12 Exclusions of Travel Insurance You Should Know

When you purchase international travel insurance or while sending your child abroad, you prefer buying student travel insurance, it’s not irrational to assume that you are well covered for every possible thing. Unfortunately, insurance buyers are frustrated to know that travel insurance is full of holes!

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Policy exclusion is often ignored by most of the policyholders. Though it is typically mentioned in the fine print, it is nonetheless perplexing and sometimes counterintuitive.

For example, loss of passport due to carelessness will not be covered. Likewise, coverage under baggage loss will not cover all the precious items inside the bag, unless it is especially cover by an add-on. Lack of awareness of policy exclusion is one of the major reasons for claim rejection. Given that, here are some of the common exclusions of international travel insurance, you ought to pay your attention:

Pre-Existing Conditions- a Major Exclusion

Travel coverage is not extended to most of the pre-existing health conditions. It depends when you are diagnosed and when you buy travel insurance. Simply put, your travel insurer doesn’t cover for the losses that are arising due to such a health condition. The insurer will cover you only for a stable health condition which requires no change in treatment or symptoms has occurred.

For example, you have arthritis for 6 years with no major flare-ups or no changes in medication in the past years. In such a case, the insurer may cover you if an intense flare-up occurs during the trip. But if you having health troubles with the condition in the months leading up to the vacation, the insurer would not cover the losses unless it is especially covered through an add-on.

Dental Treatment

Travel insurance policy only covers emergency dental expenses due to an accident. Routine dental care is usually not covered. However, insurers may come with a clause in this regard. Check the policy document in detail before registering a claim. This way you can avoid a claim rejection and at least get to know your scope of coverage.

If Travelling to Avail Medical Procedure Abroad

Travel insurance is meant for covering emergencies only, hence you are not covered for any planned hospitalisation. Even if you are travelling to avail medical treatment, the insurer won’t cover you for the expenses incurred.

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Whether it is domestic travel insurance or overseas one, childbirth or pregnancy is usually excluded, until it is covered by a particular travel policy. You might, however, get compensation for complications related to pregnancy under such a policy. Hence, check carefully with the insurance advisor, in case your next travel is round the corner or if you are travelling during pregnancy.

Exploring an Accident Prone Area Willingly

International travel insurance usually covers the insured for losses due to natural calamities. However, if you are travelling to a place that is famous for natural calamity or travelling despite the prior warning from the concerned authority about an occurrence of a calamity, you won’t be covered by the insurance provider.

Adventurous Sports

Adventure junkies take note- many travel insurance providers don’t cover you for the losses sustained while enjoying adventure sports. These include bungee jumping, snowboarding, sky diving, rafting, , scuba diving caving, backcountry skiing,  etc. Some insurance providers offer coverage as an add-on with an extra premium though. Hence, if your travel plans include adventure activities then carefully plan it or opt for an add-on plan that covers you for dangerous sports.

Some of Your Personal Items in the Bag

Though delay or loss of baggage is covered, the policy doesn’t cover everything inside your luggage. As per the list of common exclusions hearing aids, glasses, cash, jewellery etc. are not covered. In certain cases, up to a certain limit, some items are covered, however. So, if you are travelling with multiple electronic items or expensive possessions, it is better to be careful, as you may not get enough coverage.

Bad Weather

Travel insurance doesn’t cover bad weather condition that tends to limit your activities during a trip. However, you are covered for flight delay or cancellation due to bad weather, but if it stops your jungle trip or trek due to t heavy rainfall or if you cancel your beach vacation just because the weather forecast calls for rain, the insurance provider will not offer any coverage for the loss.

Rush Minute Changes

Any changes made last minute by your travel operator, travel insurance own by you typically won’t cover the cancellation expenses, unless it leads to complete curtailment. However, you can try connecting the operator in case of compensation due to the changes made.

Anything that is not in the List of Coverage

Travel insurance works in the principle of transparency. The insurer covers you only for the items that are mentioned in the policy document. If you don’t find an item of your utmost concern, you can check with the insurer. As the insurance company will only cover you for the conditions that are listed, the claim for the non-listed items will be denied. Or you can opt for an add-on. For example, not every insurer cover adventurous sports as in-built cover in their travel policy but might offer it as an add-on.

War, Commotion, War-like Situation

While most of the insurance providers cover you against terrorist attack, an act of war or mass chaos is excluded. Therefore, it is recommended to double-check the policy exclusion list if any such condition is covered by your policy. If the policy doesn’t cover you, claim arising out of any such situation will be rejected.

Summing it Up!

Most of us usually pay more attention to what the policy includes ignore about what the policy does not include. And that is where we make the blunder. Policy exclusions are the most important part of your travel insurance, ignoring which may lead to a serious situation. So, take policy exclusions seriously and travel at your best comfort!

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*Price shown is for a 30 day trip to Thailand with 1 lakh dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

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