Travel Insurance and Why You Need It

Travel Insurance and Why You Need It

It’s commonly said among expert travellers that if you can’t afford to buy travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel – and there’s a lot of reasoning to back this up.

Travel insurance covers you financially while taking a trip and often even before, between booking – both your holiday and your insurance – and leaving for your trip if something happens that forces you to cancel your holiday.

There are a couple of different types of insurance you should be aware of:

  • Single trip – this type of travel insurance covers you for a single journey, typically in one location.
  • Annual multi-trip – this type of travel insurance covers you for a fixed yearly price regardless of how many trips you take and often works out cheaper than single trip insurance if you make three or more excursions a year. 
  • Backpacking – this type of travel insurance covers you across numerous locations for a significant period of time.

Moreover, insurance will differ – primarily in cost – according to the places you intend to travel to, so you should ensure your insurance covers all the destinations you plan to visit.

But why should you purchase travel insurance in the first place? 

Here are the four primary reasons why.

In case of a medical emergency.

By far, the biggest reason you should take out travel insurance when planning a trip away is to ensure that, should you need medical care, you’re covered financially.

Depending on the country you’re in, paying for medical care outright can cost millions, landing you in insurmountable debt and can even result in you not getting the help you need altogether.

So, suppose you sustain a significant injury while abroad or suffer a sudden illness that you can’t get back home to treat. In that case, it’s always worth having insurance to make these concerns an impossibility.

However, remember that medical emergencies caused by ‘reckless’ behaviour – such as that caused by drugs or alcohol – may not be covered by all travel insurance policies.

Certain risky activities – such as shark diving, skiing or snowboarding – are similarly not usually covered by regular travel insurance. However, on extreme sports holidays such as these, you should be able to find specialist travel insurance that covers all your bases.

Your belongings are stolen (or misplaced) abroad.

If your luggage is lost in transit, stolen at the airport or elsewhere on your trip – or if someone steals your phone or wallet – it’s good to know that, despite the inconvenience, you’re financially no worse off.

If you leave your baggage unattended or unsecured, most travel insurance policies won’t cover the cost of these items – so make sure always to do your best to keep your belongings safe.

It’s good to keep in mind that different insurance policies have additional terms dictating what they will and won’t cover and under what circumstances, so research each insurance policy thoroughly to ensure you’re getting the kind of coverage you want.

Lastly, many travel insurance policies won’t offer complimentary protection on gadgets such as phones, laptops and cameras – however, almost all will offer it as an add-on.

In case of delays and cancellations.

Hundreds of thousands of flights are delayed or cancelled each year. Without insurance, you may not see reimbursement for the knock-on effects, such as nights not spent in already-paid-for accommodation and any activities you might have planned.

With some travel insurance policies, you can receive a payout for delays and cancellations, including any financial loss you may have incurred.

If events outside of your control force you to cancel your trip.

An inescapable fact of life is that anything can happen, and nothing is ever entirely in our control. 

So, when planning for a trip in the future, we have to consider that something unexpected could force us to cancel the trip – such as a severe illness, an injury or a family death – that means we need to stay where we are.

In these cases, it’s good to know that if you have sufficient travel insurance, you don’t miss out financially, as many of us really can’t afford to lose the amount of money we’d spend on a vacation.

This is especially true if, when these unexpected circumstances have passed, you have to take that trip regardless (for example, if you were going to visit family members who are still awaiting your call).

So, to safeguard yourself financially when travelling, make sure to purchase a travel insurance policy that covers all your bases to put your mind at ease while you’re away.


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