Shruti Sen, engaged with a multinational firm in Gurgaon, was recently on a vacation in Spain. She was travelling in a bus there when her wallet got stolen, leaving her without any money.
Thanks to the local authorities, and her insurance company, she was able to get Rs 60,000 within a day.
“I was in shock, but the local police and insurance companies helped me in getting back the money,” Sen said.
Intensifying economic slowdown, coupled with joblessness and the inflow of refugees, has led to a drastic surge in the thefts in several European countries.
According to travel associations and insurance firms, 30% of Indians who have travelled to Europe, especially on vacation, have reported thefts in the last couple of years.
Thefts are more prevalent in countries such as Italy, Spain and Greece. Insurance companies said that the south east Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore are comparatively safer.
A weak economy in the 19-member euro zone has led to softening of the euro, which has pushed many Indians to plan their Europe dream tour. According to travel associations, there has been a 40% rise in Indian travellers to Europe in the last two years.
“We are witnessing a rise in instances where travellers face financial emergencies because of pickpocketing or theft... Some countries have seen about 30% surge in such cases. However, travel insurance covers these eventualities are able to provide immediate assistance to our customers,” said Rakesh Jain, CEO, Reliance General Insurance .
Travel insurance, which has been growing at about 15-20%, is mandatory for all Indians travelling to Europe.
“There has been a significant rise in reports of thefts and loss of belongings from travellers visiting Europe and such complaints are higher from travellers visiting countries, which are even more distress,” Sanjay Datta, chief of underwriting and claims, ICICI Lombard General Insurance added.