I am extremely lucky that in my 25 trips abroad I never really have faced any major travel crisis! And if you thought I have forgotten counting because I told you sometime back that I have visited only 16 countries then that is not true. I have visited a few as much as 5 times, so the total number of trips is more than 16.
Speaking of travel crisis, though I myself haven’t faced one, travel insurance is an affordable and reliable way to handle such mishaps. While travel insurance is mandatory for several countries (like Schengen Countries) there are quite a few where it isn’t mandatory. In fact I too forgot to buy insurance in one instance while traveling to one of these places. But I have never had any reasons to claim insurance till date. Though I hope my luck lasts forever, I also do realize the need to be prepared. Here are five reasons why I buy travel insurance.
#1 A medical emergency abroad can be very expensive
Expenses involved in a medical emergency can be massive. If a traveller sustains an injury that needs hospitalization, a single day of hospitalization can cost Rs 2-3 lakhs a day or even more in the US. What’s more is that if hospitalization gets extended to over a week or in case of immediate surgery (e.g. multiple fracture, heart attack etc.) the bill could easily touch a Crore or higher. With the right kind of travel insurance a traveller can receive coverage to the tune of half a million US dollars for an affordable price. In absence of timely funds to treat a medical emergency a traveller can be denied crucial treatment which in fact can result in permanent damage. Travel insurance is also particularly beneficial in situations where a traveller faces a life threatening injury or medical condition in a remote location where medical help could be several hundred miles away. Travel insurance offers medical evacuation during such instances so that the traveller receives immediate life-saving medical treatment without loss of much valuable time.
#2 Travel insurance assists you for nearly all kind of travel emergencies
Apart from medical emergencies, situations like delayed flights, lost baggage, misplaced/stolen personal belongings can easily botch a trip. Bharti AXA GI SmartTraveller insurance provides financial support in each of these situations.
In a nutshell, travel insurance offers travellers relief in nearly all kind of travel related emergencies
#3 Travel Insurance is Reliable and affordable
A lot of insurance firms in India are joint ventures between an Indian entity and an International insurance firm of global repute. While the prices of travel insurance products are affordable the coverage and ease of claims assistance are at par with global standards. Travellers have access to huge cashless networks of hospitals across the globe where they can avail cashless treatment. A large network also implies quick help, specially in case of medical evacuation and emergencies pertaining to financial assistance.
With regards to affordability, travel insurance usually costs less than one percent of the entire trip! Bharti AXA GI’s SmartTraveller offers travel insurance for one week trip for an individual less than 40 years with half a million dollar cover costs just Rs 1100. A week’s trip to Europe with a 100,000 Euro cover for a person aged 40 years or less costs just INR 606. A week’s trip with a $50,000 cover to Singapore for a person aged 40 years or less costs just INR 349. I myself have paid a little more than INR 500 for a lot of benefits that go with having a travel insurance policy. Before buying an insurance I was not even aware that lost luggage could be covered by insurance.
#4 It is Easy to Buy Travel Insurance
Travel insurance can be purchased online through any mobile device (phone/laptop or tablet) in a matter of minutes and on the same day of travel. Given are a few simple steps to purchase Bharti AXA GI Smart Traveller online.
When I was working full time, I used to travel a lot as well because of my blog. For all my trips I bought travel insurance last minute, probably on the day of departure. If I had to go somewhere to buy travel insurance I might have skipped whenever I could because taking leave was never an easy option.
#5 It is Easy to Compare Travel Insurance Plans
If you are not sure which travel insurance plan to buy it is easy to compare. First of all you can compare the various plans offered by the same company. There are third party websites that would let you compare insurance across service providers. There was a time when I would look at the cheapest quote as the best option. But after traveling more I realized it is also important to consider what is it that you want to be covered on a priority basis!
Peace of Mind
There was this one instance when I was visiting Thailand and I completely forgot to buy travel insurance. Travel insurance is not mandatory to get a visa on arrival in Thailand. Throughout the trip I had this nagging voice in my head telling me ‘you are not insured.’ I would rather travel without that voice nagging me all the time. Though travel insurance is not mandatory for a lot of countries I would strongly recommend that is it bought while travel to these nations too. As emergencies pertaining to travel can happen anywhere, assistance at that point of time in a foreign location can provide immense relief so that you can worry about safeguarding your- self and your loved one rather than worrying about bills.
What is your take on buying travel insurance? Do share your tales.
Please Note: Insurance is a Subject matter of Solicitation.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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