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Things to Remember While Buying Travel Insurance Policy

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Lao Tzu, the famous philosopher and poet once said “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Today ideally that single step should be that of a meticulous plan that ensures a successful trip. And most travel experts would agree that travel insurance is one of the most important aspects of trip planning. Even the most experienced traveler cannot rule out travel mishaps.

Being equipped with the right kind of travel insurance goes a long way in ensuring complete financial safety to face travel contingencies.

By choice not by chance
One of the most common mistakes travelers commit is opting for insurance in haste and buying an offering that does not match their needs. Travel insurance today can be bought very easily online and offline. This ease however should not be an excuse for not thoroughly checking for what you need. Go through various policy options and compare them. Viewing several policy options will give you an idea of what you would need on your trip. Also research about the location you are visiting in terms of risks. E.g. some places are known for mugging while others may be prone to possible political upheavals. Check which policy would cover you best against such risks. Comparison today is extremely easy with a host of online tools.

Extent of cover
The extent of cover is particularly important – especially medical cover. Medical expenses abroad can be massive. A simple slip leading to multiple fractures or a sudden heart attack could require immediate hospitalization. And a single day of hospitalization in the US could cost between INR 2 -3 lakhs. What’s more is that if surgery is involved and the stay goes up to a week or more, the total bill could cross INR one crore. A good policy should ideally offer at least $ 100, 000 in terms of medical cover.

What all are covered under the policy: You must make sure that your policy covers most risks a traveller may face. Given are some of the covers a policy should have over and above medical and medical evacuation covers.

  • Trip Delay/cancellation/interruption
    Reimbursement is given for additional expenses if the trip is delayed beyond a period, due to airline problems, medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters. It also covers cancellation or interruption by offering payment towards the non-refundable prepaid payments or the additional expenses incurred on the trip being cancelled or interrupted due to medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters.
  • Missed Connection
    Payment allowance is made towards additional expenses incurred, if the confirmed onward connecting flight is missed at the transfer point by the Insured/ Insured Person due to the late arrival or cancellation of the incoming confirmed connecting scheduled flight.
  • Loss of Deposit or cancellation - Hotel and Airline
    Compensation paid for loss of irrevocable deposits or charges paid in advance in case of, necessary and unavoidable cancellation of Hotel and Airline booking.
  • Loss of Passport, travelers cheques, traveling tickets/documents
    Reimbursement of actual expenses incurred in connection with obtaining a duplicate or fresh passport or reasonable cost of replacing/obtaining the stolen documents/ tickets if the passport belonging to the Insured / Insured Person is lost.
  • Financial Emergency Assistance: Arrangement for emergency cash in case of loss of the travel funds due to theft, mugging, robbery and dacoity.
  • Delay or Total Loss of checked-in baggage
    Payment of compensation for reasonable expenses incurred for the purchases of toiletries, clothing and medication due to a delay in checked-in baggage or payment towards total loss of checked baggage caused by a common carrier.
  • Personal Accident
    Payment of compensation in case of accidental bodily injury during a trip resulting in death or Permanent Total Disablement or Permanent Partial Disablement.
  • Personal Liability
    Compensation for liability towards damages paid/payable to a third party, resulting from death, injury or damage to health or property caused involuntarily.
  • Daily Allowance in case of Hospitalisation
    Payment of daily allowance for the days of hospitalised beyond a specified number of days,
  • Compassionate Visit
    Reimbursement of round trip and stay expenses of the immediate family member to visit the Insured if he/she is hospitalized for more than seven consecutive days. Reimbursement of return fare of the Insured to visit the native place in case of the immediate family member (spouse, dependent children or parents) being hospitalized for more than seven consecutive days in India or in the event of death.
  • Hijack Distress Allowance
    Payment of distress allowance in case of hijack of a common carrier for more than certain number of hours whilst on the trip.
  • Home Fire & Insurance Contents
    Cover against any loss or damage of the Contents at Home of the Insured in India, caused by Fire and Allied perils or through burglary and/or housebreaking while the Insured is on a trip abroad.
  • Overbooked Flight
    Provides for indemnifying the Insured/ Insured Person for the expenses incurred, if denied boarding of an aircraft on a commercial scheduled flight due to over-booking.
  • Bail Bond
    Provides for payment of bail amount on behalf of the Insured if he/she is arrested or detained by Police or Judicial authorities, for any bailable offence whilst on a trip abroad.
  • Legal Expenses
    Payment of legal costs and expenses incurred by the Insured towards claims from third Parties for compensation in respect of death or disablement arising due to an injury whilst on a trip abroad.
  • Emergency Accommodation
    Payment of compensation for the additional cost of emergency accommodation if the Insured/ Insured Person could not stay in the accommodation originally booked due to fire, flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane, explosion, outbreak of major infectious diseases.

What is not covered
One should always be aware of the various exclusions in his/her policy. This means getting to know what all is not covered under the travel plan (insurance). For e.g. some of the travel policies do not cover injuries caused by adventure sports and if you are a sports enthusiast then that policy does not suit you. Instead of that you should look for one which also includes adventure sports. Hence it’s always advisable that one should check for exclusions in the policy before buying the same.

Claims
It is advisable to check how credible a company is terms of claims settlement. Online reviews and IRDA published data can give you a clear picture of how soon does an insurance firm settle its claims as compared with the industry average.

International Network
Always opt for an insurance company that has a good international network. As lot of benefits of a travel policy like medical evacuation, emergency financial assistance are purely contingent on the network of the insurance company. A lot of insurance companies in India are Joint ventures between an Indian entity and an insurance firm of global repute. Such organizations typically offer products at affordable Indian prices with benefits of a robust international network.

Always go for family cover
If one is travelling with family he/she should opt for a group cover instead of individual one. Family policies work out cheaper than buying an individual policy but while buying a family cover one should also keep the following things in mind:
1. Number of family members covered under the plan.
2. Maximum permissible age limit of the individual who will covered under the plan.
3. Also one should give correct age details to the insurance company, wrong information will lead to cancellation the policy as well.

Take a policy as per your usage
Out of anxiety or because of being over conscious, a few travelers often buy a policy which covers a lot of other things which they don’t require and thus they end up paying extra.

Look for customized plan
It is highly recommendable to go for a travel insurance plan which meets your specific need. For e.g. if you are a frequent traveler, you should go for a frequent flier policy, instead of buying separate policies every time you travel. Similarly there are plans available for travel enthusiast/ backpackers, as backpackers insurance gives cover for a whole of 12 months. So if you have put on travel shoes and off around the world with your backpack, the backpackers travel plan is quite apt for you instead of a frequent flier or a regular travel insurance plan.

To sum up like any other insurance product travel insurance product should also be bought with a sole intention of protection and should not be bought because it’s mandatory in certain countries. Today travel insurance is a must for every international traveler for a hassle less and tension free journey.

To read more about travel insurance, CLICK HERE.

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Disclaimer : The information published on this website is for the public's reference only. Content of this information is to provide an overview of your Travel needs and should not be relied upon for personal, medical, legal or financial decisions and you should consult an appropriate professional for specific advice. Bharti AXA General Insurance Company Limited makes no representations about the suitability, reliability, timeliness, and accuracy of the information, travel, services, or any other items mentioned on this subject for any purpose whatsoever.

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