In 2012, there were approximately one billion international tourists traveling around the world by air, land and sea. When you factor in the additional 459.2 million business travelers, then we’re looking at almost 1.5 billion global travelers annually. Alarmingly however, only up to a third of holidaymakers and business executives purchase travel insurance to protect themselves during their trips! If you’re still wondering if purchasing travel insurances are smart investment decisions, consider the fact that one in six policy holders make a claim upon their return. In case you remain unconvinced, let’s check out our list of the top five reasons to buy travel insurance.
Change of Plans
As the old saying goes, even the best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray. From work to family commitments, we are sometimes forced to change our traveling plans at the last minute. Imagine purchasing a ridiculously-cheap, non-refundable holiday package during a travel expo, only to discover a month later that your annual leave has been cancelled? Or what if you fell ill a couple of days before the journey? An active travel insurance will ensure that your loss is kept to a minimum.
While your coverage will typically exclude preexisting conditions, diseases such as appendicitis, epilepsy, food poisoning and eye infections can strike without notice. Imagine the costs involved in getting treatments in a foreign country, which could even extend to the accommodation expenses of your spouse or family members. In addition, more serious ailments might even require emergency services and extended intensive care. While many of us are blessed with good health, being prepared for the worse is the hallmark of the wise.
Apart from illnesses, travel insurances also provide coverage for accidents, ranging from slips and falls to car accidents and plane crashes. Here’s a little known fact: depending on your policy, the coverage may commence from the moment of purchase right until your return home. This means, you could even receive coverage during the journey to the airport.
Missing, Delayed or Damaged Luggage
With about 0.35% of luggage in air travel ending up missing, damaged or stolen, the scenario of arriving at your destination with only the clothes on your back is a very real possibility. More than that, your laptops or camera could be damaged, and your watches and jewelry stolen. With an active coverage, you could literally save thousands of dollars. Just remember to file a police report at the destination city.
Theft during vacations or business trips is not an uncommon occurrence. In certain countries, tourists are frequently viewed as prime targets of criminals. And don’t assume that the problem is limited to third world countries; in 2013, authorities in France busted a local gang of pickpockets in Paris that focused exclusively on Chinese tourists!
Service Operators Bankruptcy
Smaller tour and travel agencies usually sell their packages before making a single arrangement. Only when they have acquired a sufficient number of bookings would flight and accommodation reservations be made. A slight operational hiccup or an economic downturn could quickly lead to closures and bankruptcies. Customers are regularly left without a practical recourse to recover their money – unless of course, they have travel insurance.
So you see folks, travel insurance is a crucial element towards protecting your financial investments, and serves as a safeguard against any unexpected eventualities. In short, it offers you peace of mind. In most instances, obtaining these policies can be done within minutes online. So the next time you’re making travel arrangements, remember to get yourself and your traveling companions a policy.