What is travel insurance?
Know More About Travel Insurance
- Things to know before you buy Travel Insurance
- Schengen Travel Insurance India
- Myths About Travel Insurance
- Student Travel Insurance for Overseas Study
- This-that-and-those about Domestic Travel Insurance
- Wash your stress away with International Travel Insurance
- All you need to know about Family Travel Insurance
- Is Senior Citizen Travel Insurance necessary?
- When should you Buy Travel Insurance?
- How to choose a Travel Insurance Policy?
- How to Buy Travel Insurance Online?
Simply put, a travel insurance plan offers coverage against all possible travel and medical emergencies while travelling within India or abroad. A travel insurance plan can be procured from any general insurance company in India and can be customised according to the destination and the type of trip to be undertaken. Travel insurance plans also carry varying cover for medical expenses, as per the country to where the travel is being done.
Why do you need travel insurance?
When you globetrot, there might be instances where you would find yourself in unfamiliar surroundings and will have to tackle immediate emergencies. The primary reasons as to why a travel insurance plan should be procured is to get assistance during situations like personal accidents, illnesses, hijacking, theft, personal liability expenses or any other travel-based issues, while visiting a new destination. Carrying a comprehensive travel insurance policy ensures that you don’t spend time worrying about handling emergencies and also assures you of making a safe trip abroad. Read more about why you need travel insurance
Given below are some of the key benefits of travel insurance plans -
- Travel Insurance policies offer compensation for flight delays, trip delays, etc., when individuals make long trips abroad.
- Expenses with regards to trip termination is also compensated through travel insurance plans.
- Medical treatments, hospitalization and hotel accommodation for medical emergencies are also included under a travel plan.
- Customers can get customized plans according to the destination they are travelling to. The premium amount varies as per the destination.
- Travel insurance policyholders can also get cover for personal liabilities, accidental death, travel delays, legal expenses, dental treatments, repatriation and emergency reunion.
- Insurers across the country offer 24/7 customer service support to policyholders providing them with assistance for loss of documents, accidents, etc.
Types of Travel Insurance Plans:
There are a plethora of options available to Indian travellers from various general insurance companies. These travel plans are offered according to the type of customer, destination travelled to and also the type of trip undertaken. Given below are the different types of travel insurance plans available in India.
International Travel Insurance plans:
General insurance companies across India offer customised international travel insurance plans according to the destination travelled to. Each type of destination has a specific requirement with regards to insurance and companies ensure that every detail is covered in a comprehensive overseas travel plan. Most international travel plans offer standard features like cashless hospitalisation, no medical test requirement until the age of 80, easy online applications and hassle-free paperwork. In addition, some travel plans might offer other benefits like free international SIM cards, 24/7 customer support and cover for total loss of checked-in baggage. Read more about International Travel Insurance
Overseas travel plans are categorised according to the geography of trip, i.e., unique plans for Asian countries, Schengen countries, Middle East, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, etc. Read more about Overseas Travel Insurance
Senior citizens can travel stress-free with a Senior Citizen Policy to any destination across the world with benefits like cashless hospitalisation, cover for delayed or missed flights, cashless medical facilities and medical concierge services. Read more about Senior Citizen Travel Insurance
A single round trip plan can also be procured by individuals to get travel insurance for one trip to a single destination with a fixed duration of travel. The duration of the insured single trip will vary depending on the insurance company chosen by the customer. Read more about Single Trip Insurance
Annual multi-trip plans offer travel insurance protection covering several international trips for a period of one year. When a customer opts for a multi-trip policy, a certain number of trips for a specified duration of travel is insured by the policy with benefits like cashless hospitalisation, quality health care services and quick settlement of claims. These plans are ideal for frequent international travellers. Most annual multi-trip plans offer insurance cover for travel extending for a period of 30, 45 or 60 days. Read more about Multi-trip Travel Insurance
Student Travel Insurance Plan
A comprehensive Student Travel Insurance plan offers financial and medical assistance to students traveling abroad to complete their higher education. Students might face emergencies or other financial hurdles while staying in a new country and a robust travel insurance plan helps them to continue with their education without any worries. These plans can be taken by student who are already pursuing their education abroad or are planning to go abroad. The insurance cover offered extends for the entire duration of the course. Read more about Student Travel Insurance
Corporate Travel Insurance Plans
A Corporate travel insurance plan can be procured by corporate employers who intend to provide insurance protection to their employees while they are abroad. Corporate plans can be customised according to the requirements of the organisation. All plans offer adequate medical and travel-related cover for policyholders and are available as multi-trip and single round trip policies. Read more about Corporate Travel Insurance
Domestic Travel Plans
Any individual traveling within India can also get a domestic travel insurance plan with covers for medical expenses, loss or theft of baggage, emergency medical evacuation, cancellation and delay of trips, 24/7 customer support, personal accident cover and emergency cash assistance. Read more about Domestic Travel Insurance
Group Travel Insurance
Group travel plans can be availed if there are atleast 20 or more individuals travelling together to a single destination as a group. Most group insurance plans offer cover for trip cancellations and curtailments, delay and interruption of trips, loss of baggage and documents, etc. Since the travel is being done as a group, every member should be completely aware of the benefits offered under the policy that has been availed. Read more about Group Travel Insurance
Family Travel Insurance
Family travel plans can be taken for a single family inclusive of the policyholder and his/her spouse and two children. Most family travel insurance plans offer floater benefits to individual family members under one policy. Medical expenses for hospitalisation, personal accident, hospital allowance, trip delays, loss of baggage, documents, home burglary insurance, etc. Read more about Family Travel Insurance
Senior Citizen Travel Insurance
Senior citizens can globetrot without any hassles with a comprehensive travel insurance plan offering benefits like cashless medical services, medical concierge services, quality health care facilities, international SIM cards, cover for pre-existing conditions, accidental bodily injury, loss of documents, trip delays/cancellation, third party damage, distress allowance, etc.
Customised travel insurance plans
Some general insurance providers offer customised plans for special regions across the world.
Schengen travel insurance
Individuals travelling to the Schengen area for a maximum period of 90 days have to compulsorily avail a Schengen travel insurance policy or a health insurance plan along with the Schengen Visa. Schengen travel insurance policies generally include benefits like emergency medical expenses, repatriation, 24/7 assistance, accidental bodily injury, death or permanent disability, third party liability, extended protection for the family, etc. The countries included under Schengen travel are Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Germany, France, Iceland, Greece, Latvia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Slovenia, Switzerland and Sweden.
Asia Travel Insurance
Travel insurance policies specific to Asian countries offer travellers comprehensive protection while visiting most Asian and Southeast Asian countries, excepting a few. The exclusions will be specified in the policy issued by the insurer. Benefits included under such policies are emergency medical cover, accidental bodily injury, third party liability, emergency financial assistance, loss of passport, distress allowance, etc.
Extension of Travel Insurance plans
Travel insurance policy holders can extend their plans for a certain period of time if their stay in the foreign destination is prolonged. Different insurers offer specific extension periods depending on the travel destination and the type of traveller.
Eligibility Criteria - Travel Insurance plans
- Family/International Travel Insurance - These plans offer cover for two adults aged up to 60 years along with two children aged up to 21 years. Floater benefits are also available with family travel insurance plans.
- Student Travel Insurance - Most plans accept students aged between 16 and 35/40 years, who have enrolled at a foreign institution for higher education. Existing Indian students who are abroad also qualify for these policies.
- Senior Citizen Travel Insurance - Seniors who are aged up to 85 years are not required to undergo any medical tests while procuring a Senior Citizen travel insurance policy.
- Schengen travel insurance - Adults aged up to 70 years and infants over 90 days are eligible to be covered. The purpose of travel should be business or tourism.
What is covered under Travel Insurance?
The coverage offered under travel insurance plans varies from policy to policy. The coverage and the sum assured also depend on the different covers opted and the type of individual availing the plan. Given below are the coverages and exclusions with regards to different travel insurance plans available in India.
International Travel Plans
|What’s covered?||What’s not covered? - Exclusions|
|Emergency Medical Expenses||Pre-existing medical conditions|
|Emergency Medical Evacuation||Expenses incurred due to civil war or terrorism.|
|Repatriation of remains||Expenses incurred due to suicide, self-inflicted injury or non-adherence to a physician’s advice.|
|Emergency Dental Expenses||Expenses incurred for liquor, alcohol or drugs.|
|Hospital Cash Allowance||Treatment of diseases like AIDS, mental or health conditions.|
|Accidental Death / Permanent Total Disability||Participation in adventure sports / Participation as professional players in various sports.|
|Loss of Baggage/Personal Documents||If the policyholder is involved in any criminal act.|
|Loss / Delay of Checked Baggage||Ayurvedic or Homeopathic treatments|
|Personal Liability||Cosmetic Surgery|
|Contingency Travel Benefits||Spa treatments|
|Hijack Distress Allowance|
|Financial Emergency Assistance|
|Cover for Home Content|
|Political Risk and Catastrophe Evacuation|
|Trip Delays / Missed Flight Connection|
|Return of Minor Child|
Student Travel Plans
|What’s covered?||What’s not covered? - Exclusions|
|Accidental Death||Pre-existing medical conditions|
|Permanent Disablement||Expenses towards mental disorder, anxiety treatment, alcohol, AIDS, drug abuse and venereal diseases.|
|Emergency Medical Expenses||Expenses incurred if travelling against a doctor’s advice.|
|Emergency Dental Treatment||Theft/loss of passport, when left unattended|
|Loss of Passport||Travel to high-risk zones|
|Loss/Delay of Checked Baggage||Treatment for certain medical conditions as specified by the travel policy|
|Personal Liability||Consequential loss|
|Compassionate Family Visits|
|Medical Screening / Examinations|
Family Travel Insurance Plans / Corporate Travel Insurance Plans / Senior Citizen Travel Insurance Plans
|What’s covered?||What’s not covered? - Exclusions|
|Emergency medical expenses||Pre-existing medical conditions / Routine check-ups|
|Medical Evacuation||Expenses incurred due to civil war or terrorism.|
|Personal Accident||Expenses incurred due to suicide, self-inflicted injury or non-adherence to a physician’s advice.|
|Hospital cash||Expenses incurred for liquor, alcohol or drugs.|
|Loss/delay of checked-in baggage||Treatment of diseases like AIDS, mental or health conditions.|
|Loss of baggage / personal documents / passport||Participation in adventure sports / Participation as professional players in various sports.|
|Personal Liability||If the policyholder is involved in any criminal act.|
|Emergency Cash Advance||Pregnancy|
|Home Burglary Insurance||Self-exposure to perils|
|Trip Curtailment/Delays||Cost of devices aiding in medical treatments|
|Emergency dental expenses|
|AD&D Common Carrier|
Some travel plans also offer additional benefits in the form of optional coverage which can be chosen by the policyholder if he/she requires that extra protection. These covers will have to be taken by paying extra premium to the insurer in addition to the standard benefits provided.
Listed below are a few conditions for which optional covers can be taken by a travel insurance policyholder.
- High-risk or adventure sporting activities
- Cover for travel to war zones or to destinations with high risks.
- Onset of pre-existing medical conditions.
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) cover
- Third-party supplier insolvency
Before an individual takes a travel insurance policy, the thumb rule should be to compare various policies and then make the right choice. While comparing, there certain details that a traveller should look out for in a comprehensive plan. These are the sum insured, premium costs, covers offered, optional benefits, etc. A travel insurance plan is offered by any insurer based on the trip type, trip category, location, trip duration and the sum insured. There are a few factors that influence the cost of an all-inclusive travel insurance plan in India. Listed below are some of the key factors which will weigh into the decision making of the customer.
When a travel plan is chosen, the sum insured is decided based on the geography of travel. Travellers will have to pay higher sums if they avail insurance for countries that have higher medical costs. A higher sum insured is directly proportional to the premium that the customer has to pay, i.e., if the sum insured is higher, then the premium cost will also be higher.
Location of travel
Travel insurance policies availed for countries like Canada and the United States will attract higher premium, when compared to countries in Southeast Asia. This again is due to high medical treatment costs in these countries. An exclusion in most travel insurance policies is Japan, as travel plans are customised exclusively for this island nation. Since Japan is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes, etc., travel insurance policyholders will have to pay higher premiums.
The duration of any trip plays a major role in determining the premium that a customer has to pay. Longer stays will have higher premium and shorter stays will have lower premium rates. Trip extensions will also require additional premium to be paid by the policyholder.
The coverage chosen by a travel insurance policyholder also influences the premium. Regardless of the type of travel undertaken, if a customer takes additional covers like burglary insurance and home contents protection, then extra premium has to be paid.
Though not a major factor, the type of plan chosen also contributes to the travel insurance premium amount determination. Different premium amounts will be offered for single-trips, multi-trips, student travel, etc.
Health / Age
Some insurers also look into the age and health condition of the customer before issuing travel insurance policies. Pre-existing medical conditions and high-risk conditions might not be covered by most insurers.
Travel insurance claims can be done in two ways, either as Cashless Claims or as Reimbursement Claims by customers.
Cashless Claims - For making these type of claims during an emergency medical treatment or hospitalisation in any country across the world, customers have to present the travel insurance document to the medical service provider. Cashless service will be provided and the customer also has to then inform the respective insurance company of the claim. The medical bills are settled directly by the insurer with the medical service provider.
Reimbursement Claims - This is the most commonly implemented claims process, where the travel insurance policyholder has to contact the insurance company to initiate the claim. Then according to the claim type, the customer has to furnish all the required documents to the insurance company after arriving in India. The insurer will validate the claim made against the coverage availed by the customer. After the verification process, the claim amount will be settled directly to the policyholder by the insurer. The time taken for travel insurance claims varies from insurer to insurer and also depends on the nature of claim made.
Customers have to submit the following details while registering a travel insurance claim.
- Travel Insurance policy number
- Name of the insured
- Contact Details - Phone Number / Email ID
- Diagnosis Report for Medical Cases
- Name of the country where the loss occurred.
- For accidents - Date / Time needs to be furnished
- Description of the loss
The following documents have to be furnished by the policyholder while making a travel insurance claim. The set of documents vary according to the type of loss reported.
|Medical Treatment/ Hospitalisation||
|Loss of Baggage||
|Accidental Disablement / Dismemberment||
|Repatriation of Mortal remains||
|Loss of Passport||
|Cancellation of trips/ Delay or Interruption of trips||
|Financial Emergency Assistance||
|Sponsor Protection||Medical reports from the doctor containing details of the sponsor’s medical treatments|
Insurers offer insurance for trip cancellation and curtailment in the form of Cancellation Insurance under a comprehensive travel insurance policy. The costs included under this type of insurance are flight cancellation expenses, meals, accommodation, loss of baggage, etc. Emergency based cancellations are also covered under some policies. Other types of coverage available under cancellation insurance are expenses towards cancellations due to terrorist activities, while travelling to high-risk zones, etc.
Customers who intend to procure a travel insurance policy can conveniently check the premium rates that they will be paying towards a policy using convenient tools called travel insurance premium calculators. With certain inputs the tool will give an estimate of the travel premium that has to be paid by a customer depending on the type of policy availed. Trip details have to be chosen, namely, either as a single-trip or a multi-trip plan. The geography of travel has to be selected. Other information like trip start date and end date, number of days, number of members to be included in the plan and the nature of the plan required have to be furnished. After entering all the required personal details, customers can get premium quotes for the chosen travel insurance plan from the insurer. The buying decision can be made after comparing a few insurance quotes with different insurance companies.
In today’s digital age, every general insurer offers easy online services, if a customer is looking to buy a new travel insurance policy or renew an existing policy. While purchasing a policy online, customers can quickly enter their personal and trip details, get a premium quote, choose the most relevant plan for their travel, take additional coverage and make the premium payment online. Insurers offer various modes of payments using credit cards, debit cards or through net banking. Once the payment has been made by the customer, a new travel insurance policy will be generated in the form of a pdf document. Some insurers might send a welcome kit along with the policy document to the policyholder’s physical address or might email a copy of the policy to the registered id.
Applying for Travel Insurance offline:
Customers can also purchase travel insurance policies via insurance agents or travel agents. Policies can be procured by visiting the nearest branch office of the chosen insurance company. After furnishing the required documents and filling the application form, the insurer will issue a new travel insurance policy to the customer.
|Name of the Company||Types of plans offered|
|Apollo Munich Travel Insurance||
|Bajaj Allianz Travel Insurance||
|BHARTI AXA Travel Insurance||
|Cholamandalam Travel Insurance||
|Future Generali Travel Insurance||
|HDFC ERGO Travel Insurance||
|ICICI Lombard Travel Insurance||
|IFFCO Tokio Travel Insurance||
|Oriental Travel Insurance||
|Reliance Travel Insurance||
|New India Assurance Travel Insurance||
|National Insurance Travel Insurance||
|Religare Travel Insurance||
|Royal Sundaram Travel Insurance||
|SBI Travel Insurance||
|STAR HEALTH & ALLIED Insurance||
|United India Travel Insurance||
|Universal Sompo Travel Insurance||
Choosing a robust travel insurance plan can be an intimidating exercise. But having one is important for all kinds of overseas travellers, regardless of the destination. A comprehensive travel plan can be procured by keeping a few aspects in mind, while comparing different policies from insurer.
Destination - A traveler’s destination usually determines the size of the coverage required. The sum insured is decided based on the geography and also depending on the cost of medical treatments in that geography.
Duration - While choosing a plan, the customer has to keep the duration in mind. For longer durations the customer will have to pay higher and procure higher sum insured. For shorter stays, travel insurance costs are relatively cheaper.
Type of travel - Depending on the type of travel that will be undertaken by the customer, the corresponding travel policy can be procured. For individuals involved in sporting activities, additional coverage for high risk sports can be taken. Senior citizens can get customised policies covering specific medical conditions and treatments. Students can procure relevant plans catering to their needs, while pursuing higher education abroad.
Compare - As a rule, customers must compare before availing any travel insurance policy. Understanding the covers offered, claims process, online services, customer support, network hospitals, payment options, etc., is important for customers in order to enjoy the full benefits of the policy taken.
- If the travel policyholder participates in any professional sport, will that be covered under a travel insurance plan?
No, most travel policies do not cover expenses for participating in professional sports and games.
- Is it mandatory to buy cancellation insurance while procuring a travel plan?
This is not mandatory. But if a policyholder has availed this type of cover then he/she will be protected against unprecedented events which might lead to trip cancellations or curtailments.
- Is age an important factor when it comes to determining the required travel insurance coverage?
Coverage does not vary according to the age, but insurers offer various plans catering to a particular age group. These plans will offer similar covers for individuals falling within that age group.
- Is it possible to avail multiple travel insurance policies for one single trip?
No, only one travel insurance policy will be issued per single trip by the insurance company.
- Is airline insolvency covered under travel insurance policies in India?
If an airline declares bankruptcy or goes into insolvency before the scheduled flight of the policyholder, then some travel insurance policies will offer the provision of claiming airline insolvency costs. These are subject to terms and conditions, which vary across different insurers in India.
- Is there a minimum and maximum period for which I can purchase travel insurance?
Yes, there is. But the duration of the same varies from one insurance company to another. If you choose to buy travel insurance from Bharati AXA, then the minimum duration for which you can buy the policy is 2 days. The maximum period depends on the travel insurance plan that you have bought. They have been listed as follows -
Non-schengen travel insurance - minimum duration is 2 days up to 182 days. This can be extended up to 356 days.
For schengen products – minimum 2 days up to a period of 182 days.
For annual multi trip plan - The duration for each trip will not exceed 30/45/60 days. As dependant on the policy opted for.
- Is a medical check-up compulsory to buy a travel insurance?
Not necessarily, as this depends on the insurance company you have bought the insurance from and their policy. Most companies ask for fitness and medical certificates of your existing medical history before buying the travel insurance policy.
- If I apply for a travel insurance policy online, how long will it be before I get the policy?
Online applications of travel insurance are policy are very prompt and quick. You can apply for a policy online and also pay online. It is quick and hassle-free. Though the exact amount of time for the same varies from one insurance company to another, depending on their policies and promptness of service.
For ICICI Bank the hard copy of the policy takes a maximum of 7 working days and online policy can be bought within 15 minutes. You can take a print out of the same. This is a legal document and is valid for all purposes.
- What is hand baggage cover?
This cover comes into effect from the time the policyholder passes through the airport security check counter to the time his/her trip covered is over. In case of loss, he/she is compensated for the loss of his baggage as a whole. The compensation is also on actuals and the declaration of baggage loss by the policyholder. Please note that the overall liability under this cover will be up to the sum specified in the Policy Schedule.
- If I am staying abroad and the period of stay is extended, then can I renew my existing travel insurance policy? If so, then how?
Yes, you do have that option especially if you have bought the travel insurance plan with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. This plan can be renewed online. You have to fill a form 7-10 days before the coverage expires. The company will get an approval regarding the same from the concerned team within a day for the extension of the policy. You can buy the policy for 180 days, in the beginning and later renew it again for another 180 days. If you are a student, you can buy the policy for one year and eventually renew it for another year.
- What are the charges I need to pay in case I cancel my travel insurance policy?
If you cancel your travel insurance policy, you do have to pay a charge for that. ICICI Bank charges Rs. 300 as charges towards policy cancellation.
- Is it possible to get issued more than one policy for a single/same trip?
As per the policy rules of ICICI Bank travel insurance, an individual can be insured by only a single policy while undertaking their journey or travel.
- Within a duration of one year how many times can I extend my travel insurance policy?
ICICI Bank travel insurance gives you the liberty to extend the policy any number of times. But this holds true only if the total duration of the policy is equal to or less than 360 days.
- If I lose my passport during travel, will my travel insurance plan cover that?
Yes, most standard travel insurance plans cover loss of passport. The expenses incurred in obtaining a duplicate / temporary passport are covered by the insurer.
- For how long Is travel insurance valid?
Travel insurance taken for either overseas travel will usually be valid only:
Till the end of the duration of the insurance policy. This implies to the duration for which the premium has been paid, or,
Up to the point of time till the insured individual disembarks after returning to India. Keeping in mind that often, delays can also take place during travels which affect our itinerary thereafter, travel insurance providers also provide customers with the option of extending the duration of their travel insurance policy to accommodate the extension in stay.