pre-existing conditions etc.
Travel Insurance Common Exclusions
Just as you may be benefited from certain travel insurance policies, you should also know that they do not cover certain factors. If you have pre-existing medical condition which is serious or deadly, your insurance company may not cover this part. Travelling for medical treatment or elective surgery may also be excluded from the policy. Additionally, illness caused by drug usage, reckless behavior or improper activities is not covered by insurance companies.
You may also want to consider about other factors than the medical one. Quite often, the insurance companies exclude offers depending on a specific situation. If you plan on going to a location containing a higher risk of damage, you may not be able to avail certain offers from an insurance company.
Sometimes natural calamities like floods, typhoons, hurricanes etc. and man-made destructions like wars, terrorist attacks etc. also affect the policies. If you plan on visiting places containing uncertain threats like volcanic eruptions or going on a jungle or mountain expedition, you may not get much help from your insurance company.
Then again, some companies also exclude certain nations from their policies. Countries that have a substantial risk of causing physical damage, or contagious disease, are usually excluded from the list.
The most important thing you need to know about the travel insurance companies is that they will help you regain money only when they make sure that the incident isn’t sabotaged. In case you are anyhow responsible for the loss or the damage, they won’t bear the cost in any way.
How to Choose Travel Insurance Worth Your Money
When you become sure of the concerns you need to make insurance of, you will need to contact a good insurance company. Some travel agencies will recommend you one or you can choose your own. You can either visit their office directly or read about the necessary information online.
Most agencies that offer travel insurance have their own websites. You can read their policies, terms & conditions and check whether they are worth your hard-earned money or not. You need to remember that these policies are prepared by lawyers and are legally significant. If you don’t understand any point or need more information, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Additionally, for security reasons, ensure the authenticity and the credibility of the company first. Take time to read some client reviews and go through a few companies’ policies before you take a decision. When you are completely sure of all the facts, only then go for it.
You can also get the best out of your insurance if you have a general outline of the plan on your mind. Consider the possibilities of an emergency or a cancellation of your trip. By breaking down the cost and choosing the most suitable insurance policy for you, you can ensure your trip worth the money.