When booking an overseas trip, a travel agent will usually encourage you to buy trip insurance. Depending on your preconceived notion about travel insurance, you might think two different things. You may consider it as a necessity or an unnecessary expense. So which is it?
Too many travelers think that “nothing bad will happen” but then again, anyone can suffer from heart attack anywhere in the world. Sounds highly unlikely? Consider this then. In 2004, tsunami hit a popular beach destination in Thailand. Petra Nemcova, a supermodel, barely survived. Her boyfriend was killed together with hundreds of tourists and locals. The tsunami also killed thousands of people in other parts of Asia.
Natural disasters can happen when you least expect it. And when you combine this with health risks, the possibility of cancelled flights, and international immigration problems, the cost of travel insurance literally looks like pennies when compared to what you will spend otherwise. “Prevention is better than cure”, the saying is applicable in this case because you certainly don’t want to spend your lifetime savings for something that could have easily been covered by a travel insurance company.
There are many other reasons to consider travel insurance. Here are some of the common travel scenarios where having insurance can help you:
1. Stolen passport and wallet. Emergency passport replacement and cash is needed.
2. Accidents. You require adequate medical care or evacuation.
3. Lost Luggage. You need your medication and emergency prescription will be given.
4. Medical Emergencies. Travel insurance can cover you wherever you are in the world.
5. You need to cancel the flight because of illness or other emergencies.
6. Hurricanes and other weather conditions. You were asked to evacuate your current accommodation.
7. Terrorist incidents. You want to cancel your trip.
Looking back at Nemcova’s experience in Thailand, what can you possibility do in this case? If you got injured in this instance, the cost of getting an air ambulance can go upwards of $25,000. Can you pay for it? Travel insurance can mean the difference between getting proper medical care and going to the charity ward.
Emergency medical expenses provide coverage for emergency medical treatment if a sickness or injury occurs while traveling. Policies typically also come with emergency medical evacuation which provides coverage for emergency evacuation, if necessary, to the nearest qualified medical facility. Emergency medical expenses are covered up to one hundred thousand and up to one million for evacuation in comprehensive policies.
So is travel insurance worth the cost? Based on the scenarios given above, travel insurance is a necessity. It is a cost definitely worth the cost when you consider the alternative. However, remember that you need to get the kind of travel insurance that covers all major emergencies to get the most out of it.