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How do you choose a travel insurance policy amid COVID-19 uncertainties?

How do you choose a travel insurance policy amid COVID-19 uncertainties?

Ensure that your travel insurance policy covers medical expenses so that emergency medical costs get covered during an international trip. Here's a short primer detailing more guidelines.

How do you choose a travel insurance policy amid COVID-19 uncertainties?  (Photo: Reuters) How do you choose a travel insurance policy amid COVID-19 uncertainties? (Photo: Reuters)

COVID-19 has led to increased awareness among people about insurance. This is the reason health and life insurance policies have seen a steep surge since the onset of the pandemic. There is, however, one more category that has shown a sharp increase over the last few years. Given the lingering fear of another wave of COVID-19, more people are now buying travel insurance policies than before. According to Go Digit General Insurance, all travel insurance products between April 2019 and March 2022, revealed a spike in demand for travel policies in FY21-22 compared to pre-COVID levels in FY19-20. 


The study also captures how trends moved during the first four months of the current calendar year. Findings reveal that in the first four months of 2022, the insurer sold 75 per cent of the total number of travel policies it sold throughout FY21 showing how people prefer buying travel insurance now owing to increased health risks while travelling. 


Having an insurance policy while travelling is important as any illness during an international trip gets covered in travel insurance under the medical expense feature. 

“Travel insurance is a must as it offers protection against sudden additional expenses you may incur, especially during overseas travel. Medical assistance/treatments abroad are costly, and a travel insurance policy covers those expensive costs. Apart from covering medical emergencies, it also provides emergency financial assistance if you get mugged or face theft or burglary on foreign trips,” says Rakesh Jain, CEO of Reliance General Insurance.  


Besides, if you face legal liability to a third party that caused death or bodily injury or damage to property, the personal liability feature will offer protection against costs incurred due to these damages up to the sum insured amount. 

“Also, make sure your policy covers personal belongings and flight cancellation. Travel insurance should be the first thing to book once you plan your travel. In case, you are not able to travel or change your plan, the policy can be modified/altered to next travel dates,” adds Jain.  


It is important to note that certain travel policies only cover accidental death and accidental hospitalization and not medical hospitalization. It is important to ensure that your travel insurance policy covers medical expense feature so that emergency medical costs such as hospitalization costs, cashless hospitalisation and outpatient expenses get covered during an international trip.  It is always advisable to read about the policy features and exclusions for choosing the right policy. 


Vivek Chaturvedi, Head of Direct Sales and Chief Marketing Officer, Digit Insurance said, “Trip cancellation, and flight cancellations and delays have always been leading causes for travel claims. Events such as bad climatic conditions, change in travel plans and on-time performance of airlines, among other causes can affect travel plans. Before COVID-19, travel insurance was not looked at seriously, especially by domestic travellers. However, more Indians are now buying travel insurance to ensure unforeseen hiccups don’t disrupt their itineraries. The category has also evolved over the last few years with some insurers now offering innovative and need-based products. In the coming years, travel products are set to become more dynamic, opening up the segment further.”

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