Categorized | Travel Insurance

why some countries have made travel insurance mandatory?

You may be a frequent traveler who travels abroad for business purposes or a visitor who travels occasionally for pleasure. You may travel alone or may travel with your family. Whatever be the reasons or situations, Travel Insurance is an investment that will help you enjoy a hassle free journey, especially during international travel.  Travel insurance gives you and your family the necessary peace of mind and finances in case of loss of your belongings such as passport, baggage or money, or in case of sudden illnesses or accidents. Though in India, it is not mandatory to have a travel insurance cover, many countries have made it mandatory, and only then you get a VISA to travel to that country. 

Travel insurance in many countries is also referred to as overseas medical insurance or international health insurance.  With various illnesses, accidents, thefts, riots and terrorist acts rampant these days, many countries have made it mandatory. For example, though not mandatory for travelling to the US, travel insurance is mandatory for Schengen visa countries, such as in Europe. There are various reasons for this, and we will see them here through some situations that you may face during your travel. 

Here are some possible situations you may face when a travel insurance cover will come to your rescue:

1.Illness in Mid Air

You are in a plane in mid air and you fall seriously ill. Under most circumstances, there will be no way they can treat you in the plane and will have to fly the plane to the nearest airport.  Most people in this situation will not be able to pay for the cost of diversion, treatment etc. Only an insurance cover will come to your rescue in such situations.

2.Expensive Medical treatment 

Medical treatment in most countries is very expensive, especially in case of illnesses involving expensive surgeries and medical procedures. There may be a situation where you may be have to be carried by helicopter and can’t pay for your insurance. Also, in some smaller countries adequate medical facilities may not be available.  You may then have to be evacuated to India for medical treatment. Covering your medical expenses will then be a challenge for you or for the health department of the country you are in, and a travel insurance cover will be required.

3.Loss of Passport, Baggage

Your baggage has got lost, and your passport, clothes, money, valuable belongings, medicines and prescriptions are in it. You need cash for your immediate needs, passport to travel, need to buy new clothes and so on. Your valuable belongings could be electronic goods, precious jewellery, art work etc. worth millions of rupees. You can make up for the loss using an insurance cover.

4.Calamity, Missed flight, Cancelled Ticket

A terrorist attack or a natural calamity forces you to cancel your journey mid way and return to India. You may also miss a flight. Also,  what if you have booked tickets to a far off country where the ticket charges are very high, yours is a non-refundable ticket and you stand to loose a large amount for cancelling the ticket for some unavoidable reason. An insurance cover in these situations will not leave you high and dry.

In this context, you must always find out if the country you are travelling to require  you to have mandatory travel insurance or not. Though travel insurance is not mandatory for all countries, it is always recommended that you have one. For a long time it was an unmentionable word, but not any longer as there are various risks associated with overseas travel, especially with long distance travel.