Many travelers prefer not to buy travel insurance. Travel budgets are typically stretched to the limit so the choice often comes down to leaving in some value add luxuries versus the cost of insurance. After all, insurance can be costly — and nothing is likely to go wrong anyway, right?
I sold many tour packages in my day as a travel agent and it was not that hard to sell add ons such as wine tasting trips or elephant back rides. Unfortunately when it came to selling travel insurance it was near impossible. I would get answers like, my personal medical insurance covers me, or I have paid with my credit card and that covers me. I just could not get the message across to some that there were huge holes in the coverage offered by the above. Equally unfortunate, a handful of these clients got first hand experience into the depth of those holes when their ‘insurances’ left them high and dry.
It has become a major problem for travel providers when they host clients without insurance. Especially for clients who travel to out of the way places, such as a remote safari camp in the middle of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Many of these camps are only accessible by small aircraft. If you are injured or become ill the only way out is by air and a medic evacuation will be ordered which costs an arm and a leg. It takes up to 9 airline seats worth of space to lie one stretcher down in a cabin. These destinations now insist that proof of medical insurance be produced prior to arrival.
Your personal health insurance will cover you for basic services when traveling but not for major emergencies such as medical evacuation and repatriation. Travel insurance will also save you from being exploited in a foreign medical facility. You will often be given the medical treatment you require but will not be permitted to leave without payment. Having an insurance advocate (as in the travel insurance company) on your side will be a welcoming asset in this situation.
When traveling away from home we can never be over insured. Anything can happen when we go on vacation. The airline can go bankrupt leaving us stranded, we have to cancel because of a family emergency or we fall ill before or during a vacation. Having insurance will ensure that we are refunded.
There are a multitude of scenarios that we can insure for and for most travelers this seems overwhelming. It is best to choose a fully comprehensive insurance policy with a company that specializes in travel insurance. Consider what is more important to you and where you are traveling to.
Some insurance scenarios:
If the airline has lost your luggage or it has been stolen and your prescription medication went along with it then a good insurance will be invaluable to you. You can access the resources needed to refill your prescription in the foreign country or state.
No cash or identity documents
Having no financial means or documents could be the result of theft or loss but either way a travel insurance policy can be very useful. Once contacted the agency can wire you some money and help you locate the nearest consulate so that you can apply for a new identity document such as a passport.
Acts of God or terrorism
If there is a natural disaster or political uprising and it is necessary to go home early then your additional expenses can be covered.
This happens all the time, a flight is cancelled because of bad weather for instance. This can cause a domino effect on your vacation due to missed connections or lost hotel nights. You can get a refund for the paid portions lost on your vacation.
The list can go on and on about the benefits of travel and travel health insurance because the margin for error is greater when there are so many third parties involved in your R and R. It is always going to be a good idea to err on the side of caution and get coverage.
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Author: Principle writer – Celeste Wilson
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