When it comes to travel or holidays, the world seems to be small enough! What starts out as a business or leisure trip can soon turn into a feverish exercise of hunting down lost luggage, being bogged down by a sudden illness or being stuck at an airport due to flight delays or cancellations. This is why having comprehensive travel insurance in place helps.
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There is a misconception that the main purpose of travel insurance is to act as a safeguard in case one’s baggage goes missing. However, in reality, travel insurance actually works as a saviour in a number of other scenarios as well.
Here’s a list of scenarios where travel insurance proves handy, relevant and important, if not necessary:
If you happen to go through the misfortune of losing your passport when travelling abroad, there is hope. General travel insurance usually covers loss of passport. All you’ve got to do is keep the given emergency number handy and contact the insurer in case you lose your passport. Not only will you be provided with a duplicate passport, but all your related expenses will also be covered.
If your flight is delayed for hours and you need to check into a hotel, your travel insurance will cover this cost. Though it is essentially the duty of the airline to get you to your destination and cover food, hotel and other costs associated with delays or cancellations, the insurance company reimburses you for the expenses incurred if the airline doesn’t do so. This is, of course, contingent upon whether this is covered by the travel plan you have opted for, with sub-limits that come into play.
Travel insurance also covers the cost of your ticket if you miss your flight, or even a connecting flight, for that matter. Of course, there are certain limitations to this as you will not be covered if you missed the flight due to your own carelessness. However, if the car, cab or public transport you used to get to the airport broke down or got involved in an accident, you can make an insurance claim.
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There may be cases where either the flight is cancelled due to bad weather conditions, or where you might have to cancel your trip due to sudden illness, death in the family or another emergency. Your wallet might take a hit as a result, especially if tickets and travel packages are non-refundable. A travel baggage insurance plan saves the day, in such situations. Most policies cover this basic risk; all you’ve got to do is to make a claim and provide the necessary documentation to your insurer. If it falls under the purview of the insurance policy, you will be reimbursed accordingly.
TRAVEL INSURANCE COVERAGE
Though you might be in the pink of health at the start of your trip, you never know when adversity might strike in the form of a medical emergency. If your medical insurance does not cover medical emergencies on international soil, you might find yourself having to pay for very expensive medical care out of your own pocket.
Provided that medical emergencies form a part of your cover, you can use your travel insurance plan to avail medical assistance where the insurer will pay for diagnostic tests, in an outpatient treatment and ambulance and evacuation charges. Some insurers also provide cashless hospitalisation on a worldwide basis, like the overseas travel insurance package offered by Reliance General Insurance.
You should; however, read the fine print to confirm whether your plan covers pre-existing illnesses as some plans do not cover the same.
Given the recent attacks in Brussels and Paris, you never know when an emergency situation might arise. Both manmade and natural calamities are covered in travel insurance, be it a terrorist attack, political uprising, tsunami, earthquake or epidemic. Your travel policy will ensure that you are evacuated from the conflict zone and flown safely home. Furthermore, insurance will also cover financial losses faced and provide advance emergency cash.
Certain insurance policies also cover death due to an accident or illness, where the cost of transferring the deceased person back to their country is paid by the insurer. Travel insurance policies also cover personal accident compensation in case of an injury during a trip that leads to death or disability. In such a case, the policyholder will be covered up to a maximum of the sum assured. The cover offered could also be subject to terms and conditions. Bajaj Allianz, for instance, provides only 50% of the sum assured in cases where the deceased is below 18 years of age.
This is a lesser known benefit but travel baggage insurance also actually covers burglary. If your house gets robbed while you are away on a trip, your travel insurance policy will cover this too. You can claim a certain amount of the valuables and other items stolen.
Before purchasing a travel insurance package, you should ensure that you have read the policy documents so that you are fully aware of the inclusions, exclusions and claim limits. Since you can never say when you would need to avail of travel insurance, it’s advisable that you carry your lost luggage insurance documents along with you on your trip.