You Think You Don’t Need Travel Insurance? Think Again!

Let’s be real. If you were travelling on a budget or luxuriously, cash flow is everything. Sure, getting travel insurance seems like free money to insurance companies, and doesn’t really serve you justice. You’d probably think to yourself and say “It’s okay, I’ll do my best to avoid falling and drowning, or eating the wrong food and be on time to avoid travel delays”.

Again. Lets be real. Destiny has it’s own plans for you too. And when it hits you, it hits you without a 24-hour notice.

I was chastising my brother for not considering travel insurance when he jet sets for a road trip. According to him, he doesn’t need it because if he came back in one piece, his pennies will be burnt, and the insurance companies will profit out of thin air. What he said is no doubt sensible but what about the many other IF’s, like, what if he got mugged, injured and lost his wallet and passport in Paris all at once?

During my 6-year work stint, developing and creating travel insurance, I realised that there is still a huge number of misconception on travel insurance. Yes, you may have a medical insurance but did you know that your medical insurance does not cover your expenses when you have to purchase another flight ticket because there was a flight delay, or when you have to cancel your entire trip before even stepping foot at the airport due to being subpoenaed by the court of law? Don’t go all hulk if your medical insurance company decides to deny your claim.

Here’s Why You Should Think Again

It’s Affordable

Travel insurance costs for as little as RM2.50 per day. Sure beats the overseas hospitalisation expenses that could amount to $400 (RM 1,710) or more per day in countries like Argentina right? There are many travel insurance policies that include overseas hospitalisation benefits. And medical insurance is not one of them.

Travel Emergency Assistance

Remember Tsunami? Think restricted access into affected areas, think of the hassle of booking an air ticket to get your injured self back home, think of the cost of an oxygen tank when your life depends on it while being airlifted back home. This is when your RM2.50 per day travel insurance come in handy. Why? Because travel insurance is so much more than covering for your medical costs. It takes care of your issues during and after any major incident.

Did You Know?

Insurance companies outsource reliable travel emergency assistance providers to help you when you face unforeseen circumstances. They pay an annual fee per policy to these providers, which is already included in your travel insurance premium. Most providers are top notch experts and have a wide range of network around the world. This way, insurance companies ensure that policyholders are taken care of.

When You Travel Solo

If you thought of solo travelling, solo backpacking or solo road trips, travel insurance is perfect. If you’re injured and have no one to accompany you back home, a travel insurance will be able to cover your relative or friend’s travel expenses to get to where you are as well as their accommodation expenses if they needed to stay while waiting for your discharge.

When You’re Held Liable

Ever had an experience where you accidentally damaged someone else’s property and had to pay for it? Most travel insurance indemnifies you against any amount that is made legally liable to you to pay as compensation for losses or damages to properties belonging to a third-party. Be sure to check your policies for the amount, different insurers impose different limits. Nevertheless having this coverage saves you loads of financial trouble while travelling.

Baggage Delay Happen All The Time

Here’s how baggage delay happens:

8.53 million bags were missed handled during transfers in 2015

19% were due to failure of loading the baggage into aircraft

16% were due to ticketing error/bag switch/security

8% were due to airport/ customs/space-weight restrictions/weather

4% were due to arrival mishandling/loading error/tagging error

Resource: SITA, The Baggage Report, 2016

Although baggage delay can happen on any kind of transport, the numbers above are facts on baggage delayed in airports around the world in 2015. Think of the emergency clothes and toiletries that you have to purchase while waiting for your baggage to return to you.

SITA reports the average time it took for travellers to reunite with their baggage, usually takes 1.76 days and if you don’t have a travel insurance there is no way you can get that money back. Travel insurance allows you to claim for those expenses when you return home, which is why it is always wise to consider a travel insurance before you leave for a long trip.

I’ve used travel insurance since I started travelling. Although all my travels are smooth and breezy, it feels good knowing that I have a backup plan in case anything happens. There are tonnes of travel insurance option to choose from and choosing the most suitable travel insurance for that one trip you’re about to embark on, is always better than having none.

If you have no idea where to get one for yourself, airline companies usually offer travel insurance as an auxiliary item or you can always get one directly from insurers online. Take time to educate yourselves with travel insurance. If you can take the time to study about the places you want to visit, why not take the time to find out about travel insurance.

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