What is a Dependable Travel Health Insurance?

You will find endless ads and options as soon as you google travel insurance. It can be for a short solo trip or a long study period abroad, but how do you pick the right plan? After all, the entire point of buying travel health insurance is to have a backup if things go wrong. To ensure absolute protection, here are some handy tips to find a dependable travel plan.

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

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When is Travel Health Insurance Useful?

If not mandatory, travel insurance is often dismissed as unnecessary by many. There are plenty of myths about trip insurance that can stop people from taking it seriously. From claim-related doubts to exact benefits, people easily skip insuring their trip.

However, a simple stomach ache due to a changed diet or flu can force you to get medical help abroad. This obviously comes with several diagnostic tests, treatments, medicines and even hospitalisation.

Without travel health insurance, your regular health insurance won’t cover any expenses if you’re outside India. If you already have a pre-existing disease, most insurers will deny coverage for that illness. In such cases, travel medical insurance will keep you financially safe on your trip.

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What You Can Do to Choose the Best Travel Health Insurance?

Dependability comes from consistent proof and efforts that anyone puts in an agreement. In this case, your insurer should fulfil their promise to compensate or reimburse you in case you face issues for which you purchased insurance. This requires some homework, time and patience on your part:

Compare and Shortlist

If you have no idea where to start, head to Policybazaar.com and compare different travel insurance plans available under your budget. This should give you a fair idea of different insurers, their benefits, premium costs and necessary terms you should be familiar with.

Once you have browsed through the best travel insurance plans in India, you can quickly shortlist the ones as per your destination, duration, purpose or budget!

Check Their Reputation in Market

After you’ve zeroed down on one or more plans, it is time for a background check. Don’t just blindly read the reviews and comments on their websites, go a step extra and find relevant threads on public forums.

If this seems too complicated, make sure to check their claim settlement ratio through official sources. A high CSR above 80-90% means the insurer is fair and doesn’t reject claims readily.

Ensure Declaration of Real Health Conditions

Pre Existing Coverage On Travel Insurance

Once you’re happy with the shortlisted plan, it’s time to ensure you’re clear from your end. Most travel insurance companies in India don’t ask for pre-policy medical check-ups. This shouldn’t stop you from disclosing any underlying health conditions or pre-existing diseases.

Not just your health, but your family’s or your partner’s health condition should also be declared (if opting for a family travel insurance plan). If you fail to disclose your PEDs to the insurer, then they won’t cover you for any related complications on your trip. However, many insurers will let you purchase an add-on for those pre-existing diseases.

It’s crucial to discuss these things with your family members so that there’s no chance of miscommunication or hidden information. Your claim will be rejected and you may end up draining your savings to pay for those medical emergencies.

Consider the Age of Different Travellers

It’s tempting to buy the most affordable plan if you’re buying family travel insurance or simply trying to meet entry requirements set by the country. However, you need to be prepared for different scenarios that come with different travellers.

Young children may not fall sick easily, but they’re prone to injuries and accidents while playing. Senior travellers are naturally weaker due to their age and may even have some pre-existing conditions. While your children may get sufficient coverage under your family floater, your parents may not. It is best to buy a separate senior citizen travel insurance for them with a suitable sum insured and benefits.

Read About Insurer’s Customer Care on Online Forums

Most travel insurance companies come with dedicated customer care helplines offering ready assistance. Some insurers also have their own mobile apps, toll-free helplines, email IDs etc to assist you 24X7. However, it's best to have a realistic idea about their abilities before you can decide to depend on them.

You can easily find reviews about them online, or better yet, you can directly call them for any queries, doubts or assistance before you purchase from them.

Opt for a Suitable Sum Insured

Prepare For Any Financial Emergency

The sum insured is the maximum amount you can claim from your insurer in case of an emergency. If your emergency costs more than this amount, then you will need to pay it out of pocket. Therefore, you need to keep many factors in mind before deciding the amount you want to go for.

If you're under 40-45 years, you can opt for a lower sum insured (USD 25,000 to 100,000) as you're not likely to fall sick easily. However, if you're staying for more than 15-30 days or are above 45 years, then opt for a sum insured over USD 200,000.

Sum insured should be higher if you're going to a developed country with a high cost of medical care. It's safe to go for a lower amount if it's a very short trip or a developing country with affordable healthcare.

Read the Fine Print

Terms and conditions are often neglected by customers more often than they should be. Keep an eye out for what’s covered and what’s not covered. For example, pre-existing diseases aren’t always covered unless you buy an optional cover.

Similarly, accidents caused by negligence, alcohol influence or hazardous sports are not covered by most plans. If you fail to read these exclusions, you will end up getting disappointed if your claim gets rejected.

Over to You,

Usually, your international travel insurance costs 5-10% of your overall trip expenses or less. This is a pretty reasonable sum to avoid losses worth thousands and lakhs of rupees because of things beyond anybody’s control. However, simply letting your tour operator buy a plan for you or opting for the most popular or affordable plan won’t be enough. For a plan to be truly dependable, you need to know what’s exactly being covered!

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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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