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Planning an overseas vacation amidst COVID-19? Take travel insurance first

15-Apr-2021

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – which has resulted in border closures and reduction in flight operations – has severely disrupted the travel plans of people across the globe. However, people are slowly getting used to the situation and are once again making vacation plans. Currently, for Indians planning a vacation abroad, Maldives and Dubai are the saving grace, although popular holiday destinations such as Japan and South Africa have also announced opening of borders for travellers from India. According to the Ministry of Tourism, Indian tourists accounted for over 23 per cent tourist arrivals in Maldives with 44,039 Indian visitors until February 2021. Maldives registered a 433 percent growth in Indian arrivals y-o-y. An important reason why people feel more comfortable and confident to travel to Dubai and Maldives than any other destination is the availability of direct flights as these are both short distance travel destinations.

Travel insurance is a critical factor while planning these vacations. A surge in the demand for COVID-19 travel insurance also means people want to stay prepared against another wave of infections that could lead to large numbers of flight cancellations or tourists getting sick.

If you plan a vacation anytime soon, here are some important reasons for you to add travel insurance to your shopping list.

Cover for COVID-19 and Other Medical Emergencies

One of the most important reasons why travel insurance must be the first things that should come to your mind while planning a vacation abroad is adequate coverage against COVID-19 and any other medical emergency. Post the COVID-19 outbreak, insurers have started covering customers against the pandemic and the coverage includes hospitalisation due to novel coronavirus infection. Apart from the pandemic, your travel insurance will also provide coverage for hospitalisation due to any medical emergency or accident in the country you plan to visit. To make sure that you get comprehensive coverage, it is always advised to buy a travel policy with maximum sum insured, as healthcare expenses in foreign countries are much higher in comparison with India.

Trip or Flight Cancellation

As we see that the number of COVID-19 positive cases are increasing each day, the chances are quite high that your trip may get cancelled due to a medical emergency or hospitalisation. Your travel insurance clearly states that if your trip is cancelled due to hospitalisation or sudden death in the immediate family, your insurer will pay you for the cancellation charges up to the defined limit in the policy. Usually, insurers pay up to a maximum of USD 1,000 on trip cancellation due to hospitalisation or any other reason specified under the terms and conditions.

Loss of Baggage/Passport

Usually, compensation for loss of baggage is provided by the airline you are travelling with however, the extent of coverage is very limited. This is an important reason why you must buy a travel insurance plan that provides you with adequate coverage against loss of baggage. Your travel insurance will compensate you for a fixed benefit for the luggage lost regardless of the actual amount. The compensation amount is much more than one provided by the airlines. You also have the option of enhancing the coverage amount for your lost baggage while buying the travel insurance cover. Many travel insurers also cover for loss of your important travel documents like passport and visa. To make sure you insurer covers you for the same, do check the list of inclusions while buying your travel policy.

Source : Money Control

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