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5 Earthshaking Reasons Why I Was Glad I Bought Travel Insurance

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So, I started 2024 off with some news when my phone triggered an emergency alert…

The next moment, as I recalled, I was squatting down on the cold floor of Tokyo Disneyland, feeling the tremors beneath my feet and watching the chandelier swaying ominously.

Everyone was keeping quiet, some with their hands over their heads, waiting for the next set of instructions.

Major news outlets have reported that the 7.6 magnitude earthquake devastated the Ishikawa prefecture and neighbouring sites, sparked a major fire and triggered tsunami waves over a metre high.

Although I wasn’t in the affected area, being in Tokyo Disneyland with tall structures and heavy human traffic wasn’t very comforting either.

In that moment of uncertainty, one thought prevailed in my mind: ‘I’m glad I bought travel insurance’.

Why?

Because amidst the chaos of a natural disaster, my concerns shifted to pragmatic realities, and a good portion of them were money-related.

Here’s why I think everyone should get travel insurance when they travel to a place that’s prone to natural disasters.


TL;DR: Five Reasons Why You Should Get Travel Insurance When Traveling to a Country Prone to Natural Disasters

Flight Cancellation, Trip Interruption

Natural disasters can disrupt travel plans.

If my trip was cancelled or cut short due to the earthquake, having travel insurance can help reimburse my non-refundable expenses, such as flights and accommodation.

This could significantly mitigate my financial losses as I will be reimbursed for prepaid and non-refundable expenses.

Similarly, natural disasters can lead to widespread infrastructure issues, and if there were unexpected travel disruptions which led to increased costs for making alternative arrangements, I could also be covered.

Trip Delays, Missed Connection

Source: Giphy

With travel disruptions, we can also expect there would be delays, especially when it comes to flights.

Although I was travelling from Tokyo to Osaka, which didn’t require me to take a plane, if I had gone to other places in Japan which prompted flying, whether it was a missed connection or a flight delay of more than six hours at the airport, I would be compensated for additional expenses incurred due to trip delays, such as accommodation and meals.

Lost And Damaged Baggage

Disruptions caused by natural disasters can lead to delays or loss of baggage due to transport disruptions.

Thankfully, I had purchased travel insurance that offered coverage for expenses related to delayed or lost baggage; this would have ensured I had the essentials I needed during the trip.

Emergency Evacuation, Medical Expenses, Crisis Responses And Assistance

In case of a severe natural disaster, local authorities may mandate evacuation, and travel insurance can assist in coordinating and covering the costs of evacuation to a safer location.

Also, there may be an increased risk of injuries or health issues associated with a natural disaster, and travel insurance often covers emergency medical expenses, including hospital stays, doctor visits, and evacuation if necessary.

As of 10 Jan, I know that the death toll had climbed to 168, and there are still more than 300 people missing due to the earthquake, and search rescue operations are still ongoing.

If I were to sustain injuries during the earthquake, therefore requiring medical attention, my travel insurance would cover the expenses for emergency medical treatment, hospitalisation, and medications.

24/7 Hotline Assistance

Lastly, when you’re caught in a natural disaster in a foreign land, the level of uncertainty will heighten.

More often than not, travel insurance offers a 24/7 assistance hotline that can provide guidance and support during emergencies, helping you navigate local resources and stay informed about the situation.

And this becomes even more important when you’re unfamiliar with the native language and you’re travelling with family members who might rely on you.

So, if you intend to get travel insurance, make sure to check out the best options below:


Afterthoughts

Natural disasters are uncommon in Singapore but not so in other countries.

It was my first time experiencing an earthquake, yet it was eye-opening.

Travelling is supposed to be fun, and this incident solidified my belief that everyone embarking on international travels, particularly to regions susceptible to natural disasters, should get travel insurance.

For me, it’s not just about unexpected adventures; it’s about safeguarding oneself against unforeseen challenges that can arise in the blink of an eye.

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