Buying Travel Insurance? Know the Cover, Things to Consider & How to Claim

Travelling abroad is an exciting adventure, and it’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected. 

For this, it’s important to know what travel insurance is and how it works. 

In this guide, we’ll cover the essentials of travel insurance, and what you should look for when selecting a policy.

What is a Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance provides a financial cover for unforeseen events during your travels, which can bring you significant financial losses. 

These events can be trip cancellations, medical emergencies, lost luggage, flight delays, and more.

Why Is Travel Insurance Important?

  1. Financial Protection: It shields you from significant financial losses due to trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or other unforeseen events.
  1. Healthcare Abroad: It covers medical expenses, ensuring you receive proper medical care without worrying about high foreign medical bills.
  1. Luggage and Flight Coverage: It offers compensation for lost luggage and additional expenses caused by flight delays or cancellations.
  1. Peace of Mind: Travel insurance provides peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your journey without constant worry about unexpected mishaps.

What Events Does Travel Insurance Cover?

The specific coverage may vary depending on the insurance provider and policy type. However, here are some common events usually covered by travel insurance:

1. Trip Cancellation

If you need to cancel your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, injury, or a family emergency, travel insurance can reimburse you for non-refundable expenses like airfare, accommodations, and tour bookings.

2. Trip Interruption

If you have to cut your trip short and return home due to a covered event, travel insurance can help cover the additional expenses incurred and reimburse you for the unused portion of your trip.

3. Medical Emergencies

Healthcare costs can be exorbitant in foreign countries. Travel insurance often includes coverage for medical expenses incurred abroad, including doctor visits, hospitalization, and emergency medical evacuation.

4. Baggage Loss or Delay

If your luggage is lost, stolen, or delayed during your journey, travel insurance can provide compensation to replace essential items and cover expenses incurred due to the delay.

5. Travel Delays

Coverage for travel delays due to factors like bad weather, airline strikes, or mechanical failures can help cover additional expenses such as accommodation and meals during the delay.

6. Travel Assistance

Travel insurance may offer assistance services such as 24/7 emergency hotlines, language translation, and help with lost travel documents.

7. Cancellations by Tour Operators or Airlines

If your tour operator or airline cancels your trip for reasons beyond your control, travel insurance can provide reimbursement for non-refundable expenses.

8. Accidental Death or Serious Injury

In the unfortunate event of an accident leading to death or serious injury while travelling, travel insurance can provide a benefit to your beneficiaries or cover medical expenses.

9. Natural Disasters and Political Unrest

Some policies may offer coverage if your trip is disrupted or cancelled due to unexpected events like natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or political unrest at your destination.

It’s important to note that coverage details can vary between policies and providers. Before purchasing travel insurance, make sure to discuss your travel plans and requirements with your insurance agent to customize your policy accordingly. Here are some of the things you need to consider while choosing a travel insurance policy.

What to Consider When Choosing A Travel Insurance

  1. Coverage Types & Limits: Understand the types of coverage offered by different policies. Common options include trip cancellation/interruption, medical coverage, emergency evacuation, baggage loss/delay, flight delays/cancellations and more. Choose a policy that aligns with your needs and the nature of your trip. Pay attention to the maximum coverage limits for each event. Ensure that the limits are sufficient to cover potential expenses, especially for medical coverage.
  1. Pre-Existing Medical Conditions: Some policies may exclude coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. If you have any such conditions, look for policies that provide suitable coverage or consider purchasing a separate policy to address these needs.
  1. Destination & Activities: Different destinations and activities carry varying levels of risk. Ensure your policy covers the specific places you’ll visit and any adventurous activities you plan to engage in, such as extreme sports or high-altitude trekking.
  1. Policy Duration: Calculate the duration of your trip, as it can affect the policy cost. Ensure the policy covers your entire journey. 
  1. Policy Exclusions: Carefully read the policy’s exclusions which are situations or activities not covered by the insurance. Be aware of any activities or circumstances that might void your coverage.
  1. Emergency Assistance: Check if the policy comes with 24/7 emergency assistance services. This can be invaluable when you encounter difficulties abroad, such as medical emergencies or lost travel documents.
  1. Price and Value: While cost is a factor, prioritize value over the cheapest option. Consider the coverage offered and the peace of mind it provides. Compare different travel insurance providers. 

How to Claim a Travel Insurance?

Let’s consider a specific example to illustrate how to claim travel insurance.

“Imagine you’re about to go on a trip abroad. Your flight is delayed, causing you to miss out on your pre-booked hotel stay or planned activities.”

It’s frustrating to lose money on these bookings because of no mistake of ours. This is a common event that many travellers experience. 

However, if you have travel insurance, here’s how you can claim it.

  1. Contact Your Insurance Provider: This is the first step. Do it as soon as possible. They will guide you on the necessary steps to take.
  1. Provide Documentation: This may include proof of your original flight booking, proof of the flight’s delay, and any expenses incurred due to the delay, such as additional accommodation costs or missed activity fees.
  1. Submit Your Claim: This typically involves filling out a claims form and attaching the necessary paperwork.
  1. Claim Evaluation: The insurance company reviews your claim to check if it’s covered by your policy. Travel insurance policies often cover flight delays. However, it’s essential to confirm this in your policy document before opting for the insurance.
  1. Compensation: If your claim is approved (typically within 2 – 4 weeks), the insurance company will provide compensation to cover the expenses incurred due to the flight delay. This could include reimbursement for the missed hotel stay abroad, rescheduling of activities, or additional expenses for meals and transportation during the delay.

In Conclusion

Travel insurance is an indispensable companion for Indian travellers heading abroad. It safeguards you against unexpected challenges, allowing you to focus on enjoying your journey to the fullest. When selecting a policy, take the time to compare options, read reviews, and consult with insurance experts if needed. With the right travel insurance in place, you can explore the world with confidence, knowing that you’re prepared for whatever comes your way. Safe travels!


About The Author

Scroll to Top