Travel Insurance – A Must-Have For International Travellers

Travelling is one activity that every individual must undertake at one time or the other; it does not matter what the purpose of travel is, or whether the travel is local or international. A lot of people actually look forward to travelling to other parts of the world for various reasons and purposes, including but not limited to business, tourism, vacation, pilgrimage, education and for medical attention.

The euphoria to travel outside of one’s domain usually comes with a lot of preparations, and more often than not, a great deal of resources are deployed to ensure that the travel is actually takes place; and these include acquisition of an international passport, medical tests (where applicable), expensive visa processing fees, flight booking and hotel reservation.

A lot of people will do anything and everything just to actualise their international travel ambition. And to be very candid here, international travel is actually fun and something to look forward to. Travelling, especially international travels, is a form of education for the travellers as they have an opportunity to see new environments, meet new people, and learn how things are done elsewhere.

International travel affords the traveller a lot of opportunities irrespective of their original purpose of travel. These include business opportunities, educational opportunities, employment opportunities and even marital opportunities. Unfortunately, however, it is only these and many other opportunities that these (would-be) travellers see. They seem to be ignorant or care less about risks that are embedded in international travels, so they don’t take any steps towards mitigating such risks.

At this juncture, you may be tempted to ask the question: “What are those risks that are associated with international travels?” Very good question. Just read on, as most of those risks are discussed in the following paragraphs.

Risks Associated with International Travels

As interesting, fun, enjoyable, profitable and educative as international travels may be, they also come with their own downsides – the risks – just as every other thing in life. And very fortunately for travellers, most of these risks can be transferred to professional travel insurance providers, by way of buying a travel insurance – also referred to as “travel health insurance” or “travel medical insurance”.

These international travel risks are many and varied, and they include, but not limited to:

Sudden illness in the country of destination requiring urgent medical attention and/or hospitalization.
Involvement in an accident leading to bodily injuries, temporary or permanent disability, or death
Loss of checked-in baggage
Loss of valuable items such as international passport, drivers’ licence, national identity card, etc.
Personal liabilities abroad
Emergency dental cases
Hijacking
Arrest by law enforcement agencies requiring bail and legal defence
Another question that may be asked at this juncture is: “Do travel insurance policies cover all the above-mentioned risks?” And the answer is a big YES, and so much more.
Covers and Benefits Provided by Major Travel Insurance Policies

Below is a list of most of the covers and benefits provided by travel insurance policies – depending on the providers. So the next time you buy a travel insurance policy, look out for these covers and benefits.

Medical Expenses and hospitalization abroad
Emergency Medical Evacuation
Repatriation after treatment
Emergency dental care
Repatriation of family member travelling with the insured
Travel of one Immediate Family Member
Emergency Return Home following Death of Close Relative
Repatriation of Mortal Remains
Medical Assistance
Legal Assistance
Pre-Departure Services
International General Assistance
Abroad Information Assistance about lost Luggage and Passport,
Delivery of Medicines
Legal Defence
Advance of Bail Bond
Hijacking in means of Public Transport
Loss of Passport, driving license, national identity card abroad
Compensation for in-flight loss of checked-in baggage
Compensation for delay in the arrival of luggage
Delayed Departure
Location and forwarding of baggage and personal effects.
Accidental Death
Permanent Disability
Personal Civil Liability
Trip Cancellation Expenses
Risks Not Covered By Travel Insurance Policies
Having talked about the covers and benefits afforded by travel insurance, it is also important to consider the risks that are not covered by most of these policies, as listed below:

Participation in criminal acts, or as a result of his/her fraudulent, seriously negligent or reckless actions including those actions of the Insured in a state of derangement or under psychiatric treatment costs for which are themselves excluded;
Natural phenomena such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, atypical cyclonic storms, falling objects from space and aerolites, and in general any extraordinary atmospheric, meteorological, seismic or geological phenomenon any other type of natural disaster;
Events arising from terrorism, mutiny or crowd disturbances;
Events or actions of the Armed Forces or Security Forces in peacetime;
Wars, with or without prior declaration, and any conflicts or international interventions using force or duress or military operations of whatever type.
Participation in bets, challenges or brawls, save in the case of legitimate defence or necessity;
Pre-existing Illness or injuries
Participation in competitions, sports, and preparatory or training tests;
Motor racing or motorcycle racing, horse riding, climbing, pot holing, boxing, wrestling in any of its modes, martial arts, parachuting, hot air ballooning, free falling, gliding and, in general, any sport or recreational activity that is known to be dangerous;
Participation in competitions or tournaments organised by sporting federations or similar organisations.
Hazardous winter and/or summer sports such as skiing and/or similar sports.
Work-related accidents
Internationally and locally recognized epidemics.
Illnesses or injuries arising from chronic ailments or from those that existed prior to the inception date of the policy;
Death or injuries as a result of suicide or attempted suicide or any self-inflicted injuries.
Illness, injuries or pathological states caused by the consumption of alcohol, drugs, toxic substances, narcotics or medicines acquired without medical prescription, as well as any kind of mental illness or mental imbalance;
Illness or injuries caused by pregnancy and childbirth or any complication therefore or voluntary termination of pregnancy;
Where to Buy Travel Insurances
Travel insurances can be bought online – and there are many travel insurance providers to buy from. All you need to do is locate your preferred provider, and complete the online form or questionnaire, and make your payment, and policy is made available to you for immediate printing or sent to your email address.

You can also buy travel insurance offline from a local insurance company or travel agency. whatever method of purchase you choose, you can rest assured that you will be fully protected against insurable gravel insurance risks.

Using Your Travel Insurance

After you have bought your travel insurance policy, whether it is self-purchased using the provider’s online portal, at a travel agency or through a local insurance company, you should make sure that you do not forget to take the document with you while travelling. This is so important because you may be required to produce that document by relevant bodies.

You should take particular note of your policy number (if possible copy the number somewhere else) as it will be required by the service providers to property identify you when you call them for assistance.

Another thing you should take note of on your travel insurance certificate or policy document is the Assistance Company’s telephone numbers that you need to call when you need help. These numbers are always conspicuously written on the travel insurance document – so take note of them.

You should endeavour to read as much of the document as possible so as to understand the covers provided, the terms and conditions of the policy as well as its exclusions. And very importantly, when making a claim on your policy, be honest and avoid every form of fraudulent practices.

Summary and Conclusion

There are other benefits that travel insurance policies provide which cannot be exhaustively discussed here. But having read the few benefits discussed above, you will agree that really, Travel Insurance is a must-have for a successful trip. So the next time you are planning an international travel, make the purchase of a travel insurance a top priority. It is quite affordable, and anyone can buy it. The peace of mind and the protection it will afford you are enormous.

Anthony Ekanem is a professional with over 15 years working experience within the insurance industry. He is a graduate of Management and an author of various genres. Writing is his passion and he spends a great deal of time researching and writing. His published books, which are available in print, electronic and audio formats, can be bought online on Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Barnes and Noble, Scribd, Audible, iTunes, and other major online bookstores worldwide.

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Travelling Tips for the Disabled

Unlike in the past, today people with disabilities have been recognized, and are less discriminated against. In many countries there are legislations that protect them and make their life a little easier. Also many public buildings have been designed or renovated in order to accommodate people with disabilities.

With all these improvements, people with disabilities are now able to travel for vacation or a business trip to places far away from their home. However, with all these improvements we have made, travelling for people with disabilities is still a challenge for them, especially when they are travelling alone or, they are travelling to an unknown destination. Below is a guide to help people with all forms of disabilities to travel safely.

1. Plan well in advance
Planning is key to any form of success. This is very important because it reduces chances of getting stranded and being inconvenienced. Booking flights and hotel rooms are the top priorities, however if you are going to stay at a friend’s or a relative’s house; notifying them in advance is very important. Then they can be prepared and even pick you up from the airport.

2. Book hotels that are disabled friendly
Hotels with disabled friendly structures are very convenient as they allow disabled individuals to move freely with minimal effort. Most of these hotels also have special emergency protocols that ensure disabled individuals are not left behind in case of an emergency, unlike some hotels where these issues are over looked.

3. Use a travel agent that offers travel packages for disabled travelers
Booking flights and hotel rooms with travel agents that offer travel solutions to disabled people is advantageous in a number of ways. They ensure they book for their disabled clients airlines and hotels that are disabled friendly. They strive to offer services and suggestions that will ensure their clients travel comfortably.

4. Understand and know your rights when at the airport
Travelling, for people with disabilities, is very hectic, especially when they arrive at the airport. They face the challenge of getting proper information and directions. This is further aggravated by the huge number of people traveling and long queues. In airports, there are attendants that are supposed to attend to the needs of those travelling with disabilities.

Disabled travelers should not, and are not, treated differently when they go through security measures. They are also protected from any form of discrimination from any airline. Disabled travelers are advised to be very conversant with their rights to avoid and report any form of discrimination when travelling.

5. Bring extra medication
There is no harm in carrying an extra dose of medication when travelling. People do lose their luggage as they travel so, having an extra dose will act as a backup when one dose gets lost. This also ensures that when travelling, a disabled person does not run out of their medicine forcing them to start looking for a drug store when travelling. These medications should be stored properly to ensure their safety.

6. Take a doctor’s note and contact information when travelling
A doctor’s note contains important information about a condition that a disabled person is facing and this will help doctors save a lot of time on tests in case of an emergency. Contact information for your doctor allows other doctors to get important information from your doctor should the need arise. This small, but vital, information can save lives.

7. Use direct flights
It is very hectic and tiresome for a disabled traveler to use connecting flights. Using connecting flights exposes them to loss of their luggage and even injury as they get in and out of a plane. Using a direct flight cuts all these risks down and saves a lot time and energy when travelling. Direct flights also ensure that those travelling with disabilities are not stranded in an airport as they wait for a connecting flight.

8. Disabled travelers are advised to have some knowledge about where they are travelling to
There is nothing more difficult than looking for directions to a place you do not know about. This is even harder for disabled travelers so, it is advisable to have at least some knowledge and understanding about their destination. This will give them an upper hand when moving around and the knowledge to know where to go and where not to go. This will be very helpful when they are stranded or experience an emergency situation and need urgent assistance.

9. Carry the appropriate luggage
Disabled travelers are advised to carry luggage that they can manage when they are travelling. Unless they have company, travelling with a huge amount of luggage is not easy. Traveling lightly enables disabled travelers to be more flexible to situations that arise besides, a large amount of luggage can also easily get lost.

10. Enjoy travelling
Many disabled people do not travel often because of a lot of limitations which discourages them. However modern technology ensures safe travel for all regardless of their condition. Travelling should be enjoyed by all since it is a chance to experience new things that are different than what they are used to.

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