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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

What is Travel Insurance? A Comprehensive Guide for Travellers

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2024 is the year of travel, whether within one’s home country or outside in a completely unknown country. Get out there, explore the world, celebrate new experiences, and create lasting memories for a lifetime with your loved ones. However, remember to secure your journey with travel insurance when you do. 

But what is travel insurance, and is it mandatory when travelling outside India? What are its types? What does it cover? And why must you opt for one when going on a trip? Keep reading to find out. 

What is travel insurance?

As a traveller, one might encounter several travel insurance definitions. While there are several meanings, here is the simplest and best travel insurance definition. 

Travel insurance is a risk management tool that travellers use to secure their journey from the financial impact of several covered risks. These travel-related risks might be medical or non-medical, and their impact can result in severe financial loss and a negative travel experience. Armed with insurance, travellers can secure their journey and travel with confidence, as when faced with these risks, they have a safety net to fall back on.

Is travel insurance mandatory when travelling outside India?

No, currently, there is no universal mandate for insurance when going on a foreign trip. Although Indian travellers might be required to purchase insurance when seeking a visa for entry into over 30 countries, travellers not going on a journey to these countries might choose not to opt for insurance. 

However, while it is not mandatory, all travellers going on an international trip are highly recommended to secure their journey with insurance. This is because although not every traveller might be exposed to these risks and have to bear their impact if they do, travellers can calmly and level-headedly face these risks without fear and worry. 

Note: The countries that mandate insurance also have specific minimum requirements that need to be considered before your visa is approved. For example, if you are looking for Schengen travel insurance, it must be covered for at least €30,000 to be eligible for a Schengen Visa. 

What are the types of insurance available to travellers?

Every traveller has different needs, so it is necessary to classify them and provide coverage accordingly. Over the years, insurers have classified insurance for travellers into specific types. 

Here is a list of some of the most common types of insurance travellers can opt for:

  • Single-trip

Single-trip insurance is the most common type of insurance opted by travellers. This type covers a single roundtrip (to and fro) to the travel destination. This type of insurance benefits individuals and families looking to vacation or business travellers who know they will be travelling to a destination only once.

  • Multi-trip

Multi-trip or annual multi-trip insurance covers several round trips within a set duration. While each trip still has a limit for the duration of the visit, travellers can visit the travel destination several times a year. This type of insurance might be beneficial for business travellers. 

  • Student

As the name suggests, this policy is for travellers going on a trip for education. In contrast to regular insurance, these policies cover the entire study duration instead of a round trip. 

  • Senior citizen

This is a relatively uncommon type of insurance. Still, it covers senior citizens for risks they might be exposed to and provides beneficial coverages like pre-existing disease coverage.

  • Domestic

While not quite as comprehensive as insurance for international travellers, domestic travellers can choose to secure their domestic trip with insurance for domestic travel. This is because even if you have health insurance which covers medical risks, there might be non-medical travel-related risks like loss of checked-in baggage, missed connecting flight, or trip cancellation. 

  • International travel insurance

Insurance for international travel provides comprehensive coverage for several medical and non-medical travel-related risks and is only applicable when travelling outside one’s home country.

These are some of the broad categories in which travel insurance is categorised. While your specific journey and needs differ or come under several categories, you can secure your journey with the right insurance by considering this categorisation. 

What does travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance, like any other insurance policy, has a variety of coverages which are available depending on the specific plan opted for. Here are some of the common coverages provided as a part of the insurance policy:

  1. Trip delay, interruption, cancellation

Having your trip involuntarily delayed, interrupted or cancelled can result in financial loss and a negative travel experience. This is one of the primary coverages offered as a part of insurance for travellers.

  1. Loss of checked-in baggage

Delay or loss of checked-in baggage is one of the most common risks to which a traveller is exposed. This coverage provides compensation for the contents of the bag.

  1. Missed connecting flight

Missing one’s connecting flight due to an inadvertent delay from a common carrier can result in financial loss and a negative travel experience. This coverage provides compensation for the additional expenses incurred due to this risk.

  1. Loss of passport

Loss of a passport outside one’s home country can cause a severe headache due to the nature and importance of a passport. This coverage provides compensation for the cost incurred to replace the lost passport. 

  1. Personal accident

Getting into an accident can result in shock and hamper the traveller’s health and well-being. This coverage provides financial assistance in the unfortunate incidence of the traveller’s death or if they incur permanent disability.

  1. Medical emergency

Becoming sick or requiring emergency medical assistance can often be expensive but difficult. Travel insurance provides coverage for both in-patient and out-patient medical expenses.

It is, however, essential to note that while these are some of the common coverages under insurance, for travelling and while some insurers might provide them, there might be limitations in the scope and extent of coverage. This is why consider getting insurance from a reputable provider like Niva Bupa for the best solution for your specific needs. 

Conclusion

Whether going on a trip for business, leisure, or educational purposes, insurance is a necessary tool for travellers to opt for. This is because although not everyone might be exposed to these risks, and even fewer might have to claim settlement for it, it is a way to mitigate risk and explore the world with confidence and peace of mind. 

So opt for the right travel insurance with the best coverage from a reputable insurance provider like Niva Bupa and live your best life by yourself, with loved ones, or with colleagues. 

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