With a travel plan abroad, what generally comes to your mind is getting the visa, booking the perfect stay and getting an itinerary so that you make the most of your trip. While people have started travelling overseas, the pandemic continues to haunt us and there is always a risk of sudden breaking news putting a halt on our plans. Whether you are planning a short trip overseas or long-haul travel, getting international travel insurance is vital. In fact, travel insurance is mandatory in several countries.
Why should you invest in international travel insurance?
International travel insurance is an insurance policy that covers medical emergencies that arise during travel as well as financial emergencies. This insurance offers various benefits like baggage assistance, loss of passport, delayed flight, personal liability coverage and much more. Here are some reasons that make investing in travel insurance a wise choice:
- It covers sickness abroad: With changing time zones, different cuisines and lack of rest, chances of falling sick are surely high. There is also a possibility of getting injuries. While you may have taken adequate vaccinations, you still cannot rule out a severe illness that may need hospitalization. International travel insurance will come in handy in such times.
- Unplanned changes or cancellations: Unforeseen incidents can happen anytime. You may have to alter your plans due to the sickness of a family member, a natural calamity or a family emergency. Cancelling a paid trip is extremely expensive. But, international travel insurance at hand handles such emergencies and you need not worry about the financial implications of changed plans.
- Travel plans falling apart: When you are travelling overseas, your itineraries are often pre-planned. These itineraries are interconnected and a slight change in plan can impact the whole trip. Many times, these changes are beyond your control like delayed flights or cancelled flights. The financial implication of altered plans does not become an issue with travel insurance at hand.
- You may lose your baggage: Misplaced baggage is a common scenario and one must be prepared for all situations. In case your baggage is lost in transit, your travel insurance will compensate you for the belongings you have lost. In case the baggage is misplaced, however, while you don’t get compensation, the insurance offers you a reimbursement to purchase essential items like shoes, clothes, toiletries etc.
- Loss of passport is a common scenario: Losing essential documents like a passport can be scary in an unknown destination. But with international travel insurance with you, you can easily obtain a new passport and reimburse the cost for the same.
- An unfortunate accident: In case you are involved in an accident and there is damage to a third-party person or property, international travel insurance will help you pay for the losses. Additionally, it will also help you cover necessary medical expenses incurred yourself.
- It offers an automatic extension: In case you need to be hospitalized in a foreign country and you miss your flight, the travel insurance coverage is extended automatically. The duration of the extension may vary from policy to policy and the destination you are travelling to. For instance, travel insurance for Dubai and travel insurance for the USA may vary.
- It helps in medical evacuation: While you are having the best time of your life, a medical emergency can strike anytime. International travel insurance can help at such times in emergency evacuation to the nearest medical service. The policy will also ensure that you are brought back to India for further treatment and pay for all the expenses.
- Assistance in accidental death and repatriation: While you may not want to think about such scenarios but an accident or medical condition can be fatal. International travel insurance will help in taking care of repatriating the remains of individuals back to India and also compensate the nominee with a sum insured.
How to choose the right international travel insurance?
While it is important to purchase travel insurance when going abroad, it is equally vital to purchase the right one with a lot of considerations in mind. Here are some important factors that must be considered when purchasing an international travel insurance policy:
- Frequency of travel: Your policy will also depend on how often you plan to travel. Just like visas, there are international travel insurance policies for multiple trips. Such plans offer coverage on multiple trips and you do not have to apply for insurance every time you fly. For instance, if you travel to Dubai every now and then for work purpose, your best bet would be to buy an annual multi trip travel insurance for Dubai. But for those who travel once in a while, single-trip international insurance is ideal.
- Trip duration: When purchasing travel insurance overseas, the duration of your trip must be considered. It is better to purchase travel insurance that exceeds the duration of your travel. In this way, a slight extension of your trip will not make you lose your coverage.
- Number of family members to be covered: If you travel alone, it is easy to purchase international travel insurance for yourself. But if you are planning to take the family along, you need to add every member to the policy coverage. It is important to declare the number of family members to be covered and if they have any pre-existing diseases or ailments.
- Destination : Your insurance policy varies from destination to destination, hence, it is important that you check the insurance criteria of the said country. For instance, many countries do not issue a visa unless you have sufficient coverage on insurance. Check for country-specific travel insurance plans as travel insurance for Dubai and travel insurance for Oman may have different terms.
Many people still consider travel insurance as an unnecessary expense or tend to think they are sorted and hence don’t need any additional cushion of travel insurance. But it is vital to get international travel insurance as it will not just offer coverage against a plethora of emergencies, but also help you travel at peace so that your trip is secured. It is essential and an ideal investment to be considered before travelling overseas.