Last Updated on May 24, 2022 by Anjali Chourasiya

Travelling is one of the greatest joys in life. They give you a lifetime of memories and provide a much-needed break from a monotonous life. Travelling to a new place also opens doors to discovering new locations, traditions, customs, cuisines, and people. 

While taking a trip involves considerable planning and money, what if you face an unexpected crisis during the trip? Emergencies often come unannounced. While you might not have control over avoiding them, you can get them insured under a travel insurance policy. 

Let’s find out what the policy is all about.

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a policy that covers the financial losses or contingencies that you might face when you are travelling. For example, if you suffer an illness or an injury when travelling or you lose your baggage, a travel insurance policy would cover the loss. Similarly, if you lose your passport or if your trip is altogether cancelled, the travel insurance policy could compensate you for the additional financial stress that you may need to undertake. Travel insurance policies cover your trip duration as well as all the members travelling with you.

We will look at the policy coverage in detail later in this article. Let’s first look at the kind of plans available.

Types of travel insurance plans

What is covered within travel insurance is dependent on the type of travel insurance one subscribes to. Let’s look at the different types of travel insurance policies. These are as follows:

International travel insurance plans

As the name suggests, these plans cover international trips. International travel insurance plans can be region-specific plans, too, like Schengen plans, worldwide plans, Asia plans, etc.

Domestic travel insurance plans

You can opt for domestic travel insurance plans if you travel within India. These plans cover trips taken within India.

Senior citizen travel insurance plans

These plans are specifically designed for senior citizens, i.e. individuals aged 60 yrs and above. Given the higher risks involved, many travel insurance plans do not cover individuals above a certain age. Senior citizen plans are specifically structured to cater to the coverage requirements of the elderly who do not get covered under regular travel plans. The senior citizen plans can be availed for both international and domestic trips.

Single trip and multi-trip travel insurance plans

If you travel once in a while, a single trip policy may be suitable, covering only one trip. On the other hand, annual multi-trip plans cover multiple trips taken within a year. Under these plans, there is no limit to the number of trips that you can take. The policy is issued for a year, and the trips taken within the year are covered. Multi-trip plans are suitable for frequent travellers as they are cheaper and more convenient than buying single trip plans for each trip.

Group travel insurance plans

Group travel insurance plans cover a group of individuals. These plans can be taken by a group of travellers travelling to the same destination. Alternatively, group plans are also popular among corporates wherein employees travel for work. Such companies might buy a group insurance policy covering all the employees who travel for business.

Student travel insurance plans

These plans are designed for students who go abroad for higher education. 

Coverage under travel insurance plans

The coverage of travel insurance plans depends on the type of policy that you buy. However, some of the common coverage benefits that are available under most plans include the following:

Medical emergencies

If you fall ill or suffer an injury during the trip that requires hospitalisation, the cost of such hospitalisation would be covered by the policy up to the sum insured.

Medical evacuation and repatriation

In the case of medical emergencies, if you need evacuation from one place to another, the cost of such an evacuation is covered. In the case of an untimely death, the cost of repatriation of mortal remains would also be covered.

Loss or delay of checked-in baggage

If the airline delays or loses the checked-in baggage, you will be compensated for your loss appropriately.

Loss of passport

If you lose your passport during the trip, a claim will be paid so that you can get a duplicate passport without incurring additional charges.

Trip cancellation, delay or curtailment

If there is a delay in the booked trip, the costs incurred on rebooking would be covered by the policy. Similarly, if your trip is cut short, the additional financial expenses would be covered. In case the booked trip is completely cancelled, the insurance policy would compensate the money paid for advance bookings in such cases.

Personal accident

These travel insurance plans cover accidental deaths and disablements suffered when travelling in a commercial airline as a fare-paying passenger.

Legal liability 

If you happen to cause a financial loss to a third party during a trip, you may become entangled in legal battles that may become a drag on your finances. A travel insurance policy undertakes this liability. If you are legally obligated to compensate the third party for any financial loss, the travel insurance policy takes care of the compensation on your behalf. 

Exclusions under travel insurance

A travel insurance policy provides an exhaustive scope of coverage. However, in some cases, claims are not honoured. For example, if you travel against your doctor’s recommendation, any subsequent medical claims would not be covered. Similarly, if you participate in hazardous activities and sports or get embroiled in criminal acts and suffer a loss, such claims would not be entertained.

Claims resulting from wars or nuclear perils, or maternity-related complications are excluded. Moreover, if you are travelling solely for availing a medical treatment, the medical coverage would not be available under the policy. 

You should also check for deductibles under your travel insurance policy because claims up to the deductible are not paid. You need to pay such deductibles out of your own pockets. 

Features of travel insurance plans

Some of the common features of travel insurance plans are as follows:

  • The sum insured is usually expressed in US dollars. It ranges from $ 50,000 to up to $ 500,000
  • The duration of the policy is equivalent to the duration of your trip.
  • You can take coverage for all family members under the same plan.
  • You can enhance the coverage with optional coverage benefits.
  • There is a deductible under some coverage features. This deductible depicts your out of pocket expenses. If claims exceed the given deductible, the insurance company will pay the excess.
  • Travel insurance companies are tied-up with international service providers who help you with your claims when travelling to a foreign country.

The bottom line

Travelling, as much as fun, can be risky. Adding a travel insurance policy to your travel plans helps you enjoy your trip to the full extent without worrying about funding emergencies. The policies offer a wide scope of coverage. Opt for a suitable plan and an optimal sum insured so that you can travel without worrying about emergencies straining your budget.

Ayushi Mishra
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