Why Resuming Travel without Travel Insurance Post-COVID-19 is a Bad Idea?

Did you have a much-awaited trip planned right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit us? Did the nationwide lockdown sabotage your travel plans? Did you end up losing lots of money with the cancellation of your trip? Believe us! You were not alone. Scores of people suffered a substantial financial loss due to the COVID-19 travel ban in 2020. The only people who remotely managed to recover their losses had travel insurance.

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    Now covers COVID-19

    Plights of Travellers and Insurance Companies After COVID-19

    The COVID-19 pandemic caught the entire world off-guard despite multiple epidemics faced over the last couple of decades.

    Zika Virus, Swine Flu, SARS… Need we say more?

    Although the previous epidemics warned of an impending pandemic, the world did not learn its lesson. Even with all the technological advancements, the whole world was at the mercy of the coronavirus that forced countries to ban international and domestic travel besides imposing a nationwide lockdown. You no longer had the freedom to step out of your home let alone travel to another city or country.

    The situation wasn’t very different for the insurance industry as well. Travel insurance with COVID-19 cover was not available before the advent of coronavirus. Naturally, travel insurance providers were not prepared for the sudden influx of claims related to trip cancellations, medical emergencies and evacuations in the wake of the COVID-19 travel ban.

    While most people had to cancel their trips due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, the adverse impact of coronavirus on people’s health led to a surge in overseas hospitalization claims.

    Initially, most travel insurers refused to acknowledge the claims arising out of COVID-19 in the absence of a travel plan with COVID-19 cover. But after the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)’s guidelines to cover certain kinds of COVID-19 related claims, they were forced to abide. Currently, several insurance companies cover COVID-19-related adversities as part of the base travel insurance plan.

    Travel Insurance with COVID-19 Cover

    With more than one and a half years since the COVID-19 pandemic entered the Indian sub-continent, the way we used to travel has changed completely. For starters, you need to wear a mask whether you are travelling on a flight, train, bus or metro. You are expected to maintain social distancing and get yourself vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as you get eligible. You also need to check the COVID-19 test protocols and quarantine rules for the destination state or country where you are travelling.

    More people now prefer to travel closer to home in smaller groups in their own vehicles wherever possible. In fact, week-long trips have now been replaced with more long weekends trips.

    But it is travel insurance with COVID-19 cover that has gained importance since coronavirus entered our lives. A travel plan with COVID-19 cover has the potential to provide financial protection to you if you face any adversity arising out of coronavirus while travelling. Whether you are forced to cancel your trip due to being diagnosed COVID-19 positive or if you get stuck abroad due to sudden imposed COVID-19 lockdown, your insurance provider will take care of its financial implications.

    Trust us! That’s a lot of money you will end up saving.

    Besides, a travel insurance plan with COVID-19 cover also provides coverage against emergency evacuation, missed connection flight, trip curtailment, repatriation of mortal remains, flight cancellation, etc.

    Although it provides multiple benefits and cover for you, travel insurance for international travel still has not been widely accepted. People are still hesitant about buying a travel insurance policy for their trips and consider it an unnecessary expense. In fact, a lot of vaccinated people consider themselves immune to coronavirus and believe they do not need a travel plan with COVID-19 cover.

    Such people are definitely living in a bubble. It is time to burst it.

    Need for Travel Insurance Post COVID-19 Pandemic

    Even though international travel has resumed for several countries, travelling still remains unpredictable. You can never know when and where the COVID-19 situation can suddenly go downhill. A travel plan with COVID-19 cover is the only way to prevent yourself from getting swept in the COVID-19 wave. Let’s find out why travelling without travel insurance in the post-COVID-19 era is a bad idea:

    Coronavirus Still Exists and So Does the Risk

    Like it or not, the coronavirus found in COVID-19 is evolving itself into new variants. For instance, the UK variant, South Africa variant, Brazil variant and the latest being the ‘Delta variant’ found in India. Although COVID-19 vaccines can protect you against certain variants, you are not 100% immune against all variants of coronavirus. You are at the risk of contracting COVID-19 despite getting vaccinated.

    But if you opt for international health insurance coverage, you will get financial help in case you are diagnosed COVID-19 positive and are admitted to a hospital during your overseas trip.

    Flight Cancellations & Missing Connecting Flights Can Still Happen

    Even though several countries have reopened and international flights have resumed, you can never be sure of when these countries can go into lockdown again and ban entry for Indian citizens. What if your flight tickets go waste or worse you can get stranded at an international airport if your connecting flight is cancelled due to a lockdown in the destination country or ban on Indians? Besides, every airline suffered major financial losses during the lockdown last year, which is why some of them may overbook flights and you may end up not getting a seat.

    The only way to deal with the losses that you may incur due to missing your connecting flights or cancellation of your flight is by buying travel insurance for international travel.

    Sudden Surge in COVID-19 Cases in a Foreign Country

    One of the worst things about COVID-19 is that it can spread amongst people like wildfire. The COVID-19 cases in a region can increase in just a matter of days. Imagine if you travel to a foreign country with low COVID-19 cases but they increase drastically before you can return back and a lockdown is imposed. Such a situation will get you stuck in a foreign country with limited resources and result in huge financial expenses.

    But if you buy travel insurance with COVID-19 cover, the expenses that you may incur while being stuck in a foreign country will be covered by your travel insurance company.

    Parting Words

    COVID-19 is one of the biggest threats that the world has faced in recent times. As international travel has resumed for several countries, a lot of people have started travelling abroad for education, business and vacation. It is important for such travellers to not only ensure physical but also financial protection against COVID-19. The world has changed permanently with COVID-19 and it is time to change the way you travel.

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