The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that even perfectly planned routes can sometimes go wrong. Caution is paramount and all safety precautions must always be in place. This is not limited to vaccinations, masks and disinfectants, but travel insurance is also a priority.
Many people realize when planning a trip that travel insurance is a mandatory requirement when applying for visas to certain countries. However, many of them buy travel insurance just to comply, without going into details about the insurance contract they are buying and what exactly it would cover. There are a number of factors that distinguish one policy from another.
In addition, travel insurance should be on your checklist when planning a trip, whether or not it is mandatory. To get the most out of your policy, it is essential to understand what is involved and what is not. Here is a summary of everything you need to know about travel insurance.
What does the travel insurance cover?
Travel insurance covers various types of financial losses that a person may encounter during the trip. The insurance period is usually the entire duration of the journey. Although this protection is very useful when traveling abroad, you can also take out travel insurance to cover your travels within the country. Depending on the insurance contract you purchase, you may receive coverage for emergency medical expenses while traveling, cancellations and delays, loss of luggage, delayed checked baggage, loss of passport, accidental death or disability, etc.
Since the cost of travel insurance is only a fraction of the cost of the entire trip, it makes sense to choose it for you to secure your trips. By making this small investment, you will ensure that you do not suffer a major loss if you have to cancel, shorten or even face health problems during the trip. For example, you can get an initial plan for as little as INR 50 per day for a 15-day trip to the UK.
In addition, in these uncertain times, your travel insurance also comes with global coverage against the Covid-19 virus. If you become infected with the Covid-19 virus while traveling, your insurance company will take care of your medical expenses. Travel cancellation or delay due to COVID-19 is also covered by travel insurance.
Types of travel insurance plans
Not all travel insurance is similar. In the first place, there are variations depending on whether you are traveling at home or abroad, whether it is a single trip or several trips, and whether you are traveling alone or in a group. Here are the main types of travel insurance plans:
International and domestic travel insurance plans
While the first includes trips abroad, the second includes trips made within the country. Even in the case of international travel insurance, the plans are often divided according to the countries they cover. Therefore, there are plans that cover specific countries or regions; the others cover all but a few countries. Finally, there are several plans that cover travel to any district without exception.
Travel insurance plans for one or more trips
As the name suggests, a one-way travel insurance plan covers one specific trip for a certain number of days, which are clearly stated in the insurance contract. This starts from the day of departure until the day of return. On the other hand, a multi-journey travel insurance plan covers several journeys made during one year from the date of commencement of the insurance. This is a useful option for those who travel frequently. Taking out multi-trip insurance is not only convenient, but also cost-effective if you travel several times a year.
Individual and group travel insurance
An individual travel insurance plan is designed for those who travel alone or with their families. Although the name refers to an individual, it refers to the insured and his / her family members who accompany him / her on the journey, as long as their names are clearly stated when purchasing the insurance.
On the other hand, group travel insurance is intended for companies whose employees travel for work. Travel agents often also purchase a group travel insurance plan to cover individual individuals who can travel together on a tour. This type of insurance is often part of the tour package.
Student travel insurance
The Covid-19 pandemic saw millions of students suffering as a result of the restrictions. This was especially true for students studying abroad. In such a situation, student travel insurance comes in handy because it covers not only medical expenses that can swallow your limited expenses while studying abroad, but also the refund of paid semester fees if the insured’s education is interrupted for real reasons. In addition, these plans also cover the cost of canceled journeys.
What does the travel insurance plan include?
Emergency medical expenses
Traveling is full of risks, especially if you travel to a country with a different climate, cultures, customs and eating habits. What you have planned as a relaxing holiday can quickly become a stressful nightmare when an unforeseen emergency situation occurs and leads not only to mental but also to financial stress. It can be difficult to find help in an unknown place, especially in the case of additional financial costs that you may incur as a result of a medical emergency that exceeds your travel budget.
However, if you opt for travel insurance, it would cover the cost of hospitalization as well as additional medical fees if you become ill or injured. If there is no suitable hospital nearby, some policies even cover the cost of emergency transportation and evacuation services to move the patient to a suitable medical facility.
In addition, some plans offer a daily hospital allowance if you are hospitalized during the trip. This contribution can help you take care of those extraordinary expenses that may be related to medical expenses but do not belong to them. Some travel insurance policies even cover post-hospitalization costs up to a certain period. Therefore, it is useful to confirm whether the plan you are considering offers all these benefits.
Cancellation and shortening of the journey
Consider this scenario: you’ve made redesigned travel plans to your favorite destination. You have booked tickets, made hotel reservations and even paid for the cruise you wanted to go with your loved ones. However, just a day or two before the expected departure date, you are forced to cancel the plan – maybe someone in your family has suddenly fallen ill and cannot travel, or the family has died or died. there is a forecast of a sudden weather disaster or crisis in your destination. What will happen to the money you have already spent on securing your trip? With decent travel insurance, you will be reimbursed for all prepaid and non-refundable travel expenses.
On the other hand, what if you have already set out on a journey and in the middle of it you have to shorten it due to the necessary emergency? With shortening coverage offered by many insurers, you get protection from such a scenario as well. The insurance policy would not only reimburse you for hotel reservations and other prepaid expenses, but would also cover the cost of your return flight, which you may have to book in a short time and at exorbitant prices. Also, if, due to an unforeseen event, your departure is delayed by more than a specified reasonable time, the insurer will reimburse you.
Another event in which travel insurance comes as a rescue is the case when you fly with a transfer to your destination and you miss one of these flights for necessary reasons. Travel insurance covers the cost of a new flight that you would have to book instead of the one you missed if it is part of your coverage.
Lost or delayed luggage
Let’s say you reach your destination, but your checked bag is delayed. Or worse, your luggage will never reach its destination and will be lost. All your things are gone immediately. This can put a significant strain on your travel budget. Even in the event of a delay, which can last from 12 hours to a week, you would be forced to buy some items until your luggage arrives. You would not charge for these expenses while planning your trip. So does that mean your entire travel plan is going blank? The answer is no, if you have travel insurance.
If the air carrier loses your checked baggage, the insurance contract will cover the financial loss, regardless of whether it is lost or delayed after a specified time (usually 12 hours). So you can continue your vacation according to plan without worrying about these expenses.
Loss of passport
If you lose your passport during the trip, it can be quite stressful. While providing a duplicate of your passport would certainly lead to some inconveniences, it also means significant costs. Most travel insurance companies will take care of this as they cover the cost of obtaining a new passport. Some insurance policies also cover the cost of obtaining a duplicate international driver’s license within a certain limit if you lose it during the trip.
Understanding the law of a country in a foreign destination can be difficult. If you cause damage to someone or their property as a result of an accident, you may have to pay considerable financial compensation to the party concerned. It can range from something really small to something quite serious. Your travel insurance may cover expenses paid to a third party in a case like this.
Travel insurance often brings additional benefits depending on the insurer you choose and the plan you choose. For example, there could be a kidnapping allowance to pay for the distress you suffer, or a compassionate visit cover that pays for a return ticket from a family member who visits you in a foreign country if you are hospitalized during the trip. There is also an emergency cash deposit option, which provides you with a cash deposit to cover travel expenses in case you lose your wallet while traveling due to theft or robbery. The visa refusal insurance cover pays the refund of the visa fee if it is refused without fault or negligence on the part of the insured.
Buying travel insurance is strongly recommended as this is the shield you need in an unknown country. However, always remember that you need to do some research and choose a policy that meets your needs and protects you adequately. When this is resolved, you can only focus on relaxing and enjoying the trip!