By Evelyn Masaba
Any frequent traveller who spends more time traversing the globe, be it for work or just plain old adventure, knows that it involves sudden unexpected circumstances that need immediate attention.
First off, travel insurance is intended to cover medical expenses, cancellation of flights or other travel related issues such as hotel, flight accidents and luggage loss, among others that are incurred while travelling.
Travel insurance can be acquired from your credit card, travel agency, insurance agency and airline. In Rwanda, there are several insurance companies that can cover your travel insurance, home and away. Here is why you might or might not need it.
Travelling is all fun and relaxing, till you fall sick and you do not have enough money to cover your medical expenses, especially if you are far away from home. However, when you have a travel insurance, your medical bills can be cleared with little or no hassle. It keeps you less worried about dealing with emergencies on your trip, which makes you enjoy the relaxation you needed.
You will not always reach your destination with your luggage. Sometimes you are not even lucky enough to ever find it and the last thing you want is to be stuck in a foreign country without any of your important belongings. Travel insurance covers luggage loss, luggage delays and of course theft. The cover can go up to $500 depending on what you lose.
Trip interruption and cancellation
This insurance applies in situations when your trip is interrupted either due to emergencies back home or for other reasons that deter you from going forward with the trip. Depending on what package you go for, most travel insurance cover for such situations and is usually part of a traveller’s worries; paying for a trip they did not go for. Most people get travel insurance due to this reason.
Dismemberment and accidental deaths
The unexpected will always be there to surprise us and just incase you or your loved ones get into a tragic accident, your travel insurance provider will cover for the expenses necessary to make sure they get home to rest peacefully.
In cases of life altering accidents that can lead to loss of eyesight and limbs among others, you will be covered till you return home.
What to consider
Does your bank cover your travel insurance through your debit/ credit card before you rush off to the insurance companies? Some banks create an option with a specified amount that can be borrowed to cover travel expenses and can be paid off in the long run depending on the interest rates.
Find out how much it will cost you to get travel insurance by researching on the several insurance providers in your area. Get the most affordable rates but do not rush into committing till you are quite sure the rates are very friendly for you and can easily cover all the issues you think might arise according to your travels.
Consider if you really need travel insurance, especially if you do not spend so much on trips that you would not miss the amount if the trip was cancelled. Try as much as possible to weigh what will be at stake if you spend too much on an insurance cover you will never use. If you spend so much on your travels and go to several exotic and expensive places, do consider taking a travel insurance.
Travel insurance is only useful to you if you get it before a trip instead of after because then, no one will cover in the event of emergencies or the unexpected.