A Guide to Choosing the Best Travel Insurance in India
Whether you’re travelling within the country or overseas, never underestimate the importance that a travel insurance policy holds. While you’re at home, your life or health insurance will cover you against various perils and risks. So, if you are planning a trip any time soon, make sure to include the cost of travel insurance and not just keep it as an afterthought.
While purchasing travel, or any other insurance, assessing your needs and requirements is a pre-requisite. Hence, you must devote time to making an informed decision regarding which policy best addresses your needs. Here is a brief guide to help you choose the best travel insurance policy for your next trip.
Duration of Policy
Considering your travel plans, you may opt for a single trip or a multi trip policy. A single trip policy will only cover you on a single trip and a multi-trip policy, on the other hand, as the name suggests, is more suited for travelers who make frequent trips in a single year. The benefit of taking a multi-trip policy is that not only does it save you the hassle of having to take a separate policy for each time you travel, but also helps save money. No matter which policy you choose, do check the days of coverage.
It sounds quite obvious, but do check whether the policy you choose covers the destination you’re planning to travel to or not. Policies have different terms and some may have global coverage or specific geographical coverage and some may not. Also, premiums may differ depending on where you are travelling. In case of travel to slightly higher risk countries, the premiums may be higher, along with stricter restrictions.
Type of Policy
There are various types of travel insurance plans like individual, family, student, senior-citizen, annual multi-trip etc. It is more economical to buy a travel insurance policy for a couple or a family, rather than taking one for each individual. However, you must choose the type of policy that satisfies your needs.
You might have the best medical insurance in place, but while travelling, your regular medical isn’t enough. The rising costs of medical care the world over, especially the U.S and Europe, makes medical cover the most important part of your travel insurance policy. A medical emergency could strike regardless of where you are. The best international travel insurance policy will cover you financially in case a medical emergency arises while you are travelling overseas. Also, declaring any pre-existing medical conditions as pre-existing conditions are usually covered only in life-threatening cases. Declaring them beforehand can save you from the hassle of complications at the time of claims.
Luggage / Personal Belonging Cover
You’ve arrived at the destination but your luggage hasn’t, what do you do now? This isn’t an entirely unlikely incidence and thousands of travellers all over the world experience this frustrating situation. Keeping that in mind, the best travel insurance policy would be one that covers loss of checked-in luggage.
Cover for Valuables & Electronics
Valuables like your passport, wallet, and jewelry while travelling should be covered. Occurrences like theft and misplacement of valuables aren’t uncommon and can leave one stranded helplessly, especially in a new country. So you must make sure that the travel insurance covers you or assists you financially. Also, it should bear the cost of a new or duplicate passport and reimburse you for any jewelry theft that takes place while you are travelling. Also, you must read the policy carefully to know whether electronic valuables like mobile phones, laptops, cameras are covered.
If you didn’t leave in time to catch your flight, it is no reason for the insurer to reimburse you for the cost of the said air ticket. However, a travel policy should cover any trip delays due to the flight carrier or for any missed connecting flights caused due to delay in the inward flight. Moreover, you get the cover for any unfortunate event of hijacking and even for unforeseen cancellation arising out of a death, hospitalization or an act of God. Travel insurance policies are mainly designed to shield you from events which you couldn’t have reasonably avoided or protected yourself from.
Every travel insurance policy will have specific limits for every cover provided. This means that in the events like a medical emergency, loss of passport, wallet, electronics, , your policy will only cover you (for each claim) up to a specified limit allotted for that particular claim.
Holiday / Trip Activities
A holiday or vacation means you won’t be sitting in your hotel room throughout the trip; you will be involved in activities, depending on the specialty or attraction of the place you’re visiting. A travel insurance policy will, as a standard, cover a range of activities. Say, for instance, you suffer an injury while walking on the streets or fracture a limb while playing volleyball on the beach, your policy is very likely to cover you for the medical expense.
A cancelled trip or a holiday cut short because of some emergency can be one of the most annoying and disappointing occurrences. What is more stinging is the financial loss, with the purchase of the air tickets, accommodation, sightseeing and other activities that you have pre-planned and in many cases pre-paid. Cancellation cover can come in very handy in such cases. Depending on the cost of your overall trip, you can choose the policy providing the adequate trip cancellation cover.
Emergency Assistance Services
In times of an emergency, medical or otherwise, trusted help can make a world of difference. For example, Apollo Munich Easy travel family insurance covers accident emergencies along with other coverage that comes with a travel policy. If you’ve lost your passport and need help getting a new or duplicate one issued or one of your accompanying family members has fallen gravely ill on the trip. In such cases, your travel insurer may be your best bet for help.
Be Aware Of What Your Policy Doesn’t Cover
While it is important that you are aware of what all your policy covers, it is as important to know what your policy does not cover. Most insurance policies will not usually entertain any claims arising from a pre-existing medical condition, unless it is a life threatening one. Claims arising from mental disorders, anxiety, depression, self-inflicted injuries, attempt to suicide, addiction to alcohol / drugs etc. are also not covered. But, each policy is different so what it covers will also be different.
Look Around Before Settling for a Policy
Finally, like you would for any other investment, do a detailed research before you settle for a particular policy. Also, you could contact the company’s branch office for details or employ the services of an independent agent who can provide you with a list of travel insurance options without leaning towards a particular company, thus giving you an unbiased opinion.
Investing your money in the right travel insurance policy can benefit you in multiple ways. After all, a vacation is to let your hair down and enjoy, not to worry about those additional expenses that you may have to shell out in case of travel contingencies. Just like you wouldn’t want to go through life without life insurance, why would you want to make an exception for your holiday?