Tips to buy your travel insurance

Travel is associated with all the positive things like fun, adventure, relaxing or work. All this while, people seldom think about the accident, medical emergency, loss of baggage or documents that might occur during their travel. Incidents like these are unpredictable and hence, having travel insurance acts as a safety net against exigencies that might take place in an unknown city/country.

Just by spending few hundred rupees on the travel insurance premium, it will cover you for; medical expenses in the case or hospitalisation, flight delay or cancellation, loss of checked in baggage, loss of passport, trip cancellation, medical evacuation, etc.

However, before buying travel insurance one must be aware of the kind of plans that are available. It can be customised based on the needs of the customer and is not a one size fits all product. Below are a few things one needs to consider before buying a travel insurance plan.

Nature of trip

Select travel insurance that suits your needs and opts for coverage based on the nature of your trip. In case you are traveling for work, you can opt for a basic plan that covers your loss of baggage, passport, medical expenses, and a personal accident cover. In case you are planning to go for adventure sports during your travel, over and above the basic travel insurance plan do check if you need to opt for an additional rider or optional cover. Such policy add ons cover accidents arising out of participation in adventure sports and provide benefit amount in case of death or permanent total disability caused by accidental bodily injury due to adventure sports.

People traveling

Insurance companies today provide travel insurance based on the purpose of the trip and also keeping in mind the people traveling. For instance, in case a person is traveling abroad for studies, a separate student travel insurance is available that covers specific requirements of the university along with accident, hospitalisation, family visit expenses, incidental expenses, tuition fee, loss of luggage, loss of passport, etc. Whereas in case of a family trip, family travel insurance provides cover for hospitalisation, loss of luggage, trip curtailment, trip cancellation, and burglary. Such plans catering to specific needs depending on the type of people traveling are available and can be further customised fitting the needs of the customers.

Destination and duration

Destination and duration of your travel play an important role in determining the sum insured you may need. Medical cover is the main feature of travel insurance, hence it is important to opt for a cover depending on how expensive are medical treatments in the country you’re visiting. The premium tends to be on the higher side for places where medical expenses are high. Insurance companies today have country-specific travel insurance plans from which customers can choose. The geographical coverage is broadly classified into Worldwide including the USA and Canada / Excluding USA and Canada and Asia excluding Japan.

Premiums are primarily based on the number of days you travel, geographical coverage and age. Insurance companies offer single trip and multi-trip travel plans and people can opt for the plan depending on the duration and frequency of travel.

Medical condition declaration

Medical and healthcare expenses are quite high in foreign countries. In case you are traveling abroad, a medical emergency might jeopardise your travel plan. Hence, it is important to be transparent with your travel insurer in disclosing your health status. A proper declaration will ensure that your claim is approved smoothly and helps you avoid a situation where the claim is rejected due to non-disclosure.

Research well

You can browse through various travel insurance plans available in the market and analyse the coverage, exclusion, and premium. Opt for the one that suits your needs the best. Do a background check on the insurance company on its claim process and post sales services.

Going through policy documents

Once you buy the policy, read the terms and conditions mentioned in the policy document thoroughly. A policy document mentions the extent of the coverage and also exclusions i.e. instances where the insurance company is not liable to pay the claim. This will ensure that you’re not caught unaware at the time of making a claim.

Travel insurers contact details

This is a must in your wallet while traveling in case of any exigency; may it be medical, accidental or other travel inconveniences. Immediate notification to the insurer will enable immediate assistance making sure you are safe in whatever circumstances you are in.

Plan your trip in advance with travel insurance at the top of your checklist. An adequate travel insurance plan will negate possible risks while traveling and ensure you have a safe and fun-filled trip.

(The writer is Chief Technical Officer, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance)

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Tips to buy your travel insurance

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