Travel plans include surfing the web and finding best deal for tickets and accommodation. While most of travel paraphernalia is given enough attention, travel insurance, which is a key component for a successful and peaceful trip, is not on the agenda for many.
Even though overseas travel insurance market in India has gone up significantly over the last couple of years, a lot of people still do not recognise the importance of travel insurance when travelling abroad. According to Tarun Mathur, chief business officer- General Insurance, Policybazaar.com, travel insurance is one of the most underpenetrated insurance product in our country.
While most people invest in travel insurance just because it is compulsory for travelling to their choice of destination – like in Schengen countries – they often fail to realise the fact that it is a protection against unwanted eventualities before or during their trip.
For instance, while on trip abroad, if one were to lose passport, the travel insurance cover will take care of all expenses incurred to acquire a duplicate passport. Similarly, in case one has cancels a trip due to unavoidable circumstances or emergencies, travel insurance will provide coverage under its trip cancellation feature, said Mathur.
“Unwarranted situations can seriously mess up the itinerary and become a financial burden. Under incidents like flight delays, cancellation, baggage loss or delays, travellers may have to face financial loss. Moreover, in most of the developed countries, the cost of healthcare (even outpatient consultation) is prohibitive. That is why having travel insurance helps, always,” the official said.
Things to note
While buying a travel insurance plan, one must check if bare essentials such as baggage, personal belongings and passport loss, flight delays, trip cancellation and disruption are covered.
Make sure that travel insurance covers during the entire trip, from the moment you step on a plane to when you land back in India. For instance, if the travel dates, for instance, are from June 20 -30. The travel insurance must include both these days as well.
One must also ensure to take extensive medical cover while buying travel insurance. The cost of healthcare in most countries is significantly higher in comparison to that in India and one must have adequate coverage to cover sudden hospitalisation or any other medical emergency. Choosing the right sum insured of your travel insurance plan is the key to cover all the expenses.
Depending on the holiday type, know what your policy covers. If one plans to indulge in adventure sports during the trip, make sure that the insurance covers such activities. Many insurers do not cover adventure sports. Other exclusions are pre-existing diseases, drug abuse, self-harm or travel against doctor’s advice or government’s advice etc.