As you plan for an excursion in Norway, or long walks through Budapest and Vienna, or perhaps an adventure sport in New Zealand — make sure that you have not missed buying a credible travel insurance policy before you bought those comfy pair of sneakers for the sojourn.
Remember that during your journey, there could be a number of unplanned risks. It is important for policyholder to make a list of the most-likely risks and choose a policy that covers them.
For instance, if your main consideration is to receive reimbursement in case of cancellation of trip as a result of war or strike, then go for a policy that offers the maximum amount of reimbursement on cancelled bookings.
“Before buying travel insurance you must do your research and buy a plan that rightly fits your requirement during the trip. Learning about medical benefits, coverage, and the claim amount you can get against a travel insurance plan is prudent before selecting the amount,” says Amit Chhabra, Head, Travel Insurance, Policybazaar.com.
“A comprehensive travel insurance plan offers a variety of benefits depending upon the insurer you choose including protection cover for trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical coverage, 24X7 emergency assistance, travel delay and baggage protection,” he adds.
Network of hospitals and TPAs
It is important to note that travel insurance also covers medical reimbursement in case of hospitalisation of policy holder. And as in other medical insurance policies, the company that underwrites the insurance and the third-party administrator (TPA) employed to dispense the services could be different entities.
So, it is important for the policyholder to know the TPA’s name and the contact details of the organisation since TPA is the first point of contact in claims resolution.
Policyholders can also assess the policy on the basis of the size of network of hospitals accepting the insurance. In a foreign land, policyholder should be able to approach a network hospital for emergencies.
Adventure sports & other emergencies
If you are planning to participate in paragliding, diving, surfing and skiing, then it is advised to buy a specific adventure sports travel insurance policy or an add-on cover for this.
And it is incorrect to assume that the medical part of travel insurance would cover all eventualities including surfing or snowboarding.
“Some insurers such as Bajaj Allianz offer an add-on cover for adventure cover to a set of targeted travellers but besides that, injuries caused during adventure sports are usually not covered in travel insurance,” says Abhishek Misra, chief executive officer and principal officer, Bonanza Insurance.
Expressing his views on the same lines, Naval Goel, Founder and CEO of PolicyX says that some insurers offer them as add-ons and not as a built-in cover. “Some travel insurance policies do cover adventure sports. While they might not have them under their umbrella as an in-built cover, but as add-ons,” says Goel.
Kapil Mehta, co-founder of SecureNow Insurance Broker says, “If you are likely to take-up adventure sports then you should make sure that is not an exclusion. There are some insurers that would cover adventure sports related accidents as well.”
Besides this, policyholders may not be aware that medical complications stemming from pre-existing diseases may get rejected in case these diseases are not added to the policy.
So, one must be aware that addition of PED will have a small increase in the premium, but the cost of treatment can turn out to be exorbitant.
So, as experts advise, policyholders should choose a travel insurance policy that is wide-ranging and has necessary add-ons to meet your specific needs.