Even though a vast number of people believe that the costs of travelling uninsured can be high, yet few cover their risks by taking a travel insurance policy. As psychologists point out, this dichotomy mostly exists because of the thought: “It’ll never happen to me.”
However, the truth is that an accident abroad can not only have an unsettling impact on the individual’s physical health, it can significantly impair his/her financial wellbeing too. The reasons for travelling uninsured can be many – from a tight budget to unawareness of the potential costs involved in unforeseen events to the classical thought of “What can happen to me? I’ll be safe.”
This post then is an elucidation of the benefits of travelling insured and the potential costs that can easily be avoided and the risks mitigated if you have travel insurance. Yes, the peace of #TravellingWorryFree!
Travelling uninsured can put you back by several hundreds of dollars
Let us first take you through the concept of travel insurance. Travel is filled with unpredictability and travel insurance can, in simple terms, can make your travel worry-free. If you look from a traveller’s point of view, when someone is travelling abroad unpredictable things beyond his/her control and can happen:
- His/her trip can get cancelled and he/she might not even start his/her journey
- When he/she has boarded the flight, his/her baggage can get lost – his/her hand baggage can get lost or his/her checked-in baggage can get delayed
- Once he/she has reached destination, his/her passport can get lost
- He/she can be robbed in that country leading to a loss of his/her assets
- His/her currency or forex and travel card can get lost
- His/her health can deteriorate or the person may be involved in a tragic event like an accident
The solution that helps mitigate these uncertainties is a travel insurance policy, which can cover trip delays, baggage loss, baggage delays, passport loss, thefts and accidents and other health issues, etc., which can be settled by the policy issuer either through a reimbursement or through cash less hospitalisation. In effect, travel insurance comprehensively covers all the risks which one can think of.
Let us now focus our attention to the three broad cases that a traveller can be exposed to.
- The best case scenario:
He/she having a travel insurance and returning back home safe and sound.
- The other case scenario:
He/she having travel insurance and getting his expenses covered for a sudden and unpredictable event.
- The worst case scenario:
He/she not having a travel insurance and a disaster striking him or his family.
If you ask any traveller who has had the misfortune of undergoing the last case scenario, they will invariably tell you that they have now become the ambassadors of travel insurance. Why? Because the costs of travelling uninsured are prohibitively high, especially during medical emergencies.
One traveller had to pay £20,000 (equivalent to about Tk 2.2 million) to cover the cost of treatment for a heart infection and/or haemorrhage in a hospital in the UK. Costs included treatment at two hospitals and an air ambulance service. In many countries, medical treatment for visitors can be incredibly expensive; daily hospitalisation costs in Southeast Asia regularly exceed $800. Moreover, if you have to stay in a hospital for treatment for 24-hours, the average cost can be:
- Argentina $429
- South Africa $665
- France $853
- New Zealand $979
- Australia $1,472
- USA $4,287
Source: International Federation of Health Plans
In the realm of a travel insurance policy covering health insurance, it is important to note that while the policyholder is travelling abroad, his/her policy will comprehensively cover not only hospitalisation but also OPD treatment. Hence, for an affordable amount (premium), one can get enough cover to then not have to bear the bulk of the regular healthcare expenses.
The benefits of travel insurance
By taking out a travel insurance policy, you are essentially covering yourself against travel risks, including unexpected medical costs abroad.
Considering that the cost of a small medical emergency abroad could deplete one’s entire holiday budget, it offers one peace-of-mind. Moreover, travel insurance also provides a level of protection against currency fluctuations as, although one’s policy is paid for in local currency, claims are incurred in foreign currencies.
Specifically, a comprehensive travel insurance policy offers the following benefits by providing for:
- Emergency medical cover
- Losses incurred due to unforeseen cancellation or having to cut one’s trip short
- Death and disability cover
- Personal liability cover
- Luggage cover
- Various other inconvenience benefits like costs incurred when being forced to extend stay due to adverse weather
Extensive research suggests that the most common occurrence is a health issue faced while travelling abroad. In this context, a travel medical insurance can help minimise healthcare-related financial risks. Typically, travel medical insurance includes:
- Emergency medical care
- Expenses for prescription drugs, medical costs and hospitalisation
- Surgery charges
- Medical care in case of accidents
- Additional coverage, including emergency evacuation, repatriation in case of illness, accident or death, etc.
Tip: Before purchasing a travel health insurance policy for your upcoming travel, ensure that it covers international medical emergency costs, list of network hospitals, toll-free numbers and emergency contact guidance.
A growing number of people, including Bangladeshis, are seeking medical care outside the borders in countries like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and India, among others. In most cases, the traveller has pre-paid their medical treatment. However, if they experience medical complications or have to cancel their trip, a medical tourism insurance coverage can help them recover their costs and avoid unexpected high medical expenses. So the benefits of this kind of insurance include:
- Protection against high costs due to medical complications beyond the scope of the pre-paid medical treatment
- Protection of finances in the event of the trip getting cancelled in terms of flight and lodging costs
- Evacuation coverage in case one has to be evacuated to another medical facility
As a product, travel insurance is characterised by flexibility with the idea of facilitating travellers when they most need it. Hence, travel insurance for a trip abroad can be availed by mostly anyone and for a trip that is as short as 1-4 days. Moreover, comprehensive and flexible travel insurance plans can also be bought online, especially facilitating last-minute purchases.
Tip: Read the small print in the policy to be a smart and more aware global traveller.
At GD Assist, we believe that there is nothing worse than sending a client off for a holiday or for medical tourism purposes only to have them call back about lost luggage or being stuck at an airport. It’s an unfortunate mishap and out of one’s control and hence we advise travellers to take precautions by enabling them to make an informed decision regarding travel insurance. In our longstanding experience, we have come to believe that it is one of those things that few travellers consider and then regret not taking when it’s too late.
So, travel medical insurance is an important travel necessity. We offer many affordable travel and medical insurance plans that you can also buy online to secure your trip and travel worry-free. For any queries, we welcome you to get in touch with us.
Call GD Assist today and get going…
Hotline: 16457; +8801617666888. Email: email@example.com