Scenarios When You May Require Overseas Travel Insurance
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Scenarios When You May Require Overseas Travel Insurance

Read on to find out why it is important for you to consider travel insurance plan irrespective of whether or not it is compulsory

  • November 2, 2015  
  • |  
  • UPDATED   12:00 IST
Courtsey-YouTube/Policybazaar

When it comes to traveling, we spend a lot of time planning and researching about the places we wish to visit, where we want to stay, food we wish to eat, and things we need to buy. Unfortunately, the most important factor that we tend to ignore in process is travel insurance. We hardly provision for unforeseen situations or emergencies such as accident, illness, hospitalization, flight delays and even lost baggage. While buying travel insurance for certain international destinations is mandatory, getting it for other location is your prerogative. So, why is it important for you to consider travel insurance plan irrespective of whether or not it is compulsory? Let's look at certain scenarios when you may require such policy. 

Scenario 1: If you are traveling to a first-world country Let's assume that you are traveling across Europe when suddenly you fall sick and have to be hospitalized. In such scenario, you can easily end up spending anywhere close to 20,000-25,000 USD for a two-day hospitalization depending upon the seriousness of your injury or illness. This is something that you would have to pay from your own pocket if you are not covered under travel insurance plan. The cost of medical treatment and hospitalization is on the higher side in first-world countries such as US, UK and other European destination. In fact, medical treatment for unexpected illnesses and accidents in these countries can be easily 5-7 times higher than India or even more in some cases. Hence, it is essential for you to opt for a travel insurance plan. Needless to say, it goes beyond medical insurance and provisions for loss of baggage or passport, trip delays & cancellations etc. 

Scenario 2: If you are a senior citizen traveling abroad As we grow older, we are exposed to risks associated with falling sick or injured while traveling abroad. This scenario would leave you with two possibilities: either fall back on your travel insurance plan or claim benefits under your worldwide health insurance coverage (in case you have one i.e.). However, be wary of the fact that most of the travel insurance excludes pre-existing health conditions and treatments that can be delayed until you return to India. 

I'd say no harm in getting a travel insurance plan if it ensures peace of mind. All you need to do is spend as low as Rs.1350 for a sum insured of Rs.60 lacs (or $100000).

Scenario 3: If you are a student looking at pursuing higher studies abroad Students traveling abroad are exposed to all kinds of risks, including falling ill or misplacing their baggage. Hence, it is imperative for them to consider travel insurance plan for ensuring hassle free studies or educational tour. While the health cover is something provided to students mandatory in certain countries by their governments, it's not the case everywhere. Yes, you do have an option to buy health policy from abroad; however it would involve higher cost (premium outgo) vis-à-vis getting it from India that would cost you around Rs.7,500 for a sum insured of Rs.30lacs (or $50000). 

Scenario 4: If you are traveling to a high-risk destination Travel insurance plan is a must if you are traveling to a high risk destination such as Egypt, Iraq and South Africa. Typically, most of the travel insurance plan provisions for dangers associated with act of terrorism, hijacking, extreme climatic conditions and civil unrest etc. In fact, hijacking and terrorism coverage is an in-built component in most of the insurance plan. For instance, HDFC ERGO, Apollo Munich and Bajaj Allianz extend daily hijack allowances to policyholders while on a trip abroad. 

Scenario 5: If you have to cut short your trip due to certain exigency Your travel insurance cover will take care of expenses that you may have to incur in case of trip curtailment due to unforeseen emergency. In addition to this, you can also claim insurance if you miss your flight. Of course, you cannot claim benefits if you miss your flight due to your own carelessness. 

Travel is fun - it's filled with the promise of surprise and adventures. However, it can be very stressful when certain unforeseen events throw you off your guard, especially when you are away from your home and well-wishers. You can take as much due precautions as you want, yet, it can never be enough to guarantee your safety or keep you out of harm's way. What you can do instead, is create a safety net around you and your loved ones by signing up for travel insurance plan. After all, there's no need for you to hold on to your worries when you can pass it on to your insurance policy. 

Yashish Dahiya - CEO & Co-founder, Policybazaar.com