What Is Travel Insurance? An Indian’s Safety Net Abroad
International travel insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage and protection for travellers while they are abroad. It is designed to cover various unexpected events that may occur during a trip, such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost luggage, travel delays, and other travel-related mishaps.
What is Travel Insurance?
We all know that a travel plan with friends and family is one of the best ways to let off some steam and relax. Your plans might range from exploring European cuisine in Central Europe to simply spending time with your grandparents in your native place. Whatever your destination, a travel insurance plan is a must-carry. It is a shock absorber of sorts. It helps cover financial losses due to unexpected situations that can dampen your vacation mood. This could include an
- Loss of luggage or passport
- Last-minute flight or transport delays/cancellations
- and other issues.
Travel insurance plans come in various types, including overseas travel insurance, international student travel insurance, group travel insurance, etc., and provide you with the travel protection you need. According to Indiastat, at least 66% of claims have been incurred between 2021 and 2022 by Indian travel insurance companies. This covers emergency medical treatment, hospital stays, and other medical costs that can arise while travelling, such as trip cancellations, lost luggage, etc.
Therefore, travel protection should always be part of your upcoming vacation plans, whether you travel locally or abroad. In this blog, we will help you understand what travel insurance is, its types and benefits, how to apply for travel insurance, and much more, so keep reading!
Key Benefits of Travel Insurance for Indians Abroad
Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of travel insurance for all kinds of travellers. Such benefits can range from medical emergencies to last-minute trip cancellation costs coverage.
- Medical Coverage And Emergency Medical Evacuation: Medical emergencies are one of the primary reasons why people opt for travel insurance plans. These emergencies cannot be predicted while planning a family or business/leisure trip. Travel insurance plans cover medical emergencies of all kinds, except pre-existing conditions and mental illnesses. This coverage is particularly important for families that travel with senior citizens and children.
For example, You are going for a hike in the hills of Bali and suddenly get bit by a strange insect. If your trip is insured, you can avail of the policy, get emergency medical care in the local hospital, and get cured. If you have a much worse reaction, your travel insurance could help in emergency medical evacuation and get you airlifted back to your home country.
- Trip Cancellation Or Interruption Coverage: After a long year of working hard, you just planned a fantastic ‘The Holiday’ type of trip with your friends for a few weeks in a beautiful village in western Europe and found out the day before you leave that you test positive for the flu. What travel insurance is there to help you in this situation? The trip cancellation coverage can help you reimburse the money you spent on prepaid activities of a trip like an airline, cruise, and hotel/s. This is especially handy when you cannot find refundable tickets for specific trips.
- Baggage and personal belongings coverage: People who frequently travel, primarily through flights, will know the one considerable peril of flying – misplaced baggage! Luggage misplacement and mishandling are common issues with airlines, and airports are sometimes inundated with lost baggage. On average, there is a 0.63% chance of baggage mishandling annually in international airports. This brings us to a significant benefit of travel insurance that covers the financial loss caused by lost baggage.
- 24/7 emergency assistance and support: Emergencies can never be predicted, and when found in a health emergency, immediate help and donations are required. When you travel to another country with the backing of a travel insurance policy, you immediately get the assistance needed then and there. What’s more, no matter which part of the region or what time of the day, the right travel insurance policy will get you the proper support on time.
- Coverage for travel delays and missed connections: While you dream of a relaxing trip on an island, reaching it can be arduous. Multiple transfers, unpredictable weather, and miscommunication of flight information can cause unwanted delays and mishaps. In such cases, travel insurance can come in handy.
- Peace of mind: Whether you find yourself in a medical emergency or not, once you purchase a travel insurance policy, you can be confident that you are secure. With that in mind, one can travel with peace of mind, knowing it can be handled with utmost care and support immediately. With the best travel insurance policies, you will never find yourself in a pickle abroad.
Whether you’re a student, a business traveller, a family on vacation, or a solo traveller from India, it does not matter. You can still benefit from the various types of travel insurance.
In a Nutshell
- Medical Coverage And Emergency Medical Evacuation
- Trip Cancellation Or Interruption Coverage
- Baggage and Personal Belongings Coverage
- 24/7 Emergency Assistance and Support
- Coverage for Travel Delays and Missed Connections
- Peace of Mind
Considerations for Travel Insurance Abroad for Indians
Cost ConsiderationsOne of the initial factors to ponder when purchasing travel insurance is the cost. Understanding the cost considerations can help you choose the right plan that fits your budget while providing comprehensive coverage. Here are a few cost-related considerations:
Coverage Amount:The level of coverage you require depends on factors like your destination’s healthcare costs, the value of your belongings, and the nature of your trip. Assess your needs and choose a coverage amount that adequately safeguards you.
Duration of Stay:Longer stays may require extended coverage, affecting the cost. It’s essential to ensure that your insurance covers the entire duration of your trip.
Activities Planned/Risk:If your travel involves high-risk activities such as adventure sports, ensure your policy covers these activities. Some insurers offer optional riders for such activities at an additional cost.
Coverage TermsUnderstanding the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy is vital. The policy’s fine print can affect your coverage, so consider the following aspects:
Pre-Existing Medical Considerations:If you have pre-existing medical conditions, it’s crucial to choose a policy that provides coverage or, if necessary, purchase additional coverage for these conditions.
Other Personal Considerations:Different individuals have distinct requirements. For example, if you’re travelling with your family, ensure that the policy extends coverage to your family members. If you’re travelling with a group, consider group insurance plans for potential cost savings.
Individual/Family/Group CoverTravel insurance options can cater to individuals, families, or groups. Your choice depends on your specific travel scenario.
Individual Coverage:An individual policy may suffice if you’re travelling alone. These policies offer personal protection tailored to your needs.
Family Coverage:Family travel insurance policies extend coverage to your family members, providing a comprehensive safety net for your loved ones during the journey.
Group Coverage:Group policies are ideal when travelling with friends, colleagues, or a larger travel group. They often offer discounts and streamline the process of insuring multiple individuals under one policy.
Compulsory Requirements for Specific Country VisasCertain countries have made it mandatory for Indian travellers to have travel insurance as part of the visa application process. While requirements may change over time, a few countries where travel insurance is commonly compulsory for Indians include Schengen Area countries in Europe, Russia, Cuba, and the UAE. It’s essential to check the specific visa requirements for your destination and ensure compliance with any insurance-related mandates.
In a Nutshell
By carefully considering factors like cost, coverage terms, and the specific needs of your travel party, you can select the right policy that suits your unique requirements. Additionally, staying informed about your destination’s visa requirements and insurance mandates is crucial to a hassle-free travel experience.
Personal Scenarios Where Travel Insurance Might’ve Benefitted You
Scenario 1: Medical emergency when studying abroad
In your first few months, you experience a medical emergency that requires hospitalisation. You’ve always been cautious, and you have comprehensive health insurance through your university. Your university’s insurance covers most of the medical expenses, and you’re grateful for the financial safety net it provides.
Scenario 2: Stolen goods during your travel
During a break, you plan a road trip with friends to visit national parks on the West Coast. While on the road, your luggage and personal belongings are stolen from your car. This includes your passport, credit cards, and other valuable items. This incident can be distressing, especially when you’re far from home and your university.
Scenario 3:Injuries mid-vacation
You’ve planned an exciting two-week trip to Thailand, a destination known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant street markets, and rich cultural experiences. You’ve been eagerly looking forward to exploring Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and the pristine beaches of Phuket. However, during your stay in Chiang Mai, you unexpectedly fall and get a fractured leg, due to which you are required to cancel the rest of your trip
Unexpected events can disrupt even the best-laid travel plans. Ensure a worry-free trip with reliable travel insurance.
Types of Travel Insurance for Indians
When planning your trip itinerary for business meetings or a fun vacation with your family, always factor in various types of travel insurance. Depending on the trip you are going on and the different reasons for your travel, you can pick and choose from different insurance categories. For example, if you are going on a one-time-only business vacation, single-trip travel insurance will be your best choice. In contrast, if you’re and Indian student studying abroad, student travel insurance will be your best bet for your studies abroad. Let us look into each of them in detail:
- Single Trip Travel Insurance: As the name suggests, single-trip travel insurance is ideal for travellers who want to ensure their one-time trips. This type of insurance is also helpful for individual travellers. Typically, single-trip travel insurance provides travel protection for a specific journey. It holds well from when you start your travel to when you return home. Travel insurance benefits, including emergency assistance and financial loss due to injury, accident, or baggage loss, etc., are covered under this insurance policy. Generally, this policy is available worldwide or even in specific areas and regions. You can then pick policy terms depending on your budget, the benefits required, and the place of travel. Single-trip travel insurance can also be customised according to your needs for the trip. The longest coverage period duration available is 180 days + renewable for a second period of 180 if the trip continues.
- Multi-trip Travel Insurance: Multi-trip travel insurance is the best bet for frequent flyers. This policy protects multiple trips within a year without duration restrictions. Business travellers and other professionals who need to fly abroad frequently for work can save costs by buying multi-trip travel insurance. As with any different insurance policy, this covers all critical situations, including emergencies. People who opt for multi-trip travel insurance can also quickly renew it.What is travel insurance without add-on benefits? This policy also allows you to add on and customise your policy terms specifically to the itinerary of the trip you are going on.
- Educational Travel Insurance: Going abroad to study and flourish in the field of your choice is a dream that many in India and other countries work towards. When pursuing one’s academic goals, a student must also consider the logistics of travelling abroad and mitigate the same. The best student travel insurance policies ensure that the student’s travel plans are covered for any emergency, including health, financial, and all other travel-related situations, including immediate evacuations to the home country. Usually, educational travel insurance durations start from one year and can last up to three years, depending on the type of policy.
- Group Travel Insurance: Increased exposure to travel abroad and the connectivity between countries have allowed groups to travel internationally more easily. Group travel insurance is the perfect policy for groups of friends and families of four or more in number. It covers a range of incidents, including accidents due to hijacking, add-on benefits such as adventure sports mishaps, etc. A group travelling with this insurance can also claim for burglary, loss of essential documents, etc. It is always advised to read the policy terms and conditions before agreeing to take one up.
In a Nutshell
- Single Trip Travel Insurance: Covers one-time trips with customisable options for specific journeys, offering protection for emergencies and financial losses.
- Multi-trip Travel Insurance: Ideal for frequent flyers, providing year-round coverage for multiple trips without duration restrictions.
- Educational Travel Insurance: Tailored for students studying abroad, offering coverage for academic travel, emergencies, and various situations during their stay.
- Group Travel Insurance: Designed for groups of four or more, providing coverage for accidents, hijacking, adventure sports, and more, with additional benefits.
Don’t gamble with your Travels! Invest in travel insurance for a stress-free journey.
How to Apply for Travel Insurance
Buying travel insurance is not just a requirement for visa processing in India but also an essential investment because of its different aspects – whether it is monetary support, medical assistance or peace of mind against contingencies. Here is a step-by-step process of how to apply for travel insuranc:
Step 1: Researching and comparing insurance providers:
Don’t just buy the first insurance provider you find like picking out the best airline deal and hotel to stay in, finding different providers and comparing them on various pointers like premium amount, coverage points, and flexibility and ease of releasing funds. This will help you shortlist the ones that best suit your needs.
Step 2: Understanding the coverage options and policy terms:
When opting for a travel insurance policy, ensure you understand the various inclusions and exclusions. More than simply checking for the premium is required. Different approaches have different coverage options. Other limits exist for multiple risks, including accident coverages and emergencies. Always check for what the policy includes and doesn’t fit after shortlisting companies based on premium.
Step 3: Gathering necessary information and documentation:
When you want to know how to apply for travel insurance after finding your perfect policy issuer, the next step is to get your documents right. Proof of identity, residence, proof of travel documents and other necessary information is necessary for applying for your travel insurance. So keep those ready when using them for your insurance policy.
Step 4: Completing the application form:
These days, insurance forms can also be filled out online. It depends on the company that you pick for your travel insurance.
Step 5: Paying the insurance premium:
While filling out the application form, most policy issuers ask for premium payment if you do it online. Some policy issuers also send a representative to you to help fill out the form and pay the premium. Always check for the period of premium that comes with your policy while making the payment.
Step 6: Reviewing the policy details and documents:
The last and possibly the most critical step would be to review the policy details and records. Read through the terms and conditions of the policy, the period for which it is being taken and other vital information before signing and taking it up. If any details in the policy are incorrect, reach out to the helpline or support team of the insurer immediately (before the trip begins) to rectify it. A claim can be rejected directly based on a mismatch in details on the policy and supporting documents belonging to the applicant.
Best Indian Travel Insurance Companies
Travel insurance for student is necessary, especially if you travel abroad for further education. As mentioned above, when choosing a policy, you should consider several factors to make sure you are protected from most problems using travel coverage.
Some of the best Indian travel insurance companies, in no specific order, are as follows:
- Go Digit Travel Insurance: Go Digit offers comprehensive coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and baggage protection. They also include benefits like coverage for trip curtailment, personal accidents, emergency dental treatment, and loss of passport.
- ICICI Lombard General Insurance: ICICI Lombard offers a wide range of travel insurance plans catering to various travel needs, including comprehensive coverage and quick claims processing.
- Bajaj Allianz General Insurance: Bajaj Allianz provides travel insurance plans that cover medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and baggage protection, along with options for different trip durations.
- TATA AIG General Insurance: TATA AIG provides comprehensive travel insurance plans covering medical emergencies, trip delays, and baggage losses, along with additional features like adventure sports coverage.
- IFFCO Tokio General Insurance: IFFCO Tokio provides comprehensive travel insurance coverage, including medical emergencies, trip delays, and baggage loss, with the option to customise plans according to individual needs.
These well-known, trusted brands offer student-specific travel insurance options, including emergency evacuation options, and add-on benefits, including adventure sports for those adrenaline junkies among us.
In a Nutshell
|Insurance Provider||Coverage Benefits|
|Go Digit Travel Insurance||– Medical emergencies – Trip cancellations – Baggage protection – Trip curtailment – Personal accidents – Emergency dental treatment – Loss of passport|
|ICICI Lombard General Insurance||– Comprehensive coverage – Quick claims processing (specific coverage details may vary based on the chosen plan)|
|Bajaj Allianz General Insurance||– Medical emergencies – Trip cancellations – Baggage protection – Options for different trip durations|
|TATA AIG General Insurance||– Comprehensive coverage – Medical emergencies – Trip delays – Baggage losses – Additional features like adventure sports coverage|
|IFFCO Tokio General Insurance||– Comprehensive coverage (specific coverage details may vary based on the chosen plan)|
Let’s quickly recap the key points we’ve covered!
Travel can be a blast, but things can get dicey in a foreign land, which is why travel insurance offers essential protection abroad by covering unforeseen events like medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost baggage. But before investing in one, consider factors such as destination, planned activities, and policy details, ensuring it aligns with your travel needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Usually, adventure activities and sports are covered as an add-on benefit in the insurance policy. The best overseas travel insurances also offer this as an add-on benefit. You can always check with the policy issuer and read the terms and conditions before agreeing to purchase a travel insurance plan.
In most cases, tourists can purchase travel insurance even after they have started their trip. However, the coverage may be limited, and certain benefits, like trip cancellation coverage, may not apply if the policy is bought after the trip has begun. It is always recommended to buy travel insurance as early as possible, preferably at the time of booking the trip, to ensure maximum coverage.
Overseas travel insurance for international students is available for purchase between one and three years, depending on their travel country. Students are advised to check the policy issuer’s minimum period and decide which to pick depending on their requirements.
Claiming your travel insurance is a simple process. Contact the insurance provider’s representative. Then, file the complaint and use their assistance for the procedure.
In some cases, like baggage loss, always inform the involved authorities (local police or airport). Be aware of your limit, and when it expires so you are not caught in the moment. Finally, follow all procedures and complete the necessary forms to receive your claim.
Yes, most overseas travel insurance covers the personal belongings of students and tourists. While applying, please review the policy documents and the terms and conditions.