Travel insurance comes in handy in the hour of need while travelling. It restrains you from paying the hefty medical bills during an eventuality and saves you from breaking the banks. No one wants to face such a situation while travelling, but if the worst happens, the right kind of travel insurance can be indispensable to cover the losses. Hence, selecting the right policy is essential.
But is travel insurance a legal requirement?
No, in India buying travel insurance is not legal. However, some travel agent may insist you to have one for travelling to a particular country or if you are travelling for studies, having a student travel insurance policy is required. Nevertheless, to ensure peace of mind while adventuring, you should buy a cover. Moreover, you should consider this if planning an international trip, as a medical expense could go higher abroad.
What to Look for While Negotiating
- Insurance is one of the important decisions that involves a huge chunk of your investment. While you face a mind-numbing number of choices, becoming overwhelming and confusing at the same time is obvious. And often, in the fine print, you find that the plan is not at per your requirement. To avoid this, consider certain things while buying.
- First, make sure the insurance company that are opting for is offering sufficient travel coverage, especially the medical cover. A financially sound company will provide you maximum up to $100,000, somewhere in lakhs. The rate will be decided by factoring certain things, however. It is advised to choose the cover wisely, as you can’t afford to settle with an insufficient cover and end up paying considerable out-of-pocket expenses during a crisis.
- Second, if travelling abroad, make sure the travel insurer covers emergency evacuation, apart from the medical coverage. If you meet with an accident while hiking and break your leg, your policy should cover your evacuation to the hospital or in case of your emergency return to the homeland, the airfare incurred in the evacuation should be covered. With this, you can cover expenses up to $300,000 USD. It is necessary to double-check with your insurer whether it covers you for all these expenses.
- Thirdly, a great travel insurance policy always covers you for the following:
- Covers most of the foreign countries
- Extended coverage for electronic items
- Covers injury or sudden illness
- Round-the-clock services to assist your better
- Coverage to loss of precious items like jewellery, important documents like passport, camera, laptop etc.
- Covers sudden changes like flight cancellation, trip delay or curtailment, flight delay, accommodation etc.
- Covers emergency situations in the country visited etc. leading you to return
- Emergency cash allowance in case of theft or if you’re stuck in a foreign land.
A quick note on Electronics
Your insurer may apply a cap on electronic items. You should consider this point while buying travel insurance online and preparing for the trip. Consider not packing the electronics that are avoidable. Just double check if you find insurance with maximum gears.
Travel Insurance: the List of Exclusion
There are still certain situations that are just not feasible. Your insurance company will reject the claim request for:
- Accidents sustained while participating in extreme adventure activities such as paragliding, or bungee jumping, sky-diving unless you pay an extra fee to cover these.
- Accident occurred while driving under the influence of alcohol or driving without a valid DL.
- Not attending the precious items or leaving the baggage unattended.
- Pre-existing conditions or general check-ups. Let’s say you’re a diabetic and in on insulin. While travelling any condition arising out of it will not be covered by the insurer, as you have been suffering from this before buying the policy.
- You will be not covered for theft if it is proved that the items were left unattended
- Your theft coverage won’t cover you if you left something in plain sight or unattended.
- If there is any civil unrest in your destination, where the govt. hasn’t called for an evacuation or not warned, well your bad luck here! No coverage will be given for the loss.
Travel Loopholes: What to Look For
Even the best plan has its limit! You may find your policy insufficient at many times, if not check the policy fine print properly. Well, the medical portion may come with a cap or limited to accidental emergency or illness only. You can’t get reimbursed for availing a treatment abroad that is pre-planned.
People with a pre-existing illness have no option left as the policy wouldn’t cover them.
You may find a company cheap or affordable as compared to the other. However, the devil is in the details and they may have smaller coverage or pay you less at the time of a claim, take longer claim settlement or deny more cases. They may have may terms and conditions in the fine print.
Remember, your travel insurance policy is not similar to your health or car insurance policy. it is accident insurance that is to provide financial assistance while travelling. If you want an extensive medical cover, you’ll definitely need another plan.
We hope the aforementioned information will be helpful in deciding on the right plan. Do your research well and don’t forget to compare before zeroing down on a plan.