Insurance has come to the rescue of so many a traveller or business for a many reasons.
Travel insurance is a service that is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while traveling, either internationally or domestically.
Travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of the booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip, or a “multi-trip” policy can cover an unlimited number of trips within a set time frame. Some policies offer lower and higher medical-expense options; the higher ones are chiefly for countries that have high medical costs, such as the United Kingdom.
The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance plans are:
- Medical treatment, including transportation to the medical facility.
- Cancellation, curtailment and trip interruption.
- This section covers any unused travel and or accommodation costs, pre-paid charges (including any additional travel expenses incurred, provided they are deemed reasonable and necessary) if a trip is canceled or cut short under a variety of circumstances, which may include any of the following, depending on the policy:
- death, bodily injury, illness, disease, or pregnancy complications.
- compulsory quarantine.
- being called as a witness.
- termination of employment (provided you did not know about it before you booked the holiday).
- being called up if you are a member of the armed forces or other public defense or safety organization.
- prohibition of travel by the government to the intended destination.
- officially recommended evacuation from the intended destination.
- official advisory against going to or remaining at the intended destination.
- death or serious illness of a family member (subject to age restrictions).
- Repatriation of remains or overseas funeral expenses.
- Return of a minor.
- Trip cancellation, trip interruption.
- Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit.
- Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents.
- Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items).
- Flight connection was missed due to airline rescheduling or delay.
- Travel delays due to weather.
Medical expense coverage can be per-occurrence or maximum-limit.
Optional Cover – Some travel policies will also provide cover for additional costs, although these vary widely between providers.
In addition, often separate insurance can be purchased for specific costs such as:
- Pre-existing conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes)
- Sports with an element of risk (e.g. skiing, mountain climbing, scuba diving)
- Travel to high risk countries (e.g. due to war, natural disasters or acts of terrorism)
- Rental Car Coverage
- Cancel for Any Reason Coverage
- 3rd party supplier insolvency (e.g. the hotel or airline to which you made non-refundable pre-payments has gone into administration)
Choosing a suitable travel insurance policy on your own can be tedious but beneficial and cost saving if you research well and understand the policy you want. That way you can specifically choose something appropriate for you. If you want to avoid the hustle you can always go for the packages offered by travel agencies or tour companies or insurance companies. They normally have tailor made or pre packaged policies for different needs. Its tempting to think why should I get insurance, I will be at my destination in a bit with no hustle? Yes you have travelled hustle free before many times but you never know when disaster strikes. There a lot of good and reputable companies to choose your insurance from. Some major banks also offer travel insurance so you can give them a call and verify.
The rise in aviation traffic (human, machinery and others) in Africa and the world at large increases the risks of one hustle or another. Lets be wise and travel protected all the time.
AviaConnect ( M B Dube)