Budget flights and online holiday package bookings have enabled a much faster growth in the tourism industry. People are travelling more often than ever before.
For a country where individuals like cost-effective purchases, Indians often reconsider whether or not they should opt for or out of travel insurance. This decision would be based on the type of travel, destination, people involved and other factors that will be discussed in this article.
Usually, when we plan a vacation, we only look at the positive aspects and do not anticipate anything to go wrong; which is where we fail.
In a new place, especially a new country, emergency care could be a crucial factor between life and death.
Paying a small travel insurance premium when you book your holiday package will cover all your medical costs from drugs to hospitalization, which would otherwise mean contacting the Indian embassy and other formalities for assistance and not to forget the currency exchange to make the payment.
If on an international holiday you meet with an accident, besides basic first aid, you will also need to be provided best health assistance or transfer to your local doctor back home.
Without the right travel insurance that covers these expenses, you will have to bear huge costs on your own as medical care for foreign citizens is often expensive than that for the locals.
Natural calamities are unpredictable and even if it does not affect the place of your holiday destination directly, it could lead to disruption of services. For example, your flight could get cancelled due to bad weather caused by volcanic eruption.
Even if you are not traveling via a travel agency, you can opt for travel insurance covers on flight bookings provided by many private players like the recent 'trip protector' from HDFC ERGO General Insurance.
While these might be specific to the bank you hold a credit card with, some airlines and hotels also have tie-ups with general insurance companies that you can avail at the time of booking the hotel or flight.
Your flight could get delayed or your hotel could be overbooked and if you are like most people who make bookings much in advance, with tight schedules, it will not leave room to make changes to your plans. This would then cause stress and inconvenience besides loss of money.
In unfortunate events like these where the service provider refuses to co-operate, your insurance plan will reimburse the amount that was spent on making the booking.
This will also allow you to make a different booking and not disrupt your plans.
Especially when you choose to take a trip abroad, for example, a South Asian country, the travel insurance would also cover you against theft. It will prove helpful as it would be difficult to report a crime there considering the language barrier or rather the know-how of where and how to report it.
Distance and familiarity
If you are travelling to your home town or a relative/close friend's place, there are high possibilities of you being able to handle an emergency situation. In cases like these, you may opt out of the insurance cover.
It also goes for intercity cab travel which includes hidden travel insurance charges that you can opt out of.
This is because even if you were to be in an unfortunate accident, your personal medical insurance would cover healthcare. Additionally, it will relatively easier for you to opt for an alternative mode of travel as you will be familiar with the area.
Points to note
- Travel insurance charges that come with the tickets or holiday packages are usually nominal considering the amount and inconvenience you will have to face if things do not go as planned.
- Read the small script in the insurance cover policy statement to find out the type of emergencies that it would cover.
- Do not forget to carry the insurance details with you when you travel to avoid rejection of the claim.
- Make sure that you opt for a travel package and insurance from registered and reliable service providers.