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Rediff.com  » Business » Travelling? Hope you are insured

Travelling? Hope you are insured

May 19, 2009 19:49 IST

Image: Tourists visit Amber palace in Jaipur
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

Notwithstanding the adverse effects of the global financial meltdown, wanderlust of people across continents has not ebbed.

And to make the most of the present situation travel companies and airlines alike are offering sops to woo potential customers.

If you are planning a foreign holiday, do bear in mind that a travel insurance is a must. NEVER venture out of the country without one such insurance.

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance covers medical expenses and financial (such as money invested in non-refundable pre-payments) and other losses incurred while travelling, either within one's own country, or internationally.

Travel insurance covers:

  • Trip cancellation/interruption
  • Medical emergency
  • Events like delayed or missed flights
  • Delayed arrival or loss of baggage
  • Passport loss and legal expenses, and much more.

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Travelling? Hope you are insured

Image: Balinese girls in traditional dress dance on Kuta beach during the Melasti ceremony in Kuta, Bali.
Photographs: Murdani Usman/Reuters

Who is eligible to avail this insurance?

Whether you are a first time flyer or a frequent flyer and are going on single trip or multiple, travel insurance can be taken by anyone.

The type of traveller does not have any impact on anyone opting for travel insurance.

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Travelling? Hope you are insured

Image: The sun sets behind the temple Erechtheion's Porch of Maidens at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
Photographs: Stelios Varias/Reuters

What is covered by travel insurance?

The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance 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

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Travelling? Hope you are insured

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Photographs: Andy Newman-Carnival Cruise Lines/Handout/Reuters

All that is excluded...

Medical expenses arising out of:

  • Pre-existing conditions except in case of life-threatening situations
  • Addiction to alcohol, drugs
  • Mental disorder, anxiety, depression
  • Venereal diseases
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, HIV
  • Radiation, nuclear weapons induced
  • Sporting activities
  • Loss of passport in public place
  • Expenses arising out of loss of valuables, money, securities, and tickets

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Copyright 2008 www.BankBazaar.com. All rights reserved.

Travelling? Hope you are insured

Image: A guard (R) sits inside Fiela Temple in Aswan, Egypt.
Photographs: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

What is the premium for travel insurance?

The premium for travel insurance depends on which part of the world you are travelling to and the duration of your stay.

Generally, the premium for travelling to the US and Canada is different from travelling to the rest of the world.

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Travelling? Hope you are insured

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Photographs: Chris Helgren/Reuters

How do you make claims for the reimbursement of expenses covered by the insurance?

With competition between insurance companies hotting up, the procedure for making claims has rather become very easy.

Generally, you need to call up a toll free number of the insurance service provider and register your claim.

You will be advised on the documents that you need to submit to process your claim. A third party administrator (TPA) would then validate your documents and process your claim.

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Travelling? Hope you are insured

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Tips on buying travel insurance

Do not buy travel insurance only till the last day of your trip. An emergency might occur at the last moment and it is better to be prepared for such eventualities.

When comparing travel insurance products, ensure that you not only compare the prices, but also the benefits, exclusions etc.

Check availability of different covers - terrorism cover, hijack distress allowance - apart from the normal coverage provided by travel insurance.

Remember, to always read the policy document carefully and get your doubts clarified. With the travel industry seeing a turnaround and airlines offering cheaper airfares, foreign and domestic travel is gaining momentum.

At such a time, due to its benefits, travel insurance is also gaining popularity. More and more people are opting for travel insurance.

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BankBazaar.com is an online marketplace where you can instantly get loan rate quotes, compare and apply online for your personal loan, home loan and credit card needs from India's leading banks and NBFCs.
Copyright 2008 www.BankBazaar.com. All rights reserved.