Travelling is seen as a means to refresh and rejuvenate your body and the mind. Be it for the purpose of leisure or for work, travelling is something most people look forward to. However, irrespective of how well you plan a trip, there is always a chance of things going awry?
Ensuring your trip in case of an unforeseen event is probably one of the best ways to make sure that your holidays are untouched by the results of emergencies. Most emergencies either have a financial or medical repercussion or in some cases, both.
Once an emergency occurs, you cannot undo it. What you can do instead is be prepared so that its effects are mitigated. An international travel insurance policy does that for you when you are travelling abroad.
Ten good reasons why you would need international travel insurance
While your date of journey remains fixed, accidents and mishaps may not be. Here are a few reasons why you would need to purchase a good international travel insurance policy beforehand-
Support in medical emergencies
Medical emergencies can arise anywhere, anytime. Several contingencies can occur while you are travelling abroad. Falling sick, physical injuries, accidents- such unfortunate events can ruin your vacation. In case they do occur, the next step is to look for treatment. The cost of undergoing medical treatment in a foreign country is always higher than in the home country. In such a scenario, bearing high medical costs can be difficult for most travellers. In case such a situation arises, your international travel insurance policy will bear the medical as well as hospital costs.
Coverage in remote areas
If you suffer an accident or a sudden illness in a remote area where there are no medical facilities available, or the expense of hospitalization is quite high, the international travel insurance comes in handy because it covers all these expenses.
Reclamation of cancelled and rescheduled flight fees
If your flight is cancelled or delayed due to bad weather conditions or technical issues, or if you miss your connecting flight because of a strike or some other reason, the insurance policy will compensate by covering these expenses so that you do not go over the budget before setting off on your journey.
In case you fall sick or are injured while holidaying at your favourite destination, the international travel insurance policy can recompense you for any emergency accommodation until you are able to fly again.
Stress-free car hire
Replacement of stolen or lost luggage
If you misplace or lose your passport, luggage, or any other belongings, the cost of getting it replaced will be borne by the insurance company.
If a patient undergoing treatment at a foreign hospital needs to be sent back to his/her home country, then the entire expense is borne by the insurance provider. The insurer also bears the expense of transportation from the site of the accident to the nearest hospital in case of accidental injuries.
Coverage for the whole family
With international travel insurance, you can ensure coverage for your family. The policy will cover you, the spouse and your children up to the age of 21 years.
If you are involved in an accident where you find yourself legally responsible for third party injury or damage to their property, the insurance can cover you up to the amount specified under your plan.
Easy claim process
International travel insurance policy can easily be claimed following a few steps. All you need to do is approach the insurer, request your claim, fill out the forms and submit the same.
Types of coverage under the international travel insurance-
International travel insurance offers coverage for the following-
Student travel cover
Under international travel insurance, the student travel cover provides coverage for students who are travelling abroad for higher studies.
Business travel cover
The business travel cover under your international travel insurance policy offers coverage to businesspersons travelling abroad for onsite work/conference.
Leisure/holiday travel cover
People travelling to a foreign location on an exotic holiday, or for leisure are covered under the leisure/holiday travel cover.
Exclusions in international travel insurance-
Here is a quick rundown of the things that are excluded from your international travel insurance policy-
- An unregistered police complaint about the loss of your passport
- In case of undisclosed pre-existing diseases
- Any loss/expense incurred due to mental incapability- depression, alcohol/drug abuse, suicidal attempt etc. As well as venereal diseases like HIV/AIDS
- If you are travelling abroad for medical treatment/without your healthcare provider’s recommendation
- Damages/casualties due to nuclear threat/war in the country you are travelling to
Features included in the international travel insurance policy-
If you are a person who travels overseas frequently, then you probably already have an international travel insurance policy. However, if you do not, you need to get one immediately. International travel insurance plan protects you against any accidents or unforeseen loss during your visit to a foreign country. Here is a look at the key features that international travel insurance offers to customers-
If you fall sick while visiting a foreign country, your usual health insurance policy will cease to provide coverage. In such a case, your international travel insurance can prove to be quite useful. You can file a claim regarding the medical costs and you are liable to be reimbursed for all related medical expenses. Along with hospitalization costs, the policy will also include OPD, medication and first aid expenses. Additional medical coverage is also offered but these can differ from one insurance provider to the next.
Planning a trip, especially overseas, requires a lot of hard work. You put in a lot of thought and effort to decide where to go, where to stay, which new places to visit, and how to make your holiday a truly memorable one. For many people, this trip is definitely a platform to forge new bonds, indulge in adventurous activities, and discovering new places. However, things may not be as smooth as your plan. An emergency may result in you cancelling your travel arrangements, such as flight tickets and hotel rooms. Such a cancellation usually comes with a hefty penalty. With international travel insurance, you will be reimbursed penalty fees up to a certain limit.
You may end up missing a flight or a connecting flight due to delays or other reasons. Normally, in such a case, you would need to pay the substantial fare to book seats on the next available flight at the last minute. If you have an international travel insurance policy in your name, you will be reimbursed in such a scenario.
Nothing is more horrifying than losing your luggage while you are on an international trip. International travel insurance ensures that you are secured against such eventualities. The insurance provider will compensate for the replacements you purchase.
If you are looking for ways to extend your insurance coverage in order to make sure that your trip to abroad is comfortable and enjoyable enough, then you can opt for the add-on covers. The add-ons differ from one policy to another. The most common ones are as follows-
- Coverage for adventure sports/high-risk activities
- Coverage for visiting places that are prone to wars
- Coverage for third-party supplier insolvency
- Coverage for pre-existing diseases
- Car rental insurance cover
- Enhanced accidental death and dismemberment cover
You should have a clear idea about the various options when it comes to purchasing add-ons for your international travel insurance policy. You can select multiple coverage options, as per your needs. For every coverage option, the premiums vary from one insurance company to the other. While some insurance providers offer a comprehensive list of add-ons to choose from, others restrict the add-ons to the ones mentioned above.
Eligibility criteria for international travel insurance-
Before you apply for the issuance of your international travel insurance policy, ensure that you meet the following criteria-
- Anybody aged between 3months to 60years is eligible for international travel insurance
- The insurance policy provides coverage to four members of the family including the policyholder, the spouse, and children (up to 21years of age) at the most.
- Students aged between 16-40years can purchase international travel insurance policy, provided they enrol for higher education at a university/institution abroad.
- Elderly people up to the age 85years are covered under the senior citizen travel plan.
Tips for buying international travel insurance-
While choosing an international travel insurance policy, there are a number of factors that need to be kept in mind. Here are a few buying tips from experts that would help you in this regard –
When you are travelling abroad, you simply cannot afford to take a chance with your insurance policy. Several insurance providers in the market may promise to offer you the best coverage along with lucrative add-ons and hassle-free claim settlement. However, when it comes to delivering the results, they do not always live up to your expectations. Therefore, it is vital that you choose an insurance company that has a reputable brand name. If the plan you like is being provided by a name that you trust, you can certainly look into it with greater interest.
Different insurance policies provide different extents of coverage to the policyholder. Evaluating the same can help you decide what type of policy you should purchase.
In order to ensure that your insurance claim is settled favourably in times of need, check for the insurance company that has a higher claim settlement ratio. If the claim settlement ratio is high, it means that the company is more likely to pay their claims.
The premium of your international travel insurance varies depending on the destination you have in mind. This is mainly because healthcare costs vary from country to the other.
You should get your international travel insurance in place before planning the trip. It is best to compare the various plans across different websites before purchasing one. Check the policy details- coverage, premium, inclusions and exclusion, add-ons etc. Before buying one, and have a safe, fun trip.
Steps to purchase international travel insurance policy-
The procedure for buying an international travel insurance policy is quite a simple one. Most people prefer to purchase the policy online, as it is easier and quicker. You would only need to follow the steps mentioned below-
- Visit the website of the insurance company and go to the international travel insurance section. Take a look at the inclusions, exclusions, add-ons and other benefits included in the policy.
- Fill in the necessary details, which includes your name, DOB, contact number, email address, details about your passport and ticket, and your travel date.
- Choose your travel plan (student/business/leisure) as per your needs and proceed to buy.
- You will need to pay the one-time premium amount online using your credit card/debit card/net banking. The amount to be paid is determined by the insurer and depends on the location you are travelling to. For instance, if you are travelling to any Middle Eastern country where there are chances of a terror strike, or to a place that is prone to natural disasters, then the insurance company will charge you with a higher payable amount. The one-time payable amount also depends on the duration of your tour. If you are planning to stay abroad for a longer period, then the charges will be high.
- Once you pay the amount that is to be paid, the insurer will verify the details provided by you and then send you a confirmation regarding the purchase of your international travel insurance policy.
Alternatively, you can also buy international travel insurance policy by directly contacting your insurance provider. All you need to do is provide him with all the details regarding your purpose and date of travel along with your personal details. This may take some time, but you need not worry since your insurer will take up the task of all the paperwork on your behalf.
How can you renew your international travel insurance online?
You can renew your international travel insurance policy following any of these online methods-
It is a convenient and quick method to renew the policy. You only need to enter the policy details and authorize the payment with your bank account through debit/credit card or net banking.
Simply sign up using your account details on the insurer’s website. Log in with your password and username to access information and policy updates. Authorize the payment with your chosen payment method once you are done.
How can you file a claim with international travel insurance?
The method of raising a claim with your international travel insurance can be daunting. You are stuck in a foreign country and in an emergency. Obviously, you would be distressed and amidst all the hassle, you are not in the mood to fill out countless forms and wait for all the paperwork to be processed. The best insurance providers make sure that filling a claim is convenient and simple for the policyholders in such scenarios. In case you find yourself stuck in such a situation, you must take the following steps for a quick and hassle-free claim settlement-
- Send all the documents related to your international travel insurance policy to your insurer via fax or email. You will need to provide relevant information for identity verification.
- Send across all the necessary documents including a police report, your passport, bills and receipts, immigration stamp, a duly signed claim form etc. As directed by your insurer.
- Once you submit the relevant documents and forms, your insurer will assign the case to an authorized representative. He will evaluate your situation and process the claim. Once this is done, you will receive the sum assured under the situation you are stuck in, as mentioned in the policy.
The claims process is thus a simple one.
The claims for international travel insurance policy can be of two types- medical claims, and non-medical claims. The documents needed for the claim process are mentioned below-
- Duly filled claim form for overseas travel insurance
- Permission for the release of medical information form
- A statement from the doctor
- Duly filled claim form for overseas travel insurance
- Supporting documents needed for each type of claim
Most insurance companies have a 24×7 customer care support helpline in place that can assist you and help you with all the information that you need. After or during your emergency, you can simply call the number mentioned on your policy documents for quick assistance and queries.
International Travel Plans
|What’s covered?||What’s not covered? – Exclusions|
|Emergency Medical Expenses||Pre-existing medical conditions|
|Emergency Medical Evacuation||Expenses incurred due to civil war or terrorism.|
|Repatriation of remains||Expenses incurred due to suicide, self-inflicted injury or non-adherence to a physician’s advice.|
|Emergency Dental Expenses||Expenses incurred for liquor, alcohol or drugs.|
|Hospital Cash Allowance||Treatment of diseases like AIDS, mental or health conditions.|
|Accidental Death / Permanent Total Disability||Participation in adventure sports / Participation as professional players in various sports.|
|Loss of Baggage/Personal Documents||If the policyholder is involved in any criminal act.|
|Loss / Delay of Checked Baggage||Ayurvedic or Homeopathic treatments|
|Personal Liability||Cosmetic Surgery|
|Contingency Travel Benefits||Spa treatments|
|Hijack Distress Allowance|
|Financial Emergency Assistance|
|Cover for Home Content|
|Political Risk and Catastrophe Evacuation|
|Trip Delays / Missed Flight Connection|
|Return of Minor Child|
Travel Insurance Insurers / Companies
Car Insurance FAQs
International travel insurance is exclusively meant for overseas travellers. This type of an insurance policy offers comprehensive coverage against emergencies during an international trip.
The maximum duration covered under international travel insurance plan is 180 days while you are travelling. The duration can be extended by another 180 days. However, it may vary from one insurer to another.
International travel insurance provides coverage in the following situations-
· Overseas medical expenses
· Medical emergencies
· Travel delays
· Personal liabilities
· Checked-in baggage that is lost/is stolen
· Repatriations or evacuation to India
· Loss of crucial travel documents such as your passport
The exclusions under international travel insurance are-
· Missing flights due to civil war/local riot
· Hospitalization due to a pre-existing condition
· Travelling for medical treatment or surgery
· Travelling without the recommendation of your healthcare provider
· Complications due to HIV/AIDS
· Mental health issues, suicide attempts
· Medical conditions or injury due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Ideally, you should purchase travel insurance before planning a trip. In most cases, purchasing travel insurance is more of a necessity than a compulsion. However, in some countries, like the United States of America, travelling without international travel insurance is not permissible. Without the same, you cannot enter the country. Furthermore, healthcare in the US is frightfully expensive and so having international travel insurance can help you save a huge amount of money, in case the need arises.
Below is a list comprising of the countries that mandate travel insurance-
· The United States of America
· The United Arab Emirates
· Schengen zone comprising of 26 European countries including Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, Estonia, Germany, France, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Netherlands, Malta, Poland, Norway, Slovakia, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Spain.
Yes, you need to purchase a separate travel insurance plan in case you are travelling to Schengen countries. Normal international travel insurance plans are not valid in these countries.
Yes, you can ensure your newborn baby under the Schengen international travel plan, provided the infant is above 3months old.
No, international travel insurance does not cover you for the sole purpose of seeking medical treatment abroad.
Yes, international travel insurance does offer coverage to people travelling to a foreign country for business purposes. If you are off on a conference or onsite work to a foreign location, you should have an international travel insurance policy in your name.
Yes, you can choose as many add-on covers as you like. However, it is advisable that you evaluate your needs and purchase add-ons as per your requirements. Choosing additional coverage means you will have to pay higher premiums than what is normally required. Therefore, you must be wise enough to choose the ones that are necessary.
While travelling abroad, in case of a medical emergency, you can simply call on the international toll-free number mentioned in your insurance policy to get in touch with your insurer. They will guide you with the list of network hospitals where you can avail of cashless treatment.
Once you have purchased your international travel insurance policy, your insurance provider will hand you an e-card. You will need to register yourself and your family on the number provided on the e-card. You can then use it to avail the cashless hospitalization benefit in case you sustain an injury or encounter a medical emergency while travelling abroad.
In case the policyholder is required to stay in the hospital for more than two days, the insurance policy will compensate a pre-determined amount for your expenses as a daily allowance. This benefit can be claimed only once during the tenure of your international travel insurance policy. With a daily allowance, you can avail of quality healthcare in a foreign country. This daily allowance can also help your family recover with the expenses of visiting the hospital.
Most insurance companies do not offer coverage for any pre-existing disease/condition. Therefore, you would need to undergo a health checkup before purchasing an international travel insurance policy. However, this largely depends on the policy terms and the insurer.
You can buy international travel insurance online. Simply visit your insurer’s website and go to the ‘international travel insurance’ section. Read all the details provided on the page including the coverage, benefits, inclusions and exclusions, terms and conditions of the policy. Fill in all your details and pay the premium online. Wait for the insurer to verify your documents before finally confirming the purchase of your international travel insurance policy.
You can pay the policy premium online using any of the following methods-
· Credit card
· Debit card
· Net banking
· Electronic clearance service (ECS)
The process of filing for a claim under an international travel insurance plan is quite easy. In case of an emergency, you will need to inform your insurer as soon as possible. Once you register your claim, the insurer will provide you with a reference number for future use. Hereafter, you will need to act accordingly as specified by your insurer.
Depending on your insurer and the situation you are in, you would need the following documents-
· Hospital bills and receipts
· Prescriptions and reports
· Discharge summaries
· Death certificate (to transfer mortal remains to India)
· Proof of the value of items in your bag (for a baggage claim)
· Proof of judicial decision for a personal liability claim
· An FIR
It is crucial that you carry your international travel insurance with you. This is because if you need to make a claim, you will have to provide the supporting documents. If you do not have your insurance documents with you, you must at least have your policy number or customer id with you so that you are still able to make the claims while travelling.
The bottom line
Be it a trip with your friends, a business tour, to pursue higher education abroad or the much-awaited family vacation of the year, travelling is always fun. It reduces stress, refreshes your mind, and lets you explore places across the world. At the same time, travelling also brings the possibility of things going wrong in spite of planning carefully. Keeping this in mind, it is best to opt for international travel insurance before planning a trip. International travel insurance policy ensures that you are always protected financially against an unforeseen event. Ideally, this type of travel insurance should be purchased at the time of booking the trip in order to ensure full coverage of the travel. Get in touch with the leading insurance providers and enhance your holidays with the best overseas insurance plan. With this insurance plan, you need not worry about your health, belongings, or travel documents. In case anything goes wrong, the insurer will take care of it. Thus, you can cherish every moment of your trip and only stay focused on making fond memories that stay with you all throughout life.