By Dhruv Sarin
Every time you travel, your mind starts imaging the happy moments ahead without even experiencing. The source of happiness is the belief that you are going to have time of your life after reaching your destination. But to attain that peaceful and rejuvenation vacation you must take a travel insurance which would cover you and your belongings properly. If something unpredictable happens on your trip, dampening all the fun, in time like this travel insurance could bring in some comfort and make the process of handling the unwanted emergency hassle-free.
Domestic travel insurance may not prove to be necessary under certain conditions. For example, if people are already covered with health and life insurance, their hospitalization or personal accident charges are already covered under it. In that scenario, domestic travel insurance may not be a wise decision or even necessary for your trip. But what about the things that require coverage even while travelling domestically? For a traveller, his baggage is one of the most important possessions that he carries and for belongings like this, you need insurance no matter where you are. This makes sense for certain condition as most of the airlines or railways already provide an option of choosing travel insurance which could be used in the time of need. Whether travelling internationally or domestically, unusual things can occur at any moment and buying a domestic travel insurance which comes at a minimum cost of Rs 200-300 will not harm. Domestic travel insurance will depend on your needs. Some of the scenarios when you should opt for domestic travel insurance could be:
When you are carrying valuable in your baggage
If your luggage is misplaced in the transit or some items are stolen from the baggage, your airline might give you compensation or pay for the luggage, but it won’t be sufficient to cover the overall cost of the belongings. There could be expensive things which you don’t want to lose or even when they are lost it’s hard to replace them. It would definitely burn a huge hole in your pocket. Your travel coverage will take care of this loss; it will go to a larger extent of ensuring that the cost of your belongings is recovered.
If you don’t have a health insurance cover
A health insurance cover might beat the need of taking a travel insurance cover for a domestic trip but what about the people who still don’t have a health insurance policy? A health insurance policy covers most of the medical treatment cost but owing to the facts in India, where health insurance penetration is still low, we can say that a majority of Indian population is still uncovered from health insurance policy. Approximately, less than 20% of India’s population is covered under health Insurance, which is low for a country with nearly 1.3 billion people. Hence, for the people who are not covered under any type of health policy, domestic travel insurance could be useful. Your travel insurance policy bears the expenses of hospitalization or medical treatment for injuries, ambulance fee etc.
If your flight gets cancelled or delayed
Flight cancellation or delay is not a new thing with airlines. Sometimes the reason could be due to natural factors or sometimes it is technical, but either way it creates a problem for the passenger. Because you missed your flight, you would lose on the hotel reservation etc that you have done prior to your trip. You domestic travel insurance cover would compensate for such problems. You can claim the reimbursement for your flight cancellation, accommodation, provided you give the adequate proof.
Travel insurance has been made to make your trip tension free and convenient. Some of the risks are real within one’s own country; domestic travel insurance makes sense when you need extended protection apart from any health policy or life insurance policy. You are not 100% assured of safety when on a holiday. It might not be a compulsion but it definitely will solve a lot of unassisted problems while on a trip. Hence choose a domestic travel plan depending upon your needs and till what extent you want to feel secured.
(The Author is Head of Health & Travel Insurance, Policybazaar.com)