How to Choose the Right International Travel Insurance Company?

With multiple factors adding to the uncertainty of travel plans, buying travel insurance has become a necessary part of our travel plans. Since there are many travel insurance companies in India, choosing the right one can be a confusing task. This article will help you pick the best overseas travel insurance company for your trip abroad.

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* Price shown is for a 15 day trip to UK with a 1 lakh dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

Need of Right International Travel Insurance

There has been an increase in the number of travellers opting for travel insurance ever since the pandemic made everything unpredictable. Trip insurance has become an unavoidable part of most international journeys. While this increased awareness has certainly made travelling safer, many people may struggle to find the correct plan and the travel insurance provider.

Travel insurance is available for both domestic and international trips. However, because of varying requirements, it can be hard to find the right fit for your journey. Those travelling abroad for the first time may find it overwhelming to understand all the requirements as well as the coverage suitable for them. From country-specific requirements to the extent of coverage you need, it is very important to pick the right travel insurance company so that all your risks are taken care of.

7 Tips to Select the Right Travel Insurance Company

With so many public and private-sector insurance providers in India, it can be hard to go through all of them before picking a company. Each company has something different to offer, thus it boils down to your requirements to filter out the plans you don’t need. What’s more, most companies have a lot of plans available to suit their travellers' needs. Take a look at the following ways to select the most-suited travel insurance company:

Compare Insurers Online

Primary research plays the most important role in any selection process. Comparing different insurers should be your first step so that you are aware of what’s being offered. Once you’ve shortlisted companies with maximum benefits under your budget, you can start looking for important details such as the sum insured, need for additional covers, etc.

Requirements of the Traveller

Once you have an idea about the insurers offering plans suited to your budget, it's time to further eliminate the travel insurance providers that don’t offer plans suited to your needs. For example, there are some companies only offering a limited number of benefits under a specific plan. Or, you may discover that a certain insurer does not offer good plans for senior travellers above 80 years. Similarly, if you’re travelling to Europe for skiing but your shortlisted travel insurance company isn’t offering any coverage or add-on for adventure sports then you will need to look for another provider. Thus, there are many factors that you need to consider before deciding upon a company.

Check the ICR of the Insurer

Once you’ve found the company offering you desirable coverage for all your possible risks, it's time for a background check. How will you know about the company’s financial reality? ICR or Incurred Claim Ratio is one of the most reliable ways to assess any insurance company's financial strength. It is measured in percentage and is the ratio of the total claim amount paid by the insurer to the total premium collected in a given financial year.

Ideally, ICR between 50% and 100% is a healthy indicator of the insurer's profits and popularity. Companies exceeding 100% are usually incurring financial losses as they are paying more towards claim settlements. ICR less than 50% is indicative of enormous profits made by the insurer but paying fewer claims or charging very costly premiums.

ICR of all the insurance companies in India are released annually by the IRDAI and you can easily check the overall or separate ICR for your selected general insurance company.

Confirm the Insurer’s CSR

Another very important aspect of any insurance company’s reputation is the Claim Settlement Ratio. CSR is the ratio of the overall claims settled by the insurer to the total number of claims received in a given financial year. Thus, if a company has a CSR of 97% then it indicates that 97 claims were settled on every 100 claims. It is an indicator of the insurer's likeliness to honour your claim. The higher this number, the better. However, this percentage is released by the insurer and does not include the overall time taken to settle the claims. It's possible that an insurance provider has a good CSR but takes months to settle a claim. You can easily check this on their official website and decide which company has a higher CSR on your list.

Range of Plans Offered by the Insurer

There are many travel insurance companies offering lucrative offers and packages. However, you can easily sort out the companies that don’t offer many options to choose from. For example, you can automatically skip the companies not offering Asia-specific international travel insurance if you only plan to explore Asian countries on your vacation. Companies with a wider range of plans not only offer extensive benefits but also save your time that would be otherwise spent in looking for specific plans elsewhere.

Read Customer Reviews

Good customer service speaks volumes. While many companies promise a lot of things, there aren’t many that keep them. Even with a great ICR and CSR, you can double ensure an insurer’s services by getting first-hand reviews from their customers. You can head to the reviews section on the insurer’s website or check independent forums online to know honest opinions about any travel insurance company. What’s more, you can also find out about their customer service and approachability using their online tools and services.

Hassle-free Claim Procedure

The ultimate goal of any insurance is to ensure your financial safety in case of a crisis. Make sure to opt for a company with a good claim-settlement ratio so that your claim is not rejected needlessly. However, pay closer attention to the time taken to settle claims. Some companies promise to settle a claim within a month or less. Moreover, ensure that the claim procedure can be easily done both online and offline so that in case of any emergency while travelling, you can easily avail yourself of benefits like cashless hospitalisation, emergency cash assistance etc.

By Now, You Should Know

The most important things to consider when picking the best travel insurance company. Assigning your safety to a company is not something trivial; in case things go south during your trip then your insurer will be the first one to your rescue.

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