Buying international travel insurance for your trip is mandated for the visa processes of many countries.
Do you check the ‘insure trip’ option while booking a flight or just opt out to save some money? I bet most of us do that. Even in today’s world, where travelling becomes second nature to millennials, travel insurance remains as one of the most under-rated product in insurance.
Anything that puts you at risk before or during the trip can be covered with travel insurance. Starting from booking a flight or a train to booking hobby activities on your trip, insurance can help you be care-free about the unexpected financial losses that may occur during the trip.
Buying international travel insurance for your trip is mandated for the visa processes of many countries. But even if it is not mandated, people buy it for their own peace of mind and protection. Especially if the trip is a long one and booked in advance or if you are travelling with family, travel insurance should be a must. Let’s deep dive into the benefits offered by the new-age travel insurance companies.
Why is travel insurance required
Firstly, there are some benefits that take care of all kinds of travellers like Trip Cancellation Benefit, Flight Delay Benefit, Missed Flight Benefit, Checked-In Baggage Loss or Delay, Medical Expenses Due to an Injury or Accident or Illness, Emergency Medical Treatment & Evacuation and Trip Abandonment
Many times, a trip doesn’t go as per plan and it has to be cut short. It could be due to an emergency back home or at work. In such cases, your wallet may really be hurt with the non-refundable expenses for the bookings for the remaining days of your trip or for coming back to India. The last benefit takes care of just that!
Then there are some which are esp. important to people travelling abroad like:
1. Compassionate Family Visit
In case someone needs a family member to come to them on their foreign trip to take care of them while they are hospitalized, this benefit helps you do just that.
2. Escort of A Minor Child Back Home
Again, in case someone is hospitalized and there is a child amongst the co-passengers who cannot stay without adult supervision and needs to be brought back to India, this benefit helps cover that cost.
3. Financial Emergency Cash
When travelling with a family, if all the traveller cheques, cash, cards are stolen and there is no emergency cash, this benefit can come to the rescue.
4. Loss of Passport
A common fear amongst people and rightfully so. A passport being stolen can be the worst nightmare for a traveller, esp. travelling with the family. This benefit makes sure you are covered for the expenses it takes to get through the procedures required.
5. Personal Liability & Bail Bond
If due to an unfortunate incident, there are any legal charges against a traveller while on the travel, this benefit pays for them.
While travel insurance should be one of the important components of your travel plan, it is also essential to understand how to choose travel insurance and the common mistakes made by travellers.
Below are some tips to keep in mind to secure your trip and avoid mistakes:
1. Never take travel insurance at the last minute: While you are excited and planning your trip, it is always recommended to plan your insurance ahead. This will help on utilising benefits such as a claim against trip cancellation and natural disasters. Also, insurance companies do not usually allow you to buy a travel insurance policy after the onset of your trip.
2. Essentials: It is also important to make sure that the policy covers the essentials of your trip i.e. right from the booking of your trip with benefits like Trip Cancellation to the transit time with benefits like checked-in baggage delay or loss, flight delay to while you are on the trip like loss of passport, medical emergency, personal liability and bail bond & more.
3. Thinking That One Size Fits All: Customise your insurance plan as per your needs. You might be travelling to a tourist destination. But every trip is planned differently. You should check for how many days you are travelling, how many people are going to be there, what activities have you planned, how many connecting flights you have and basis this, you should check the benefits that make sense for you.
4. Proper declaration: It is important to mention any existing medical conditions or diseases in other words if there are any pre-existing diseases while availing a policy, as most of the insurance providers now-a-days cover emergencies like hospitalisation for pre-existing illness but only if declared before the start of the trip.
5. Know the terms: Most insurance companies claim that their claim process is the easiest. It is very important to understand the documents before signing-up because there will be Asterisk (*) waiting to surprise you at the time of claims
6. Do not just look at the premium: Finally, comparing different travel insurance quotes is great. But make sure, along with the price you are also checking the below:
a. Medical benefits you are getting and how much is the limit of Sum Insured for each
b. Terms of the claim. A lot of times, the terms of claim will be so rare that despite the benefit being there, you won’t be able to claim for it
c. Claims process and the company’s past claims record
(By Vivek Chaturvedi, Head of Marketing -Digit Insurance )