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TRAVEL INSURANCE

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  • What is Travel Insurance?

    Travel insurance helps cover the insured to placate the financial impacts that could occur in case of the many and unexpected problems during travel overseas. Depending on your requirement, you could choose a single trip policy or one with defined timeframes, usually for a year, with the option to renew it continually and for an indefinite period.

    As with all types of insurance, travel policies cover specific ‘problems’ and have predetermined coverage limits. These ‘limits’ determine the amount of premium the insured would need to pay when purchasing the policy, and when renewing long-term policies. The insurance cover and exclusions within a travel insurance policy vary depending on the insurance provider, the type of policy, and travel preferences of the insured.

    Travel insurance may not prevent any mishaps or untoward incidences, but it sure can gain for you peace of mind knowing that it would provide adequate financial cover. With travel insurance, you can enjoy your trip for the reasons that you undertook it, without worrying about financial implications in event of a catastrophe or medical emergency.

    What are the Benefits of Travel Insurance?

    When people decide to travel, they invest a lot of time and effort into planning their trip, and more so when the trip is a vacation. However, the importance of a comprehensive travel insurance policy is overlooked very often. The fact is that when traveling to a different country, people are more prone to illness and accidents, and while travel insurance cannot prevent the untoward incidents, it does offer relief in the form of a monetary cover. This financial compensation can prove extremely useful and beneficial to travellers.

    The benefits of travel insurance include:

    • Emergency medical assistance overseas, which would include ambulance, funeral arrangements, 24 hour service, and more
    • Hospitalization costs including surgery and other related costs
    • In the event that the insured fall ill or are injured, hence unable to travel back to their home country, travel insurance could cover the expenses covered with excess accommodation and travel costs
    • Covers travel expenses in the event the insured needs to travel if a close relative dies, or the person traveling with the insured die or are disabled or injured and require hospitalization
    • A per day cash allowance in case hospitalization of more than 2 days is required
    • The insured’s family could get a death payment in case the insured dies within a year due to an injury sustained during the overseas trip
    • In the event of a permanent disability, the overseas travel insurance would make the insured eligible for payment for a period of a year post returning home
    • A loss of income payment would be made for a specified period, if the insured receives an injury during the trip, which does not allow the insured to work any longer
    • Reimbursement for any credit card fraudulent use and card replacement if the credit card is lost or stolen during the trip
    • Reimbursement of costs in the event of loss or theft of cash, traveller’s cheques, and travel documents during the trip
    • Luggage delays of over 12 hours could result in the insured having to buy clothes and other utilities – these costs would be reimbursed through the travel insurance. The amount of reimbursement and items bought would be stipulated in the insurance policy
    • Cancellation fees and any pre-paid travel arrangements including deposits could be reimbursed if the insured is unable to undertake the journey. Circumstances out of the insured’s control such as injury, strikes, natural disasters, illnesses and other such reasons would entitle the insured for a reimbursement of costs
    • Unforeseen expenses due to flight delays for more than 6 hours would be reimbursed. In case the insured misses a pre-planned event and incurs costs due to this, the travel insurance would reimburse these costs
    • The costs for any legal claims made against the insured for causing damage or injury to other persons
    • The extra costs for the care of domestic pets that the insured may incur due to delays and cancellations, would be covered by the travel insurance

    The list of covers and reimbursement could vary from company to company, and it is necessary to read the travel policy carefully to know what it offers. Just like with any other policy, this one too has its restrictions and exclusions, and hence it is the onus of the person taking the policy to ask questions and get complete clarity on the benefits of the travel insurance. Compare travel insurance quotes with us and save yourself a load of worry, time, and money.

    What are the factors affecting premium of travel Insurance?

    A major part of a vacation is planning and budgeting. It is at this stage that the careful and prudent few allocate a budget for comprehensive travel insurance, taking into account the needs and requirements for the family / those traveling. You would need to be aware of the factors that affect the premium of travel insurance for both international and domestic travel.
    Factors determining premium for a Travel Insurance Policy:

    1. The Sum Insured
    Before arriving at the sum insured, you would need to determine how much you could pay as premium – a higher sum insured would mean higher premium. In addition, it is essential to take into account the destination of travel before deciding on the sum insured. Please remember that possible medical emergencies and resultant costs must be factored carefully too – these costs should be part of the insured sum for the travel insurance.

    2. Type of Insurance Plan
    This would also play an important role in determining the premium for your travel insurance. The main types of plans include – single trip, multi-trip, student, senior citizen, family, and corporate plans.

    3. Coverage
    Depending on the nature of the trip, some travellers may require added ‘cover’ from their insurance plan. These add-ons or riders, attract additional premium, and hence would be factors determining the premium of travel insurance. For example, persons may seek additional home insurance to cover losses, damage, or theft in their home when they are away.

    4. Length of Travel
    Another factor that directly affects premium for travel insurance is the length of the travel – number of days approximately required for the travel.

    5. Destination
    Every country has its own rules for travel insurance and claims, and hence it is necessary to understand these rules based on the destination of travel. The destination affects the premium of travel insurance.

    6. Health Condition and Age of Person to be Insured:
    Any pre-existing health conditions and health conditions resulting from drug or alcohol abuse would not be covered by travel insurance. An older person with a family history of certain diseases, or someone with a dangerous job or hazardous working conditions, would incur a higher premium when taking travel insurance.

    When buying travel insurance, just like any other insurance, please compare online the different policies and plans available, to be assured that you choose the plan most appropriate and suitable to your needs.

    Why is it neccesary now days to have travel Insurance?

    Whether you are traveling overseas, or even within the country, having a ‘cover’ of a comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended and necessary. The reasons are many, and we enlist below the most important ones:

    Ensuring timely help when traveling overseas
    A comprehensive travel insurance cover is essential when traveling overseas since the chances of falling ill or meeting with an accident or facing some unexpected situation are higher in an unfamiliar land. Travel insurance will get you the best quality of medical attention, and cover any losses you may have. Please read and understand all that is included (and excluded) under the policy you buy.

    Protection against medical exigency costs
    Medical treatment abroad can be extremely prohibitive in terms of costs for visitors to a particular country. Without travel insurance, you may be liable to bear these costs of treatment, which could not only spoil your trip but also create a massive dent in your finances.

    Covers disruptions in the trip
    While travel insurance cannot prevent disruptions and upsets in your travel plan, it can certainly cover the costs that could result from these. Delayed flights, cancelled trips, and other situations beyond anyone’s control can result in some serious financial losses, which you would have to bear without good travel insurance. Save yourself the trouble and financial burden by checking, comparing, and buying the travel insurance most suitable to your requirement.

    Reimbursement of any unexpected losses and expenses
    Stolen, lost, or damage luggage and belongings can be a serious mood and finances dampener, and are very real possibilities. Without travel insurance, you leave yourself vulnerable to these losses and expenses, while with insurance you would be able to travel with peace of mind. Read the insurance policy carefully to know what losses and expenses would be reimbursed to you, such that you do not lose money due to another person’s blunder or wrongdoing.

    As with all types of insurance, travel insurance too has its set of inclusions and exclusions. Read these carefully and buy insurance that would suit your needs to the maximum.

    What are the different types of travel Insurance

    These are the different types of travel insurance available in the market today. We have mentioned the common inclusions and exclusions in a single list, while the unique features of each are mentioned separately under each insurance type.

    Student Travel Insurance, Single trip, Annual multi-trip, Senior Citizen, Family Travel, and Corporate Travel are the different kinds of travel insurance.

    Student Travel Insurance:
    The number of students traveling abroad to study is increasing each year, and student travel insurance assists such students with an insurance cover for medical and non-medical situations. This type of insurance has unique features such as auto-renewal and policy extension facilities too. Not only does this type of insurance cover a student for hospitalization and medical expenses, but also helps with visits to and from the family, and in the unfortunate incident of deportation from the country of study.

    Benefits and Inclusions:

    • Coverage in case of an interruption in the course of study due to a medical emergency – semester fee paid would be reimbursed
    • Return ticket fare for a family member in case the student were hospitalized for a period of 7 days or more
    • Coverage of bail amount if the insured were arrested for a bailable offence while studying abroad
    • Coverage in case of the demise of the sponsor paying the tuition fee for the student
    • Cover for two-way flight expenses for compassionate visit from the insured’s family

    Single trip
    This covers a single trip to and from India – the validity of the policy is over upon return to the home country.

    Benefits and Inclusions:

    • Shortened trip and missing a flight connection would be covered
    • Coverage for emergency dental treatment
    • Losses occurring due to break-in and burglary at the insured’s home in the country of origin
    • Losses and damage occurring due to fire at the insured’s home in the country of origin

    Annual Multi-Trip
    This type of insurance is recommended for those who make frequent / multiple trips throughout the year. It is also highly advisable for businesspersons traveling to specific locations several times. Multiple trips to and from India are possible within a span of one year under such a policy.

    With the rise of the trend of short breaks and vacations, people are traveling frequently to various destinations. The number of people traveling for business has increased as well – and hence it makes sense to cover oneself against any untoward incidents and unpleasant experiences when traveling to a foreign land. While the insurance cannot prevent such incidents, it would certainly reduce the burden of the possible huge expenses if any of the incidents described in the inclusions were to take place. If you were frequent traveller, it would make sense to take annual multi-trip travel insurance rather than undertaking the hassle of taking insurance each time you travel.

    Benefits and Inclusions:

    • Coverage for an unlimited number of trips in a given year
    • It is cost-effective to take a multi-trip insurance, as opposed to paying for insurance several times
    • Losses occurring due to break-in and burglary at the insured’s home in the country of origin, when the insured is traveling
    • Expenses incurred resulting from delays in a trip for over 12 hours for reasons such as natural disasters, the airline, medical reasons, or others, would be reimbursed
    • Possible to club the family’s travel insurance under one ‘umbrella’ plan, thereby lowering the cost of insurance premiums

    The above features are indicative only and could differ depending on the insurance company. These are subject to inclusions /exclusions depending on the chosen policy and insurer.

    Senior Citizen Travel Insurance
    Post-retirement travel should be a time of relaxation, unwinding, and a time of peaceful existence. In order to maintain this calm and peace, it is advisable to take the necessary and adequate precautions when traveling during your senior years. Senior citizen travel insurance may not prevent unforeseen and unpleasant circumstances, but it would help to ensure that you are not burdened by huge unplanned financial setbacks. Ensure that you compare and make a thorough assessment of the various policies and plans available, and buy one that would suit your travel needs during your ‘golden’ years, to the maximum. Buying insurance online is now convenient, right, and cost-effective too. Several leading insurance companies have some good travel insurance plans for senior citizens.

    Benefits and Inclusions:

    Apart from the common inclusions mentioned above, the following are the other benefits:

    • Speedy disbursal of claims keeping the age of insured in mind
    • Easy access to the claims and grievances departments for added convenience

    Exclusions:

    • Expenses incurred in the event of using experimental and unproven treatment methods
    • Barring allopathic treatment, other forms of treatment or alternative medicine expenses are not covered

    Family Travel Insurance
    When your family is traveling together for a vacation, the last thing you would want is for your trip to be ruined because of some unexpected financial problems and other problems that could be the cause of humongous expenses. A single policy for your family would take care of several possible problems that you and your family could face when traveling. Family travel insurance serves as a safety net, allowing your family to enjoy the well-deserved break

    Benefits:
    Some of the key features and benefits of a family travel insurance policy are as follows:

    • One comprehensive policy for the entire family would be cost effective, reducing the premium since most insurance companies include children from the age of 3 months to 21 years. Additionally, a single policy is easier to manage rather than several different policies for each family member
    • Buying individual family member policies would be a lot more expensive, as compared to one that covers the whole family
    • Several insurance companies allow the insured to customize the policy to the needs of the family, including even short trips. There are several policies on offer including annual trips, round trips, and single and multiple trips
    • There are benefits such as cashless claims, minimal documentation, swift renewal of the policy online, and even assistance when traveling abroad
    • For international travel, the insurance amount is divided equally among all those covered in the policy
    • Claim disbursement now offered is swift, simple, and requires very little documentation

    Please note that reading and understanding the policy before purchase is extremely important, for you to know the inclusions and exclusions, thereby preventing any nasty surprises.

    Corporate Travel Insurance
    When traveling on family business, there would be a number of responsibilities and duties that one would need to fulfil. Managing the travel expenses and insuring the person traveling is the responsibility of the company.

    Short tours – A day trip for a conference or meeting usually does not warrant travel insurance, but a medical insurance should already be in place instead. It is possible to buy extended cover by customized riders for additional premium.

    Common Inclusions for all types of travel insurance:
    • Expenses related to emergency medical evacuation of the insured back to India
    • Medical expenses arising out of medical emergencies whilst abroad, such as any sudden injury, illness, or death could be covered. In case of single trip insurance, daily allowance could be provided in the event of hospitalization
    • In case of an untimely demise of the insured, the transport expenses arising out of the transfer of the insured’s mortal remains to the country of origin or for burial abroad, could be covered
    • Compensation for personal accident as a passenger in a common carrier whilst abroad, causing death or permanent disability could be covered
    • Expenses related to loss of baggage and personal belongings by a common carrier could be covered
    • Cover of expenses related to loss of passport and related expenses incurred on replacement of the passport/ for duplicate passport
    • Some insurers provide access to funds in the event that the insured loses their money while traveling
    • In the unfortunate even of a hijack, the insured would be provided an allowance

    Common Exclusions for all types of travel insurance:
    • Claims arising due to pre-existing medical conditions – this is a common exclusion across all policy types too
    • If the insured person travels against the advice of a medical practitioner, or is on the waiting list of receiving a certain medical treatment; or is traveling for treatment or has been diagnosed with an incurable and fatal medical condition – no claim would be entertained in all these cases
    • Suicide attempt or death by suicide, and intentional self-inflicted injury or illness will not be covered
    • Mental illnesses and nervous disorders are not covered. Also persons suffering from or undergoing treatment for stress, anxiety, or depression are not covered
    • All venereal diseases are excluded including HIV and AIDS
    • No cover when serving in the armed forces of the country of origin – both in peace and war
    • No insurance cover provided for people charged with misdemeanour, felony, crimes, civil unrest, rioting, and other such activities. Also no cover would be provided if the insured is part of an illegal act or violation or attempted violation of the law or resisting arrest
    • Harm caused to the insured due to being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and other intoxicating substances – unless specifically prescribed by a physician
    • No cover for injuries or death or other loss caused by war, revolution, invasions, military operations, mutiny or other such acts
    • No cover in the event of death, disability, or injury caused when learning to operate an aircraft, or being part of aircraft crew or other such related activities
    • No insurance cover provided for loss or injury as a result of exposure to dangerous equipment, nuclear reactions, radioactivity, nuclear fuel and waste, and other such dangerous equipment
    • Complications arising from hereditary problems resulting in malformations and other problems
    • Wilful exposure to dangerous situations and activities will result in no claim. The only exception being if the insured were trying to save the life of another person
    • Participation in dangerous sports such as skydiving/parachuting, winter sports, hang gliding, scuba diving, bungee jumping, mountain climbing, white water rapids and several others, would not receive insurance cover
    • No cover provided if the insured participates in dangerous professional sports for which the insured is untrained and unqualified
    • Loss resulting directly or indirectly from pregnancy or illness resulting or aggravated by the condition, will not be covered
    • Injury or death of the insured when riding a motorized two-wheeler as a rider or as pillion
    • Loss, injury, damage, legal expenses, or death from acts of terrorism is not covered
    • Legal liability, loss, damage, injury or death arising from travel to or through restricted countries – such as Afghanistan, Cuba, and others
    • Expenses connected with unattended or unreported baggage, travel documents, and other personal belongings are not covered

    Note:

    Every type of policy would have a specific timeframe, and when a claim is made during that timeframe, a claim is easy to go through. If the policy has ‘expired’, a claim would not go through. Please note that the prices of policies vary according to the tenure selected.

    It is extremely vital and critical for the proposed insured person to read the policy terms, conditions, and wordings thoroughly. This is important to understand what you are paying for, and what kind of claims you can or cannot make – read the inclusions and exclusions of all types of travel insurance policies carefully before buying.

    Insurance is all about keeping yourself and your loved ones safe from unexpected financial duress and providing for them in their gravest need.
    What is the eligibility criteria to buy a travel plan?
    Here are eligibility criteria for purchasing travel insurance plans. Please read the offer documents carefully before buying any plan.

    1. The applicant should be an Indian citizen
    2. No age limit to buy an international travel insurance policy
    3. Other conditions would depend on the length and nature of the trip

    International travel insurance covers two adults up to the age of 75 years, and 2 children from 3 to 6 months up to the age of 21 years
    Family Travel Insurance provides coverage for two adults up to the age of 75 years, and 2 children from 3 to 6 months up to 21 years
    Student travel insurance is for students going abroad to pursue higher education. Offers coverage for students aged between 16 to 40 years
    Senior Citizen Travel Insurance covers senior citizens up to the age of 85 years, traveling abroad. No medical test is required to buy this insurance
    What is covered under Travel Insurance plan?
    Travel insurance should be a quintessential part of any travel arrangements, irrespective of whether you are a regular traveller, or travel once in a while, or someone who seeks to undergo a once in a lifetime trip. Travel insurance is necessary regardless of destination, health condition, and age.

    When you purchase travel insurance, you would receive ‘cover’ for any unforeseen events that could potentially put a spanner in your travel plans. Without insurance, you could find yourself laden with unnecessary financial burden due to various factors.

    Common Inclusions for all types of travel insurance:

    • Expenses related to emergency medical evacuation of the insured back to India
    • Medical expenses arising out of medical emergencies whilst abroad, such as any sudden injury, illness, or death could be covered. In case of single trip insurance, daily allowance could be provided in the event of hospitalization
    • In case of an untimely demise of the insured, the transport expenses arising out of the transfer of the insured’s mortal remains to the country of origin or for burial abroad, could be covered
    • Compensation for personal accident as a passenger in a common carrier whilst abroad, causing death or permanent disability could be covered
    • Expenses related to loss of baggage and personal belongings by a common carrier could be covered
    • Cover of expenses related to loss of passport and related expenses incurred on replacement of the passport/ for duplicate passport
    • Some insurers provide access to funds in the event that the insured loses their money while traveling
    • In the unfortunate even of a hijack, the insured would be provided an allowance

    What is not covered / Exclusions in travel plan?
    There are different types of travel, and just as the inclusions vary, so do the exclusions. Exclusions are the issues and situations under which the policy will not provide cover. Please do read the offer document carefully before buying any policy, to understand the applicable exclusions. Do make suitable comparisons to ensure that you buy the most appropriate policy for yourself and your family.

    Common Exclusions for all types of travel insurance:

    • Claims arising due to pre-existing medical conditions – this is a common exclusion across all policy types too
    • If the insured person travels against the advice of a medical practitioner, or is on the waiting list of receiving a certain medical treatment; or is traveling for treatment or has been diagnosed with an incurable and fatal medical condition – no claim would be entertained in all these cases
    • Suicide attempt or death by suicide, and intentional self-inflicted injury or illness will not be covered
    • Mental illnesses and nervous disorders are not covered. Also persons suffering from or undergoing treatment for stress, anxiety, or depression are not covered
    • All venereal diseases are excluded including HIV and AIDS
    • No cover when serving in the armed forces of the country of origin – both in peace and war
    • No insurance cover provided for people charged with misdemeanour, felony, crimes, civil unrest, rioting, and other such activities. Also no cover would be provided if the insured is part of an illegal act or violation or attempted violation of the law or resisting arrest
    • Harm caused to the insured due to being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and other intoxicating substances – unless specifically prescribed by a physician
    • No cover for injuries or death or other loss caused by war, revolution, invasions, military operations, mutiny or other such acts
    • No cover in the event of death, disability, or injury caused when learning to operate an aircraft, or being part of aircraft crew or other such related activities
    • No insurance cover provided for loss or injury as a result of exposure to dangerous equipment, nuclear reactions, radioactivity, nuclear fuel and waste, and other such dangerous equipment
    • Complications arising from hereditary problems resulting in malformations and other problems
    • Willful exposure to dangerous situations and activities will result in no claim. The only exception being if the insured were trying to save the life of another person
    • Participation in dangerous sports such as skydiving/parachuting, winter sports, hang gliding, scuba diving, bungee jumping, mountain climbing, white water rapids and several others, would not receive insurance cover
    • No cover provided if the insured participates in dangerous professional sports for which the insured is untrained and unqualified>
    • Loss resulting directly or indirectly from pregnancy or illness resulting or aggravated by the condition, will not be covered
    • Injury or death of the insured when riding a motorized two-wheeler as a rider or as pillion
    • Loss, injury, damage, legal expenses, or death from acts of terrorism is not covered
    • Legal liability, loss, damage, injury or death arising from travel to or through restricted countries – such as Afghanistan, Cuba, and others
    • Expenses connected with unattended or unreported baggage, travel documents, and other personal belongings are not covered

    What are the factors affecting right Sum Assured for buying a travel plan?
    It is important to understand that sum assured is the amount that the insurance company agrees to pay the insured in the event of some untoward occurrence.

    There are certain methods to decide the sum assured – value of human life and need based analysis. Need based analysis is the best way to decide the amount of sum assured. One must add the living expenses of the survivors in the family of main insured, on-going value of the goals, any outstanding debts, and the cost of death (funeral, any other adjustments, lawyer fee in case of will or settlements). Any amounts from saleable investments and other insurance amounts should be deducted from the sums added – the difference would give the right sum assured.

    The cover provided by the policy would also affect the sum assured. If the policy is comprehensive, that is covering personal accident including death and disablement, medical expenses and evacuation to a hospital in India, expenses incurred for loss or delay in checked baggage, loss of important travel documents including passport, emergency cash advances, and other such facilities – these would affect the sum assured.

    It is also important to know which pre-existing medical conditions are not covered by the insurer, in order to ascertain what the right sum assured would be.

    The number of consecutive days covered during a trip overseas is also usually a determinant for sum assured. If the insured exceeds the number of days by even a single day, the insurance plan could be invalidated. It would be best for the insured to ascertain needs and the amount of cover required, to ensure the right sum assured.

    Some insured may want extra cover for things such as adventure sports and risky activities when traveling. Including these add-ons would affect the sum assured as well.

    Please compare travel policies before buying, and read the offer documents carefully before agreeing to the terms and conditions offered by the insurer.
    Claim process of traveL Insurance
    Travel, both domestic and international, may create certain contingencies that require travellers to file insurance claims with insurance service providers. The procedure and documentation for a travel insurance claim would vary from policy to policy, and these would be mentioned in the policy document. Most insurers usually attach a claim form when issuing a policy, which would contain the documents and process required for a claim. In addition, there would be contact details of the claim administrators either in the destination country or in the domicile country. It is necessary for the insured to understand these processes and documentation, such that in the event of a claim the procedure can move smoothly and swiftly.

    Those intending to claim compensation may follow the steps below:

    • The claimant must inform the service provider at the earliest about his or her desire to file a claim with said provider.
    • The insurance claimant must select the correct form on which he or she should fill in the relevant details. Medical practitioners and police authorities may be required to participate in the claims process.
    • Travellers that wish to file insurance claims must keep all paperwork such as policy documents and other supporting documentation in hand. Written confirmation (such as police reports and doctor’s certificates) from relevant authorities should help to ensure speedy processing of claims by the insuring agency.
    • After submitting all the documents, claimants must ensure they receive a confirmation from the insurance provider attesting to the fact.

    These processes can help travel insurance claimants to recover a certain amount of compensation from an insurance service provider.
    What are the documents required to purchase travel Insurance?
    Travel insurance is a vital part of modern travel plans. These insurance plans enable travellers to cope with a variety of contingencies that may arise in the course of their travel. Travellers may insure themselves and claim against the following contingencies:

    • loss of baggage
    • loss of passport
    • personal liability
    • travel delay or cancellation
    • accidental death
    • medical sickness
    • accidents and treatment

    For loss of baggage, the following documents are required –

    • claim form
    • proof of value of lost articles
    • copies of boarding pass, tickets, baggage tags

    For loss of passport, the following are required –

    • copy of the passport
    • copy of the first information report
    • copy of the new passport
    • original bills of expenses

    For personal liability claims, travellers must furnish –

    • claim forms
    • statement of facts in writing
    • witness statements
    • related documents
    • any documentary proofs from a court of law

    For travel delay or cancellation, the following documents are required –

    • claim form
    • copies of documents that confirm delay of flights or trains
    • copies of documents detailing the scheduled arrival times and actual arrival times

    For accidental death, the following documents are required –

    • claim form
    • original death certificate
    • copy of first information report
    • copy of post mortem report

    For medical sickness, accidents, and treatments, the following documents are required –

    • claim form
    • doctor’s statement and reports
    • original prescriptions and medical bills
    • copy of passport or visa

    These documents can enable travellers to initiate claims and recover certain monetary compensation from the insurance provider.
    What is "Cancellation Insurance" under travel Insurance?
    Certain reasons or situations may force travellers to cancel their travel plans. Travellers can recoup the costs of such action when they avail cancellation insurance clauses that are detailed in their travel insurance policies. We identify some of the reasons that can trigger cancellation insurance clauses –

    • Injury or illness of the insured
    • Ill health of the travel companion or a family member
    • A business partner's inability to travel
    • Adverse weather conditions at destination
    • Incidents of terrorism at destination
    • Mandatory civil evacuation at destination
    • Death or hospitalization of a host at the destination
    • Home or business damaged, vandalized, or burglarized
    • Insured is required to work, terminated, or transferred
    • Traffic accident prior to trip
    • Theft of passport prior to trip
    • Legal separation or divorce
    • Loss of accommodation abroad

    Most insurance companies include these contingencies in their travel insurance plans. Therefore, insurance buyers must be fully aware of these clauses and leverage these if the need arises.
    What are the lesser known benefits of travel insurance?
    A travel insurance policy can provide certain benefits that may not be immediately obvious to insurance buyers.

    • For instance, most travel insurance companies offer insurance buyers a modicum of travel assistance in the form of 24-hour emergency services. This empowers insurance buyers to deal with any untoward developments that may arise in the course of a travel itinerary.
    • The travel insurance policy may contain some provisions that offer the best advice when an insurance holder meets with an accident or loses important travel documents.
    • In terms of hospital cash allowance, a travel insurance policy can be configured to offer a fixed amount of money per day for travellers that need hospitalization services for more than two days in foreign lands.
    • Credit card fraud and loss can be covered by certain travel insurance policies. This is important because the insurance provider offers to reimburse any additional costs required to avail replacement credit cards.

    The above comprise some of the less-known benefits that can be availed by travel insurance policy buyers.
    offline Vs Online tavel insurance plan available (tabular form)
    Online Travel Insurance Plans Offline Travel Insurance Plans
    Online applicants may avail a discounted rate for travel insurance policies. Offline travel insurance buyers can speak to insurance providers in person before buying a policy.
    Online vendors offer different travel insurance policies for minors and travelling families. Offline customers can bargain with insurance service providers to avail the best possible insurance coverage.
    Online vendors offer buyers the choice to buy insurance for a single trip or for all trips undertaken within a single calendar year. Real world business relationships can help offline insurance buyers to create custom insurance coverage.
    Online vendors can offer insurance coverage for travellers within two days of processing premium payments. Most customers prize the physical documentation of an offline travel insurance policy.
    Online vendors use secure servers to process personal and financial information of insurance buyers. Friends and relatives can refer traditional insurance service providers and trusted insurance agents.
    Online vendors offer documents that attest to the payment of premium and the coverage allotted to travellers. Insurance buyers can pay in cash when they buy offline travel insurance policies.
    Buyers can research multiple online travel insurance policy coverage stances before applying for the policy best suited to their requirements. Insurance agents can collect cash or cheques for premium payment from the residence of insurance buyers. They can deliver relevant documents to client’s residence or work address.
    Buying online is environment friendly as all documents are generated and stored in electronic formats only. However, there are chances of wrong insurance policies being sold by ambitious insurance agents.

    What are the top 5 Travel Insurane plan available in India ?
    Travel insurance is gaining ground in India as more people are travelling within and outside national borders. We list the top five travel insurance plans below:

    International Travel Insurance Plan These cover potential financial losses incurred during foreign travels such as loss of travel documents or hospitalization in foreign lands.
    Domestic Travel Insurance Plan These shield insured persons from financial losses incurred during domestic travel itineraries.
    Business or Corporate Travel Insurance Plans These provide financial coverage to corporate employees of various organizations during both domestic and global travel.
    Student Travel Insurance Plans These plans are designed to help students that travel in domestic and foreign regions.
    Senior Citizen Travel Insurance Plans These plans help to cover unforeseen contingencies in travel plans of senior citizens

    What are the top 5 Insurers offering best travel Insurance in India?
    The top insurance service providers in India offer certain travel insurance policies that include –

    SBI Travel Insurance This service provider offers insurance for travellers up to 70 years of age. The policy provides coverage for loss of passports, loss of checked-in baggage, and coverage against hijack, among others. The policy offers accidental cover up to 10% of the coverage limit as also personal liability cover up to 50% of the coverage limit.
    TATA AIG Travel Insurance This insurance provider offers travel insurance policies that cover accidental death or dismemberment. The policy also covers incidents of delay or loss of baggage, personal liability, passport loss, flight cancellations, trip delay, etc.
    Bajaj Allianz Travel Insurance This policy covers hospitalization expenses and incidents of trip delay or cancellation. Insured personnel are also offered emergency cash in foreign lands if required.
    HDFC ERGO Travel Insurance This policy provides coverage for emergency medical expenses, personal accident coverage, cash to avail hospital facilities, flight hijack cover, loss of passport, and incidents of flight delay or cancellation.
    Bharti AXA Travel Insurance This policy covers incidents of emergency medical evacuation, personal accidents, death or dismemberment, loss of passports, flight delays, among other provisions.

    What is IRCTC proposed mandate travel Insurance?
    IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) proposes to offer optional travel insurance policies to train-borne travellers from the last calendar quarter of 2017. The scheme is available on all e-ticket bookings at a premium cost of 1 INR per passenger. The scheme does not apply to suburban train travel. We note that IRCTC is offering the insurance policy in collaboration with insurance providers such as ICICI Lombard General Insurance, Royal Sundaram, and Shriram General.

    Travellers availing these insurance policies enable passengers to claim compensation of up to 10 lakh INR in the event of death or permanent total disability. Compensation is capped at 7.5 lakh INR for permanent partial disability, and up to 2 lakh INR for hospitalisation expenses. Per the policy, claimants must file insurance claims within four months after the occurrence of the accident. The insurance operators undertake to send the cheque within 15 days of receipt of the claim document.
    Basic difference between single trip Travel insurance and multi trip travel insurance
    Single Trip Travel Insurance Multi Trip Travel Insurance
    This policy covers a traveller for a single trip or journey. This policy provides coverage for an unlimited number of trips by the insured.
    The premium to be paid depends on the age of the traveller, the cost of the journey, and the length of the traveller’s stay at the destination. This policy is best suited for business travellers or frequent travellers.
    The policy can impose a maximum trip duration of 180 days. These policies are known as Annual Multi Trip Insurance Plans in the trade.
    The policy is also known as Holiday Insurance in the trade. Some policies impose travel durations for each trip in the range of 30 or 45 days.
    Single trip insurance is cheaper for the insured and provides some basic benefits to travellers. Most multi-trip insurance policies carry validity for twelve months.

    What is Group Travel Insurance?
    Group travel insurance policies cover travels undertaken by a group of people. These include groups of people travelling to a business conference, a school outing, holidays with friends, sports tours, gap year travel, etc. Insurance providers usually provide discounts to group travel insurance buyers based on the number of travellers. A single group travel insurance policy can cover a group of 25 adult travellers proceeding on domestic or international travel itineraries. These travel insurance policies cover contingencies that include loss of checked-in baggage, loss of travel documents, trip cancellation, emergency medical costs, trip interruption expenses, loss of cash, hijack incidents, etc. Insurance service providers also provide single trip and multi-trip coverage for group travellers.
    What are the features a comprehensive group travel insurance plan must have?
    Group travel insurance plans provide useful coverage features to travellers. These include –

    1. Coverage for emergency medical deportation: This aspect of insurance coverage is useful for groups that include elder citizens and those with pre-existing health conditions.
    2. Coverage for cancellation of trip: This aspect offers travellers sufficient protection in case the trip is cancelled due to unforeseen reasons. Pre-paid taxis and other such expenses remain within the ambit of this aspect.
    3. Coverage for key documents: This aspect enables travellers to claim compensation when key travel documents are misplaced or lost in transit. This is important because it covers human error and enables certain costs to be recovered from the insurance service provider.
    4. Trip duration: Group travellers must seek the maximum duration for an insurance coverage policy because this takes care of any extensions beyond the planned duration of travel. Certain group insurance travel policies offer a fixed coverage for 180 days to travellers that are under the age of sixty years.
    5. Provider network: Group insurance policies must specify the networks of healthcare institutions, hospitals, and doctors that can offer emergency assistance to travellers in foreign lands. This feature is important because a wide network ensures that travellers are avail competent medical attention during their travels.

    Are there any add-on covers / riders with travel insurance plan?
    Certain travel insurance plans offer add-on coverage for travellers that choose to select such coverage. These include –

    1. A hazardous sports rider enables travellers to supplement their travel insurance plan with coverage for any injuries sustained while undertaking hazardous sports such as skiing, motorcycle riding, SCUBA diving, bungee jumping, zip lining, etc.
    2. Life insurance coverage add-ons provide cover for loss of life of the insured as well as dismemberment.
    3. Certain add-on coverage extends to instances of rental car collision when the insured is travelling in foreign lands. In such cases, the insured may choose third party insurance covers.
    4. Add-on covers are available to cover identity theft of travellers in foreign lands.
    5. Rental car insurance covers shield travellers when they drive rented vehicles in foreign lands.

    What is one multi trip annual policy features and benefits?
    Frequent travellers can invest in annual multi trip travel insurance policies. These policies enable traveller to embark on their journeys with peace of mind and offer a list of advantages –

    1. These policies cover trips undertaken throughout the year.
    2. Provide automatic cancellation covers for all trips undertaken in a particular year.
    3. Offer travellers coverage for overseas medical emergencies during their travels.
    4. Reimburses travellers for lost or damaged baggage.
    5. Offer personal liability coverage for any damages inflicted upon third parties.
    6. Cover the costs of obtaining duplicate or new passports in case travellers loses travel documents.
    7. Save travellers from the trouble of purchasing insurance coverage every time they travel for work or pleasure.
    8. Certain policies can be configured to offer coverage for adventure sports, etc.

    Dos and Donts while buying travel Insurance online?
    DO’s DON’TS
    Buyers must research all options offered by travel insurance providers. Do not rush into a transaction with insurance providers online.
    Buyers must enter correct information as required on insurance websites. Do not supply documentation to every insurance vendor that offers online insurance coverage.
    Buyers must disclose all medical conditions to insurance vendors. Do not purchase travel insurance at the last minute.
    Buyers must seek reviews of travel insurance policies before selecting a policy. Do not participate in illegal activities in online realms.
    Buyers must verify all claims made by online insurance sellers. Do not offer personal financial information to random online insurance vendors.
    Buyers must insist upon receipt of paper or electronic documents. Do not be tempted to opt for the cheapest travel insurance plans offered by online vendors.
  • Q: Is it necessary to buy travel insurance? 
    A : It is necessary and important to do so before traveling. Several countries do not even offer a visa without valid overseas travel insurance. In cases where travel insurance is not mandatory, it still makes good sense to buy it since the cost of medical treatment in several countries is exorbitant, and could make a huge dent in finances if you do not have insurance. Check, compare and then buy the best and most ideally suited travel insurance plans before going on a trip.
    Q: What is the maximum trip length for which insurance can be bought? 
    A : Subject to underwriting guidelines and the individual insurer, international cover could be covered for 180 days at a stretch, with a possibility of extension for the same number of days.
    Q: Is it possible to issue more than one policy for the same trip for a single person? 
    A : Only one policy is issued per person for a particular trip.
    Q: Are business travellers entitled to purchase a Travel Insurance policy? 
    A : Travel insurance policies from most insurers are designed to encompass both business and leisure travellers. It would be better for business people who travel overseas regularly, to buy a multi-trip plan.
    Q: When does travel insurance cover begin and end?
    A : Policy cover begins from when the insured boards the mode of transportation when leaving the domicile, and ends when the insured returns.
    Q: Are there exclusions in a travel insurance plan?
    A : Yes – just like with all kinds of insurance, travel plans do have exclusions. It is necessary to read the policy documents, terms and conditions carefully to ensure that you understand the exclusions and that you are getting the cover according to your need.
    Q: What is the duration of the policy for an immigrant Visa?
    A : The maximum duration is 90 days, which is non-extendable.
    Q: Is it mandatory for the customer to be in their domicile for international travel policy issuance?
    A : Yes, that is necessary.
    Q: Who is a Third Party Administrator or TPA? 
    A : A Third Party Administrator is the connection between the insured and the insurer. They handle claim and query services on behalf of the insurance company, and hence the insured must always have the contact details for the TPA. In most cases, the TPA is the only point of contact for any emergency that may happen during travel.
    Q: In case of trip curtailment, is a refund possible? 
    A : Depending on the insurer and plan, trip curtailment refunds are possible. It is necessary to retain documents and proofs of the trip start and end. The insurers that do make refunds for trip curtailment do so post deducting certain administrative costs incurred on the policy.
    Q: Does a travel policy cover pre-existing diseases?
    A : No – pre-existing diseases, declared or undeclared are not covered by a travel plan.
    Q: Is policy cancellation possible?
    A : Yes – it is possible in two ways:

    Before departure: The insured may provide a request letter stating valid reasons for trip cancellation. The insurer would deduct cancellation charges from the refundable premium, and return the remaining amount. These amounts would defer for each insurance company.

    After departure: This is possible, only by proving that you have not undertaken the journey, and the insured’s original passport would be required as proof. The insurer would deduct cancellation charges from the refundable premium, and return the remaining amount. These amounts would defer for each insurance company.
    Q: How do I claim lost baggage expenses?
    A : Contact your TPA to register the claim. The claim form and supporting documents from the airline would be required as well.
    Q: What happens in the event that the insured is unable to contact the TPA in an emergency?
    A : The TPA may be contact within 48 hours and provided with the details of the insured
    Q: Is it necessary to take insurance for every trip, or is one multi-trip policy valid for trips made over certain duration?
    A : Depending on your travel plans, a person may choose a Single Trip or Multiple Trip policy. The cover of a single trip policy is valid for the duration of a specific trip, as required. A multi-trip policy is valid for a year from the start date of the policy. The maximum duration per trip would vary from company to company and could be for a period of 30, 45, 60, days or 90 days, depending on what you choose.
    Q: Is it possible to continue treatment of an illness contracted during travel abroad, in the home country even after the expiry of the travel policy?
    A : If the illness / disease / injury were contracted during the period of insurance while traveling abroad, the insurer may pay the medical expenses in the home country too for a certain period. The TPA usually advises whether the continued treatment is possible in the home country as well, and based on this advice the insurance company would pay the required expenses.
    Q: If the insured is evacuated from the country of travel due to medical reasons, can the treatment continue in the domicile?
    A : Yes. If the illness / disease / injury were contracted during the period of insurance while traveling abroad and the insured is evacuated, the insurer may pay the medical expenses in the home country too for a certain period. The TPA usually advises whether the continued treatment is possible in the home country as well, and based on this advice the insurance company would pay the required expenses.
    Q: Are there any travel plans without a medical cover?
    A : Yes, but these plans are usually restricted to people going overseas as students.
    Q: Are there any plans that cover drug abuse, cancer, sporting activities, pregnancy, childcare, and mental and nervous disorders?
    A : Yes, certain insurers have such plans, but usually only for those travelling overseas as students. Check and compare such plans online to get the best deal
    Q: What all is included under non-refundable costs?
    A : Non-refundable costs are the sum total of all trip payments that would not be refunded due to any reason whatsoever, due to cancellation prior to departure for the trip. Some examples of this are: airline ticket costs, tour and cruise expenses, and other such. You must check with your travel operator to determine these non-refundable costs, before undertaking travel. This will allow you to insure these costs, and get proper cover in the face of any eventuality.
    Q: What are the procedures in case pre-approval is required? ? 
    A : Insurers would provide a toll-free number and other emergency contact details, which the insured may call for cashless hospitalization. In case the insurer uses a TPA, you would need to call them to register your request and claim.
    Q: Do I need to carry the policy along with me?
    Yes, you should carry the policy along with you. This makes it easier to have access to the policy details, which would be helpful in case the need for a claim arises.
    Q: Is medical check-up necessary before purchasing the policy?
    Check with the insurance provider about medical tests necessary to purchase a travel insurance plan. Many insurers do not cover pre-existing diseases and illnesses, and hence they would need to review current medical reports prior to issuing a policy.
    Q: What types of medical tests are required?
    The most common tests that all insurance providers seek are Urine, Blood Sugar, and an ECG. The test requirements would vary across providers depending on the persons to be insured.
    Q: In case medical treatment is required, is there any need for any pre-approval before hospitalization?
    It would be necessary to contact the insurer’s TPA (third party administrator) in case medical treatment / hospitalization is required. They would also be able to arrange cashless medical treatment, or even if cashless treatment were not possible, they would be able to help with the reimbursement of the medical expenses.
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