Travel insurance covers losses financially or by meeting medical expenses incurred while travelling nationally as well as internationally. The insurer bears most of the cost with the traveller having to pay a deductible. Insurance can be bought by investing non-refundable pre-payments as premium against a fixed amount of money.
India has several travel insurance companies like ICICI Lombard, TATA AIG, HDFC ERGO, Bajaj Allianz, Royal Sundaram and many others which provide both domestic and overseas travel insurance.
Some companies like TATA AIG and Bajaj Allianz have Asia specific travel insurance policies which cover most Asian nations.
Travel insurance is also provided by airlines like Jet Airways (JetProtect Travel Insurance covers both domestic and overseas) and Kingfisher (domestic insurance only) to their passengers.
Travel insurance can be bought online or from a travel agent. The insurance costs differ depending on the age, health, length and destination of the trip. Travel insurance offers coverage to a variety of travellers like students, individuals, families and business people.
Family travel insurance policies cover the entire family under one single policy. Children from 6 months to 21 years and adults not older than 70 years can be covered under the family insurance. Up to 4 children are typically covered. Before buying a policy one should thoroughly go through the terms and conditions.
Most overseas travel insurance policies cover passport loss, checked-in baggage delay or loss, medical expenses, emergency evacuation or repatriation, trip cancellation or curtailment, delayed and missed flight connection, financial emergency assistance, personal accident and repatriation of remains. Some policies cover pre-existing conditions in case of life-threatening emergencies.
The premium or the cost of the policy depends on the duration, destination and age of the traveller. Pre-existing medical conditions like asthma and diabetes can be covered for a higher price. Also covered for a higher premium are high-risk travel zones – war prone areas, areas vulnerable to terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
To make a claim, a claim registration needs to be filed online or by calling up the helpline of the policy provider. In case of a reimbursement a claims form along with supporting documents like reports, invoice, receipts, etc. need to be submitted to the provider. Most policy providers have a time limit of 28 to 31 days to file a claim.
Policies can be cancelled if the trip has not been undertaken against an administration charge.
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