While booking a flight ticket, an optional add-on is presented to us before making the payment, which is that of travel insurance. More often than not, we tend to ignore this and skip right to the payment section. Do we really need to insurance when we’re travelling within the country? Is it really worth paying Rs.200 extra on travel insurance, for a 1-hour flight from Mumbai to Goa? In other words, is domestic travel insurance really worth it?
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Here are some of the aspects covered by domestic travel insurance and their corresponding limitations:
In the event that you should miss your flight, you can claim a reimbursement for your flight ticket. This is of course, subject to certain terms and conditions. Usually, this is valid if there was a breakdown of the public transport services used to travel to the airport, or if the vehicle you were in was involved in an accident.
So while insurance does prove to be a boon in such cases, there are limitations to this facility which is why you should check the policy terms and conditions before making the purchase.
If you should suddenly need medical assistance, your travel insurance will cover this as well. This is also valid in the case of an accident that should occur while travelling, or if you should need to be evacuated due to a medical emergency. In some extreme cases, the insurance company will also pay for the travel of a family member of the insured, if the insured has been hospitalised at a location outside their usual town of residence. The travel insurance (domestic) provider will cover transportation cost to a hospital and medical expenses incurred.
Though this is one of the most critical reasons you ought to purchase travel insurance for domestic travel, you should make sure that you read the policy documents before shortlisting an insurance plan, as the range of medical situations covered, varies from one insurer to another. For example, Tata AIG does not cover pre-existing conditions or those individuals who travel, against the expert advice of their physician.
If there is a sudden delay in flight departure due to bad weather conditions or a delay caused due to failure in the equipment of the airline, then the insurer covers accommodation charges provided the airline does not cover the same. In most cases, it is the responsibility of the airline to provide accommodation but if they do not do so, your insurer will take care of it. There are certain inclusions and exclusions where there are sub-limits on how much one can claim, or where one can seek accommodation under specific situations, as listed in the policy documents.
If an accident occurs while travelling, which results in the death of the insured, the nominees can make a claim. The compensation provided is; however, much lesser than that compared to a life insurance policy. Compensation is also provided in the case of dismemberment. The accidental death and dismemberment benefits provided in the case of Tata AIG includes situations where a loss should occur if the individual has been exposed to harmful situations while boarding or alighting from a common carrier. Compensation is up to Rs.50,000 in this plan.
Though domestic travel insurance does cover a range of emergencies, there are caveats included. It makes sense to invest in domestic insurance particularly if you do not have any other form of insurance, especially life insurance, health insurance or personal accident insurance. In such a situation, ensure that you opt for the higher sum insured. Usually, this costs under Rs.200 for a 15-day single trip where Rs.1 Lakh cover is provided. It also makes sense having travel insurance in the case of non-refundable prepaid trips, so that if your flight is cancelled, you won’t have to bear any monetary losses.
In addition to flights covered by travel insurance, domestic travellers will soon be able to opt for rail insurance as well. Recently, the Indian Railways announced that they would be providing travel insurance for train travel, where customers will be given the option of purchasing travel insurance while booking train tickets online on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) platform.