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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Should you buy travel insurance?

Should you buy travel insurance?

By Naval Goel
Last updated on: December 16, 2015 08:14 IST
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A travel insurance plan can help protect your dream holiday from turning into a nightmare.

Luggage, tickets, bags, iPod, hotel bookings, handy-cam are the top things on your check list while going for a holiday trip.

But what about a travel insurance plan?

Taking a travel insurance plan before heading on vacation is not really a priority in India. People in our country rarely opt for it.

However, it is really vital to understand that a small mishap can destroy any perfectly planned holiday.

People never prioritize insurance till something actually goes wrong, and by then it is too late to avail an insurance plan.

While there is a hike in the number of people travelling overseas these days, most travellers don’t want to think about the calamity that can take place during a trip.

It is a known fact that several times we are faced with problems like cancellation of flights, medical emergencies and loss of luggage among others. Which is why it is essential to be covered when travelling.

What exactly will you get under travel insurance plan?

Travel insurance refers to insuring the risks of having a medical emergency or any kind of financial loss that can leave a bad impact on your journey. You can purchase travel insurance plan temporarily for a single trip.

For regular travellers, it is advisable to go for the whole year plan which would be enough for numerous tours throughout the year. You can purchase an insurance plan for an adventure trip, leisure trip, cruise trip, foreign student trip, international travel and business trips as well. The most common risks that a foreign travel insurance plan covers include:

Foreign Medical expenses

Accidental injury or death

Theft, damage or loss of personal essential belongings

Cancelation of trip

…And many more

The coverage depends upon the norms of insurance plans and companies as there are several policies available in the market.

A basic insurance plan usually provides the coverage for medical emergencies, emergency repatriation, cancellation, theft, loss of luggage, passport loss etc.

Premium

Majorly the premiums of travel insurance plan depend upon several factors such as:

Duration of the trip

Sum insured

Health conditions

Number of trips

Place

Age of the insured

Risk activities involved in the trip.

Following are some tips that will assist you in choosing the best travel insurance plan.

A travel insurance plan is a standard product over different insurance companies since its usage is more global in nature. There are a few tips to help you select the best travel insurance plan at a lower premium.

Location of the trip

You might not be aware, but the fact is that the cost of travel insurance plan is much higher where the cost of treatment and other essential services is expensive. Nowadays, the customer can taper down his international plan to select from options. Hence, be sure to taper down your location of travel to get more benefits out of the insurance plan and premium as well.

Duration of the trip

Generally insurance companies offer travel insurance plan for a trip duration starting from 30 days to 180 days. It is advisable for you to select a plan slightly more than your requirement and travel period. If you are a regular traveller then you must buy an annual multi-trip plan to save more. This will save you from the hassle of getting insured every now and then. These plans are valid for a year and cover numerous foreign trips as well. The maximum duration of each trip should be about 30-45 days.  This is a cost effective product for frequent travellers.

Age of travelling members

If you are travelling along with your family, it will be helpful to check if the premium in one plan which covers all is cheaper. If not, then you can consider two different plans in which the elders of the family can be covered by another plan. For example, if you are more than 65 years of age, you can avail of senior citizens plans in which you will get pre-existing illness coverage, the higher sum insured for regular hospitalization, etc.

Reason of journey

It is advisable that you provide an accurate reason for your journey in the proposal form, whether it is a business trip, holiday trip, adventure trip or any other. Usually, a basic travel insurance plan does not cover risks involved in adventurous trips. Hence, an additional premium amount is required to get coverage for adventure trips.

Nowadays, there are many types of travel insurance available in the market, so it is better for you to compare the plans of different insurance companies to get the best plan.

Keep in mind that a cheap plan may not always be the best for you.

Photograph: Matthew Hurst/ Creative Commons

Lead image used for representational purposes only.

Naval Goel is CEO and Founder, PolicyX.com

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Naval Goel