For as little as a few bucks a day, a suitable travel insurance plan goes a long way in protecting yourself against unpleasant situations when you’re on holiday.
Some people have an inflated sense of optimism. We get it, nobody wants to think of worst case scenarios, especially when you’re planning on taking a nice break from life, having fun and enjoying yourself. It’s three relaxing days in Bali, you think. What could possibly go wrong? To even think about insurance would be such a wet blanket, right? Well, not really… Because if, and when something does happen — sorry, but that’s life — you will wish you had planned for it. After all, travel insurance is only going to cost you as little as a few bucks a day. What you get in return is a little peace of mind and saving a whole lot of money you could recuperate from unforeseen mishaps. There are those you can conceive of — theft, missed or cancelled flights, accidents. And then there are those that you never saw coming. Here are five examples.
#1: Your personal possessions got stolen
Got pickpocketed or your belongings stolen? Vacay nightmares like that are a dime a dozen. It could be your mobile phone, wallet or even important travel documents. In your mind, these things always happen to others, never you. Well, you know what they say: Never say never. Sh*t happens when you least expect it, and quickly, too. If this should unfortunately happen to you, the first thing to do is keep calm and report the theft to the police within 24 hours, at the place where it occurred. You should be able to claim your losses with the right insurance coverage.
If it’s your passport you lose, perhaps it’d offer you some comfort to know that travel insurance will pay for any expenses incurred (including flight and accommodation) for you to get to to the nearest embassy where you may obtain a new passport — and the cost to do so. Depending on the insurance plan selection, it’s possible to reimbursed up to a certain amount of cash, too. Here’s the catch: Vigilance is key. If it’s you who’s careless with your possessions, like leaving them unattended, your claims may likely be rejected.
#2: You pop a eardrum while scuba diving…
… Or maybe you trip over a rock and sprain your ankle while hiking. These injuries may not sound major but they do require immediate attention and they happen more often than you know it. Would you know where the nearest medical facility is, and whether it offers 24/7 medical assistance?
It’s easy to underestimate relatively minor ailments — broken wrist, food poisoning, chipped tooth — but even these can cost up to thousands to treat when you’re abroad. This is where you’d be glad you have the foresight to get insured.
#3: Your expensive camera is damaged during your trip
Pictures, or it didn’t happen. In this Instagram era, it’s all about the photos. Whether you’re going to the Grand Canyon or the St Regis Bali, whether you’re a sometime-photographer or a pro, a good camera is non negotiable. But here’s thing: Good cameras are not cheap. It also means one more big responsibility on your shoulder. What if it got damaged? What if you lose it? That is not a picture we like to paint. But hey, better safe than sorry. Maybe this is not such a common thing, but did you know you can actually insure your gadgets? Look for a travel insurance policy that covers photography equipment. Do note that most insurance companies only have a small limit as part of their standard coverage. Find out from your insurance provider exactly what your policy covers and the extent of coverage. You don’t want to leave your new Leica to chances.
#4: You are on a road trip in Australia when you hit a kangaroo
Road trips are one of the best ways to explore a country you’ve never been to. Driving in unchartered territory is definitely exciting, but it is also dangerous because you are not familiar with the roads or environment. Sometimes, it’s not even about the other drivers. In Australia, for example, it’s the kangaroos. You’ve heard stories of friends of friends who have hit a roo! What would you do if it happened to you? Moral of the story: Always be prepared.
#5: Your flight is delayed, and your pet has to stay another night at the pet hotel
Even the best-laid plans can go awry. No matter how meticulous and foolproof you think your plan is, you just can’t control everything. Think delayed flights. Cancelled flights. You can’t come home for another day or two. The obvious problem is then you will need to fork out extra for accommodation and daily expenses. What if you had pets back home that you’ve put up at a pet’s hotel, or hired a pet sitter for? If you had bought insurance, you will be able to claim these extra costs. The amount of coverage will, of course, be subjected to the type of plan.
Disclaimer: The scenarios depicted above are purely hypothetical. Benefits will vary depending on the travel insurance policy you should decide to purchase. Please check the terms and conditions of your policy to be fully aware of the benefits that are available to you.
By Alexa Fang
Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she’s having croissant, she thinks in French. “31 Rue Cambon” is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.