With travel bans, grounded airplanes, and prolonged lockdowns imposed by governments across the globe, the travel industry took the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Even though some believe that the travel industry will bounce back once the vaccine is accessible to everyone, experts say people still need to take into account restrictions and precautions while travelling.
Why does one need travel insurance especially during a pandemic?
Travelling amid a pandemic be it for business or leisure requires a lot of thought and groundwork. The cost of hospital care for COVID-19 patients around the globe is exorbitant. Hence, industry experts advise opting for a travel insurance plan whenever you arrange your next holiday.
Milind V Kolhe, Chief Underwriting and Reinsurance Officer, Bharti AXA General Insurance says, “Travel insurance is designed to assure stress-free travel whether in the country or overseas. Considering the associated emotions and the fact that it costs an enormous amount of money for your desired travel plans, it is imperative to keep your travel safe and secure. With unforeseen events like medical emergency, baggage loss, etc. a vacation can instantly turn into a nightmare.”
Such things can happen anywhere and anytime. Kolhe adds, “Though prevention of such situations is not a possibility, precaution certainly is, which is where the importance of travel insurance comes in. Travel insurance policy helps you can take care of any unforeseen circumstances without affecting your finances.”
What does travel insurance cover?
Travel insurance takes care of various circumstances on behalf of the policyholder.
Emergency Expenses: When it comes to travelling to a different country, most people are usually tied under a budget. Usually, people plan all their activities, make most bookings in advance to save money. In such a situation, if the policyholder happens to incur any emergency due to an illness or injury during the trip, the travel insurance policy takes care of it.
The travel insurance includes coverage for hospital charges, ambulance services, and physician services, depending on the type of policy opted by the traveller.
Medical evacuation: A travel insurance policy also provides the necessary coverage for medical evacuation to the nearest medically equipped facility. If something happens to the insured during the trip, the cost incurred for the repatriation of mortal remains to the home country is also compensated through travel insurance.
Daily Allowance: Travel insurance offers daily allowance for hospitalization in case of an emergency while the policyholder is on a trip. These insurance policies also offer payment of the daily allowance for the number of days of hospitalization of the insured, depending on the maximum number of days specified in the policy documents.
Check the travel insurance policy to be informed about the inclusions and exclusions in case of hospitalization.
Emergency Accommodations: Travel insurance provides additional compensation cost for emergency accommodation in case the insured is not able to stay in the original accommodation. Usually, emergency accommodation compensation in a travel policy is not limited to fire flood, explosion, earthquake, and storm. Take a note of the insurance documents to know about the exclusions.
Personal Accident: Uncertainties can happen anytime, hence, travel insurance provides coverage and compensation for accidental bodily injuries. Along with permanent and partial disablement, these policies also cover death caused in an accident.
Cancellation of trip: Cancellation of flights have become common especially after the pandemic, leaving travellers in distress at the last minute. At the same time, medical emergencies, natural disasters, and personal employment problems can also be a cause of your trip getting cancelled. Travel insurance comes handy in situations like these.
Reimbursement for payment towards the non-refundable prepaid bookings is usually offered by travel insurers. However, keep in mind that the compensation is limited to the sum assured of the policy. With a travel insurance policy, policyholders are safeguarded from additional expenses that they may have incurred on an event of trip cancellation.