Go Travel - But don't leave home without Travel Insurance

Go Travel - But don't leave home without Travel Insurance
Photo by Anete Lūsiņa / Unsplash

Adventure is out there

– Charles Muntz

If you travel without insurance, you are assuming all the financial risks associated with a trip gone wrong.   It’s a risky proposition, as unforeseen events can happen anytime.  Things like medical emergencies, accidents, lost or stolen luggage, cancellation of trips, or other events that can cost you money can quickly drain your savings.

If you travel with insurance, your policy will cover unexpected events during the trip.  Typically, a policy covers the medical expenses for the emergency you just had, replacement for the lost or stolen luggage during your trip, emergency evacuations or losses during a trip cancellation.

Here are some typical features and benefits of a travel insurance policy.  The features and benefits can vary depending on the provider and the package you choose but most features and benefits include:

1. Emergency medical coverage: Should you become ill during your trip and you need medical treatment and evacuation, your travel insurance policy can cover the costs associated with this service.

2. Trip cancellation/interruption coverage: This portion of the policy pays for the non-refundable expenses incurred when you have to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unforeseen events like illness, injury, or a family emergency.

3. Baggage loss/delay coverage: This can cover the cost of replacing lost or stolen luggage or items, or reimburse you for necessary purchases if your luggage is delayed for a certain amount of time.

4. Travel delay coverage: If your policy includes this benefit, you get remunerated if your trip is delayed due to a covered reason, such as bad weather or mechanical issues with your transportation.

5. Emergency assistance services: when you are abroad and have no one to seek help from, this feature of the policy can provide 24/7 access to emergency travel assistance services, including medical referrals, legal referrals, and travel information.

6. Accidental death and dismemberment coverage: if death occurs during the trip, your beneficiaries will be remunerated under this feature.  It will provide benefits for death as well as severe injury that results in the dismemberment of any body part which was incurred during the trip.

7. Pre-existing medical condition coverage: Some travel insurance policies cover medical expenses related to pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or heart problems, which may not be covered by other insurance policies.

Not all travel insurance policies are the same so it is important to carefully review the specific features and benefits you will need before committing to it.  Understand the exclusions or limitations that apply because this is important in preparing for the risks you would need to take. Some policies offer additional coverage options, such as rental car coverage or adventure sports coverage, for an additional fee.  If you need these, it is worthwhile to pay the premium for it.

Is my claim covered or not?

True, a travel insurance coverage can provide you with the peace of mind you need while taking your trip. But understanding how it works is essential because travel insurance does not respond to all situations.  How then do you make sure your understanding is correct?  First, make sure you check out  the definition of terms of your policy. Your appreciation for “trip cancellation” might not be what the policy covers.  Second, ask your travel insurance provider to explain the details before signing up. Or better yet, hit the website of your provider to check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

If you need to make a claim on your travel insurance policy, the first step is to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. Most companies have a 24/7 hotline number and the Customer Service staff can guide you through the claims process.  Depending on the type of claim you will be making, you may need to prepare the original copy of documents as proof.

Here are some steps you can take to ensure a smooth claims process:

1. Keep all relevant documentation: Receipts, boarding pass, invoices, and other documentation related to your travel and expenses incurred for the claim you are making may be required as proof of your claim.  Airline tickets, hotel bills, police reports, receipts for stolen items, medical bills and hospital receipts may be needed so make sure to keep them all.

2. File a report: If you lost something due to theft or was injured while travelling, file a report to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.  Sure, it will delay your trip plans but this activity is important if you want an official record of your injury or the theft. For example, if your luggage was lost or stolen, you should inform the airline or transportation carrier to obtain an official written report from them.  If you are injured or was involved in an accident, you need to secure a report from the local authorities and secure a police report.

3. Contact your insurance provider: Once you have all the necessary documents, you should contact your insurance provider and notify them officially of the claim. They may provide you with a list of additional documents to prepare and may ask you to fill up a claims form.

4. Submit the claim: As soon as possible, submit your claim without further delay.  Some contracts observe a maximum period for which claims can be filed after the event.  You do not want to miss this date just because you waited until your vacation was over before filing a claim.  Complete the claims form, attach any required document and send it immediately via email or via the claims system of your provider even while you are still on your trip.

Honesty and accuracy in relaying the event details when filing a claim is very important. Provide all requested documents and relay the event as it happened as accurately as you can remember. This can help ensure a smooth and efficient claims process, and can increase your chances of receiving the maximum benefit under your policy.

In summary, travelling without insurance exposes you to financial risks while travelling with insurance ensures your trip is protected from anything that may go wrong.  It provides you the peace of mind you need to enjoy that well-deserved and long-planned vacation.

So, don’t take the risk. Go travel – but make sure you are covered with travel insurance.