By Vivek Chaturvedi
Every time you take a trip, you book your flight tickets, make hotel bookings, ensure you read reviews of the place to know what to expect and what to see and experience. But how often do you think of securing a journey with travel insurance?
Travel insurance is an essential part of a vacation as it acts as a safety measure against unforeseen expenses related to travel or medical emergencies that can spoil your trip.
The kind of insurance you choose depends on your travel needs. The insurance covers for a leisure trip and an adventure-filled holiday will be different. For instance, if you are on an adventure-seeking trip to UAE and have planned skydiving in Dubai, the kind of insurance you will need is the one travel covers such leisure activities.
In such a case, the following features in your insurance policy will help you remain stress-free as you have a reliable back up.
You wouldn’t want to be stranded in a foreign destination and wait for it to be working hours in India for support. Thus, your insurer should be always available, any time. You can also opt for insurers who offer a ‘Missed Call Facility’, wherein when you are on an international trip and need to make an emergency call, they can call you back. It is an added advantage, a convenient option that saves your money and effort to get through to your insurer for help.
Leisure activities cover
This cover is useful if you planned for an adventure activity on your trip. Ensure you compare the details like the premium, duration of the cover, etc., to protect you throughout your plan.
A good medical coverage
This is of utmost important as treatments in a foreign land can get really expensive. So, make sure you have a cover that covers at least 3-4 days of hospitalization and treatment. Every country/region may have a different minimum medical coverage requirement, sometimes also from a visa purpose point of view, but on an average you should look for a coverage of at least $1,00,000 while travelling to US/Canada/Europe and at least $50,000 while travelling within Asia.
On the other hand, if you have planned for a relaxing vacation like going to Bali, and you lose your luggage, or your flight is delayed, it will spoil your vacation. The following features will help you enjoy a hassle-free vacation and protect you throughout the time you are relaxing.
This feature comes in use when you raise a claim as you do not have to pay anything. The insurance company will take care of all the expenses.
Flight delays are common, even on international routes, and always hamper scheduled itineraries. With some travel insurances, you can get immediate compensation for such flight delays.
Checked-in baggage loss by airlines is a harrowing experience for any traveller. Imagine going to Bali, but your vacation clothes did not arrive as the baggage was lost. According to BBC News, 25 million items of baggage are reportedly mislaid by airlines every year. Few insurance companies also have a flat benefit cash claim option, where you can claim a particular flat-rate amount when your baggage is lost, covering the expenses of the things you lost and can buy afresh on your destination.
Apart from these coverages, irrespective of what kind of trip you are making, there are some coverages that can act like an angel under unexpected circumstances:
Trip Cancellation or Emergency Trip Extension or Trip Abandonment benefit
Right from before the start of your trip to while you are on it, any medical emergency can come up. Of course, while you are on the trip, the medical expenses will be covered by insurance, but even if something happens, make sure your insurance covers trip cancellation costs, the non-refundable ones.
Loss of passport
This can happen anywhere, even in the safest of foreign cities. So, for such circumstances, if your insurance has a loss of passport coverage, you can be cushioned against the emergency certificate needed for you to continue your trip or return to India. And of course, the insurer will help you in this situation as an advisor as well.
And while you’re away, apart from a travel policy, you can also opt for a policy like home protection cover. It relieves you from thinking about the safety of your house while you are away. Unexpected situations like fire or burglary are covered under this insurance. People do not have to take a yearlong cover and can opt for a bite-sized two-day cover at a low cost to cover their home contents.
Before you start your trip, it is important first to protect yourself, your loved ones and your beloved assets to avoid unexpected losses and regret.
All views expressed are author's own
Vivek Chaturvedi is the head of marketing and direct (online) sales at Digit Insurance.