Those who frequently travel know the woes that come with a sudden international travel insurance cancellation and flight delays. Not only do they disrupt your well-planned trip, but also cause you to lose money. The covid-19 pandemic has also made it clear that events outside your control can unexpectedly mess up your travel plans. Whether you are a frequent traveler or someone who rarely travels, you don’t want your trip to be affected by losses incurred because of factors outside your control.
While many countries have made it compulsory to have international travel insurance, don’t buy it just for the sake of it. If you are going to spend some money, spend it on a comprehensive policy that covers all types of losses. Many countries allow international travel without insurance. However, it is unadvised to do so. If you think it is not worth it, think about what you will lose if you have to cancel your plans at the last minute.
What is travel insurance?
Whether you are a student going abroad to study, visiting family, or just going on a vacation, having travel insurance is a must. Just like any other insurance, travel insurance protects the traveler against any losses arising out of an emergency or situation. It is extremely necessary when you are traveling internationally. There are many types of international travel insurance. Make sure to choose the right one by considering factors, such as travel destination, the purpose of traveling, duration, the limit of policy coverage, and any existing medical condition.
What does travel insurance cover?
Flights frequently get delayed or canceled due to reasons such as weather conditions. According to DGCA(source taken by Renewbuy), more than four lakh travelers were affected due to flight delays between January and May 2022 alone. Similarly, when traveling to a country that requires you to take several flights, you might miss the connecting flight because of insufficient layover time. These are the situations where insurance helps. Any losses you might face because of delays and missing the flight will be covered by the insurance.
Some of the common things covered by insurance are:
- Loss of passport
- Personal liability
- Loss of baggage
- Trip cancellation
- Emergency medical expenses
- Trip interruption or rescheduling
- Emergency evacuation
It is crucial to remember that the coverage depends on the insurance you have. Some plans cover everything while others cover only medical emergencies. Read the terms and conditions carefully before buying any plan.
If your trip is delayed
If your trip is delayed, your travel insurance will cover all expenses incurred. While airlines do provide compensation for delayed flights, it is very less and not enough to cover all expenses. Travel insurances generally cover delays due to missing travel documents or delays by airlines. The reimbursement amount can cover expenses for meals, accommodation, and transportation. However, there will be a limit to how much you can spend.
If your trip is canceled
A good travel insurance plan will cover all expenses incurred when you cancel your trip before beginning it. However, reasons for trip cancellation should be specified in your insurance plan. Some general reasons include medical emergencies, family emergencies, natural calamities, etc. Many insurance plans also cover non-refundable expenses. However, be sure to inform your insurance company at the earliest time possible.
If your trip is rescheduled
When you have to either leave your trip earlier than planned or stay for more days, you have to incur unexpected expenses. If the reason for rescheduling is listed in your insurance policy, it will reimburse all expenses. However, much like trip cancellation, you have to inform your insurer as early as possible. You must also inform all the involved parties, such as the hotel, and tour operators, about the change.
Types of Travel Insurance
There are several different types of insurance plans. They vary as per your trip destination, purpose, and other factors.
1. International and domestic travel insurance
As suggested by the name, international travel insurance covers trips out of the country, and domestic travel insurance covers trips within the country. Both provide different types of coverage. Some international travel insurance covers travel to all countries, while some only cover specific countries.
2. Single travel and multi travel insurance
Single travel insurance covers a single trip with a specified period and dates. It is suitable for people who don’t travel frequently. Multi-travel insurance, on the other hand, covers multiple trips taken during a year or specified period. It is suitable for people who frequently travel as it is more cost-effective.
3. Individual and group travel insurance
Individual travel insurance is for people who are traveling with their family or alone while group travel insurance is when you are traveling in a group. Group travel insurance is typically taken by companies for their employees or by tour agencies for their tour groups. Individual travel insurance covers the policyholder and the people whose names are mentioned on the policy.
Travel insurance has multiple benefits. The benefits vary as per the plan you have chosen. However, it is always recommended to buy one before traveling abroad. Research carefully and choose the plan that protects your interests and meets your needs.
Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.