Given the Covid-19 pandemic and changed world, travel requires added precaution these days with a lot more to consider when planning a trips.
With your flight booked, masks and sanitisers on hand, there’s one more thing to consider — travel insurance. Don’t go anywhere without it, especially not long distance or abroad. A necessary investment whether your trip lasts a week or a year, with these some of the reasons why.
Sickness or Injury During Your Trip
Sometimes the weather and change in climate can take its toll on our bodies and you might become sick. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll require medication or need to consult a doctor with medical costs hefty in a foreign country. Another risk is getting injured while travelling, an unforeseen situation that can really cut into your budget. Fortunately, good travel insurance covers all of this and insurance final expense too, which we hope won’t be needed. Important though not to place a burden on your or your family’s finances with unexpected medical bills, or worse. Something more relevant than ever given the ongoing pandemic and the unpredictability of life.
Sickness Before The Journey Starts
People who are inherent planners often book their trips well in advance, including buying their air tickets and prepaying accommodation. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to predict when you might contract an illness and be unable to travel. Most airlines charge hefty cancellation charges, and it can be difficult to get a refund — as most of us are discovering with our Covid-19 related cancellations. Having travel insurance will make sure that you can cancel your plans conveniently and get your money back, or rebook at a more suitable time. Therefore always invest in travel insurance as soon as you buy those air tickets.
The Loss of Important Documentation
A complete nightmare for any traveller is to lose their documents or passport in a foreign country. Without a passport, you’ll be left without identification and unable to cross state or country borders. It will also make travelling home and passing airport security checks impossible. My advice is to always have a certified copy of your passport with you and in your iCloud or similar. As for a replacement of the real thing, a good travel insurance company will help you get new documentation, ensure you get home safely, cover the stress and offer support during the process.
Stepping into a foreign country without your belongings is not ideal and would leave you heavily compromised. Baggage loss happens though, be it with yours loaded onto a different flight, not loaded at all or even stolen. Travel insurance will make a horrible situation like this more bearable and while your airline tries to get your baggage back you’ll get an allowance to see you through the first days. If it’s missing for good, you’ll be fully compensated. Remember as a golden rule not to put any valuables such as jewellery, cameras, phones, etc. into your checked luggage.
Assistance with Emergency Prescriptions
If you’re on important prescription medication and it’s lost or stolen, insurance will cover getting it replaced. Emergency medicine can be very expensive in a foreign country, especially where it’s not readily available. This added support will ease some of the burden. Again, make sure that you have a copy of your script or your doctor’s details to email him for one.
Extreme Weather Conditions
The most unpredictable part of a journey is the weather and you never know what will hit. It could be hurricanes, blizzards, fog, or even tornados if luck is against you and could lead to cancelled flights, and even having you stranded and unable to come home. Depending on your travel insurance policy, you are likely to be covered for these expenses. In some cases, the company will help you find a place to stay while everything is being sorted out, and the weather passes.
Theft and Misplaced Items
Sadly it is all too common to lose mobile phones or cameras while travelling. Pickpockets could take advantage of your holiday mood and lift your wallet or jewellery, so always be aware of this especially in a crowded place. Its a horrible experience to lose your personal and often expensive belongings. A lot of us travel with our cameras, mobile phones and laptops, and must be ever vigilant. Your travel insurance will cover and replace items that are lost or stolen during your travels and ease the loss. I had my camera and handbag stolen from my room in Kenya a few years back and was really grateful I could replace it with the insurance claim.
Cancellation of Connecting Routes
People who travel far know the stress of having a connecting flight. International trips usually have more than one flight with connecting routes to reach the final destination. If you accidentally miss yours or if it is cancelled — both things that have happened to me more than once — your travel insurance company will help you out, help you find an alternative route and arrange alternative living arrangements until you can get going again.
No matter how thoroughly you plan your trip, sometimes unpredictable things happen and if they do, travel insurance can cover a lot of these mishaps and support you through the process. I always balk a little at the price, but over and over again it’s been worth it and I won’t go anywhere without good comprehensive cover with a company I trust.
I always buy my own insurance and my preferred company is tic.co.za with the whole process done online.
Originally published at https://theincidentaltourist.com on August 20, 2020.