Travel insurance is a comprehensive insurance policy that covers both medical, situational and financial emergencies that might arise while you are traveling anywhere, especially travelling abroad.
Importance of travel insurance for an National / International travel:
“Is travel insurance worth it?” This is the most critical and tough question. When you are planning for a vacation with family or parents to new places where you were never being before, the answer is yes and based on the current scenario it becomes a more imp.
There are many different types of travel insurance plans available in the market, and it is critical to understand them to make sure that you purchase the right kind.
- What kind of trip are you taking?
- Are you traveling single? With family? With a group?
- Are you traveling for business, for leisure, for missionary work, to study or for something else?
- How old are you? Are you young? Elderly?
- What will be your trip length? A few days or several months?
- What exactly would you like to get covered?
Traveling to a new destination is often an experience filled with excitement and fun. However, traveling also brings in certain uncertainties like medical emergencies, thefts or losses. When traveling to an unfamiliar place, you need a support system that provides you an umbrella cover from unexpected emergencies. Hence a need for travel insurance.
Travel insurance is a comprehensive insurance policy that offers cover for both medical and financial emergencies that might arise while traveling anywhere, especially abroad. There are several travel insurance plans that offer protection during domestic travel as well as overseas travel. Benefits like checked-in baggage loss or delay, loss of crucial documents like passports, personal accidents, unique facilities like worldwide cashless hospitalization and unexpected medical and non-medical facilities are all a part of the inclusions that are offered by most travel insurance plans.
Benefits of Travel Insurance
• You can avail coverage at any place in the world.
• You can choose from the various packages & plans associated with travels to various countries and locations.
• You can opt for long term as well as short term insurance plans
• Options of loss coverage and facilities to choose from
You may have an existing health insurance policy but that will only provide you medical emergencies cover while you are in your country. Most travel insurance plans include cover for cashless hospitalization. Some plans offer medical transportation service. Many insurance companies give a special card that can be used to obtain cashless service at hospitals. Not all policies offer cashless claims service. These policies require the insured to take care of the expenses and claim the amount covered later.
Travel Insurance options available in India
Broadly, there are three types of travel insurance available in the market, namely, single trip, multi-trip and family travel insurance.
Single trip: This type of insurance is typically custom made for an occasional traveller. The maximum period of this plan generally does not exceed 6 months. It is best suited for businessmen or individuals who travel overseas on occasions. These plans generally cover accidental death, emergency evacuation, medical expenses, disablement benefits and delayed departure and baggage.
Multi trip: This plan is designed for people who frequently travel to overseas locations. These plans are usually valid for one year and may slightly vary depending on the insurance provider. In this plan, a customer can choose from 30, 45, 60 and 90 days as the duration of their trip. In other words, this is one plan that saves money for the frequent traveller. It is also convenient as the traveller has to pay premium just once and is secured for an entire year for their travel. There is no limit to the number of trips you can make during this period.
Family travel insurance: This is also termed as Family Floater Plan by a few insurance companies. This plan provides comprehensive financial coverage to the entire family while traveling overseas for a single trip. Within this plan, each and every member of the family is covered under single policy with a single premium. The family members share the sum assured in this plan.
Eligibility for travel insurance
In most travel insurance plans, the eligible age may range from 5 years to 70 years. Moreover, you can avail travel insurance for a trip that is as short as 1-4 days. The idea behind travel insurance is to facilitate you when you need it the most. You do not have to go through any medical examination to apply for travel insurance.
How to avail travel insurance
All general insurance companies offer travel insurance plans. If you are traveling to a country where medical costs are very high, opt for a plan that offers a higher medical coverage. The premium of the policy mostly depends on the destination country and the duration of the travel. For example, some countries are prone to natural disasters and hence there is a higher premium attached to obtaining a cover while traveling to those countries.
If you have already made your way to the airport without applying for travel insurance, do not fret. You can now buy travel insurance online. Once the policy is purchased online, you can renew it from any part of the world. Make sure you fill in all your details properly and disclose all relevant information while purchasing your travel policy. This will help you at the time of making claims. Finally, take time to read the fine print before signing up for a travel policy and enjoy a stress-free trip!
Accidental death and Dismemberment Insurance
Various other inconvenience benefits, like for instance costs incurred when being forced to extend your stay due to adverse weather.
Is travel insurance still necessary when travelling domestically?
Although most risks associated with travelling are seemingly mitigated when one travels within your country of residence, an insurance package specifically tailored to your clients’ needs could save them money in some unfortunate events.
TIC has a local travel insurance package available to SA residents travelling in and around South Africa where the benefits, such as car rental excess waivers, cancellation and curtailment cover and burial expenses, are specifically designed to address the risks and concerns of local travellers.
Will my client be covered for injuries sustained whilst participating in sporting activities like skiing or surfing?
All leisure sporting activities, like snow skiing, water skiing and scuba diving, are covered. As injuries are quite common, it is worth checking the maximum emergency medical cover and perhaps taking out additional medical insurance if needed. Any competitive or event sporting activities and other hazardous pursuits are however excluded as it’s classified under special cover which can be arranged by contacting TIC directly.
Are there any exceptions for more vulnerable travellers such as pregnant or elderly travellers?
Pregnant travellers will enjoy coverage on a standard policy up until the first day of the 26th week of pregnancy. Any babies born during the trip will not be covered. With senior passengers aged 70 and over, they will have to pay a higher premium and won’t receive coverage on pre-existing illnesses, cardiovascular diseases and cerebrovascular disease.
What if my client already has travel insurance through their credit card company? Is it possible to top-up their coverage?
Most banks provide basic complimentary cover when airline tickets are purchased with a credit card. It is therefore possible to supplement the coverage provided by a credit card company. In order to choose a suitable top up package to meet your client’s needs you’d need to determine how much the basic cover is. Available top up options include medical aid and credit card top up options.
What is the rule of thumb when it comes to when travel insurance should be purchased by?
It’s recommended that travellers purchase their chosen policies as soon as their trip has been paid for, as that means that they’ll enjoy cancellation coverage from up to six months before the trip. In terms of a specific date, there isn’t one as long as clients arrange it before they step onto the plane.
Are agents able to extend their client’s travel insurance policy should they extend their stay?
Yes, granted that the travellers haven’t claimed on the policy and it hasn’t yet expired.
How to buy the insurance policy?
Restrictions in a travel insurance policy
The details you need to provide