Amongst Indians, travelling to global destinations such as Europe, Thailand, Dubai and Bali for a vacation is the flavour this summer. As per a report by popular international travel search site, Skyscanner, Indians are quite keen to escape from the burning heat and turn to overseas travel this summer holidays. The report further stated that there has been an enormous 101 percent growth in the volume searches for international destinations over the last 5 years. Further, the report even highlighted that the Indian travellers are now becoming increasingly adventurous with their travel choices.
While you plan your trip abroad, you must also start thinking of buying a travel insurance to ensure a smooth and tension-free vacation. After all, it is always better to protect your trip against any unforeseen event, especially in a foreign land. And then, there is much more to a travel insurance policy. As per a latest survey, while 48% of the Indian travellers buy travel insurance to cover medical emergencies, 15% buy it for loss of baggage, 8% buy it for accidental death and 11% buy it for cancelled flights. However, travellers usually forget considering a very important event, i.e. trip cancellation that often leaves travellers in the position of wondering how they can recover the lost funds.
During an unforeseen situation, you may be compelled to cancel your trip and this could turn out to be a massive financial loss. In all such scenarios, a travel insurance policy comes very handy as it covers you against unforeseen financial losses during travel and offers benefits against trip cancellation. To help you, here’s what you can do — before, during and after the fact — to minimize the cost and disruption of a cancelled trip.
Trip cancellation feature under a travel insurance policy falls under the pre-departure coverage wherein the policyholder is reimbursed (up to the covered amount) for pre-paid non-refundable trip costs. This only happens if the trip is cancelled due to a covered reason under the policy terms and conditions. While the different travel insurance plans define their individual trip cancellation benefit covers, one of the most common reasons for trip cancellations included in most policies is an injury/illness leading to hospitalisation or death of the insured, destination host, immediate family member. During such a scenario, as per the policy terms, it’s necessary to consult the doctor who further officially advises that the trip must be cancelled. Weather and natural disasters are some other prominent reasons for trip cancellation. One must make sure to pick a policy that covers everything and anything that is important.
During a trip cancellation, the travel insurance policy offers cancellation benefits to the policy holder as per/up to the benefit sum insured. This helps in covering the financial losses incurred due to sudden cancellation before the date of departure. The trip cancellation feature reimburses you for the cost of your entire package up to the total sum insured. The covered expenses include travel tickets, hotel reservations, and any other activities for which you have paid in advance. However, one must know that trip cancellation feature is only valid till the departure date. The details may vary from insurer to insurer and with each plan. If you do need to cancel, you can claim the prepaid, non-refundable trip cost for which you are insured and can provide documentation.
The following is a comparative table of a few leading insurance companies providing Travel Insurance for some prominent global destinations. The age of the travellers is 35 years and 33 years, the total sum insured is $1,00,000 and the duration of the trip is 15 days. The premiums are subject to change, w.r.t. change in travel duration and age of the travellers.
(By Tarun Mathur, Chief Business Officer-General Insurance, Policybazaar.com)