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Why you need travel insurance

15 July 2015, 15:14 Rading Biko

Nairobi - Imagine getting to the airport after a business conference in a foreign country only to find that your flight has been cancelled due to bad weather and you don’t have money to book a hotel for the night as they you wait to fly back home.

I bet you will be forced to spend the night at the airport but when you have travel insurance, you will be catered for and you will be safe.

According to Jane Kariku, an insurance expert, when most people think of travel insurance, they immediately think about health coverage.

But Jane elaborates that travel insurance comes in a variety of different types, all designed to protect travelers from the unexpected expenses that can add up quickly.

Travel insurance can help cover medical expenses or financial losses one might incur while traveling. It's often inclined as the best protection for those traveling domestically or overseas.

There are five main categories of travel insurance:

  • Flight/Trip cancellation and lost of baggage

  • Travel Medical insurance

  • Travel Health insurance

  • Emergency Medical evacuation

  • Accidental Death/Flight accident

Flight Delay and Cancellation and Lost Baggage

Most airlines are not obligated to provide you with any compensation or assistance if your flight is delayed or cancelled due to bad weather. You could be stuck away from home and have to pay for hotel and meals, and could even miss something important that could cost you. This coverage provides for these situations and helps you to pay for the unexpected expenses of a delayed or cancelled flight.

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Also included in this coverage is payment for lost baggage. This allows one to replace the items in your luggage if the airline loses it in transit. Many people travel with valuables in their suitcase, and carrying coverage for that luggage is a good idea since bags are lost in transit every day.

Jane notes that the policies differs in terms of which reasons are acceptable but the acceptable reasons are:

- Sudden business conflicts

- Change of mind

- Delay in processing your visa or passport

- Illness or injury

- Weather-related issues

However, some policies may include additional coverage like in the act of terrorism, one being involved in an accident while on their way to hospital and sometime your desired booking company or airline is going out of business.

Travel Medical Insurance

This provides an additional death benefit to the life insurance you already have in place, and can also pay additional costs such as returning the remains home for burial.

According to Jane this coverage can be drawn on faster than traditional life insurance, helping to cover the costs of a death abroad.

Jane advises that Travel life insurance is not meant as a full-time life insurance policy, and is only in force during your trip. It is often combined with a travel accident insurance policy that covers you for the costs associated with an accident that fall outside the realm of medical coverage.

Travel Health Insurance

Travel health insurance is designed to provide coverage for emergency medical needs such as hospitalization, emergency room fees, ambulance costs and prescription drugs while in the hospital. It can also have other benefits such as covering costs to transport you home for further care and covering travel costs for family members.

Jane notes there is no trip too short to need travel health insurance; an accident or illness can happen at any time, and leave you with mounting bills you are responsible for paying.

Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance

Now should one get sick or is involved in an accident this type of insurance will provide the necessary medical evacuation and transportation to medical facilities. These costs according to Jane can be every expensive and can easily make one to run into debts they never planned for. This becomes extremely useful should you become stranded in a remote rural area without easy access to needed facilities.

Accidental Death and Flight Accident Insurance
These types of insurance  covers one when they are involved in an accident during their trip and should one die in the course of the trip then the  benefits of a traveler is paid to the surviving beneficiaries, as with life insurance. 

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- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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