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Travel insurance: Don’t leave home without it

By RITA OBODOECHINA

You’re on vacation with your family in a famous tourist destination, you’ve been basking in the sun, lazing on the beaches, reading a book and chilling-out for a couple of days.

On day three, however, your wife announces that she is feeling sick; you dismiss it as a result of over-exertion.

But a few hours later, she is worse and seems to be throwing up frequently. She is finally diagnosed as having a bad case of gastritis and the doctors advise that she should be hospitalised immediately.

Help is actually a phone call away, provided you are covered under a travel insurance policy. In this case, the insurer simply needs to give the details to the insurance company, which gets in touch with the hospital and makes it possible for you to access cashless treatment in the case of sudden hospitalisation and unforeseen medical expenses

Travel insurance coverage reduces the considerable financial risks of traveling, accidents, illness, missed flights, and canceled tours, lost baggage, theft, terrorism, travel-company bankruptcies, emergency evacuation, and getting your body home if you die.

Each traveler’s potential loss varies, depending on how much of your trip is prepaid, the refund ability of the air ticket you purchased, your state of health, the value of your luggage, where you’re traveling, the financial health of your tour company and airline, and what coverage you already have.

Why travel insurance?

The cost of healthcare and hospitalisation could be very high, especially in the West. In case a traveler meets with an accident or requires urgent medical attention, he may not have that kind of money with him for treatment.

Experts say that travel insurance is best not bought through a tour operator because most of them offer a lower amount of coverage, have hidden costs and conditions or even duplicate the coverage you already have. Buy travel insurance from an insurance company instead, and while doing so, If you feel that some points in the package being presented to you are not of any use to you, ask if you can customise the package to suit your needs better.

Reasons why you need it

Travel insurance is important for so many reasons. For instance, if your flight has been cancelled, your bags are lost and your medication is in it, you need to have an emergency prescription filled, in this case, travel insurance is the only option.

Again, if your passport and wallet are stolen, and you need emergency cash and a replacement passport, or you’re involved in an accident and adequate medical treatment is not available and you need medical evacuation, then travel insurance is it.

Also, if you need to cancel your trip due to illness; your airline or tour operator goes bankrupt; you need your non-refundable expenses covered and to get to your destination; you have a medical emergency in a foreign country, or a situation where a terrorist incident occurs in the city where you’re planning to visit and you want to cancel your trip, all these reasons make travel insurance worth buying.

Finally for some travelers, insurance is a good deal; for others, it’s not. What are the chances you’ll need it? How willing are you to take risks? How much is peace of mind worth to you? Take these considerations into account, understand your options, and make an informed decision for your trip


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.