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MUMBAI : Getting medical treatment at a foreign location can prove to be very costly. A good travel insurance plan can protect you from a financial catastrophe at foreign locations. Thus, it is important that you choose the insurance plan, the coverage as well as the benefits carefully, instead of blindly depending on your travel agent. Here are the things you must consider to ensure you have the right and adequate travel insurance:

GET CORRECT BIRTH DATE

Since a crucial part of the travel insurance cover is around emergency medical care, it is important that you consider the age of the people travelling to evaluate the insurance cover required. If the people travelling are senior citizens, it is important that you have more than adequate cover, irrespective of the destination or the duration. It is important to inquire about the policy document to understand the medical cover completely and keep an eye on any additional limits in the cover, such as hospitalisation limit or cap on treatment cost, that could significantly curtail the insurance cover you have purchased.

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EXISTING MEDICAL HISTORY

In case any family member has a medical history, ensure the policy covers pre-existing diseases, at least for life threatening situations. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are not able to provide for the best healthcare when you need it the most. Ensure you have discussed with your family, understood their health conditions and made a clear complete declaration in the proposal form, else having a pre-existing cover will be of no use.

ON BASIS OF DESTINATION

If you are travelling to a developed country like United States, United Kingdom or Singapore, it is important that you have a large cover, especially if the duration of the trip is more than two weeks. A short visit to a hospital can burn a huge hole in your pocket, in case you have a small insurance cover.

PURPOSE OF THE TRIP

If you are looking at adventure sports, you must explore travel insurance that cover such risks. If your child is travelling for higher education, you must explore special long-term travel insurance covers for students that can for provide you a cover expenses for you or your spouse travelling to attend to you in case of he/she falls sick in the foreign country. Do not rely on your travel agent alone to choose your insurance policy or fill your proposal form, especially when the duration of the travel is more than a month or the person travelling is more than 45 years of age. The older the person travelling, the more careful you should be.

Make sure you have understood the terms and conditions, coverage and deductibles for each cover. For instance, if baggage delay cover is important for you, you must not only evaluate the policy on the sum insured or coverage that is mentioned on the brochure, but also understand the hourly deductible in the policy. For instance, you will the policy pay a lump-sum amount for the inconvenience of a baggage getting delayed, or actually require bills to reimburse for actual expenses incurred due to the delay of the bag.

Evaluate the claims services by checking whether the insurance company has a toll-free number or a call back facility for the country you are visiting. Remember that a travel insurance covers you for OPD medical and dental treatments. If you travel often, there are annual plans that cover you for multitrips that you should evaluate.

Mahavir Chopra is director of health, life and travel insurance at Coverfox.com

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