All of us in our day to day life use insurance products some or the other time. For me, the most commonly used insurance product is travel insurance whenever I go abroad. Taking out a travel insurance is so easy, you can go online compare prices and see what works out for you. I have been lucky to not claim under travel insurance but having it gives me a peace of mind. If you travel a lot, then make sure that your travel insurance policy offers comprehensive coverage.
Most of the common travel insurance policies would not cover adventure travels. Do read the fine print and only then take out the policy.
The next most commonly used insurance product for me is car insurance. Once again car insurance can also be purchased or renewed online. Also showrooms, from where you bought the car, take care of car insurance renewal. I am lucky that the showroom from where I bought the car from reminds me every time about the renewal. They also send someone to collect the check.
The third most common insurance that I use is the medical insurance. I am covered from my husband’s company. We have used medical insurance twice for his hospitalization, they were minor operations. But the medical bills were large. His medical insurance company offers excellent service, so we never had any issues in claiming the amount. Most of the medical insurance companies offer 90% cover for medical costs, while 10% have to be paid by us.
Buying a general insurance policy is easy, but selection of the best one requires you to look at important factors such as the customer reviews and track record of the company when it comes to honoring a claim. I hope all of us are lucky and we never need to use any kind of insurance, but if we are in need and if it is difficult to claim the insurance, then what is the point of having insurance in the first place?
So what is your insurance story? Do share in the comments.
I recently saw this video on jugaad by Exide Life which goes with
#NoMoreShortCuts. Wheather we love it or hate it, we can’t ignore jugaad in India. Why we even have a vehicle called jugaad! However, jugaad takes us only so far! Along with Exide many have realized that jugaad is short term. I still remember their Money Book concept which encouraged families to keep their financial information in an accessible place. It is a simple but brilliant idea. And honestly most of us ignore it!
If you are interested in jugaad and innovation I would also encourage you to watch Professor Rishikesh Krishnan’s video on the topic. He is currently the director of IIM Indore but I knew him as the external examiner for my Ph.D. viva! He was at IIM Bangalore then. He is an excellent speaker and passionate about the subject.
Moving back to travel and me (after all it is my blog) I don’t think I have a jugaad mentality, at least not a massive one. But when I review my behavior I feel there are some aspects which I would like to change about my traveling.
Lousy Hotels that My Husband Likes
I met my husband where else but at IIT Kanpur. Before that from 6th to M.A. I studied in women’s school and college! I was the outsider, the poor research scholar! He was the IIT JEE undergrad! He now works in a swank multinational. But when it comes to hotels he can stay in the most hideous hole without batting an eyelid. In the initial years he dragged me too! I went along for a while. Then I started protesting, then I simply put my foot down!
I have no objection to staying in local places or budget places, I also like budget places. But I don’t have the same level of tolerance as him! I wonder what took me so long to make him scared about dragging me to a lousy hole, there is no other way to describe his choice of hotels! I should have done that from the word go!
What Will I Wear?
My sister is the only one in the family with a dress sense. I am bad. Before a trip she often asks me, “So what will you wear?” And it irritates the hell out of me. I will wear anything that is ironed and at hand! Now it was fine till I used to travel for leisure. But then I went ahead and made travel my work too. And there in lies the catch.
I discovered hotels which have a dress code! I went to events where I need to look the part. I so love to live in a faded jeans (substitute it with shorts/track lower according to the weather and need) and mismatched t-shirt but slowly I am forced to pay attention to the question ‘what will I wear?’
I wish I did it in college when learning anything new was easy but then it is better late than never! I still manage to look like a dump when the occasion demands to look like a million dollars but then as House says ‘people don’t change.’ Not that much anyway!
When it Comes to Freelance Payments
Now that I have managed to make travel my work I need to deal with the consequences. I traded a paycheck for freelance. I did freelance even while I was working full time. So I went in with my eyes open. My pet peeve with freelance work is that many clients don’t pay on time. I still manage to deal with it.
But there was this once instance when I landed up myself in a situation where I didn’t get paid at all! Now that was a first even for me. I certainly wish I knew how not to land myself in such a soup. Anyway a valuable lesson learned the hard way! I try my best not to make the same mistake twice. And no I don’t believe in naming such people, this is a situation beyond hope. May karma catch up with them!
The Resistance to Raincoats, Umbrellas and Dry Bags
I have not paid a price for it yet! I am not so worried about myself, I am not made of salt so I won’t dissolve in water! But my camera and water don’t mix well and yet I have been managing with polythene! I too indulge in jugaad after all!
I will do it Later!
All my working life, I thought I would keep working for ever. Never made a bucket list of the places I wanted to go just took random holidays, expensive ones too! That was the time when cash flow was good!
Now I wish I had a bucket list! At the next opportunity, when I am in an expensive mood (and the cash flow permits it), I am going to visit places I really want to rather than booking anything last moment! I learned this one the hard way too!
What are your views on juggad vs being systematic?
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.