And you, as a smart and responsible traveller have taken the important decision of opting for a travel insurance plan to cover unforeseen risks during your travel.
So, what next? Are you unsure about how to select a policy that matches your requirement? Well then, you are at the right place.
Buying a travel insurance policy that does not serve your purpose, can burn a hole in your pocket or worse, leave you stranded during an emergency.
The following checklist will guide you in selecting an apt insurance plan for your trip:
Getting the Basics Right: Policy Fundamentals
- Country Specific: Look for an insurance that will protect you financially at your host country. You do not want to buy a policy that covers European hospitals while a major part of your trip involves staying in New Zealand. Social, political and geographical history of your destination also plays a vital role in the quality of your travel. If need be, opt for protection against civil unrest, riots, earthquakes, and terrorism.
If you are traveling to any Schengen country, consult your insurer and get an insurance that meets specific requirements.
Cancellation at Short Notice: Your travel plan might be cancelled or you might cut short your trip due to other pressing matters. Besides favourable terms of cancellation and refund in the travel insurance policy, check for clauses offering reimbursement of premium too.
Annual or Single Trip Travel Insurance: If you are a frequent traveller, investing in an annual travel insurance plan instead of several single trip plans is more economical and hassle free.
Family Coverage: If your family plans to travel with you, opt for a family travel insurance plan.
The Must-haves: Policy Inclusions
- Health First: Accidental injuries and a severe illness can lead to medical emergencies. An ideal travel plan should cover cost of hospitalisation, offer daily allowance during hospitalisation, and provide compensation on temporary or permanent disablement.
Note: Prior to deciding the extent of cover, remember to enquire about the general cost of treatment in the host country. You would not want to be stuck with a plan that is inadequate when you are hospitalised abroad.
- Emergency Evacuation: Check whether the cost of transporting you to the nearest hospital or back to India is covered under the policy. If children accompany you on the trip, look out for a clause that can cover the cost of their travel back to India during emergencies.
- Errant Flight Plans: Dependency on airlines for connecting flights makes you vulnerable to delays and even financial losses. Shortlist travel plans that offer compensation for trip interruptions due to errant flight schedules.
- Personal Effects: Opt for insurance policies that compensate you for stolen or lost baggage, personal effects or travel documents including passport.
- Personal Liability: Check if your plan provides a sum for bailing you out of distress situations in case you become liable to a third party on foreign soil.
Other Miscellaneous Aspects
- Excess Coverage: Ask yourself if you really need insurance against the risks covered. Getting covered for pre-existing diseases, when you have none will only add to the premium amount.
- Risks Not Covered: Accidents due to extreme sports might not be covered. If your itinerary has such activities, speak to your insurance company for a tailor-made plan.
- Stopovers: Do you plan to stopover on the way to your destination or on the way back home? Check with your embassy if you require travel insurance and airport transit visa for staying at such places.
- Phone Assistance: Look for plans that provide round-the-clock dedicated helpline numbers that make reaching out to your insurance representative easy in times of need.
Now that you have a checklist ready, prepare an information sheet with the trip details and medical information to keep it handy while filling the travel insurance policy form.