16 JUNE, 2020


Traveling may be a long shot now because of recent events in the world. But don’t let it stop you from planning and even investing in your next jet-setter travel destination.

Staying at home during vacation season may be frustrating, especially for travel junkies, but sacrifices have to be made for now. Think of it this way, the time you’re spending now at home allows you to save more money for a more extravagant vacation. 

This can also give you more time to save up for travel insurance. 

For the unfamiliar, travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers the possible losses or sickness you may encounter while traveling. Airline companies and travel agencies offer this to their customers, whether a part of a package or an independent purchase. 

Generally speaking, travel insurance serves as excellent protection for those traveling both domestic and international. 

What does travel insurance usually cover? 

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The insurance covers a lot of categories, including unwanted incidents, baggage, flight, and even accommodations. Let’s break it down for you:

1. Trip Cancellation - Considering how unpredictable life is now, getting travel insurance for interruptions like this may be beneficial. Travel insurance can reimburse a portion of what you paid for, which could hurt less for your pocket.
2. Medical coverage - Nowadays, you have to be fit and healthy when traveling. But you may come across unfortunate events while traveling to another country like an injury or emergency medical situation.

Some travel insurance firms offer medical coverage, not limited to emergency assistance, ambulance fees, visits to general physicians, and even medical evacuation in your home country. While these services vary, medical coverage is one of the top reasons one should get travel insurance. 

3. Luggage - By a stroke of bad luck, your luggage took another flight, and now you’re baggage-less. With travel insurance, you can reimburse it for the actual price, cash value, or replacement, which is less, and according to your insurance policy. 
4. Alternative transports and expenses - Let’s say a storm hit your flight back and home and your plane had no choice but to have a layover in another country (which you did not intend to visit) for a few days. The additional expenses you’ll be spending due to the delay will be covered by the insurance you got. 
5. Personal liability - What are the chances of destroying your rental car or room by accident? Very unlikely, but we can never tell. Some agencies offer insurance to help you out in the event of damaging property or injuring someone during the trip. 

Which travel insurance is the right one for you?

Some insurance packages cover all these benefits, but some go for a case-to-case basis. You need to know which travel insurance to get for your travel. Here are some questions you could ask yourself while looking at options:

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1. What’s your budget for this trip? If you see yourself spending loads of money throughout the trip, then getting insurance would probably be a good idea. You may want to ensure those flight tickets and other travel expenses.
2. Is the cancellation risk high?  If your business trip falls during the monsoon season or you have an unpredictable work schedule, consider covering for trip cancellations or rescheduling. 
3. Are you medically insured abroad? For international trips, consider speaking with your medical insurance agent and see if your medical coverage covers you in other countries. If not, then travel insurance should be on your list. 
4. Is your travel duration long? Whether you’re backpacking in the Philippines for five days or going on a cruise for three months, certain travel insurance can be made for you. Most agencies offer flexible packages. Take the time to consult which one is right for you. 
5. Are you doing any physical activity during your trip? Going on an adventurous trip may be exciting, but the risk of getting into an accident is very high. If you’re into extreme sports and it’s a part of your itinerary, please get insured, preferably with medical coverage. 
6. How often do you travel? On a bird’s eye view, how many times do you plan to travel in a year? Once, twice, or thrice? If you’re going on multiple trips, consider getting annual insurance instead of a single trip.  

If you can’t decide, you can always consult a financial adviser on whether you should get travel insurance. In weighing the options, here are some of the ups and downs of getting coverage for your travels. 

Pros of having travel insurance

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1. It saves you from unwanted expenses - Nobody wants to go off-budget during their trip, especially if it’s already expensive. Getting travel insurance can save you from shelling out money for travel emergencies like accidents or unwanted events. 
2. You can stay calm throughout your trip - When you’re insured both locally and abroad, you’ll enjoy your travel to the fullest. Getting coverage would give you a sense of security, no matter where you are in the world. 
3. A massive investment for your overall health - Paying for insurance may hurt your wallet and budget, but it brings you to a sense of security for both your mind and overall health. Life can get unpredictable. If the costly flight you booked got canceled and is nonrefundable, you’d be thanking yourself for actually getting insurance. 

Cons of having travel insurance

1. It can be (very) costly - One of the biggest letdowns and one of the reasons many opt not to get travel insurance is the cost. Getting travel insurance is not cheap, and therefore one may need to set a budget for it in the long run. 
2. Not all medical conditions are covered - For insurance, pre-existing health conditions may spike up your costs, or may not be covered at all. Make sure to choose your insurance policy carefully. 
3. Loopholes - A common thing for insurance providers is that they often not mention certain items within your contract. Loopholes are the very reason why everyone should read the fine print of the insurance policy.

To sum it all up, in getting travel insurance, you must consider the following factors: 

1. How long is your trip?
2. How often do you travel?
3. Is getting travel insurance included in your budget?
4. Which benefit will you most likely use? 

Travel insurance is a lot to take in, especially with the cost and the many factors to consider before actually getting one. However, with the sense of security and protection, it gives you when you travel, getting one may actually be a win for you.