Travel insurance is insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while traveling,
Travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of the booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip, or a "multi-trip" policy can cover an unlimited number of trips within a set time frame.
Features of Travel Insurance
The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance plans are:
• Medical treatment, including transportation to the medical facility.
• Cancellation, curtailment and trip interruption
This section covers any unused travel and or accommodation costs, pre-paid charges (including any additional travel expenses incurred, provided they are deemed reasonable and necessary) if a trip is canceled or cut short under a variety of circumstances, which may include any of the following, depending on the policy:
• death, bodily injury, illness, disease, or pregnancy complications
• compulsory quarantine
• jury service
• being called as a witness
• termination of employment (provided you did not know about it before you booked the holiday)
• being called up if you are a member of the armed forces or other public defense or safety organization
• prohibition of travel by the government to the intended destination
• officially recommended evacuation from the intended destination
• official advisory against going to or remaining at the intended destination
• death or serious illness of a family member (subject to age restrictions).
• Trip cancellation
• Trip interruption
• Visitor health insurance
• Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
• Overseas funeral expenses
• Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents
• Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
• Flight connection was missed due to airline rescheduling or delay.
• Travel delays due to weather
Some travel policies will also provide cover for additional costs, although these vary widely between providers.
In addition, often separate insurance can be purchased for specific costs such as:
• Pre-existing conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes)
• Sports with an element of risk (e.g. skiing, mountain climbing, scuba diving)
• Travel to high risk countries (e.g. due to war, natural disasters or acts of terrorism)
• Additional AD&D coverage
• Rental Car Coverage
• Cancel for Any Reason Coverage
• 3rd party supplier insolvency (e.g. the hotel or airline to which you made non-refundable pre-payments has gone into administration)
• Acute onset of pre-existing conditions
• Specific event coverage, (e.g., to cover travel cancellation costs if the reason the person is travelling, such as a concert, is cancelled. )
The common exclusions in travel insurance policies include pre-existing medical conditions, travelling for the purpose of receiving medical treatment, elective surgery or treatment, or injury or illness caused by alcohol, drug use, or reckless behavior, including engaging in some sporting activities. Events arising from war and terrorism are usually excluded, but most policies allow trip cancellation arising from war or an act of terrorism that meets the policy's criteria.
Insurance companies issuing new policies will often exclude circumstances based on an-ongoing event, such as typhoons or floods. Long-term exclusions may be announced.
Some policies exclude travel to certain countries, or parts of countries, where a greater risk is expected. These determinations are often made based on official government travel advice from organisations.
What are the benefits of travel insurance?
Most travelers spend a lot of time and effort planning the perfect vacations, but they often overlook the importance of getting a good travel insurance policy. Travelers are more vulnerable to illnesses and accidents when they are traveling in a strange land, and there is no sure way to prevent unfortunate incidents from taking place.
Although travel insurance cannot help people avoid misfortunes during their travels, it offers consolation in the form of monetary compensation, which can be very useful in certain situations. Travel insurance provides a wide range of benefits for travelers. Firstly, it offers financial recovery for medical expenses that are incurred because of accidents and illnesses. Medical treatment is very costly in some countries, and those who sustain serious injuries may have to pay medical bills that amount to be expensive. With travel medical insurance, travelers can get reimbursement for the total amount of money that they spend on medical treatment. Travel insurance also covers medical evacuation, which means that travelers do not have to pay medical emergency transportation expenses with their own money.
Another important benefit of travel insurance is that it provides protection against trip cancellation and interruption. When an emergency arises before or during a vacation, travelers may have to cancel or cut short their trips. Since they have already paid for their vacations, they will stand to lose a substantial amount of money. Travel insurance ensures that they will get compensation for losses that result from trip cancellation or interruption. Additionally, those who have a travel policy will get coverage for loss baggage or personal belongings.
Other types of coverage that are available to travel insurance buyers include travel delay, tour operator default, personal liability, accidental death, legal expenses, repatriation, emergency reunion, dental expenses, and others. A travel insurance policy does not only ensure that you will get coverage for unforeseen losses; it also allows you to avail of a number of services that can be invaluable during times of emergency. Most travel insurance companies offer travel assistance and 24-hour emergency services to help their customers deal with unfavorable situations during their vacations. If you meet with an accident or lose your travel documents, you can seek assistance from your insurance company. The company will offer the best advice or contact local emergency services to help you solve your problems in the shortest time possible. This kind of assistance is especially important if you are traveling to a country where the locals do not speak your language.