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travel insurance
When one is travelling abroad or within India, there are many things to keep in mind or to tick off on the “Things to Do” list. While the most obvious things are the regular travel documents, like Air Ticket, Visa Copy, Passport, Hotel Reservation copy, Land Tour Package Receipts, Foreign Exchange, another critical and important document to ensure one has when they travel is an insurance cover. Most travellers still believe that an insurance policy, is the last requirement and can be skipped if necessary, many a time resulting in bearing medical expenses from out of the hard earned savings. Given that the cost of insurance is between 3-5% of the overall trip cost, one must ensure they cover the medical and travel risks by purchasing an insurance policy.

What is the best travel insurance?

It is not fair to state that any insurance plan is better or worse than another plan. What is important to note that each insurance plan comes with a different set of benefits at varying sum insureds and it is important for the insured to compare the options available before making a decision. There are two aspects to travel insurance. One is the set of benefits/coverages under the plan. Hence the insured must consider the following while deciding on the insurance plan and company – Duration of Travel, Destination of Travel, Age of the Traveller, Coverage required. A younger traveller can opt for a lesser coverage while an older traveller should take a more comprehensive cover with higher benefits . Second and more importantly the insured should consider the Assistance and Claims support available in the foreign location. It is better to partner with an insurance company who has a strong Assistance partner and a large network of hospitals abroad. This will ensure seamless cashless treatment and prompt travel and claims assistance should the need arise.

What are the key factors to keep in mind while purchasing a Travel insurance policy?

The key factors include:
  • Destination of travel. For example if you’re going to developed countries like USA, Europe, Australia, UK, it is advisable to a policy with a higher Medical Limit ($200,000 and above). This is because the cost of medical treatment in these countries is significantly higher than the rest of the world.
  • Duration of travel - The longer the duration of travel, the higher sum insured for Medical expenses is recommended because the possibilities of catching an illness increase when exposed to varying climatic conditions with changing seasons.
  • Reputation and the Market standing are important to keep in mind while finalising an insurance partner. Importantly, the traveller should keep in mind the capabilities of the insurance company for Travel Insurance specifically. Their ability, transparency and promptness in claims settlement and their financial strength are important factors to consider.
  • Third Party Administrator (TPA) abroad. Accessibility to the TPA at the time of a medical emergency is very important. One should understand the TPA’s network of hospitals across the world and their competencies to handle a critical situation
  • Activity calendar of the insured is as important as the trip itself. As a traveller if you plan to have a relaxed beach side vacation just to catch a tan, then don’t look for buying an insurance policy with an adventure sports coverage. But if you are likely to go scuba diving or snorkelling (any other adventure sport), please ensure the opt for a plan that offers coverage for Adventure Sports
  • Age of the traveller is another key factor while deciding on the ideal insurance plan and premium for the same. With advancement in age, there are higher possibilities for travellers to be carry pre existing medical conditions. Most insurance plans exclude medical expenses arising due to pre existing conditions, and hence the traveller must ensure to choose the correct plan if they want the same to be covered.
  • Exclusions under a Travel insurance policy are as important as the inclusions or coverages. Hence it is important for the traveller to review the exclusions prior to purchasing the policy so that they are clearly aware of what is covered and what is not covered.

Which is the best travel insurance company in India?

Travel insurance in India is currently offered by many competent insurance companies in India like Tata AIG, Bajaj Allianz, Reliance General, Religare Health, HDFC Ergo, Apollo Munich etc. Almost all these companies have a dedicated vertical which takes care of managing the Travel insurance business. Their range of products also are comprehensive in terms of coverage benefits and their premiums are competitive. Another important component of Travel Insurance is the Assistance Partner (TPA) who supports claims (both medical and non medical) across the world, since they are the first point of contact for the insured while they are abroad. Some of these companies have a global partner managing claims and assistance while some have developed inhouse capabilities.
The traveller should keep in mind all aspects of their travel before finalising their insurance plan and insurance company. If they are travelling to USA, they should ideally choose an insurance partner with a good assistance partner in USA. They should choose an ideal sum insured plan (if travelling to UK/Europe they should opt for a minimum coverage of $250,000 given the healthcare costs in these regions) as well and opt for an insurance company which is reputed for settling claims on time.

What all does travel insurance cover?

All travel insurance plans have two sections or two types of coverage. One is Medical coverages which include Accident & Sickness Expense Coverage, Dental Coverage, Medical Evacuation, Personal Accident etc. Accident & Sickness cover is most important for the traveller given the cost of healthcare treatments in all countries abroad. The traveller should ensure they are adequately covered given their age, duration of travel and destination of travel.
The second section pertains to Non Medical coverages like Loss of Passport, Baggage Delay/Loss, Trip Cancellation/Curtailment, Personal Liability, Bounced Hotel, Missed Connection/Departures, Flight Delay etc. These are equally important coverages because if the traveller is stranded in a foreign country without insurance, all expenses relating to these exigencies will have to be borne by the insured. One is the financial cost, the other is that with an insurance policy in place, their Assistance Partner abroad will support the traveller in such exigencies, which is really beneficial.
  • Any traveler between 6 months to 99 years can buy TATA AIG travel health insurance plan without any medical reports.
  • Hospitalization medical expenses is cashless after deductible.
  • Doctor visits / Out patient medical expenses are reimbursement basis after deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage available for travelers 56 years and above.
  • Covers up to $1,500 for pre - existing medical conditions under life threatening situations only.
  • VFS Global Approved Plan for Schengen countries.
  • Bajaj Allianz travel health insurance plans can be purchased from 6 months to 99 years without any medical reports.
  • Maximum coverage up to $1million depending on the age and plan you select.
  • Cashless hospitalization after deductible.
  • Out patient medical expenses are reimbursement basis after deductible.
  • VFS Global Approved Plan for Schengen countries.
  • Travelers aged between 6 months to 90 years can buy Reliance travel health insurance plans without any medical reports.
  • Covers declared non critical pre-existing illness/diseases under life threatening situations for travelers up to 70 years (T&C apply).
  • Family floater plan for family members under 60 years. Hospitalization is cashless while out patient medical expenses is reimbursement basis after deductible.
  • VFS Global Approved Plan for Schengen countries.
  • Travelers aged between 1 day to 90 years can buy Religare travel health insurance plans without any medical reports.
  • Custom designed plans for different destinations
  • Covers up to 10% of policy maximum for pre-existing medical conditions under life threatening situations only.
  • Comprehensive coverage available for selected destinations for travelers above 60 years.
  • Hospitalization is cashless while out patient medical expenses is reimbursement basis after deductible.
  • VFS Global Approved Plan for Schengen countries.
  • Travelers aged between 3 months to 60 years can buy Chola travel health insurance plans online without any medical reports.
  • Hospitalization is cashless while out patient medical expenses is reimbursement basis after deductible.
  • Get insurance cover up to 360 days in a single purchase.
  • VFS Global Approved Plan for Schengen countries.
  • Apollo Munich Travel Insurance provides comprehensive overseas travel medical insurance plans which guard you against medical ailments, thefts and many other unexpected situations which can adversely impact your travel plans overseas.
  • Future Generali Travel Insurance(Travel Suraksha) protects you, when unforeseen events occur during your overseas travel.
  • Whether it is medical emergencies, or loss of passport or baggage, Travel Suraksha shields you so that you enjoy your overseas travels with complete peace of mind.
  • HDFC ERGO Travel Insurance will cover you against any medical or non medical expenses.

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You can buy insurance online by using a credit/debit card, direct funds transfer using NEFT or RTGS or by using a cheque

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Already outside India

Travelers who have already traveled from India and do not have insurance can buy travel medical insurance after approval.

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Online renewal

Insurance customers can renew their existing policy online before the exipry date at any time.

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Insurance Claims

In case of a claim or reimbursement of treatment expenses, notify by contacting them.

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