When your travel plans go awry because of a theft or sudden hospitalisation, travel insurance can turn out to be your saviour. While travelling overseas, an array of eventualities can unfold – from loss of luggage to theft in your room, and from contracting Covid to the loss of your passport. In such a scenario, your entire schedule and budget are prone to get ruined.
We spoke to a few insurance sector experts to find out what care should one take while taking an insurance cover. They assert that the travel insurance cover ought to embrace medical as well as non-medical expenses such as for the loss of luggage and daily cash allowance during hospitalisation. Although most insurance policies cover these basic expenses, they usually put an upper ceiling.
“One must take travel insurance that offers health protection and stand in support to cater to medical expenses along with various other medical facilities such as air ambulance, daily hospital cash allowance and accidental coverage. Along with luggage and passport loss as there are always high chances of such risks,” says Naval Goel, Founder & CEO, PolicyX.com
Aside from this, we tend to pay non-refundable deposits while placing hotel and flight bookings. During sudden health issues, this financial loss can be covered by a travel insurance plan. However, most insurers have a prescribed limit for such losses.
“If a trip is cancelled due to hospitalisation, the non-refundable deposits or expenses of air travel and hotel accommodation are usually covered. Most policies have a prescribed limit for this,” says Kapil Mehta, Co-founder, SecureNow.
Policy holders are always advised to make sure that the travel cover they are choosing covers the pre-existing conditions.
“The main provision to look for in travel insurance is cover for pre-existing conditions. Some insurers will cover emergency treatment even for pre-existing conditions which are preferred,” says Mr Mehta.
Another factor that should weigh heavily on the minds of policy holders is that they choose the dates of travel and countries carefully. “Make sure the travel dates and countries of travel are carefully selected,” says Mr Mehta.
As all of us are now gradually learning to live with the pandemic, all travel insurance covers tend to have a COVID cover weaved into it.
“All travel insurances cover covid costs as well, so a separate COVID cover is not needed,” says Mr Mehta.
PolicyX’s Naval Goel concurs: “The travel insurance these days also covers the quarantine expenses as there are still some regions that demand the quarantine for the time, also if a person traveling is detected with COVID19 during the travel.”
Some insures also give some extra covers along with a plain travel insurance cover. These include the following:
Adventure sports cover: This allows you to take part in adventure activities such as scuba diving or bungee jumping when you are travelling overseas. Any medical expenses incurred as a result of these are covered under the travel insurance plan.
Cancel for any reason: There is a new rider which allows the insured to leverage the opportunity to cancel travel plans for reasons other than those listed as “covered reasons” on a policy. This can be availed to secure your trip from any of the risks.
Emergency cash requirement: If you happen to lose your wallet, or become a victim of theft you can get some cash advance from your insurer to meet your urgent expenses.
Visit by a family member: In case you are a student and fall ill while travelling alone, Reliance General Insurance covers a return ticket fare — under student travel insurance plan — for one family member visiting the policy holder so long as the insured is hospitalised for over seven days.
So, in the wake of growing uncertainties during overseas journey, an insurance cover ought not be seen as an optional benefit but an important box to tick. It may not be as important as your passport, but don’t ignore it like the extra slippers in your luggage.