For a successful trip, various factors are necessary, which includes choosing the right hotel, flight booking, packing and necessary documents. More often than not, we skip the importance of travel insurance. These insurance policies can offer a cover against various unexpected circumstances, including trip delays, loss of baggage, loss of important documents (like a passport), medical expenses, etc. Therefore, the travel insurance must be an integral part of travel planning.
Travel insurance categories
Travel insurance is mainly divided into three major categories:
1) Student travel cover: As the name suggests, this policy is for students who visit some other country for the educational purpose.
2) Business travel cover: This type of policies are suitable for individuals who travel abroad for official purpose, mainly for meetings, conferences, seminars, business research, or for handling a project.
3) Holiday travel cover: When an individual is traveling alone, with a group, or with his/her family for leisurely purposes, he/she opts for holiday travel cover.
Sometimes, the companies also offer a separate category called travel health insurance, under which the focus is only on medical emergencies.
Common requirements of travel insurance
There are some requirements related to purchasing travel insurance or for getting the cover, which includes:
- Medical check-up, as you need to submit the reports with the proposal form.
- For getting a claim, necessary documents are required as per the incident, which includes a death certificate, postmortem certificate, police report or medical reports.
- The eligible age for single trip usually varies in the range of six months to 70-80 years.
- For multi-trip insurance, the minimum eligibility age is usually 18 years.
- The travelers require compulsory travel insurance when they are traveling to one of the seven Schengen countries.
Cost of travel insurance
There are various factors that decide the premium of a travel insurance policy.
- Apart from the sum insured, the number of days for which an individual will be travelling is also a major factor.
- The country that an individual will be visiting may also decide the premium, as the cost of medical treatment and other expenses vary from country to country.
- Some insurers increase the premium if you want to include the cover for adventurous sports.
- The cost will increase if you include value added services, such as home insurance.
Methods to choose best Travel Insurance Company
Here we discuss some tips you shouldn’t ignore while choosing a policy from a travel insurance company.
Purchase only from a trusted insurer
It is not a wise idea to buy a policy from a company that is not trusted or popular. Check whether the company is registered with IRDAI or not.
You must also refrain from purchasing cheap travel insurance policies. They may look attractive due to less premium amount but can result in hassles, if any issue arises during the trip.
Avoid purchasing from a travel agent
If you depend on tour operators or travel agents for insurance purposes, the chances are that you will end up paying more. Therefore, prefer purchasing directly from the insurers.
Choose multi-trip insurance if you are a frequent traveller
If you have to travel multiple times in a year, go for multi-trip travel insurance, as the policy remains active throughout the year. Check the terms and conditions for this type of insurance, as some insurers offer a limitation on a number of days per trip.
Opt for value added services if you have dependents at home
It is a good idea to select a policy that also takes care of your elderly parents while you are away on the trip. For example, ICICI Lombard offers medical concierge service under which appointment with a local doctor, plumbing & electrical assistance and home nursing care facilities are included.
Getting home insurance is also a good idea
A lot of insurance policies offer home insurance in combination with travel insurance. This feature covers your home against fire, theft, house breaks and related risks while you are abroad.
Make sure the policy offers cashless hospitalization cover
Imagine you face a medical emergency when you are in some other part of the globe. It becomes quite difficult to manage the hospital expenses, especially when you are traveling alone. This is where cashless hospitalization cover appears as a savior. Make sure your insurance company is offering this facility.
Check medical exclusions thoroughly
There are numerous medical conditions and treatments excluded from the travel insurance. Here’s what commonly excluded:
- Ongoing dental or medical condition
- Involvement in hazardous sports, such as skydiving, bungee jumping, mountaineering, caving, etc.
- Issues arising due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol
- Venereal diseases, including AIDS
- Mental disorders, such as anxiety or depression
- Issues arising due to involvement in criminal or terrorist activities
- The medical exclusions vary from policy to policy. Therefore, you must check them thoroughly before finalizing.
Check the maximum limit of cover
The insurers have a limit related to medical expenses or related cover. For example, Royal Sundaram offers overseas medical covers of up to 150,000 dollars. It is a wise idea to check the limit of cover beforehand to avoid surprises during an emergency.
Don’t ignore the importance of domestic insurance
Travel insurance is often associated with international trips. But, even if you are travelling within India, you shouldn’t ignore domestic insurance. The domestic insurance policies also cover you against trip delays, personal liability, accidental death, loss of luggage and trip cancellation.
Check if company pays refund if you cut short your travel
Some companies offer some refund if travel is cut short. It is necessary to read the brochure or contact the customer support representatives for clarification on this clause.
Additional Reading: Know About Medical Travel Insurance Plan
Make sure to follow each of these tips to enjoy your travel to the fullest, without any worries. As discussed above, it is a sane idea to purchase the policies directly from the companies instead of travel agents. You can also get your policies customized if you contact the companies directly. To choose the best travel insurance policy, ComparePolicies.com of different insurers through policy comparison site to opt the best suitable one for yourself.