November 2018 Newspaper Publication: TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel Insurance is an Insurance Policy that basically takes care of your travel concerns most especially trips abroad. It can usually be arranged at the time of the booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip or a multi-trip policy that can cover an unlimited number of trips within a set time frame. If you are a Nigerian living in Nigeria, Travel Insurance is one of the main requirement for processing Visa to some Countries especially Schengen Countries.

SO WHAT DOES TRAVEL INSURANCE COVER?

Most Travel Insurance basically cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, delayed bags, delayed fights due to bad weather, emergency evacuations e.t.c. Now let’s break it down one by one.

Medical Expenses: Most people going on foreign trips usually think that their health insurance policy in their country of residence will also take care of them if they fall sick or get involved in an accident while abroad. The truth is your health insurance in most cases takes care of your medical expenses while you are within your country. So your Travel Insurance Policy will cover you for accidents and emergency medical and dental care when you travel abroad.

Trip Cancellation: This is perhaps the number one concern for most people travelling from their places of residence abroad either for business or leisure. You invest money when planning a trip on plane tickets, cruise fare, tour packages, hotel rooms e.t.c Sometime, some of these mentioned expenses are prepaid and non-refundable. Which means if something goes wrong and the trip is cancelled, you risk losing all your money. Some of the reasons for trip cancellation that are usually covered in Travel Insurance are;

7 BAD WEATHER

(1) Death, bodily injury, illness, disease or pregnancy complication.

(2) Compulsory quarantine in the event of an epidemic outbreak.

(3) Being called as a witness in a court.

(4) Termination of Employment (Provided you do not know about it before you booked the trip.)

(5) Prohibition of travel by the government to the intended destination.

(6) Official advisory against going to or remaining at the intended destination.

Lost Luggage/Delayed Bags, Delayed Flights: Your Travel Insurance Policy will provide coverage for these small things that are nice to a dire situation in a foreign country. Baggage Coverage can reimburse you for your Personal belongings if your Luggage is lost, stolen or damaged.

Baggage delay coverage under your Travel Insurance provides money to buy essential items until your delayed bags arrive. Not a large amount of money but an amount that is sufficient for you to buy things like toiletry kit, a swim suit or a change of clothes.

Delayed flight coverage under your Travel Insurance will reimburse you for any additional expenses if your flight is delayed. Such as an extra night in a hotel or a meal at a restaurant.

Globally almost 18 billion dollars Travel Insurance is sold each year. The peak sale period for Travel Insurance is usually during summer.

We have established earlier that certain Countries will require that you have purchased sufficient Travel Insurance coverage should something happen while you are travelling to their Country.

Those governments do not want to be burdened with the costs of your medical care hence they require you to have a suitable plan meeting certain minimum requirements.

for example, Students travelling to the USA are required to have Comprehensive Travel Insurance in place during their period of study.

Depending on the length of stay, travelers to Schengen Countries are required to have sufficient Travel Insurance at the time of their visa application.

Also, Companies running group tours often require Travel Insurance so also Cruise Companies.

Generally, most Countries where you are applying for a Visa are likely to also require a minimum level of Travel Insurance.

Travel Insurance can also provide helpful services, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that can include Concierge Services and emergency travel assistance in some Countries. The most common exclusions on travel insurance is Pre-existing medical conditions as well as events arising from war and terrorism. Pre-existing medical conditions must be declared prior to the trip start date.

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