5 scenarios where your domestic travel insurance can fail you

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Published: May 26, 2016 1:19:29 PM

Travel insurance: 5 scenarios where your domestic travel insurance might be of little help.

Travel insuranceTraveling to international destinations can mean a lot of expense, and in few cases it is even mandatory to have a travel insurance. (Reuters)

Traveling to international destinations can mean a lot of expense, and in few cases it is even mandatory to have a travel insurance. And that’s for a reason – the cost of medical treatment and hospitalisation is extremely high in developed countries and can easily throw you financially off guard. Your international travel plan provides a safety net there and is an absolute must. However, for domestic travel, scenario(s) can be different. And it may not be really required. Especially for those who may already have existing personal, life and health insurance covers, as these covers beat travel insurance claims effortlessly. Wondering how? Let us make an attempt to understand scenarios where your domestic travel insurance might be of little help.

Bad weather forecast, and you are the airline’s baby
This is when owing to uncertain weather forecasts, your flight gets canceled or delayed. It is not tough to believe that in this case, most travel insurance(s) come with sub limits on how much you can claim . It is finally the airline that will make arrangements for your required mode of travel. Travel insurance does not look promising here. Your airline ultimately fixes your destination arrival. You are the their baby.

The real deal is that your cab or car should have broken down midway, else no coverage
Don’t take the above statement literally. But a luck gone bad can cause you to miss your departure at the scheduled time. You just did not make it! In such a case, travel insurance does reimburse the cost of your actual ticket. But, you have to reason that out very nicely or just don’t expect any travel claims to be settled. Needless to say, you must have enough proof only for a failed domestic departure? It is not a big deal if you did not get a travel insurance cover in this particular scenario. Money saved is money earned.

Uncalled for medical emergencies
One of the key reasons for any individual to take up travel insurance is the promise of a cover while there is any medical emergency during transit. However, most travel plans come with a lot of limitations, that does not leave a person with anything sufficient. The list of exclusions are long. You get a claim only if there are accidental injuries and in case of certain pre-existing medical conditions. During a critical health damage, picking up a health insurance cover over travel insurance is a much better idea. In your own country, you can rely on your health insurer to interpret your needs for hospitalization. Travel insurance on the other hand, can mean more intricacies leaving you with fewer options of proper treatment. Not a good idea that is.

A life insurance cover beats an exclusive travel insurance
In case of an unfortunate accidental death, travel insurance does give a coverage of up to 5 lakhs. But if an individual has a pre-existing medical condition such as a heart problem or gets a fatal attack of hypoglycemia in the flight, most plans except very few don’t give a death coverage. Isn’t a life insurance cover better during such instances? Coming to the point of ‘non exclusivity’, most of the airlines have an inherent travel insurance plan at a nominal cost, where you can put a tick mark while purchasing your travel ticket. Why should you at all take up an exclusive domestic travel plan? In order of preference go for a life insurance cover first, or the built in airline insurance plan. Stay non exclusive to domestic travel insurance(s) here.

If it’s not high coverage, it is really not worth it
If you happen to be more of a business traveler who has to visit various parts of the home country for work meetings, then taking up travel insurance is surely a prudent move. But, if you go for a plan that offers less coverage, it is really not worth it. So, it should not become a part of your ‘just another’ travel expense. The insurance plan should just be the right one for you. Otherwise, it becomes an additional formality expense. But don’t all work travelers already have personal, life & health covers? Why travel insurance for a domestic get away? That’s food for thought.

It is therefore important that, we know ourselves as a traveler and further think of few reasons of why should we have a domestic travel insurance plan. It is absolutely fine to first analyze your need, and then buy it

The author is co-founder and CEO, Policybazaar.com

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