“Work, Travel, Save, Repeat” – Most people in today’s generation live by this mantra. They might not wish to build castles out of their hard-earned money. Instead, they often want to travel the world and gain valuable experiences. As a result, buying travel insurance is now very common.
Whether you are traveling for business, for studying abroad, or for a vacation with your family, it is highly recommended to buy Travel Insurance Plans to take care of the risks/losses that might occur during the trip. It is meant to prevent you from financial losses and ensure that you or your loved ones are protected from unforeseen circumstances, like flight delays, thefts, loss of baggage or sudden medical issues.
However, before you buy a travel insurance policy, it is important to compare, explore, and deeply analyze different plans. First of all, let us have a look at different types of travel insurance plans available –
Domestic Travel Insurance – It is meant for people traveling within the country and covers for medical emergencies, loss of baggage, flight delays, permanent disability, and death, etc.
International Travel Insurance – This policy provides comprehensive coverage for overseas travel. It covers for medical expenses, baggage loss, flight delays, loss of important documents such as passport, repatriations/evacuation to India, etc.
Student Travel Insurance – It is similar to international travel insurance but needs less paperwork and is valid for the entire duration of the student’s academic course.
Medical Travel Insurance – It is meant only to cover for health care, medical expenses, and medical emergencies faced during overseas and domestic travel.
Group Travel Insurance – It covers for a group of people traveling together to one place. People who are not related by blood (or by law) but are traveling together can opt for this policy. It saves a lot as compared to buying individual policies for each traveler.
Senior Citizen Travel Insurance – It is a travel insurance policy to cover for medical (and other) needs of people older than 60 years. It also covers dental treatments and provides cashless hospitalization along with other travel benefits.
Family Travel Insurance – In this insurance plan, all the family members traveling together are covered in one plan. The disbursement is easy and the total coverage is high. Also, this policy is cheaper and requires minimum paperwork
Multi-trip Travel Insurance – Also known as annual travel insurance, it provides coverage for multiple trips taken during the duration of a year. It is meant for people who frequently travel overseas for business purposes. It prevents the hassle of going through paperwork over and over again and also saves money. .
Now that you know and have probably made your mind about the type of insurance policy you wish to buy, it is important to get into the details of that policy type. Make sure you check and consider the following points before buying a policy:
Adequate Medical Coverage is Important
Make sure that your travel insurance plan provides adequate cover for the cost of medical treatment in the country you are visiting. A policy that does not provide adequate protection is of no use even if the premium is very low. Go for a high-premium policy if needed but never compromise on the amount of cover to save a few bucks.
Ensure Cancellation Protection for a Travel Long Planned
A travel planned well in advance has a risk of possible cancellation. Therefore, choose a policy that will cover the cost of cancellation, especially when the trip is planned much in advance. There are many travel insurance policies that provide coverage for flight cancellation charges as well.
A Policy that Covers Pre-Existing Diseases
Read the fine print of the policy to find out if pre-existing medical conditions are covered. Some policies cover pre-existing diseases by adding a marginal amount to your premium. The extra premium charged would be worth it considering that a medical emergency in a foreign land can cost you way more.
Sometimes you might need to extend your vacation due to change in the flight schedule or for some other unforeseen reasons. Check with your insurance company if they allow extension of coverage if your vacation extends beyond the decided date.
While most companies cover protection against loss of baggage, it is important to understand what all do they cover under baggage loss. Will the company provides protection against loss of electronic items like your laptops, phones, or ipads? Will they provide support against loss of important documents like tickets, visa or passports?
Individual versus Family Travel Insurance Plans
When you and your family are traveling together, explore the options of buying a family travel insurance plan versus buying an individual insurance plan for each person traveling. In most cases, a family travel insurance plan will turn out to be cheaper and way more convenient.
Know the Exclusions
While it is important to know what all is covered by your travel insurance policy, it is equally vital to read about the exclusions. Most travel insurance policy excludes
- Accidents due to the consumption of alcohol or drugs
- Accidents/injuries caused during sporting activities or adventure sports
- Mental disorder, anxiety, depression
- Terror Attack
- Radiation and nuclear weapons induced losses
When buying a travel insurance policy, your primary aim should be to get a policy that takes care of the financial losses and ensures a hassle-free trip for your peace of mind. Do not compromise on the coverage to save a little on premium. It might cost you way more in the long run.