Travel Insurance: Don’t Travel Without It, Your Life Depends On It

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Never leave home without Travel Insurance coverage as your life depends on it.  Anything can happen to alter the cause of your trip and your coverage can save the day.  Having one brings a sense of security and gives you and your loved ones peace of mind.

Transit point, Manchester Airport, United Kingdom. ©2016 Great Zimbabwe Traveller

In case you are still wondering whether purchasing Travel Insurance is worth the trouble, the answer is an emphatic YES.  The response couldn’t be more important today than in the past because of many dangers and threats confronting travellers, targeting modes of transportation and travelling facilities.  To be honest, if you can’t afford insurance coverage, even the most basic, probably you shouldn’t travel because you cannot afford it.

Travel Insurance

Having Travel Insurance coverage gives you peace of mind. ©2016 Great Zimbabwe Traveller

Having Travel Insurance coverage is the single most important thing when travelling outside the country including domestically.  Doing so protects you and your loved ones from  financial risks and gives you the much needed peace of mind while globetrotting in foreign lands. However, it is important not to confuse regular health insurance and Travel Insurance coverage which covers only unexpected emergencies that may occur during your trip in foreign territories where your regular health insurance coverage does not apply.

Choose The Right Coverage

Choosing the appropriate insurance coverage that is right for you is crucial.  Before you make that choice, take into account other factors. For instance, consider the destination and flight route as well as security and threats associated with both.  Determine the nature of your trip, its purpose and duration then consider whether or not you will be best served by getting comprehensive coverage or just basic. Whatever your choice, make sure it’s the best coverage that won’t leave you exposed to further challenges due to a coverage deficit or shortfall.

Flight delay, hours later past departure time and still waiting for take-off. ©2016 Great Zimbabwe Traveller

Flight delay: Hours later and past the departure time, passengers are still waiting for take-off.  ©2016 Great Zimbabwe Traveller

Examples of insurance coverage that is available for the duration of the trip until your return.

Basic Coverage

  • Trip Cancellation
  • Trip Delay
  • Trip Interruption
  • 24 Hour Emergency Travel Assistance

Comprehensive Coverage

  • Flight/Trip Cancellation
  • Flight/Trip Delay
  • Flight/Trip Interruption
  • Luggage Loss  & Coverage
  • Personal Injury and Body Dismemberment
  • Unexpected Illness and Hospitalization
  • Accidental Death
  • Repatriation of Remains
  • Accommodation and Meals
  • Emergency Medical Transportation
  • 24-Hour Emergency Travel Assistance

Note:  The above example is not representative of all insurance coverage.  Contact your local Insurance Provider for accurate policy coverage as each is unique in what they offer.

The Unexpected: Flight Delay & Trip Interruption

Flight delays are common causes of trip interruptions.  Anything can happen to cause a delay at any leg of the journey – outbound, transit or return. It could be a  mechanical or technical fault, security, weather or even terrorism.  When that happens, flights can be delayed for hours or days as we saw recently with another airline. Whether it’s a direct or connection flight, a disruption in one leg of the trip has spillover effects with potential to disrupt an entire trip.

On a recent trip, a flight delay due to mechanical problems had passengers waiting for take-off hours past the initial departure time.  The concern for most passengers had less to do with lack of information regarding the delay but more to do with anticipated ramifications of the delay in transit points.  While airlines may not be liable for missed connections or trip interruptions due to flight delays, having insurance coverage brings a sense of relief knowing you are protected from challenges and financial burden which the uninsured can not escape.

That notwithstanding, the act by airlines of dropping off and leaving affected passengers stranded without any form of assistance including helpful information says a lot about that airline.  Furthermore, the manner in which they treat passengers or lack thereof also exposes the inherent corporate culture and whether or not they value customer service relations at all.

Stranded in Manchester Airport after missing their connection flight. This 11 year old was left alone to fend for himself and his disabled mother who couldn’t speak English. Overwhelmed by the situation in a foreign country, the kid broke down. The goodness in us compels us to help those who cannot help themselves. © 2016 Great Zimbabwe Traveller

A lesson to be learnt from this trip: a single flight delay managed to interrupt an entire leg of the journey with luggage either lost or misplaced as well as missing other connection flights thereafter.  Nonetheless, despite all the unnecessary inconvenience, the physical exhaustion and mental stress of running around at a transit foreign airport, assisting others to rebook missed flights, trying to locate lost or misplaced luggage and making endless transatlantic calls for assistance, the only solace was in knowing that there was insurance coverage to turn to should all else fail. Undoubtedly, the coverage that had been upgraded days prior to travel albeit reluctantly, saved what would have otherwise  been a costly disaster.

Luggage Loss & Coverage

Usually when there is a flight delay or cancellation, baggage gets lost or misplaced in the process.  Despite the airline being responsible, unless you have insurance coverage, it is your responsibility to recover your luggage and bear all related costs. However, depending on your coverage, you may be compensated in full or in part for the value of the goods lost.

Flight & Trip Cancellation

One of the greatest benefits of having Travel Insurance Coverage is knowing that should there be flight or trip cancellation for whatever reason, you will not lose out. Depending on your coverage, you may be reimbursed either in part or in full for the cost of the trip or flight.  Total or partial reimbursement makes is  easier for you to plan another trip in the future.

Whatever you may think of Travel Insurance, purchasing coverage is a necessary expense that can save you a lot of money, complications and most importantly, your life depends on it!.

 

Ready to explore?  Unleash the wanderlust in you!  Explore Great Zim Traveller blog for travel tips and advice.

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