Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Keep your travel insurance handy

  • When opting for travel insurance, check for the exclusions and deductibles
  • Most travel insurance will cover flight delays, hospitalisation, baggage loss and loss of documents

Mumbai: Summer vacation is just around the corner and many may have already started planning their trips and booking tickets. However, travel insurance is usually not on the priority list.

“Typically, for countries where there is visa on arrival, which includes most south-east Asian countries, a large section of people don’t opt for travel insurance. For most European and North American countries, it is mandatory to have travel insurance. It almost is a prerequisite for travellers that they take insurance," said Rohan Kumar, CEO and Co-founder of Toffee Insurance, an online insurance technology company. If you have not gotten your travel insurance yet, here are some parameters that can help you navigate the policies available in the country.

Premium and cover

Typically, the cost of travel insurance is minimal. “For a 30 year old, travelling to a South-east Asian country for nine days, a travel insurance with sum insured of $25,000 (around Rs. 18 lakh) will cost approximately Rs. 400-500," said Mahavir Chopra, director of Health, Life and Strategic Initiatives at Coverfox.com, an online insurance platform. The hospitalisation cost is likely to be higher overseas, so taking a higher cover is a good idea. Also, the premium is not costly. There are multiple insurance companies that offer travel insurance and the cost can vary based on age, sum insured and location of travel.

Exclusions

You don’t want to be in a situation where you have an insurance cover and not get the benefit of it. Hence, you need to take a closer look at the exclusions, which refers to the services you can’t avail as part of the scheme. “The exclusions will include pre-existing diseases and is standard across all insurance companies. You should also read carefully about the deductibles. For instance, you may have to pay say the first $100 from your pocket and the rest of the amount will be paid by the insurer," said Chopra. You have to ensure that the deductibles are not too much, so you don’t end up spending more.

Service

Most travel insurance will cover flight delays, hospitalisation, baggage loss and loss of documents. Most travel insurers don’t do medical checkups. The eligibility age is usually up to 80 years. You will also need to communicate with your insures for the service. Hence, it is important to know how convenient the communication process will be. Do check for toll-free numbers that you can call where your queries can be addressed.

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