Travelling is one of the ways in which we try to escape the humdrum monotony of daily life. While traveling solo has its own set of charms, traveling in a group is quite fun, be it with friends, family, or even with your colleagues on a business trip. A well-planned group trip if executed properly can be one of the most memorable experiences of your life.
However, while the unpredictability of events is part of the allure of a trip, the key to enjoying a vacation is to do it stress-free. Opting for travel insurance gives you the necessary peace of mind to enjoy your vacation knowing that you are protected from any unforeseen harmful incidence that may befall you. In addition, if you are traveling in groups, why not make the most of it and save up on many expenses by opting for a Group Travel Insurance? Read on to know why you need a Group Travel Insurance, what aspects of your trip are covered, and its benefits.
Why would you need a Group Travel Insurance?
So you have packed up your bags, collected all your travel documents, and prepared a solidly planned itinerary for your entire trip. With meticulous planning, you would expect your trip to go as smooth as butter. However, life has the unpleasant habit of throwing surprises at you when you are least expecting it, and as a part of a group, the risks are all the greater. Here are just a few of the things that might go wrong in your otherwise well-planned trip:
- Cancellations: You have a great trip lined up as part of a group, and all advance payments towards bookings and reservations have been made. Unfortunately, something or the other crops up at the last minute, and somebody from your group would no longer be able to join you. Now the others would have to bear the extra expenditure this cancellation entails.
- Illness: You have details of the medical history of all your group members and have prepared accordingly by packing all required medications and some more, just in case. However, medical emergencies may arise on a trip that cannot be taken care of by your meager stock of medicines, from accidental damage to something as simple as food poisoning. Treatment costs money, and even more so if hospitalization is required. Medical insurances may become severely limited in their coverage during travel, and does not operate at all if outside your country. The cost of treatment goes even higher.
- Accidents: You have started on a hiking trip and it is going spectacularly well when one of your group members misses a step and breaks a bone. Alternatively, you are out at sea on a cruise when one of your group members start vomiting badly, and the ship’s emergency first aid kit just cannot stop it. These members need to be taken away to a proper medical facility and possibly even back home and these emergency evacuations and treatments may be costly.
- Accidental Liabilities: Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, and it is as likely to happen with you as with the person next to you. It may thus happen that your group becomes part of an accidental event causing damage to somebody else. These liabilities are costly at the best of times, and even more so if they happen in a place where you are just visiting.
- Lost Belongings: Picture yourself on a trip with your group, enjoying to the fullest. Then tragedy strikes out of the blue and some members of your group have their luggage stolen. Even if it is just a single bag lost, it puts a question mark on whether you have the necessary funds to replace the loss and still enjoy the rest of your trip.
- Misplaced Baggage: An unfortunate albeit uncommon reality of air travel is misplaced baggage. If one or more of your group’s luggage is misplaced due to human or technical errors, recovery of the misplaced luggage means unnecessary stress and effort.
- Missed Connections: If the use of public transport is factored into your plan, one or more of your group members always stand the small risk of missing a connecting transport link by not being on time. Now they would have to make alternate arrangements to meet up with the rest of the group, and at short notice, such arrangements are often expensive.
- Trip Curtailment: Even the best-laid tour plans are liable to be cut short due to unforeseen large-scale events like natural disasters. These may leave your entire group stranded with no way to move forward, so you have to turn back and return home. Abandoning a planned trip may cause you to lose all the money already paid, and the return tickets may be even costlier.
There are a number of other unforeseen factors by which a traveling group can incur excess expenditure. Whether or not you are able to afford these expenses by yourself, it is always beneficial to have a safety net in the form of travel insurance. Moreover, some countries like the USA, France, Germany, etc. do not allow you to visit without travel insurance. Group Travel Insurance costs less per head rather than individually bought travel insurance while providing similar coverage.
What is covered under Group Travel Insurance?
Group Travel Insurance Plans provides the same coverage as individual Travel Insurance Plans at a far lower cost to each member of the group. Different financial companies provide different ranges of coverage and may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Coverage for trip cancellation, which reimburses the entire cost or part of the cost for the duration of the trip if you or a group member have to cancel the entire trip due to reasons covered in your insurance plan.
- Medical coverage that covers medical treatment for emergencies, which require hospitalization
- Coverage for emergency evacuation for one or more members of the group in case of an emergency
- Coverage for a part of the costs incurred by your group due to accidental damage to a person or their property
- Coverage for basic requirements in case the luggage of one or more members of the group has been misplaced during transit and is in the process of being recovered
- Reimbursement up to a certain amount of money in case the luggage is destroyed, stolen or completely lost
- Coverage for reimbursement of the cost of the trip that is left unused and emergency funds for traveling in case the entire trip has to be curtailed due to reasons covered in your insurance plan
- Reimbursements up to a certain amount of money in case one or more members of your group miss a public transport link due to unforeseen reasons and have to make alternate travel arrangements
Who should get Group Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is mandatory in some cases and provides security and peace of mind for all travellers. Group Travel Insurance Plans are not necessary if you are travelling solo, but if you plan to travel with a large group, getting a group travel insurance plan for your entire group will be far cheaper per person while providing the same coverage as individual travel insurance plans. Some groups have a greater need for insurance than others do, and here are just a few examples of those travellers who absolutely must get insurance:
- Travel groups following a tight schedule usually have very little free time and flexibility to deal with unforeseen circumstances on their own. Having group travel insurance thus ensures that your trip stays unperturbed even if there are unforeseen hurdles thrown your way
- If your travel plan consists of a long itinerary, group travel insurance plans go a long way to help make your trip stress free and thoroughly enjoyable
- Travelling groups including children and/or the elderly absolutely must get travel insurance since both these groups are particularly prone to falling ill or facing an unforeseen medical condition during travel. Having a group travel insurance plan can really help you to avoid exorbitant medical expenses with or without hospitalization for the elderly or the children in your group, allowing you to relax and enjoy the trip as much as they do
- Travellers on business trips travel with essential documents that generally tend to be of a sensitive nature. While keeping baggage and documents in order is one of the top things in any traveller’s priority list, having a safety net can really help you to relax and focus more on your work
- The best of nature’s bounty is often secluded from excessive human presence. Unfortunately, this same remoteness can become a pain in your side if a sudden mishap strikes and your group is left with somebody needing urgent medical attention. Having a travel insurance ensures that no member of your group is too far away from medical attention
- Travellers going to popular tourist destinations enjoy the great sights the place has to offer, whether it is a place of historic importance or simple a large exotic marketplace. However, the popularity of a tourist destination can make it a crowded place and your group can become the unfortunate target of antisocial elements, leaving you with a risk of having your luggage stolen or damaged. Travel insurance can cover most of the costs of your loss in such cases, so if you have one for your group, all of you can breathe a little easier
How to pick the best Group Travel Insurance Plan for your group?
While travel insurance may seem expensive and relatively unnecessary, it is usually far safer than the alternative of facing a situation where you have to shell out enormous amounts of money to tide over an unforeseen event. However, without the proper know-how, you can easily end up with a plan that is expensive but is either insufficient or excessive compared to what you actually need. In general, group travel insurance plans are not necessarily too costly, and you can usually find a plan perfectly suited to your needs if you keep a few things in mind. Four factors are commonly considered indispensable in a group travel insurance:
- Compensation for unforeseen travel glitches
- Compensation for medical emergency and treatment
- Compensation for unforeseen accommodation costs
- Compensation for legal liabilities
If your insurance provider covers these to your satisfaction, most of your job of getting a good travel insurance is done. Now you can further tune your group travel insurance policy according to your needs with the help of the following pointers:
- The rate of settlements: Take into account the claim settlement ratio of the company you plan to purchase the insurance policy from. While not an absolute benchmark for the insurance provider, the rate of claim settlements made by them in the past can help you determine the treatment you would receive from their end.
- Brand value: The key factor in any insurance is the sense of security it gives to the insured. Thus, an insurance policy purchased from an established brand is likely to be more secure than one purchased from a not so well known brand.
- The extent of coverage: Since the extent of coverage provided by different companies vary, a thorough research into what is covered, and what is excluded can help you pick the right insurance policy.
- Lucrative returns: If the sum insured appears a little too good to be true, it probably is. In general, higher sum insured mean higher premiums or some hidden unsavoury clauses in the fine print of your insurance documents.
- Travel objective: Your insurance plan is largely determined by the purpose of your visit. If you are a business executive on a work-related trip with your colleagues, you are quite unlikely to spend your time doing risky adventure sporting activities and a basic plan with less emphasis on accident coverage could be your target. If on the other hand, you are travelling with a group more inclined towards such adventure sports, then buying a plan with a comprehensive accident coverage could be what you are looking for.
- Travelling frequency: Travelling groups often visit the same place multiple times in a year, like research scholars documenting a natural phenomenon. If you belong to one such group, buying a multi-trip plan may be the more cost effective and sensible option.
- Cost of premiums: The entire point of travel insurance is to ensure your peace of mind on your trip. Thus, it makes absolutely no sense investing in a plan with high premiums that you can barely afford because of a large sum insured. Equally pointless is investing your money in a plan with cheap premiums because it may well turn out to be insufficient for your group’s travel plans.
- Journey destination: Both the cost and coverage of the insurance plan you select will depend on your destination, as well as the time during which you undertake the journey, especially if you are travelling to a foreign country where the medical expenses are not the same as India.
- Ease of access: Last but not the least, an important factor in selecting your insurance plan is how easily you can access it in times of need. Everybody dislikes bureaucracy, so if you have to break through a mountain of red tapes to get your claim settlement, perhaps the policy is not really what you are looking for.
The unpredictability of life throws us off balance even at the best of times. If such mishaps happen while you are travelling with a group of people, not only does it dampen the spirits of the trip, but can also turn into life or death situations. Group Travel Insurance Policy is an absolute necessity for all groups and all purposes. Today, with online insurance plans, getting a group health insurance policy has become all the easier and affordable. So now, you can focus less on the health and safety of your travel group or their belongings, and focus more on making beautiful memories on your trip that you will cherish forever.
Group Travel Insurance FAQs
Travel Insurance is an insurance policy that insures you against unforeseen circumstances that may arise during a trip like medical emergencies, loss of luggage, etc.
Travel insurance plans may be of various types catering to individuals or to groups of people. Some of these include:
· Group Travel Insurance Plan
· Family Travel Insurance Plan
· Corporate Travel Insurance Plan
· Multi-Trip Travel Insurance Plan
· Medical Travel Insurance Plan
Most insurance providers adopt a flexible policy and allow you to select a plan depending on your specific requirements.
Group Travel Insurance is an insurance policy that insures a group of people from unforeseen circumstances that may arise during travelling. Such policies usually provide the same coverage benefits for a group of people as individual travel insurance.
Some countries like the USA, France, Germany, Spain, etc. have made travel insurance compulsory. In India, you can travel without insurance but it is advantageous and advisable to invest in a group insurance plan for your entire travel group to protect you from any number of unforeseen events that may occur.
Group travel insurance can protect you from the following circumstances during your travel:
• Delay or cancellation of flights or other modes of public transport
• Loss of baggage and essential travel documents like passports
• Medical emergencies
• Health conditions
• Individual cancellations within a group
• Missing connecting public transportation links for individuals within a group
Buying a group travel insurance for your trip can provide you with a number of benefits, including:
• Financial support during emergency
• Medical coverage which may include hospitalisation
• Coverage for cancellations or delays
• Coverage for a group of people at a lower cost per person than individual travel insurance plans
• Coverage for lost, stolen, or misplaced luggage and documents
• Coverage of liabilities
Since an emergency can occur anytime and anywhere, it is always prudent to invest in travel insurance even if you are travelling just within the country. Domestic Group Travel Insurance insures traveller groups on a trip within the country and covers everything covered by an individual insurance plan, including medical emergencies, disability or death, misplaced, lost, or stolen luggage, delay or cancellation of public transport, personal liabilities, etc.
International Group Travel Insurance Policies provide coverage for a number of conditions that may arise during travelling to or in a foreign country, including:
- Delay or cancellation of flights
- Missed flights
- Flight hijacking
- Medical expenditure including emergencies in the country of travel
- Misplaced or lost luggage
- Stolen luggage
- Personal liabilities
- Emergency return of a part of the group back to India
- Loss of essential travel documents like the passport
Flexibility is an integral property in insurance provided by most insurance providers. You can thus purchase a Group Travel Insurance Medical Policy that will cover medical expenses, illnesses, cost of hospitalisation, medical emergencies, etc. without covering other circumstances like lost baggage, flight cancellations, etc.
Separate individual policies are not essential if you have a group insurance policy and vice versa. However, you can have both for a more comprehensive insurance coverage.
Family Travel Insurance is a type of group insurance policy that can be purchased by a group of to 2 adults not exceeding 60 years of age, and 2 children who not exceeding 21 years of age. Group Travel Insurance Policies are usually sufficient for travelling families as well.
Medical tests are usually not required to buy a group travel insurance plan. However, the requirement may vary from plan to plan, especially in the case of senior citizens or people with known health conditions travelling in your group. Premium costs may be higher in these cases.
Most insurance providers provide a fixed period of time after purchasing the insurance during which it can be cancelled without any charge or with only a nominal charge. Cancellations after this period may incur a higher charge.
While group travel insurance plans might seem like a needless expenditure when the money could be spent on enjoyable activities during the trip, it is advisable to remember that misfortune and tragedy can strike anytime. It is great news if nothing untoward happens on your trip, but if it does, then the travel insurance plan might be your only way out.
It is essential to carry the travel insurance documents at all times for all the members of your group. This way, a claim can be made without unnecessary loss of time. Nowadays, insurance providers have made this process far easier by safely storing all your documents on online servers which you can access 24/7 with an internet connection.
Usually, insurance policy providers provide the opportunity for extension of a plan by a fixed number of days. If required, the insurance policy can be renewed before expiry.
Corporate travel insurance plans are designed for working professionals who need to make multiple trips to different places. These are usually long-term plans and may be bought either individually or for a group by the company.
Life is largely unpredictable, so it is very difficult to determine the best insurance plan for your group. You can ask for the advice of professional consultants and discuss with fellow travellers in your group about their requirements. In general, you can keep the following in mind to help select a group travel insurance that fits your needs:
- The claim settlement ratio: Look into the claim settlement ratio of the company you plan to purchase insurance from. While not an absolute benchmark for the insurance provider, the claim settlement ratio can help you know their record when it comes to settling claims.
- Brand value: The key factor in any insurance is the sense of security it gives to the insured. Thus, an insurance purchased from an established brand is likely to be more secure than one purchased from a not so well known brand.
- The extent of coverage: Since the extent of coverage provided by different companies varies, conducting a thorough research into what is covered and what is excluded can help you pick the right policy.
- Lucrative returns: If the sum insured appear too good to be true, it probably is. In general, higher sum insured mean higher premiums or some hidden unsavoury clauses in the fine print of your insurance documents.
- Travel objective: Your insurance plan is largely determined by the purpose of your visit. If you are a business executive on a work-related trip with your colleagues, you are quite unlikely to occupy your time with adventure sporting activities. Therefore, a basic plan with less emphasis on accident coverage will do fine for you. If on the other hand, you are travelling with a group more inclined towards such adventure sports, then buying a plan with a comprehensive accident coverage is your best bet.
- Travelling frequency: Travelling groups – like research scholars - often visit the same place multiple times in a year. If you belong to such groups, buying a multi-trip plan may be the more cost effective and sensible option.
- Cost of premiums: The entire point of travel insurance is to ensure your peace of mind on your trip. Thus, it makes absolutely no sense investing in a plan with high premiums, which you can barely afford simply because of a large sum insured. Equally pointless is investing your money in a plan with cheap premiums because it may well turn out to be insufficient for your group’s travel plans.
- Journey destination: Both the cost and coverage of the insurance plan you select will depend on your destination, as well as the time during which you undertake the journey, especially if you are travelling to a foreign country where medical expenses would be very different.
- Ease of access: Last but not the least, an important factor in selecting your insurance plan is how accessible it is to you. Everybody dislikes bureaucracy, so if you have to break through a mountain of red tapes to get your claim settlement, perhaps the policy is not really what you are looking for.
No, travel insurance policies do not cover death or damage due to acts of terrorism.
Travel insurances do not usually cover mental illnesses and physical harm caused due to the same.
Some commonly excluded factors under the group travel insurance include:
• Civil war or local protests at the destination
• Medical complications due to pre-existing conditions
• Acts of terrorism
• Less than 24 hours of delay in the arrival of baggage
• Loss or damage to keys, credit or debit cards, personal belongings
• Complications due to sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS
• Mental health conditions
• Attempts at self-harm or suicide
• Travelling against medical advice
• Being under the influence of alcohol or other non-prescribed drugs
• Wilful participation in dangerous activities
• Criminal acts
Yes, group travel insurance policies can be purchased online.
Some reasons why online travel insurance policies are better over their offline counterparts to include:
• Complete transparency: All documents and other relevant information are available at your fingertips, with a single click.
• Automated payments: Payment of premiums can be automated in an online policy, so there is no need to remember to the premium payment date.
• Security: All insurance documents are stored encrypted on the company server and can be accessed securely from anywhere.
• Convenience: Premiums can be paid from anywhere and at any time, payments can be automated, claims can be filed at your convenience;
• Consumer power: The absence of brokers ensures that you get exactly what you pay for.
• E-statements: Policy related documents are e-mailed to you at regular intervals, allowing you to keep abreast of every aspect of your policy.
• 24x7-customer service: In case of any queries, trained professionals are always available.
Yes, online insurance policies are safe and secure.
Yes, for two reasons. Firstly, the group travel insurance shall provide coverage for medical expenses for all the members of your group. Secondly, any medical insurance purchased in the country are not valid outside the country, so if you are travelling to a foreign country, your group travel insurance will provide coverage for medical expenses to all your group members.
Apart from the insurance-related documents, other documents that may be required depending on the insurance provider and the reason for the claim, and may include:
- Discharge summaries
- Death certificate for the transfer of mortal remains back to India
- Proof of the value of items in your bag
- Proof of judicial decision
- FIR copy