Going on a trip overseas is a time of great enjoyment and personal growth. In contemplating all the wonderful experiences you are about to have, it’s easy to overlook the dangers you could encounter as a stranger in a foreign country. Being a tourist does not shield you from the potential for injury, loss, or theft that occur as a part of everyday life. In fact, being outside of your comfort zone can make the experience even more traumatic, especially if you are unprepared financially to deal with it. This is why most travelers choose to purchase some form of insurance prior to their departure. For a nominal fee you obtain a financial security blanket and the peace of mind of knowing you are covered, allowing you to relax and enjoy your holiday without reservation. The following are 5 reasons why travel insurance is an essential holiday expense.
1. Travel Problems
A canceled or delayed flight can have a domino effect. You could miss a connection to another flight. A late arrival could cost you a hotel and rental car reservation, a problem that is compounded if you paid in advance. Travel insurance can compensate you for these issues, and arrange replacement transportation for you and your companions.
2. Personal Circumstances and Cancellation
Unforeseen personal events often derail holiday plans. A death in the family could cause you to cut short, delay, or cancel your trip altogether. A severe illness can also force you to curtail your travel plans, and purchasing travel insurance in advance will allow you to rearrange your holiday bookings without additional cost.
3. Medical Emergencies
According to government statistics, there are thousands of cases each year of overseas travelers dying or being hospitalized due to a medical emergency. Regardless of the location, hospital bills for the uninsured can be quite expensive, especially in cases that require a medical evacuation. Although some countries offer free medical coverage for minor injuries as part of their government healthcare, any treatment that requires a specialist or repatriation will likely not be covered. For these reasons purchasing travel insurance is a wise move not only for seniors but young backpackers engaging in risky behavior.
4. Act of Nature
Many attractive holiday locales are also hotspots for national disasters. Tropical areas and Asia are prone to hurricanes and typhoons. Hawaii and California have the threat of earthquakes. A severe natural disaster can shut down airports and trap you in a foreign country. Even inclement weather such as a snowstorm can delay flights for several days. Insurance policies may provide coverage in the event of a natural disaster. For individuals traveling to a high risk area, consult with an agent and find out whether you are fully insured.
5. Loss or Theft
There is a risk of loss for any would be traveler. Baggage can get lost as it makes its way through the myriad of airport checkpoints and carousels between your home and your destination. Wallets or purses can get stolen as pickpockets mark you as a tourist, or simply left behind on a bus or train station. The situation becomes even more dire if you misplace your passport. Thankfully, travel insurance can not only reimburse you for lost luggage and stolen money, but help you get in touch with your consulate to help you secure a return trip home.