There is often a mistaken notion that paying expensive travel insurance premium is really not worth it since the chances are minimal that you’ll ever need to cash in on it. This is because most people do not have any idea about the quantum that might have to be paid if any untoward incidents were to happen. The consequences could really be frightening! Just consider the approximate figures – daily expenses for hospitalization in Southeast Asia could easily exceed $800 and the cost of evacuation from the United States range from $75,000 to $300,000. That’s enough to wipe out lifetime savings for the average traveler.
Why then is Travel Insurance so important for the overseas traveler?
• Getting help in a foreign land – Thousands of travelers face some kind of problems while on a trip overseas. Having adequate insurance cover is therefore extremely crucial. It ensures that you get the best possible care and treatment and if necessary coverage to be moved back home to avail better facilities. If you do not have insurance, you’ll be liable to pay the costs and in most countries it can be prohibitively expensive. Remember that Medicare will not pay for expenses incurred when you are travelling overseas.
• Disruptions to your trip – There are so many unforeseen factors that might crop up while overseas and the most common is disruptions to your trip. Flight delays and consequently missed hotel bookings are on top of the list followed by having to return home in case of an emergency. All these can be quite expensive especially if re-bookings have to be done. Take the case of luxury accommodation in Tasmania which promises a high end exclusive experience. You might not get bookings at a short notice and even if you do, it might substantially set you back financially. Most travel insurance packages take care of these unforeseen exigencies.
• Reimbursement for losses and expenses – An oft faced issue faced by travelers overseas is stolen, damaged or lost luggage. In such cases, the cost of replacement might be quite high depending on the extent of losses. But having the right insurance will make sure that you do not lose money due to a bungle by the airline or hotel and even a thief’s work. Just making sure that you have the right insurance will easily get you out of a financial mess.
The next question that should crop up is about the ideal quantum of insurance that you should opt for. Most travelers exclude cash and belongings in the plan simply to bring down the premium payable marginally. Back packers generally take this route. But with costly equipment like cameras, tripods, iPads and laptops being an essential part of a traveler’s luggage nowadays, it is always advisable to take out a separate cover for theft or loss apart from the usual standard packages.
Before taking out a policy, always go through the fine print carefully and check for inclusions and exclusions on the standard policies. You’ll then be in a better position to structure a travel insurance policy that exactly meets your needs.