Aaaah.... a million dollar question, isn't it? Indians seek value in everything they purchase and no force in this world can make them buy if the value isn't compelling. Even today a large percentage of travel insurance is bought because it is compulsory (Schengen countries) or because someone else is paying for it (business travelers whose insurance is paid by the company). So let's explore this subject a bit more.
1. Depends on your outlook in life.
Travel insurance, or for that matter insurance in general, can be viewed as an 'expense' or an 'investment'. How you perceive this product largely depends on you, your attitude in life, your current economic condition etc. People who consider that 'insurance' is a waste of money usually treat this product as an 'expense'. People who treat it as an investment for securing one's future don't ask this question.
Travel insurance is an expense or an investment depends on your outlook towards life
2. Depends on your intent of travel
Why are you traveling? Is it for meeting your family or a honeymoon or a holiday or a business or a student exchange program or something else? The intent of travel usually determines an underlying risk and social obligations.
An adventure or a honeymoon traveler has much more risk than someone attending a 3-day business conference at a resort. Similarly, if you are going to visit your brother/sister/son or daughter, you have a social obligation to not make your family members foot your medical bills in-case of an unfortunate emergency.
Evaluate your risk and social obligations based on your travel intent.
3. Depends on travelers profile
If travelers include infants or senior citizens, travel insurance needle moves from a 'good to have' to a 'must have'. If travelers have a medical history or if the destination country has a contrasting climate to that of India, then travel risks increase and so does the need for travel insurance. Similarly, greater the number of travelers higher the risk and higher the need for insurance.
'Who is traveling' and 'how many' will help you estimate the need for travel insurance.
4. Depends on your destination
Last but not the least, your destination plays a major role in your decision. Is your destination a place where health care is very expensive? Is the currency of my destination expensive compared to Indian rupee? Does reaching this country take over 8 hours? Do I know someone local in this country? Is the climate in this country 'extreme' when compared to India?These are questions you need to ask before you determine the utility of travel insurance.
If a country has expensive health care, a very strong currency and is far away from India (read US, Canada, and Europe), you better be prepared with a good travel insurance cover. Alternately, if a country has cheap healthcare, comparable currency rate viz-a-viz Indian rupee and is within 5 hours from India (read Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Dubai etc.), then need for insurance is obviously much lower.
Destination is a single most important factor that determines need for travel insurance
If you are confused or want to know more about travel insurance, just chat with our intelligent insurance chatbot, Arvi.
Arvi can help travelers in providing insurance plans to planning travel budget to preparing a travel checklist and much more!