So you’re ready for your vacation. You’ve got your ticket in your hand. Oh, but wait. Do you have travel insurance?
Not a lot of travellers put insurance on their holiday lists. A lot of us get insurance just to fulfil visa obligations – for example on a vacation to Europe or when visiting countries like the United States, or Australia.
So, yes, not a lot of people tend to choose insurance. But back to the question. How important is travel insurance really? Let’s take a look at some of the functions and benefits of travel insurance to see whether we really need it.
What is travel insurance?
On the whole, travel insurance reduces financial risk from unforeseen events and accidents we don’t really want to happen during our vacation. Most travel insurance covers the following:
1. Medical costs from accidents
Certain types of travel insurance can cover costs of medical treatment for accidents, injuries and other major disasters that could happen during our holidays. These costs can really add up when you’re in another country, so whilst the likelihood of something going terribly wrong is slim, the cost to you if it does could vastly outweigh what you paid for the holiday itself.
2. Medicine Costs
Say you’ve got to spend a night in a hospital as part of your treatment and you need to take some medicine. Travel insurance can cover medicine costs, right down to medicines for sudden allergies.
3. Damage and loss of luggage
Quite a few aircraft passengers complain about airlines not taking good care of their baggage. Sometimes luggage gets damaged, or worse – gets lost. Travel insurance can help you get some cash compensation for if that happens so you can replace your bags as well as the belongings you had packed inside.
4. Insurance for late luggage
Was there a major delay in your flight? Maybe a delay of more than 12 hours? You can get cash compensation for delays that made you to waste your precious holiday time.
5. Cost of repatriation
Insurance can cover the cost of repatriation, which is the moving of a traveller’s body in the case of death during a holiday. This insurance can help free your family of any financial burdens from having to transporting the dead body.
6. Fire damage and other damage to your house while on holiday
Turns out travel insurance is not just there to cover you on holiday – it can cover even property that you leave behind when you go on vacation, including your house. Your house will always be at risk when you leave it. Risks like fires are ever present, but it’s a good thing this too can be covered through travel insurance.
The pros and cons of travel insurance
So there are clearly lots of things that travel insurance can cover. But should you actually purchase it?
Travelling without worries
It sucks to have a bad holiday experience, say like falling sick or getting an accident while on vacation. But it’s worse if you have to pay for medical costs somewhere outside your city, or even in another country.
You may have to pay a little extra, but at least you can set your mind at ease and enjoy your holiday to its full potential.
Your holiday could be more pricey
Of course, the flip-side is that travel insurance premiums start from affordable rates, but even so, these rates can actually eat into your holiday budget (especially if you’re a backpacker).
Insurance costs feel like a wasted expense
The relief that insurance provides is only felt when things go wrong. The trouble is you can never predict when this will be the case. We pray that nothing bad happens in our travels, and that everything goes well. But on the other hand, we might also feel that paying for insurance was a waste if we didn’t actually need it.
So, do we really need travel insurance?
Travel insurance isn’t mandatory. But it is very important to think about. It’s probably best for you to consider what could go wrong during your next holiday.
Now, if your holiday destination is clearly full of risks – perhaps in a somewhat dangerous or remote location or if you and your travel partner(s) have medical conditions, then you should really put travel insurance at the top of your list.
Ultimately, thinking about travel insurance is a wise move, even if we don’t think anything bad will happen during our holidays. It’s actually better to have our insurance premiums go to waste than having to pay large hospital bills because we don’t have travel insurance, right?