What is Travel Insurance?

Travel Insurance offers financial protection from the unexpected losses and risks during a journey. It’s a must for the regular travelers who keep visiting different cities, states and nations. Also, it is equally essential for the non- frequent travelers. 

Flight cancellations to theft and accidents, several incidents that take place that can leave the traveler in complete financial shock and stress. The fact that these incidents are known to occur at times while traveling but not predictable when it will occur is the major drawback. 

Travel Insurance is a means to handle risk financially. These days the insurance schemes have advanced that they offer other emergency benefits like translators for travelers in a foreign nation. 

There are various Insurance plans that help reimburse the financial loss of various minor and major possible risks. Varying the possibility of risks for individual people and their related travels there are several protection plans with a bunch of risks combined in each scheme. For special requirements, there is an option available to personalize the insurance scheme. 

Such a personalized scheme requirement is for the bloggers, media people and others who earn while or from traveling. Celebrities or renowned personalities with threats of death and risks of being harmed might also require personalized travel insurance coverage. 

The scope of risks varies for every individual and with the type of travel. Major risks and minor risks both must be covered as the expense for a minor risk could equally be fatal for the bank balance as much as a  major accident. When speaking of a general travel insurance it will provide protection from certain standard risks that have a higher probability. This might remain the same for various means of transport used, from air travel to a bus journey. Even non- refundable expenses like flight cancellation and Baggage loss can be reimbursed with the travel insurance plan. Check standard  risks that are covered under all travel insurance schemes: 

  • Baggage Loss or theft 
  • Passport loss 
  • Delayed  or canceled flight 
  • Canceled hotel reservation
  • Accident 
  • Medical Emergency 
  • Chronic Illness
  • Death/Demise
  • State of Emergency or War on Foreign land
  • Hijack 
  • Terrorist Attack 
  • Rental Vehicles accidents 

These are standard risks that a traveler requires protection from. Based on the means of transport, type of travel, age of the traveler, the insurance plan differs. Requirements for domestic and international travel vary at various different points. 

Medical insurance is what will stay for all the travels. It is one of the major reasons why travel insurance is purchased. Yet, many believe that travel insurance is not worth the money. It is of no use. The perspective post COVID has changed considerably but not completely. Some individuals have a perspective that their medical insurance plan will offer protection for all sorts of medical requirements. Hence, it is not required to purchase travel insurance separately. 

However, this is not the condition. Medical insurance does not cover all travel related medical emergencies. At times, it does not offer coverage for international accidents and emergencies. 

Indeed, that is why Travel Insurance is introduced in the market as a separate concept due to the demand for travel insurance. 

Now, well understood is the basic meaning of travel insurance coverage, but what it exactly means and offers coverage remains unclear to many. The below defines complete details about what is travel insurance with example.

How Does Travel Insurance Coverage Work? 

Travel insurance coverage policies are purchased for a certain amount and in return an amount is determined for the risks and to be covered losses. It is like an investment from both the buyer and insurance company  that brings the final amount that will be reimbursed after or at the time of incident. The amount of each risk’s loss is predetermined in the contract. 

What is Travel Insurance and How does it work? 

The insurance policy is valid for a time period. There are short term and long term plans available catering to individual needs. Annual term insurance is popular in short duration plans  in the market.  Zero amount shall be retrieved once the policy date expires. 

The price of policy is determined based on the risks covered. The price of the policy is also affected by the age and sex of the traveler, health history, lifestyle, occupation, and exposure to risks of an individual. Greater the risk, higher is the pricing associated with it.

The various insurance schemes are divided into larger categories to target specific consumers. The types of Travel Insurance policies are: 

Most Common Types of Travel Insurance Plans

Single Trip and Multi Trip

Single Trip policies is a short term plan, valid for a single trip or a few limited. While the multi trip plan is a frequent flyers companion with protection to all potential risks, including the medical expenses. This longer duration could be more than a year. 

Senior Citizen Travel Insurance

This insurance targets the older generation with more emphasis on medical and emergency protection plans with other travel insurance risks. This is specially designed focusing on the issues and problems faced by the elderly. 

Group Travel Insurance

Here comes the game changer with protection to an entire group. Majorly these are used by offices for their employees when traveling for an office vacation. Travel agencies even offer such protection plans for tourists traveling in groups.   

This can be of great benefit to groups who are going for an international trip or trip to a farther state in the country. Since it is a one time trip where longer insurance plans won’t work. Also it is in a group, the cost of the policy will be  rationalized.

Flight/ Bus/ Train/ Ships

It’s the era of technology, to reach a place there are several means of travel.  Increase in the number of vehicles is directly proportional to the possibility of accidents. To stay protected from attacks of  long hospital bills and loss to personal belongings, there are many schemes. There are trip insurances for flights, buses, railways, and others covering each means of transportation.

International and National Travel Insurance

These are the deciding factors for many policy makers and the buyers. Baggage lost, flight cancellation and other standard causes included in both. While for international trips there are additional risks attached like a state of emergency in the country can lead to chaos all over. The policy makers make notes of all the associated risks for routes, distance and destination.

If a situation occurs which is covered in the insurance then the traveler can register their claim with valid proofs to justify the occurrence of the situation to receive the claimed amount. 

Company will not offer the covered amount if the documents are not authentic and accurate. Documents are verified by the companies before reimbursing the amount claimed. 

The process of travel insurance is quite secured and protected in this sense to ensure no false claims are reimbursed. It is a loss to the insurance company. 

Travel insurance examples as a case study can offer much clarity to your perspective. Let’s back up the explanation about travel Insurance with a relatable story of Mr Jack. 

Mr. Jack had standard travel insurance with benefits of medical emergencies in a  foreign country included. His reasons for travel were primarily two reasons. His visits to his hometown, Temple in Texas and the other was his chronic illness. He was a BP patient and had a minor attack back in the past. 

In May 2022, when he reached the airport of Texas to meet his family he had a heart attack.  The plane was offloaded in an emergency. The  airlines connected with the hospital. 

Here, came the savior of the patient, the travel insurance. The hospital was able to connect with the insurance company officials and received  money for his treatment. The conversation on behalf of Mr. Jack was all done by the insurance company. 

Once Mr. Jack regained consciousness and the claim was settled, he was shifted to a regular hospital for his other checkups.

The claim was settled instantly because it was a medical emergency. Had it been an accident, the procedure would have been possible post the claim request with attached proofs. 

In case of the demise of the insurer, the nominee can claim the amount after submitting the documents later with a death certificate. 

Warning: In case of medical emergency or demise due to chronic illness, some companies will not refund if the insurer or traveler was advised not to travel by the doctor. 

These cases are considered as informed uncertainty. The individual was well aware of the risk of traveling and decided to travel despite that. 

Thorough reading of all the points in the contract of travel insurance is essential. The company is not liable for any misunderstanding on the buyer’s end. This can leave speculations in your mind. Is it worth it to buy a travel insurance plan? 

Yes is the conclusion to the question. While there are chances that amount might not be reclaimed. But, that is rare. Rare for incidents with no valid proofs and for excluded uncertainties. It is more like a limitation to many benefits of travel insurance. 

The benefits over the cons is the very first indicator why the insurance must be purchased. When buying any such plans, this could be a way of quick comparison to ascertain the real value of any travel insurance amongst the many.

The Top 3 Benefits of Travel Insurance

  • Hassle Free Travel
  • Cost Effective
  • Medical Emergencies

1. Hassle Free Travel

The trips become more fun and hassle free  with the responsibility shifted to  finance any incurred loss during the time of travel. The passenger sitting in a plane does not need to worry about the possible uncertainties when already secured. 

Three  Main Benefits of Travel Insurance 

2. Cost Effective

There is no hidden travel insurance fact that the installments of the insurance reimbursed by the insurance companies is partially paid by the buyers. So, it is not a zero expenses, free financial reimbursement. Instead, the rest payment incurred by the company and the security of no sudden bulky payments makes insurance cost effective. 

3. Medical Emergencies

Although beneficial for the domestic travelers, inclusion of medical emergencies is a real asset for international travels. The billing rules and other formalities are standardized in a nation. On the other hand, everything changes when stepping into a foreign land. The insurance companies handle bills to other formalities with assistance of translators offered to the beneficiary. 

Baggage or passport loss, natural calamity and various other causes mentioned above are all covered by the companies.  Unfortunately to the many benefits are a few limitations that must be evaluated well before signing any papers of insurance. 

Limitations of Travel Insurance 

Costly if not redeemed: What if airlines refund the amount for a canceled flight and lost baggage. Else, the traveler departed and arrived safely. Finally, the time came when the policy expired with zero amount claimed. Then in such cases the benefit of purchasing the policy becomes nil. 

Completely parallel to the fact that travel insurances are cost effective is the reality of it being an overhead expense of trips when no incident as such occurs. 

Terms and Conditions Nullifying the Claims

Self harm, alcohol or drugs influenced losses, rash driving, or prohibited laws leading to uncertainties  are not considered as the true losses. Companies do not repay for the above. Also, ayurvedic, homeopathic, or any natural region specific remedies are not covered under the schemes. Only operations and allopathy treatments’ cost is repaid.

Review 

It is crucial to review the concept of travel insurance before denying or accepting it completely. Since it is part of business from where many earn, there shall be flaws. However, what is important is the list of benefits that help regain the ever lost money in non- refundable expenses.

Alike the other insurance policies like health, vehicle, medical, where the return is not definite but the protection is, the travel insurance has a reason to its existence in the market. Afterall, There is no supply without demand. 

What is Travel Insurance? (FAQs)

Why are Travel Insurances so costly ?

Not all Travel Insurances are costly. The overall price of an insurance varies on the basis of the expense of the risks covered. Also, government offered Travel insurance is less costlier than the private sellers. 

What is the most expensive Travel Insurance claim?

A policy holder received an insurance claim of around 1,35,000 dollars making it the most expensive insurance claimed in history. 

How many Travel Insurances can I have?

You can have more than insurance but the condition is that you can not claim money from all  policies purchased making the claim more than the expense of damage occurred.

Will Travel Insurance cover medical expenses?

Yes, if the policy defines that it will incur the cost of medical expenses, then Travel Insurance will cover the same. Otherwise it would not.

Is it compulsory to have Travel Insurance? 

No, it is not compulsory to have travel insurance. However if a government or office employer asks you to buy an insurance plan, then it is an obligation. 

How early should I get Travel insurance before a trip?

Try to purchase  the insurance plan  just the day or the day after booking or planning the trip. The general protocols state that the duration of policy purchase must be 14-30 days before the trip.
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