Congratulations, on your Hajj. Consider yourself lucky if you are one of those millions of people who are ready to embark on a Hajj journey from 30th August. God has chosen you, and you have finally got a chance to free yourself from all your sins. May this holy event add more calmness and meaning to your life!
Being the fifth important pillar of Islam, Hajj journey is a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It’s understandable to be excited for this journey as after all you will get an opportunity to circle Islam’s most sacred site— the cube shaped Kaaba in Mecca or Makkah. But first you will need a Saudi Visa. Then what if unforeseen events like accident, illness, etc.; disrupt your religious tour?
Many times, you might have heard this line “Accidents and illnesses come unannounced,” But do you know, unforeseen incidents can arise even when you are on a religious tour or, allow me to be dramatic when you are ‘near to God’?
The same thing happened to those 3,000 people who, unfortunately, lost their lives during a stampede in Hajj 2015. It was not the first accident which occurred during hajj, as many such incidents happened in the past as well:
- September 24, 2015 = Over 2,000 people lost their lives in a stampede in Mina.
- January 5, 2006 = A concrete multi-story hotel, which was situated close to the Grand Mosque, collapsed and injured over 50 people. The death toll was 76.
- January 12, 2006 = A stampede occurred during the stoning of the Devil which killed 346 pilgrims and injured 289.
- April 15, 1997 = A tent fire killed 343 pilgrims and injured 1,500.
- July 11, 1991= All 247 Hajj pilgrims and 14 crew members on board lost their lives when Nigeria Airways Flight 2120 crashed shortly after takeoff due to an in-flight fire.
- July 2, 1990 = Nearly, 1426 people lost their lives during stampede which happened inside a pedestrian near Mecca.
- January 22, 1973= 176 Hajj pilgrims lost their lives in Royal Jordanian Boeing 707 crash.
Along with the above unfortunate events, there is always a possibility of an outbreak of infectious diseases. The mingling of visitors from various countries can lead to the spread of epidemics. Then man-made perils, like pickpocketing, theft, etc.; are also a matter of concern. What if you lose your entire money and passport during Hajj?
We have not mentioned the above instances to scare you, but to advise you to stay attentive and act diligently. Even a smart traveller like you can suffer both financially and emotionally due to such events which are many times beyond your control.
In addition to acting carefully, buy a comprehensive travel insurance policy for your Hajj travel to secure your journey from various perils, including man-made and natural.
How Can Travel Insurance Help You?
- Loss of Passport/Baggage= What happens in case you lose your passport or baggage? Or what if your bag grabs the attention of thieves? Rather than being freaked out at a new location and frantically contacting your embassy, you can simply contact your travel insurer who will assist you in sorting out things, right from preparing documents for the issuance of duplicate passport to getting all the finances right.
- Ailments or Accidents= Did you know, in 2006, nearly 243 pilgrims died due to exhaustion, heart issues, diabetes, and tiring physical work during Hajj? Your health insurance policy cover ceases to exist once you leave the country. In the case of any medical emergency in a foreign land, your travel insurer can help you by offering cashless treatment across the globe.
- Missed Flight, Cancelled or Delayed Trips= Imagine a scenario, where you have already made all travel arrangements for your pilgrimage trip, and at the last moment, due to a medical emergency, you would have to call off your trip.
It means you would have to incur losses due to the cancellation of flight, hotel, and other reservations. To combat such situations, it is necessary to go with a travel insurance policy which would offer financial coverage to deal with any such unexpected situations.
- Emergency Evacuation= Travel insurers cover emergency evacuation where the insured is taken out of the disastrous situation to a safe place and provides all medical assistance if required.
- Burglary Cover=When you are busy performing Hajj duties, thieves can target your empty house in India and steal some valuable items. Yes, a travel insurance policy will offer burglary cover to take care of this as well.
- Compassionate Visit= In the case of your hospitalisation in Saudi Arabia, your family member can travel to stay with you at the hospital, and the insurer will cover their travel expenses as well.
However, coverage will be given only if you are alone at the time of hospitalisation which should last for more than seven days. Also, the insurer can ask for your doctor’s recommendation for an attendant.
In addition to the above, there are many other benefits which you can enjoy if you have a travel insurance policy like personal liability coverage, daily allowance in case of hospitalisation, accidental death cover, etc.
Better to Be Safe Than Sorry!
Here, my intention is not to doubt the power of the Almighty, but to make you understand that, irrespective of what kind of traveller you are and where you are travelling, your journey is not 100% safe. Simply because, you are on a pilgrimage trip, it doesn’t mean you will have no trouble!
Though confidence is key; overconfidence can go against you. Have faith in God but buy a comprehensive travel insurance to shield your faith.
We are happy to present this collaborative post to offer valuable information to our readers.