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General Advice for travel Insurance

When you decide to buy an insurance policy:
  • Check if the company selling the policy is registered with IRDA
  • Make sure you buy the policy through a genuine licensed agent or broker. Ask for an identity card or licence
  • You can also buy policies from the company directly
  • Read the policy brochure/ prospectus carefully and get to know what the policy covers and does not cover.
  • Why Buy Travel Insurance ?
  • What Travel Insurance to Buy ?
  • Travel Insurance Dos and Don'ts

Travel Insurance offers insurance protection while you travel. Travel Insurance may be called by different names by insurance companies. It is important for you to check and understand whether the policy covers domestic travel or overseas travel or both. Travel Insurance protects you and/or family against travel related accidents, unexpected medical expenditure during travel, losses such as baggage loss, loss of passport etc and interruption or delays in flights or delayed arrival of baggage etc.

You must read and understand what the policy you are considering exactly covers. Do ask you insurer and/or agent or broker questions to clear all your doubts and go through the terms and conditions of the cover thoroughly. Travel Insurance normally offers cover only during a specific period of travel. However, some insurance companies may offer various combinations of protection to cater to the specific needs of customers e.g., there could be a special policy for Corporate Frequent Travellers etc.

Why Buy Travel Insurance

The Scope of Cover and Benefits offered by different insurance companies would vary. You must shop around to ensure that you purchase a policy that you need. The following are covers that are generally provided under Travel Insurance- though the combination may vary. The list, however, is not exhaustive.

Package or Umbrella policies

  • Medical Expenses with or without cashless facility (most travel insurance products offer cashless facility)
  • Personal Accident
  • Loss of Baggage
  • Delay in Baggage arrival
  • Loss of Passportl
  • Travel Delay
  • Repatriation
  • Transportation of dead body etc.

The Sum Insured offered may vary and so would the premium rates, which would depend on the country in question, apart from other factors such as Age, Period Of Travel etc.

You must go through the exclusion clauses very thoroughly. Ask your insurer and/or agent or broker for clarifications wherever you have a doubt. In general, the following are not covered:

  • Pre-existing diseases
  • War Risks
  • Suicide and Insanity
  • Hazardous Sports
What Travel Insurance to Buy

There could be some exclusions relating to personal effects.

It is very important for you to understand what to do in case a claim situation arises abroad. Generally policies provide hotline numbers where intimation of claim/s should be given. You must also notify the concerned authorities involved eg, local police, embassy, transportation company etc, as applicable. The insurer also should be notified. Normally, every travel insurance policy docket will also contain a claim form as you will be away in a distant place and may not be in a position to obtain a claim form immediately.

Dos and Don'ts for Travel Insurance

Here are some Dos and Don’ts for buying Travel Insurance

dos

Plan for your Travel Insurance ahead of time just as you plan for your visa and so on.

Take care to fill in the proposal form completely and truthfully after getting the necessary medical tests done and obtaining the medical report as required

Plan for the travel period ahead of time and ensure that your insurance covers the entire period

If you have to extend the period of cover, plan for it before the cover expires and provide the required documents to the insurer.

Make sure you have gone through the policy document completely and make a note of the contact details of the agency servicing the claims so that it is handy in the event of an emergency.

If you are cutting short your travel period, check your policy to see if you are entitled for a refund.

don’ts

Don’t postpone taking your travel insurance till the last minute.

Don’t get pushed into taking a cover only as recommended by your travel agent. Get as much information as possible and exercise your choice.

Don’t get tempted to opt for the cheapest cover as it might not meet your needs.