Passport? Check! Visa? Check! Accommodation? Check! Return tickets? Check! Credit cards? Check! Sim card for Italy? Check! Travel insurance? No?
While daydreaming about shopping at the Porta Portese flea market and taking a stroll through St. Peter’s Basilica, fellow travelers tend to forget about the most basic thing: travel insurance. There are numerous potentially dangerous circumstances that can occur in a foreign country and can result in a big hole in your pocket.
From street robbery to an allergic reaction to a new food, any unforeseen incident can ruin your trip and put your entire life’s savings in jeopardy. No matter how careful you are, there are several things that can go south; natural calamities, accidents, and emergency cancellations, just to name a few.
So, it is best that you wear the armor of travel insurance before stepping out with a suitcase in your hand and an Italian dictionary on another. However, if you have Googled “which travel insurance to opt for?”, you know that looking for the best suitable insurance plan is equivalent to finding a needle in a haystack. Thus, here are a few things that can help you out…
Must-Haves in Travel Insurance Plan
There are certain inclusions that you must look for before committing to any insurance company. You should never forget to fish for the following things…
1. Trip Cancellation and Interruption
You may feel “why would I cancel my dream trip?” but getting cold feet can happen to anyone, even to an avid traveler. And you should not pay for the trip that you never had. Apart from that, there are high chances of getting caught up in a natural disaster, due to rapidly changing weather conditions across the globe and the uncertainty of storms and tornados. Travel insurance that covers trip interruption helps if you or your traveling partner falls sick. Moreover, it offers the ability to claim if the close family member is sick.
2. Stolen, Lost, or Delayed Baggage
There is nothing scarier than losing your “bag of everything” in a foreign country, especially in Italy, where your entire vocab for Italian starts with Per favore and ends with Si. Theft protection is extremely useful, especially when you consider the dollar value of valuable items such as laptops, cameras, and smartphones.
Without insurance protection, these items suddenly become irreplaceable and way too expensive to purchase. In addition, before buying a policy, ask on what criteria they decide the value of the stolen item and the maximum limit for reimbursement for jewelry, electronics, or cameras. In some cases, your homeowner insurance company offers protection against theft anywhere in the world. So, don’t forget to see that inclusion.
3. Flight Insurance
It is impossible to control force majeure, however, covering your assets from such unforeseen calamities is possible. The consequences of natural disasters may cripple your daily life, thus protecting yourself from such risks makes sense. There are some insurances that offer “crash insurance” but plane crashes have become so rare that spending money on it makes a little sense.
However, you must protect yourself from mishaps that happen during other modes of transportation such as cancellation of trains and opt for insurers that offer protection against unexpected expenses and additional cost required to reach home safe and sound.
4. Evacuation Insurance
Sometimes, the usual medical insurances fail to cover evacuation insurance. This coverage helps you get you to a hospital where you can receive a proper medication or getting you home safely after an accident. In the worst-case scenario, this insurance covers the expenses of medically equipped–not to mention, extremely expensive–private jet. However, before purchasing a policy, ask what exactly the plan covers after you get to the hospital.
You must know that medical or evacuation insurance may deny covering expenses if you are willingly participating in some activities such as skydiving, mountain climbing, bungee jumping, or scuba diving that are considered dangerous. Thus, they prefer to consider those insurance companies that have the adventure-sport package in their travel insurance plan.
What Makes Travel Insurance Best Bid?
After going through thousands of brochures of travel insurances, you may get the feeling of they all look similar and they all offer the same thing. Thus, here is a checklist that may help you pinpoint the best suitable travel insurance.
- Along with Italy, it covers most countries in the world
- Offers partial or complete coverage for electronic devices
- An option for a higher coverage limit
- Covers sudden illness or injury
- Offers 24×7 emergency service and immediate help in case of emergencies
- Covers lost or damaged baggage, stolen jewelry, or important documents
- Covers cancellation of hotel bookings, international flight tickets, or another mode of transportation
- Offers complete financial protection if the company that you are relying on goes bankrupt and you are stuck in Italy owing to hazardous weather conditions
Things that Most Travel Insurances Do not Cover
Travel insurance offers come with several exclusions and it is best to know every little detail about it before jetting off on holiday. Moreover, you must know the real meaning behind the little star that says, “conditions apply”. Know what is the maximum amount that you have to pay when you claim any policy and the maximum limit you will be able to reimburse if items are stolen. There are a couple of things that most travel insurances fail to cover and sugarcoat it to hide it in plain sight. Thus, here is a list of most probable exclusions that you must know…
- Accidents as a result of participating in dangerous sports activities such as hang gliding, paragliding, or skydiving
- Illness caused due to excessive consumption of alcohol or other drugs
- No reimbursements if the problem occurs owing to your recklessness (The definition of recklessness varies with the company)
- Pre-existing medical conditions or regular check-ups
Final Thing to Remember Before You Pack Your Bag
You are not Superman. So, in case of any medical emergency, you won’t get healed by sunlight. Although you are perfectly healthy today, there is no guarantee that you won’t fall sick while wandering the streets of Rome. Or you can never say that your flight won’t ever get canceled or get delayed.
Thus, opt for travel insurance with decent medical inclusion and theft protection. In fact, according to Allied Market Research, the Italy traveler insurance market has seen significant growth in the last couple of years, owing to increasing awareness and regular occurrence of natural calamities in Italy. Thus, in simple terms, travel insurance is your “I’ll-be-there-for-you” buddy. So, be smart and climb the stairs of an insurance firm.
Swamini Kulkarni holds a bachelor’s degree in Instrumentation and control engineering from Pune University and works as a content writer at Allied Market Research. She is deeply fascinated by the impact of technology on human life and loves to talk about science and mythology. When she is not glued to the computer, she loves to read, travel, and daydream about her areas of interest.