Did you know that travel insurance is now a prerequisite for getting a Visa at most foreign embassies in Kenya? The risks covered vary from provider to provider, but most would include the following:
- Medical protection which includes emergency medical-related expense, medical transportation and repatriation, in-hospital cash benefit, dental and optical expenses, burial, cremation and return of mortal remains, follow up treatment in your country of residence, terrorism, hostage, hijack and wrongful detention.
- Personal accident
- Cancellation or curtailment of journey
- Travel delay
- Personal liability
- Hijack, hostage or wrongful detention inconvenience
- Luggage delay
- Loss of currency or travel credentials
- Emergency travel assistance
Besides being almost mandatory for overseas travel, why else should you take out a travel insurance policy? Here are five reasons you can consider.
1. Mishandled Luggage
Mishandled luggage is a principal travel concern. According to a 2018 baggage report by SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology, there were 22.7 million mishandled bags reported in 2017. By definition, a mishandled bag is one that has been delayed, damaged or stolen and thus eligible for a claim. In the event of such a loss, most travel insurance companies will refund you the amount you used to buy emergency clothes and other essentials. They will also reimburse you for cash lost or damaged, non-refundable accommodation vouchers, prepaid and non-refundable entertainment tickets, the reissuing cost of existing travel tickets, traveller’s cheques, credit cards, visas, passports and vouchers. Keep all original receipts of any purchases you make. You will need them in such an event.
2. Medical Expenses
Falling sick abroad can be a nightmare if all you have is a domestic medical cover. Bills can quickly escalate to unimaginable levels. With a travel insurance policy, however, you are in safe hands. A typical plan comes with emergency medical and medical evacuation benefits that can cover you in multiple countries while you are travelling.
Emergency medical coverage will reimburse you for the costs associated with medical treatment for an illness or injury during your trip. It can cover physician services, ambulance services, and hospital charges, among other expenses.
With medical evacuation, your transport to the nearest hospital, in the event of a medical emergency, is organised for you. It can bring you home if the hospital determines it is necessary for your situation.
3. Death and Repatriation
God forbid if you should die while on a dream holiday. Still, it is a reality you should plan for. In case of death during the insured trip or journey, your travel insurance will cater for the funeral, burial or cremation costs in the country where the death has happened. If your body or ashes need to come back home, which is usually the case, the cover provides an acceptable amount to take care of the costs.
4. Delays and Cancellations
Travel insurance can also help you in the event of a delayed flight or a missed connection that is beyond your control. Legitimate candidates can be adverse weather or a mechanical breakdown of your plane. Items refunded include your meals and hotel accommodations during your delay.
Travel insurance also comes in handy when you miss your connection due to a delayed flight, and you end up incurring additional costs to catch up to your trip. You will get a refund as long as your policy covers the reasons you missed your flight. Again, remember to keep all original receipts because you will need them when making a claim.
Sometimes you may need to cancel your scheduled trip before departure due to unexpected or impromptu illness or injury. With a travel insurance plan, the non-refundable portions of your travel or lodging arrangement are reimbursed.
As always, with any contract, remember to read the fine print. Familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions and ask your agent as many questions as possible. At the end of the day, having travel insurance is better than nothing. These days, it is also relatively inexpensive. You may also be interested to know that all flights you book through our AngaHuru engine come with the option of travel insurance.