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What is travel Insurance and what risks does it cover?


Travel insurance policies offers lots of advantages such as medical expenses, loss or delay of baggage or passport, personal accident, financial emergency assistance and hijack distress allowance and as well covers expenses incurred due to delayed flight, cancellation of trip, etc. It also takes care of valued assets left at home. Thus, this makes sure all travel uncertainties.

In other words Travel Insurance' means insurance against loss, injury, damage or expense caused by accident, injury, sickness, theft, cancellation or interruption of travel arrangements or other events or threats arising during or in connection with travel or intended travel by an insured person. As mentioned it is proposed to cover medical expenses, financial (such as money invested in nonrefundable pre-payments), and other losses incurred while traveling, either within one's own country, or internationally.

Travel insurance can normally be arranged at the time of booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip or a wider, continuous insurance can be purchased from travel insurance companies, travel agents or directly from travel suppliers like cruise lines or tour operators. However, travel insurance purchased from travel suppliers tends to be less comprehensive than insurance offered by insurance companies. Travel insurance often offers coverage for a range of travelers. Student travel, business travel, leisure travel, adventure travel, cruise travel, and international travel are all different options that can be insured.

The most common risks that are covered under a travel insurance policy are :

  • Medical expenses
  • Emergency evacuation/repatriation
  • Overseas funeral expenses
  • Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
  • Cancellation
  • Curtailment
  • Delayed departure
  • Loss, theft or damage to personal possessions and money (including travel documents)
  • Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
  • Legal assistance
  • Personal liability and rental car damage excess

Some travel policies will also provide cover for additional costs, although these differ widely between providers.

And in addition, often separate insurance can be purchased for specific costs such as :

  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Sports with an element of risk
  • Travel to high risk countries

Common Exclusions

  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • War or terrorism (but some plans may cover this risk)
  • Pregnancy related expenses
  • Injury or illness caused by alcohol or drug use

Things to remember while purchasing a travel insurance policy :

  • Understand the different policies for different travelers.
  • Obtain the policy only for the number of days of your trip. Travel insurance is usually charged on a slab basis.
  • Don't just compare the prices of travel insurance policy; also compare the benefits of the cover, the exclusions on the cover and other features of the product.
  • Give more importance to the claims procedure and the cashless hospital network available. Get a list of the network hospitals before making a decision on your policy.
  • Always read the policy document carefully. Be clear on what you are covered for and what not. Clear out any confusion you might have before buying the policy.
  • Check out for other covers such as terrorism, hijack distress allowance, etc available apart from the loss/ damage of baggage/ passport cover, personal liability cover, medical and personal accident cover.
  • Buying duplicate coverage does not double the benefit. It wastes money and creates confusion that could in fact delay payments.
  • At the time of obtaining a policy, remember to take the list of region specific toll free contact numbers

Remember: Never step out of your house without your travel insurance. You might feel that a travel insurance policy is not important but medical costs can be quite expensive these days. A medical emergency abroad can be your financial ruin. So never forget that travel insurance policy.

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