All You Want to Know Before You Buy a Travel Policy

Introduction

Travelling is fun and some people must plan and save for years to see their dream of a foreign trip materialize. Nobody wants to think that some unfortunate event beyond their control can ruin their trip. Similarly you don't want an unfortunate, unexpected event to ruin your crucial business meeting. It doesn't cost much to insure yourself and your belongings while travelling.

A variety of plans are offered by insurance companies with many similar features. A policy is meant for one single trip lasting up to maximum 180 days. A frequent traveler can get multi-trip insurance, which is usually valid for a year and save effort on purchasing insurance for every individual trip. Anybody between 6 months and 60 years can get a travel insurance policy. Premiums of travel insurance don't depend on your income. They depend on the length of the trip and at times cost of the trip.

Features of Travel Insurance policy

What kind of risks can you be most likely exposed to when on a trip? You can fall sick and need immediate hospitalization. Your belongings including money and passport can get stolen. Your checked baggage can get lost or get delayed at the airport. Your flight can get delayed or even hijacked! These risks are commonly covered by all insurance providers.

To expand the list - if you require hospitalization when on a foreign trip and if it cannot be deferred until coming back to India the expenses will be reimbursed. All medical costs incurred due to illness or accident in a foreign country including out-patient, in-patient, medical aid, therapies and diagnostic tests is covered subject to the policy schedule. Most policies also cover emergency dental expenses. Besides compensation good insurers also extend facilities such as hospital and doctor referrals and arrangement for medical evacuation.

If baggage is lost in flight travel compensation is provided and for reasonable purchases (clothing, medication, toiletries, etc) made in case of delay of checked baggage for more than 12 hours. Similarly if passport is lost expenses incurred in obtaining a new one is covered. If the flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather conditions or unforeseen reasons compensation is paid.

If ever some unintentional damage is caused by you to a third party which results in them getting injured, dying or property being damaged, the costs involved in settling claims can be enormous. In such situations the insurer pays compensation. Certain policies pay the sum insured in case of death or disablement resulting from an accident and also reimburse for expenses incurred in sending the remains back to India.

If ever you are robbed of your money in a foreign country a travel insurance policy can offer much comfort. All policies offer assistance in the form of a cash advance in such situations. If at all your flight gets hijacked a daily allowance subject to a limit for a certain number of days is provided.

Besides these different providers may offer fancy features to those who are willing to shell out a few extra bucks.

Exclusions in Travel Insurance policy

Common exclusions in a travel insurance policy are pre-existing illnesses, may be with the exemption of life-threatening diseases, HIV/AIDS or other venereal diseases, mental disorder, alcohol/drug addiction, injury or illness caused by nuclear weapons or radiation and injury or death caused in dangerous sporting activities. Besides these various providers may lay down various conditions and exclusions. For instance if passport/visa is stolen in a public place it may not be compensated for.

When to Buy Travel policy?

If you're planning a foreign trip don't miss taking a travel insurance policy. Premiums for accident policy are extremely low; they range from a few hundreds to a few thousands. If you're on a family trip opt for a family floater which will make it cheaper than buying individual policies. If you frequently travel abroad you should opt for a multi trip policy. Premium depends on length of trip in terms of number of days and geographical area of coverage. If you extend the trip by a few days don't forget to extend the cover as well.

Travel insurance can be bought from one of the general insurance companies. Before you decide on any one insurer it is advisable to check whether that particular policy excludes a specific risk you may most likely be exposed to. Don't miss reading the 'policy wording' as it is called, for details of what is covered, exclusions, premiums, claims procedure and so on. Buy an online policy as that will mean lesser running around and even lower premium in some cases.


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