Taking off on a travel abroad, whether for business or pleasure, requires a lot of preparation. This is to ensure your journey would be safe, hassle free and fruitful. It is for this reason that having a travel insurance is of utmost importance. It is actually a travel essential apart from your travel documents. This will safeguard you against unforeseen events like loss or delay of baggage, loss of money or documents and medical emergencies.
Pre pandemic, my family used to travel a lot, but believe it or not, it was only during our last trips abroad that we had travel insurance. I used to think that having coverage has been just an added expense, especially that we travel as a family. And by family, I mean my entire family: my parents, my sister and her family, and my family including my twin granddaughters.
Back in 2018, my family traveled to Europe: London and Paris. I didn't think about getting us a travel insurance then when we applied for our visas for the United Kingdom, but for some reason, I did get us the coverage when we applied for the French visa. It was a last minute decision to finally click the insurance website the French Embassy was recommending. A last minute option that saved my neck from huge medical bills when my husband suffered from a heart attack while we were in Paris. If it wasn't for that decision to finally get us a travel insurance (for the first time!), I wouldn't have known where to get the money to pay for all his medical expenses.
Getting sick abroad can be really expensive, even for the insured, more so if you don't have coverage. We all know that hospitalization and medical treatment and even the meds are not cheap. If caught unprepared, all the medical bills and related expenses can entirely wipe out your savings in a flash. This may even leave you burdened with debt and it may be more difficult for you and your family when you are traveling abroad where you don't know anyone. It was at that moment, I realized how important it is to have travel insurance and since that scary, life threatening incident, I made sure my family never travels without coverage.
Here are some important reasons why having a travel insurance is a must.
1. It saves you from unforeseen medical expenses.
You'll never know when you are getting sick. Despite meticulous planning and knowing we are all healthy, there are things that could go wrong while travelling which can make us feel vulnerable. Medical emergencies are never included in our budget when planning for a trip and should something happen, this is where a travel insurance comes to the rescue. A simple cold and fever can have you visiting the emergency room. It will surprise you to find out that even a simple case of cold can have you spending so much, especially that you are not a local. A travel insurance basically offers coverage for medical exigencies and that too on a cashless basis.
2. It is your friend in a foreign land.
It was a sigh of relief when I remembered that we had travel insurance. I immediately checked our coverage while my husband was in an ambulance and being transported to a hospital. So relieved to find out that my travel insurance offers 24X7 customer support for the claims. They were even the ones who reached out to me after I informed them of the incident. It proved to be a friend who helped bridge the language barrier and geographical constraints. The main office is in Madrid, but they made sure my husband was well taken care of.
3. Coverage for personal liability.
Although, this never happened to us while traveling, sometimes an emergency might also involve a damage being inflicted on a property or another person. There is some travel insurance that covers this.
4. Something you can rely on for travel-related emergencies.
Another incident that we experienced while we were in Paris, theft. My daughter lost her bag while in a restaurant. Your travel insurance plan can provide financial support to cover such type of incident.
5. Travel Insurance is a mandatory requirement.
Some countries have made it mandatory for visitors to have travel insurance, just like the case in France. It wasn't really a requirement when we applied for the UK visa that's why I didn't feel the serious need to get us a travel insurance. As a requirement, you don't want to arrive at your visa application interview and be informed that an absence of insurance has prohibited you from entering the foreign land. This is one of the reasons why visa applications get rejected.
Travel insurance does provide a level of protection against most type of emergencies, so make sure you have this before embarking on a trip abroad.