While travelling can be relaxing, it can turn harrowing because of any unforeseen circumstances. Travel insurance can cover against unexpected situations such as medical costs abroad, loss of luggage, cancellation or delay of flights, etc.
A comprehensive travel insurance will cover many aspects of your travel and protect your family from any financial or medical emergency. Travel insurance is mandatory for trips to the UK, the US, Austria, Greece, Portugal, Spain, France and Germany (Schengen). Even where it is not mandatory, it is always beneficial to get one for travelling abroad. If you are planning to take more than two holidays a year, take an annual policy which will be cheaper than a single trip policy.
Insurance companies offer a wide range of specialised travel insurance plans such as family floater, senior citizens, students and multiple trips plans for business travelers. The premium depends on the age of the insured, number of travellers, country of visit, number of travel days and the kind of coverage opted for.
Travel insurance safeguards one against unforeseen medical contingencies abroad. Medical treatment abroad can be very expensive. Do ensure that the expenditure limit attached to your health insurance cover is adequate. A comprehensive travel insurance cover will not only take care of your medical cost abroad, it can bear the cost of flying you back at home under medical care. Remember to declare pre-existing medical conditions before the travel since these are not covered. Most travel insurance policies exclude acts of terrorism, war or war-like actions, suicide and self-inflicted injury.
If you fall sick, inform your travel insurance company as soon as possible for the claim. Do keep both the domestic and international toll free numbers of your insurance company handy. In case of any medical emergency, the insurance company will contact the local medical facilities and offer assistance. If the insurance company is not informed on time, claims can even be rejected.
The usual documentation required includes original bills and invoices of the expenses incurred, payment receipts for all invoices and records of treatments and tests. In case of an accident, you must also provide the FIR document filed with the police. To file a claim, you will need to submit the claim form of your insurance company along with your medical reports and details of the expenses you want reimbursed.
If you are unable to go on your planned trip due to medical reasons you will need a doctor’s certificate stating the same and file claim process with the insurance company. You can also file claims for a pre-existing disease if your insurance plan has a pre-existing condition waiver.
Travel insurance covers loss of passport, loss of baggage, missed flights, delay in flights and even natural calamities leading to trip cancellation. In case of lost baggage, file an FIR with the local police and submit a certified copy of the FIR, along with a photocopy of your passport to the insurer. It will pay for your clothing and other belongings. Do check the real value of your luggage before opting for a luggage cover as your cover should ideally cover the real value of your luggage. In case one has lost cash during your travel, he will need to submit the FIR, and documentation of cash withdrawal or traveller’s cheques issued.
As flight delays are common these days, one can make a travel insurance claim against the monetary loss. The insurance company will require you to file a copy of the confirmation letter from the airlines clearly stating the duration of, and the reason for, the flight delay. This must be attached with your claim letter for any losses you may have incurred along with invoices of purchases such as for meals, and alternate travel plans that you had to undertake due to flight delays.