Why do students need travel Insurance?
Anyone who has recently completed higher studies abroad or is in the process of doing so would know the amount of meticulous planning and research involved. Amongst the several aspects associated with studying abroad, most students would agree that arranging for funds forms the lion share of a student’s efforts apart from cracking top institute entrances. However, few realize that securing funds and admission is half the battle won.
Pursuing studies abroad in a foreign country requires a lot of preparation. And a major aspect of this preparation is being ready to tackle emergencies that may require large finances. Medical emergencies, personal liability, bail bond (in case of trouble involving police) are just some of the emergencies a student may face while living abroad. Student travel insurance is an affordable and effective solution to the issue and is therefore an important part of planning to study abroad.
Despite its significance, Student travel insurance continues to feature very low on the priority list of most students looking at pursuing studies abroad. Travel insurance is mandatory for student visa in many countries. In such situations most students blindly follow the recommendation of their university without knowing or researching about the insurance they have opted for.
From a student’s perspective there are four major aspects pertaining to insurance. First is the extent of coverage the insurance provides. Second is the global network of service provider (ability to provide assistance like medical evacuation and it service network like cashless hospitals etc.). Third is the credibility of the Insurance organization in terms of claims clearance. Finally it is the annual premium of the product offered.
International service at Indian Prices
A lot of students opt for a foreign insurance provider or go for the recommendation of the university, as they feel a foreign provider would be easier to deal with at time of claims. This however does not hold much water as several insurance providers in India are joint ventures with an Indian entity and an insurance organization of global repute.
Such JVs typically are equipped with a large global network and at par with local (country where the study wishes to study) or international players in terms of claim settlement. Opting for insurance from these JVs therefore is not only significantly more affordable but also is as good or better than Insurance available in the country where the university is located.
Sharing views on the subject Mr. Subrahmanyam B., Senior Vice President, Bharti AXA General Insurance, explains the benefits of the Student travel insurance.
Travel insurance kicks in the moment a student begins his/her journey.
- During the course of travel or commute from India to the destination, student travel insurance safeguards the student against loss of baggage and personal belongings. It also allows the individual to make emergency purchases; the same also applies in case personal belongings are stolen during travel.
Developed nations are known for their massive medical expenses. A single dental treatment can cost upwards of Rs 80,000 and a single day of hospitalization in the US costs upwards of Rs 2 – 3 lakhs. No insurance or underinsurance can wreak havoc on the existing budget a student has for completion of his/her course. Student Travel insurance addresses this issue.
- Medical Treatment: It covers the expenses incurred in medical treatment of the policy bearer. Most of the policies available in the market offer cashless treatment, in case hospitalisation and reimbursement, in case outpatient treatment. It also takes care of transportation cost of the individual incurred while visiting the hospital.
- Humanitarian ground: Today many policies* also offer financial aid for the individual family members to visit him/her during a prolong stay at the hospital which includes travel and stay of a family member. Also take care of the cost if the individual if he/she want to visit his/ her home country on similar grounds.
- Accident – Under the student travel insurance personal accidents is also covered, which include treatment, hospitalisation and loss or disability due accident.
(*Cover varies from company to company)
Most students don’t take into account a gap in their studies abroad.
- Disruption: If the student has to discontinue study for a longer period (more than a month) because of hospitalisation or the sad demises of an immediate family member. In both these cases, the student is compensated for the tuition fee for that duration.
- Sponsor Protection: If the sponsor (an individual who takes up financial responsibility of the student’s stay and education abroad) is not able sponsor the student any further on account of circumstances like death or financial trouble, then the insurance company provides a certain sum as compensation to deal with the matter. Apart from these one should also be aware of things which are not covered under student travel insurance plan, such as:
- Injuries caused due to extreme or dangerous sports
- Travelling against the recommendation of the doctor, under whom the individual is treated
- Hospitalisation due to attempted suicide
- Cost of treatment is not covered for sexually transmitted diseases
- Loss of valuable/money during the stay
Choose a plan that provides extensive coverage within your budget and complies with the university guidelines for a safer future away from home.
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation