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All that you need to know about Travel Insurance

Whether it is for business trips or holiday with friends and family, traveling in India or abroad these days has become an integral part of our lives. We have become more mobile than ever before. But with the increased number of travelers and rate of travel, the occurrence of multiple travel related risks are also increasing. From misplaced luggage at airports to costs incurred due to transit delays to falling sick at foreign lands, traveling can sometimes offer a lot of inconveniences and one should be prepared! It is important to take measures and protect oneself against unforeseen circumstances so the rest of the trip goes smoothly and as planned.And who can help you in minimizing all these risks? A travel insurance policy. A comprehensive travel insurance policy offers many benefits such as medical expenses and loss or baggage. However, one can also opt for a specific policy that fits the purpose and duration of the trip.

Let’s find out more.

What does travel insurance usually cover?

A travel policy usually allows you to cancel your trip for the following reasons-injury or illness, a missed connection, or an unpredictable event such as earthquake, terror attack, etc. If your trip is derailed for one of these reasons, you’re entitled to a reimbursement for costs that are usually not refundable. It also covers medical expenses incurred during travelling. Some policies may also provide cover for other situations like medical evacuation to India, accidental death or disability benefit, losses due to flight delays or loss of documents or baggage loss and more. In addition, some even provide travel assistance in the form of legal advice or facilitating emergency cash transfers. Some insurers also provide cover for adventurous sports activities.

What travel insurance does not cover?

A common exclusion is a pre-existing illness. It refers to any medical condition that has required attention prior to travel or initiation of the policy. So, if you are suffering from an illness or condition like diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular problems and so on, the policy will not be covering that. Also, if complications arise from any surgery, illness or accident you sustained prior to the travel those will not be covered in most of the insurance policy. What else doesn’t it cover? Any losses incurred due to breaking foreign laws or caused due to terrorism or making frauds.

What about the cost?

The price and duration of the trip, your age, and optional add-ons–these are the factors that determine the cost of your insurance. A policy typically costs 3 to 5 percent of your trip’s prepaid,non-refundable costs. Whereas a “cancel for any reason” policy (an option provided by many) can run you 7 to 10 percent of the non-refundable cost. Some plan provisions are available only if you buy the policy within 14 days of your initial travel purchase. Some policies are more expensive if you’re older or are engaging in risky activities like bungee jumping, rock climbing, paragliding, etc.

What should I look for when picking a policy?

Consider what kind of a traveler you are and pick a policy accordingly. Say, if you are a frequent traveler (if you take more than two holidays a year), it is best to take an annual travel policy as it will be cheaper than a single trip policy. A single-trip policy is ideal for a one-time vacation or business tour! Also, if you or a family member has a medical problem that could require a cancellation,confirm that your policy includes a waiver for pre-existing conditions (this is the most common reason claims are turned down). These are few factors that you can look forward to when selecting a policy.

Where can I find a good policy?

Travel agencies offer policies that will generally cover you for the duration of your trip, but you should definitely do your homework before picking that up. Most airlines, cruise lines, and tour operators offer optional insurance (also called wholesale policies) that tend to have more exclusions.You can also go through multiple websites for reviews and compare policies. You can also buy direct through one of the travel insurance companies.

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