Destination of Travel One of the most important tasks before leaving on your trip is to do some research on your destination. The destination you are visiting may not have the same laws or regulations you are used to in the States. Be aware of dress codes (formal or not) in your destination and be careful of any drugs (even prescription or over-the-counter ones) you might want to take with you. Never accept bags from strangers in airports, particularly in other countries, nor agree to carry something (even if it seems harmless) for someone else. If you don't want to stand out, leave your baseball caps and clothes with lettering/logos at home. Women should be sure short pants, short skirts, tank tops, etc. are acceptable where they are traveling. Most other cultures dress more formally and modestly than what we are used to State-side.
Holiday – what’s on the Itinerary?Are you planning an adventurous trip like Bungee Jumping, Scuba Diving, Trekking across difficult terrains, going for skiing, kayaking, river rafting or other water sports? A basic travel insurance policy will not cover the risks involved in these adventure activities. So the ideal travel insurance policy for you will include a special coverage for Adventure Sports with an additional cost. Similarly if you have already made advance payments for your air/hotel/taxi/cruise bookings etc, it is advisable to buy an insurance plan which covers Trip Cancellation/Curtailment, in case your trip needs to be cancelled or shortened for any covered emergency.
Buying a PolicyEase of buying a policy is also important for today’s tech savvy traveller… eIndiainsurance.com today offers competitive products across all leading insurance companies in an easy to choose comparison table and multiple payment options. It will take you not more than 2-3 minutes to buy a policy on this website.
Claim Settlement Process / TPAThe best travel insurance provider will be the one which boasts of the most efficient and transparent claim settlement process. You have to know the claim settlement process of your insurer, documents to be submitted in case of a claim and timelines for claims settlement before you decide on the insurance partner. Also keep their toll-free helpline number handy while you travel to be able to reach out to them in an emergency. Another important aspect of claims, is the insurance company’s Third Party Administrator (TPA) abroad. One should understand the TPA’s network of hospitals across the world and their competencies to handle a critical situation. (For eg. Tata AIG will be a strong player in US because of their parent company AIG Inc’s presence there). It is advisable to get your insurance from a company which handles the transparent claim settlement process so you have a hassle free experience.
ExclusionsIt is very important for every traveller to note that the exclusions will tell you what will not be covered in your travel insurance policy. It can be safely assumed that whatever is not stated as Exclusions in a particular plan mean that the plan covers the same. It is better to seek clarifications prior to purchasing a particular plan and before your trip commences. If you still have doubts, please reach the eIndiainsurance.com customer support team or to the travel insurance company as to what the exclusions are so that you have realistic expectations when you go for a claim.
How to choose a travel health insurance plan?
The traveller must first be aware of the travel health insurance options in the market. This is where a website like EIndiainsurance.com comes in. At www.eindiainsurance.com , the traveller gets to review a wide range of insurance options pertaining to their requirements before making a decision regarding the same. Ideally there are 4-5 important details that the traveller should keep in mind while deciding on the insurance plan most suited to them:
- Duration of Travel
- Destination of Travel – Premium is dependent on the Destination Country
- Age of the Traveller
- Coverage required in terms of Sum Insured ($50,000 - $1,000,000 options are available)
- Proposed Itinerary of the trip (if you’re likely to undertake adventure activities, it may be better to buy a plan with an Adventure Sports Cover) and
- Claims Settling capabilities of the insurance partner (along with their Third Party Administrator or TPA) .
It is advisable to choose a partner who specialises in Travel Insurance and has a large network of hospitals abroad.
Can I get travel insurance if I am already abroad?
No, ideally the traveller needs to have an insurance plan in place prior to departure from India. Hence it is important for the traveller to ensure that Travel insurance is on their "Things to Do" checklist along with their tickets, visa, hotel reservation, local tour confirmations etc.
However if there are any genuine reasons as to why the traveller could not purchase their insurance policy prior to departure from India, they can place a request by providing the reason for the non purchase of insurance, along with a good health and no claims declaration. We will then request the insurance partner to provide a specific approval for the same and post underwriting approval and remittance of the applicable premium, the insurance policy can be issued. The traveller should note that this is an exceptional process.
When should I buy travel insurance?
While it is not a mandatory requirement for all travellers to purchase travel insurance, it is strongly recommended that every traveller actually protects themselves with travel insurance every time they travel, irrespective of where they are going or how long they are travelling for. This is because a traveller could have an unforeseen Medical or Non-Medical emergency, which could result in financial loss to the traveller and travel insurance helps in mitigating this loss to a large extent. If they lose their Passport or Baggage, have a delayed flight or have to curtail their trip due to a family loss or have a Personal Liability suit filed against them, the travel insurance policy can make good any financial loss occurring due to these exigencies.
Similarly, if the traveller needs to be hospitalised following an accident or a sickness, the travel insurance policy takes care of the medical expenses, subject to policy terms and conditions. One must be aware that the cost of healthcare is exorbitant in almost all countries abroad and travel insurance helps protect the traveller from spending their hard earned money on medical treatment.