By TA Ramalingam
Travel insurance is sought mostly when someone is travelling abroad and is asked for it. Those who mandatorily buy a travel insurance policy are still few and far between. These are usually the financially aware elite who know the benefits of having a travel insurance while heading off to a distant and unknown land.
With the advent of the backpackers culture in India, there’s a hike in the desire to get off the beaten track as more and more tourists are transforming into travellers and explorers. A large segment now looks forward to exploring experiences by trying different mixes of exploits like homestays, road trips, adventure sports etc. while being on a trip. If things go down as per the plan, these trips surely make for a great storytelling in the years to follow. But while one is usually packed and prepared for the known adventures, any external and unanticipated emergency during such a trip can turn a dream destination into a financial nightmare.
No one would want to think likewise while planning a holiday. But isn’t a form of financial protection that covers you from being vulnerable to unanticipated financial losses during a vacation a good idea? Even better when such a protection can be easily bought at the click of a finger, is customizable as per the needs and duration of the trip and its price is directly proportional to the coverage sought.
Insurers have taken cognizance of the kind of risks one is exposed to while being away on tours and have created domestic travel insurance policies. One may dismiss it but the analysis of road accident data 2015, compiled by the Transport Research Wing, reveals that about 1,374 accidents and 400 deaths take place every day on Indian roads, which further translates into 57 accidents and loss of 17 lives on an average every hour in our country. Umpteen cases of loss of baggage/ delay in flights etc. are reported daily and they cause a domino effect not only on the entire trip itinerary but also on your pocket.
Here are 5 reasons for you to buy a travel insurance to cover that next trip of yours:
Medical Emergencies? Travel policies handle them best!
The policy offers monetary compensation in case of a policy holder’s death or any form of permanent disability caused during the trip. It also offers medical fee reimbursements for accidents/illnesses encountered during the course of the journey. Additional covers like emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains etc. ensure that the traveller would not have to incur out-of-pocket expenditures for the medical exigencies he had to face.
Adventure Sports? Try ém all!!!
A lot of youngsters these days undertake several adventurous activities bucket listed by them. Due to the high risk involved, insurance policies earlier would not cover accidents consequential to these activities. However, this huge caveat in the travel insurance policies is now addressed as off late certain insurers do cover accidental bodily injury caused whilst you are performing such sports under the supervision of trained professionals.
Trip not going as per the plan? Time for Plan B
Your travel policy protects you against expenses incurred in cutting short your trip or its cancellation owing to the death of a close family member or medical emergency to you or your immediate family. Expenses incurred due to missed connections due to flight/train delays, bounced hotels etc. also stand covered. Such last minute cancellations and delays can amount to a lot of money and your travel insurance takes care of it all.
Lost Your Baggage? The Travel Policy Comes to Your Rescue!
If you lose your baggage while travelling in a cab, train or aircraft due to theft or hold up or it gets delayed due to situations beyond control, then your travel insurance policy reimburses you for the lost baggage or the additional necessary toiletries, medicines etc. that you had to purchase as a replacement, on producing an invoice for them.
Your Home is Safeguarded Too!
While you’re away, busy posting pictures of your jaunts on social media, enjoying the bliss of a new landscape, your home stands deserted, exposed to the vagaries of burglary and theft. As most of us do not have a home insurance in place, insuring your home against such threats through your travel insurance policy, at least for the period that you’re away, can be a good start!
Though a travel policy cannot prevent misfortunes from occurring, it can provide you with the necessary financial support at the direst of times. While travel insurance for a short trip will cost you no more than a movie ticket, even the most extensive covers are priced at just a few thousand rupees! It amounts to hardly anything when compared to the services offered by this invisible 24*7 travel buddy, shielding you from the traumata of unknown terrains, people and circumstances. So for the next trip, you know what has to be checked off after you have finalised the destination and booked your calendar! Bon Voyage!
(The author is Senior President & Chief Distribution Officer, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance)