Flying out of UAE? Here’s why travel insurance is important

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Balvinder’s plight should serve as a caution.

A long weekend is on the cards, and many of you could be flying out of the UAE on a short vacation to enjoy that much-awaited break. As you plan out the details of your itinerary, don’t give a short shrift to the travel insurance. Procure it on top priority. It could turn out to be the most important travel document on your trip, as Balvinder’s family is realising now. 

Balvinder, a British mother-of-three, is stranded in India and fighting for her life after she was bitten by a mosquito while on holiday, the Metro has reported.

The 35-year-old woman flew from the UK to New Delhi on October 7 for a family wedding. She fell ill just days ahead of her return journey on November 9. Balvinder vomited and suffered diarrhoea, before she was taken to hospital. There she had seizures and had a heart attack, along with organ failure, the report reveals. On November 14, doctors diagnosed that Balvinder has meningitis TB, which she could have contracted due to the mosquito bite.

The saddest part is that she didn’t take out travel insurance before embarking on her trip. Her cousin Chandni, 28, who is looking after Balvinder’s three kids in Dulwich in South London, was quoted as saying in the report: “She didn’t take out travel insurance because she never thought that anything could go wrong. The kids have been affected the worst and have been crying out for their mum and are in a desperate shock, it’s very heartbreaking. We don’t know when she is going to come back to the UK.”

Her husband Sukvinder, 37, has rushed to be at his wife’s bedside in Chandigarh.

The cost of the treatment is mounting. “It’s costing £800 (Dh3,700) a day for her treatment abroad after 12 days and we are now running out of money. We need to raise money so that the treatment can carry on out there so once she is stabilised and taken off the ventilator we can bring her back home to her kids and she can receive treatment here with all her family around her,” Chandni pointed out.

The family says it needs £75,000 (Dh354,000) to bring Balvinder back home to Dulwich, for better treatment.

They have set up a JustGiving page for the mother, in which Balvinder’s 12-year-old son Harmeet has made an emotional plea.

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