Travel Health Insurance for Indian Students Studying Abroad

It's no easy feat to get accepted in to a foreign university. Nor is the preparation that it takes to leave the comfort of your home. Often overlooked between the application period and expense calculation is the importance of picking the best overseas student travel health insurance plan. It not only provides a safety net in an alien country but also saves you from any undesirable expenses.

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    Is Travel Health Insurance Policy Mandatory for Indians Studying Abroad?

    The admission requirements vary with many factors. Depending on the country and college you're going to study in, your travel health insurance policy requirements will also change.

    While universities in the US, Canada, and other Schengen countries require a proper insurance plan, it is optional in many European and Asian universities. Several universities even require a certain sum insured for their mandatory insurance plans for students, especially in the case of Germany. Even though many public universities around the world provide some assistance with medical expenses or emergencies to their students, having a student travel health insurance plan will provide you with additional covers including personal accident, third-party personal liability, and loss of any important documents.

    Even though it is your choice to buy overseas medical insurance if it is not required by your university, it's highly recommended to have one while studying abroad. The costs of diagnostic tests, medicines, and medical treatment in developed countries are much more expensive than in India. The cost in case of hospitalization emergencies can easily be 3-5 times what it costs here.

    What are the Benefits of an Overseas Medical Insurance for Students?

    Having a good overseas travel health insurance plan is especially beneficial for young students who are going far away from the security of their home country and support system. The plan provides assistance ranging from flight-related issues to medical emergencies, including some special services made only for students. These vary with the general insurance company you’re opting for, as well as the plan variant you decide on. Other than flight and medical contingencies they cover many aspects. Some of these benefits are briefly discussed below:

    • Help with Baggage/Passport Loss: In case of any baggage losses or expenditure because of losing their passports, students can claim compensation for any emergency purchases or lost items.
    • Sponsor Protection: This feature is unique to student travel insurance plans and offers them protection in case their sponsor passes away or is rendered disabled. The plan will then compensate the student for their outstanding tuition amount.
    • Compassionate Visits: Most travel insurance plans offer this to students abroad in case they or their immediate family member is hospitalized due to any severe medical condition. They will be provided with transportation expenses incurred for this visit by the insurer. It allows the student or their family member to visit each other if it is necessary.
    • Mental Disorders and Special Expenses: As per the requirements of several universities abroad, they require the student travel health insurance plan to cover their nervous disorders along with expenses related to pregnancy, inter-collegiate sports injuries, cancer screening, mammography, and more.
    • Cashless Hospitalisation Expenses: The policy provides cover for any medical expenses incurred during the course of the plan period. This also includes dental treatment as per their policy. It also provides reimbursement for in-patient and out-patient expenses.
    • Cost of Transportation: In case of emergencies involving ambulance or traveling charges to the nearest medical care, the insurer will provide reimbursement for those costs.

    How Can You Select the Best Travel Health Insurance Plan?

    Students can buy the insurance plan of their choice either through the university, a foreign insurance provider, or back home from a domestic insurance provider. It’s interesting to note that the premium cost under domestic insurers is around one-third of the amount charged by the universities or insurers abroad. Now that you've discussed the importance and benefits of an overseas student health plan, read on to know how to compare and select the best insurance plan for your studies abroad:

    • Selecting the Right Policy: Make sure you tally all the requirements as per your university as well as those set by the visa as sometimes they can differ considerably for different program levels.
    • Compare terms and conditions: All insurers are different in some ways or more. Make sure that you either compare them online or meet their agents to understand important facts related to claims. You can also compare different policies on Policybazaar.
    • Make a Checklist: If your university or visa requirements have any specific conditions (Usually for sum insured and covers) then make sure that your policy understands and covers those points or else it won't be useful in the future.
    • Do not Skip Policy Wordings: This may be tedious but it is important to know of conditions or circumstances that will not be covered by your policy. This will save you from any misunderstanding later.
    • Check for Add-ons: In case there are some specific requirements from your university, you can fulfill them by comparing the optional covers that can be bought by paying a little extra premium. It will help you customize as well as save money by opting for a more expensive comprehensive insurance plan.

    To Conclude,

    While different universities have vastly varying requirements, such plans are often the best of both worlds- they combine the features of a medical plan as well as an overseas travel insurance plan. For any young student traveling all the way to another country, it is a huge help to have a reliable overseas travel health insurance plan that will assist them with any medical or financial emergencies.

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