Travel Insurance: All You Need to Know

Travel Insurance: All You Need to Know

February 27, 2020 0 By Anthony Ekanem

Travelling is one activity that every individual must undertake at one time or the other; it does not matter what the purpose of travel is, or whether the travel is local or international. A lot of people actually look forward to travelling to other parts of the world for various purposes, including business, tourism, vacation, pilgrimage, education and medical.

The euphoria to travel outside of one’s domain usually comes with a lot of preparations, and more often than not, a great deal of resources are deployed to ensure that the travel actually takes place; and these include obtaining of an international passport, medical tests (where applicable), expensive visa processing fees, flight booking as well as hotel reservation.

A lot of people will do anything and everything just to actualise their international travel ambition. And to be very candid here, international travel is actually fun and something to look forward to. Travelling, especially international travels, is a form of education for the travellers as they have an opportunity to see new environments, meet new people, and learn how things are done elsewhere.

International travel affords the traveller a lot of opportunities irrespective of their original purpose of travel. These include business, educational and employment opportunities. Unfortunately, however, it is only these and many other opportunities that intended travellers see. They seem to be ignorant or care less about the risks that are inherent in international travels, so they don’t take any steps towards mitigating such risks.

Risks Inherent in International Travels

As enjoyable and profitable as some foreign travels may be, they also come with their inherent risks, including:

  • Sudden illness in the country of destination requiring urgent medical attention and/or hospitalization.
  • Involvement in an accident leading to bodily injuries, temporary or permanent disability, or death
  • Loss of checked-in baggage
  • Loss of valuable items such as international passport, drivers’ licence, national identity card, etc.
  • Personal liabilities abroad
  • Emergency dental cases
  • Hijacking
  • Arrest by law enforcement agencies requiring bail and legal defence

The list is non-exhaustive. And fortunately for travellers, most travel risks can be transferred to professional risk bearers by buying travel insurance.

Covers Provided by Travel Insurance Policies

Below is a list of most of the covers and benefits provided by travel insurance policies – depending on the providers. So the next time you buy a travel insurance policy, look out for these covers and benefits.

  • Medical Expenses and hospitalization abroad
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • Repatriation after treatment
  • Emergency dental care
  • Repatriation of family member travelling with the insured
  • Emergency Return Home following Death of Close Relative
  • Repatriation of Mortal Remains
  • Medical Assistance
  • Legal Assistance
  • Pre-Departure Services
  • International General Assistance
  • Abroad Information Assistance about lost Luggage and Passport,
  • Delivery of Medicines
  • Legal Defence
  • Advance of Bail Bond
  • Hijacking in Public Transport
  • Loss of Passport, driving license, national identity card abroad
  • Compensation for in-flight loss of checked-in baggage
  • Compensation for delay in the arrival of luggage
  • Delayed Departure
  • Location and forwarding of baggage and personal effects.
  • Accidental Death
  • Permanent Disability
  • Personal Civil Liability
  • Trip Cancellation Expenses

Risks Not Covered By Travel Insurance

Having talked about the covers provided by travel insurance policies, it is also important to consider the risks that are not covered by most of these policies, as listed below:

  • Participation in criminal acts
  • Natural phenomena such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, cyclonic storms, falling objects from space and aerolites,
  • Events arising from terrorism, mutiny or crowd disturbances;
  • Events or actions of the Armed Forces or Security Forces in peacetime;
  • Wars, with or without prior declaration, and any conflicts or international interventions.
  • Pre-existing Illness or injuries
  • Participation in competitions, sports, and preparatory or training tests
  • Any sport or recreational activity that is known to be dangerous;
  • Participation in competitions or tournaments organised by sporting federations or similar organisations
  • Winter and/or summer sports such as skiing and/or similar sports.
  • Work-related accidents
  • Internationally and locally recognized epidemics
  • Death or injuries as a result of suicide or attempted suicide or any self-inflicted injuries
  • Illness, injuries or pathological states caused by the consumption of alcohol, drugs, toxic substances, narcotics or medicines acquired without medical prescription, as well as any kind of mental illness or mental imbalance
  • Illness or injuries caused by pregnancy and childbirth or any complication therefrom or voluntary termination of pregnancy

Where to Buy Travel Insurance

Travel insurances can be bought online – and there are many travel insurance providers to buy from. All you need to do is locate your preferred provider, and complete the online form or questionnaire, and make your payment, and policy is made available to you for immediate printing or sent to your email address.

You can also buy travel insurance offline from a local insurance company or travel agency. Whatever method of purchase you choose, you can rest assured that you will be fully protected against insurable travel risks.

Using Your Travel Insurance

After you have bought your travel insurance policy, whether it is self-purchased using the provider’s online portal, at a travel agency or through a local insurance company, you should make sure that you do not forget to take the document with you while travelling. This is so important because you may be required to produce that document by relevant bodies in order to access assistance.

You should take particular note of your policy number (if possible copy the number somewhere else) as it will be required by the service providers to properly identify you when you call them for assistance.

Another thing you should take note of on your travel insurance certificate or policy document is the Assistance Company’s telephone numbers that you need to call when you need help. These numbers are always conspicuously written on the travel insurance document – so take note of them.

You should endeavour to read as much of the document as possible so as to understand the covers provided, the Terms and Conditions of the policy as well as its Exclusions. And very importantly, when making a claim on your policy, be honest and avoid every form of fraudulent practices.

Summary and Conclusion

There are other benefits that travel insurance policies provide which could not be exhaustively discussed here. But having read the benefits discussed above, you will agree that Travel Insurance is a must-have for a well-planned trip. So the next time you are planning a foreign trip, give travel insurance a priority. It is very affordable, and anyone can buy it. The peace of mind and the protection it provides are enormous.

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