«Only two things we will regret on deathbed – that we are a little loved and little travelled.» It’s hard to argue with this quote of the famous writer Mark Twain. And should we?
Our era of technological progress allows a modern-day person to go on exciting trips even within a short vacation, resting on exotic beaches, climbing to the highest peaks of the world, admiring the unusual flora and fauna of other countries and continents. Could our ancestors dream of this? In the Middle Ages, for example, the road of pilgrims from Europe to Palestine was dangerous and took years. People went on the journey, not being sure that they would ever return home. Now you can fly from one end of the world to another in just a few hours.
The cancellation of the visa regime for the countries of the Schengen Area last year facilitated the unhindered travel for our compatriots around the world even more. Today, to see the eternal Rome, iconic Brussels, glamorous Paris, to have a dip in the sea off the coasts of Bulgaria or Croatia, to visit the Czech Republic or Lithuania we need only two papers – tourist voucher and insurance policy. And a car insurance policy, if you go on a trip by car.
Now it is possible to travel even without a travel voucher if you organise the trip yourself. However, an insurance policy is mandatory. Under the Law of Ukraine On Tourism, travel insurance is a compulsory requirement of tour operators. No travel company will send its client abroad without an insurance policy or a confirmation that the tourist already has such policy.
Insurance protection is vital for the traveller because many just can not afford the cost of healthcare abroad on their own. It is equally important to understand what risks are covered by the travel insurance policy. «Our policy provides Ukrainian tourists with comprehensive protection. It works in case of diseases and accidents. The policy provides outpatient and inpatient treatment» – says Galyna Kym, the Director of UKRFINSTRAKH Insurance Company.
What should be done to make the insurance policy «work» and when does the coverage incept? According to Galina Kim, the insurance policy starts to operate from the moment of crossing the border and is valid until the moment of returning to the country of permanent residence.
And in case of insured event occurrence, the tourist must do the following: open the insurance policy, dial the phone number of the call-centre of the Assistance Company (telephone number is indicated on the first page of the policy), and provide details of the incident to the person on the other end of the line. «Call-centre works 24/7, so it’s important not to postpone the call for later, but to call as quickly as possible to get the medical care on time,» advises Galyna Kym.
According to Galyna Kym, the insurance policy guarantees the necessary assistance 24 hours a day anywhere in the world. It is more difficult to settle the case or issue a guarantee for the service if the tourist has applied for help independently or to a non-partner hospital. In this case, the hospital will require the tourist to pay for the services in cash. Therefore, it is necessary to take the documents from the clinic, confirming the diagnosis and payment of the invoices for medical care. After returning home, you need to fill in the application forms (which are available on the Company’s website), attach the original documents from the clinic, the original documents confirming payment and submit them to the insurance company (for example by mail).
The most common illnesses of tourists during travels are the common cold, viral infections and various insect bites. They are followed by traumatology and surgery. Therefore, it is essential that the insurance policy protects against these risks. «However, if you go on a beach holiday, it is not necessary to be covered against the risks inherent to active sports. By excluding risks atypical for your trip from the policy, it can become a little cheaper» – says Galyna Kym, but does not advise to cut down the coverage.
According to her, it is crucial that the policy not only provides the tourist with comprehensive protection but also is issued by a reliable, client-oriented company. «For example, our company designs the insurance policy terms and conditions following the needs of our clients, taking into account the country and the type of travel, the period of vacation. We cooperate only with reliable Assistance Companies and tour operators, thus creating a real «protection umbrella» over the tourist, providing all-around comfort» says Galyna Kym.
The quality of insurance coverage, the speed of claims settlement, the reliability of partners, openness and attention to the needs of clients allowed UKRFINSTRAKH IC to grow and develop dynamically. Over the past two years, the Company has been consistently leading the Ukrainian travel insurance market, demonstrating an annual 30% growth. Over the last year, more than 700 thousand tourists went on their journeys with insurance policies from UKRFINSTRAKH IC.
The business of UKRFINSTRAKH IC is socially oriented – the Company sponsors numerous sports and cultural events, for example, such as the Football Stars, Race of Nations, tournaments in gymnastics and basketball.
«The Company intends to develop its partner sales further, expand cooperation with travel companies and increase the level of online sales. One of my favourite writers, Ernest Hemingway, once said that you only need to go on trips with the ones you love. We plan to become the very insurance company that Ukrainian tourists will know, love and always take with them on trips» says Galyna Kym.
The Assistance Company of UKRFINSTRAKH IC is NOVA ASSISTANCE. It is an international company established in 2010 and specialising in assisting citizens of Ukraine travelling abroad. The employees of the professional call-centre of NOVA ASSISTANCE provide medical, technical and information support to the insured persons around the world 24/7.