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Frequently Asked Questions on Travel Insurance

Why should I buy travel insurance?

Travel insurance ensures stress-free journeys. Whether you are a business traveler or a leisure traveler, having a travel insurance will protect you and your family from untoward circumstances. You may face issues such as baggage loss, baggage delay, losing your passport, medical emergencies during the course of your travel and that’s when your travel insurance plan protects you. Apart from this, in certain countries, it’s a mandate to have a valid travel insurance before acquiring a visa.

Can I extend the period of my travel insurance?

Yes, travel insurance can be extended. However, the extension is subject to conditions of the policy and you will need to check your policy document regarding the same. In case, the extension is offered, the insurer will look out for factors such as the validity of the original policy. This is done to check claims, your declaration of health and duty of disclosure. You can request to extend the travel insurance only once and such an extension cannot exceed 180 days. The total extension including the original period will not exceed 360 days and the premium with extended insurance will need to be paid before the actual extension is in effect.

Is there a period before which I need to purchase the travel insurance policy?

You can purchase the travel insurance policy as per the stipulated period prescribed by the insurer for the specific plan. Some allow the purchase even on the last day before you travel. But, you should plan it to suit mandates for any visa requirement and also to derive maximum benefits from the policy. The pricing of the policy will depend on a trip band for the number of travel days involved, destination of travel, your age, etc. You may also wish to avail the time-sensitive benefits such as cancel for any reason and pre-existing condition waiver. These can be availed as soon as you make your initial trip deposit.

Is a medical check-up required to purchase a travel insurance policy?

Typically, any senior citizens travelling might require a medical check-up. For the rest of the travelers, whether they need to undergo a check-up towards the policy issuance, purely depends on their current health condition. The insurance company is accountable for this. Any traveler who has a pre-existing adverse medical history will have to submit medical reports. They include reports on Blood Sugar PP & Fasting, ECG report, Eco Cardiography, and USG. These reports will need to be submitted three to four weeks prior to your departure.

Do I need prior approval of the insurance company before proceeding with medical treatment if the need arises?

Prior approvals are required in most of the cases, but there are exceptions that depend on the type of the need or emergency involved. You can read the policy document in detail to understand if any such approvals are required and contact your insurer for clarity. In emergency cases, no prior approval is needed. However, an insurance company can reject a claim if it comes to their notice that a ‘medical procedure’ which could have been avoided was deliberately carried out in a ‘foreign nation’.

Who is a Third Party Administrator?

A Third Party Administrator (TPA) is someone who offers cashless medical services. The TPAs also assist in dealing with problems regarding claims. You will find all the necessary contact details and relevant information related to the services offered by the TPAs in your policy document.

Can I get a refund under my policy if I cut short my travel?

If your travel is cut short, the rules may vary on the refund of the premium. While some policies allow a refund, others do not. Read your policy document thoroughly for better understanding of this aspect. In a situation where you do not travel and can provide proof of this, you will be offered a premium refund. Apart from that, there will be some nominal deductions towards the administrative costs, which are charged.

Is my visa status relevant to obtain overseas travel insurance?

Yes, in most cases, your visa status will be relevant to obtain overseas travel insurance. Normally the overseas travel insurance is a requisite for the travelers who visit other countries. Be it for business, leisure, or higher education, or some other purposes; and you will require the policy.

Can I purchase this insurance online?

Yes, the travel insurance policy can be purchased online. You can buy the policy online via debit/credit card, direct funds transfer using NEFT or RTGS, or check. Research on the policy that best suits you and fill the necessary information online. Complete the payment process through the mode of your choice, and your insurance policy is instantly issued to you.

What is medical screening?

Medical screening is a set of questions, which you can answer. So, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, its severity can be determined by the insurer. In this way, they would be in a better position to offer an appropriate cover to you. If the pre-existing medical condition is not disclosed, then the cover will not be provided and you may find it difficult to claim for the same.

What is a pre-existing medical condition and can I be covered against it under my travel insurance policy?

A pre-existing medical condition is an illness or disease that is inherent (symptoms) in the insured or he/she has already been treated for the same. The pre-existing medical condition could be heart disorders, cancer, breathing conditions, diabetes, or gastrointestinal conditions. Whether the medical condition is covered or not, depends on the travel insurance policy. Some of the pre-existing medical conditions may be excluded. Thus, you would have to read the policy document and the exclusion list in detail to understand the medical coverage clearly.

Why do I need cover for my existing medical condition?

You need a cover for your existing medical condition as medical expenses can be exorbitant especially, when you are travelling abroad. A travel insurance can cover you aptly for your medical condition. Insurers may vary in their cover of pre-existing medical conditions, but quite a few are covered. For those that are placed in the exclusions list, there is a possibility of being covered by the payment of an additional fee.

Will I be covered in the event or a natural disaster or terrorism?

Natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, terrorism, political uprisings are unforeseen events that are generally covered by your travel insurance. All such instances will require an emergency evacuation back to the insurance holder’s homeland. Medical assistance may also be required. You will need to check your policy document thoroughly to check the extent of the cover.

When does my policy expire and how can I renew my policy?

The expiry period of your policy depends on your trip. A policy for a single trip expires automatically as soon as the trip ends. When it comes to multiple trips, the policy for that expires with end of the policy year. It cannot be renewed. You will have to purchase a new policy for a new trip.

How do I cancel my travel insurance policy?

What if your planned trip gets cancelled and you wish to cancel your travel insurance policy? If you are cancelling before the start date of the policy, you will need to inform the insurer by an electronic mail (e-mail) initiating the cancellation. You will also have to provide the policy number (which will be effected by a nominal charge).

In case, the cancellation is initiated after the policy start date then the insured will need to provide evidence of not having travelled, a copy of passport, the visa rejection letter and reasons for cancellation. For cases where the insured has travelled and there is an early return the cancellation request will have to be made with the policy number. Here, the company will refund premium at rates provided in the policy.

What is included in my policy?

There are various types of travel insurance policy. Each type includes an array of emergency situations during your trip. They vary from domestic travel to international travel, senior citizen travel, family travel and more. It consists of coverage for medical emergencies, disability, baggage loss, baggage delay, travel delay, hijack, evacuation and loss of travel documents, student interruptions, cashless hospitalization, and other incidental expenses.

Will I be covered for day trips, excursions, and holidays with multiple destinations?

There are many insurance companies which offer policies covering day trips and excursions that entail travelling to another country for a day or two. You will need to check with the insurer and read the policy document to understand the extent and limits of the cover. If you are travelling to multiple destinations, confirm the destinations that are covered with your insurer. Select the furthest destination and find out about the cover of the other places. Alternately avail an annual policy that will keep you covered all the time.

What type of policy should I buy?

Research well and make an informed decision before purchasing a travel insurance policy. If you are looking for being covered on a holiday trip, opt for the ‘Single Annual Trip’. If you happen to be a frequent flyer then choose the ‘Multi Trip’. On the other hand, students flying abroad for higher studies should select a comprehensive cover with the ‘Students Travel Insurance’.

I’m going on a cruise? How do I find a policy?

There are various insurance policies which may have their take on covering cruises. You need to select a policy that offers maximum coverage if you are going on a cruise trip. Read the policy document carefully and check the list of countries and destinations that are covered. You can select the furthest geographical destination and check the places that are covered with your insurer. Also, note that all travel policies cover both journey by air as well as sea.

Is travel insurance a waste of money?

Travel can be fraught with uncertainties. When it is not, you may think of it to be a waste of money. If you purchase travel insurance, you could lose some deposit amount if your plan gets abolished and you decide to cancel the insurance. Sometimes, you return early and you have to initiate a refund process because of your early travel. Nonetheless, even with these scenarios, you need to understand that there may always be uncertainties during your journey. But, having a travel insurance gives you the peace of mind for the fact that your risk is covered aptly. Apart from which travel insurance is a mandate in some of the countries.

When is it too late for a travel insurance?

A travel insurance can be purchased even one day before your departure. But there are various benefits of buying your insurance early, and it may also be a requirement for the visa process (Schengen visas require travel insurance prior to visa application). It is recommended to estimate your trip costs, check the risks which may be involved, decide on the cover you wish to have and buy the insurance policy in time.

Why should a regular traveler buy travel insurance?

Each trip will bring you a different experience. You will not know during which trip, an unforeseen event may unfold. Hence, it is recommended to cover your travel risks with an apt insurance policy. If you are a frequent travelers can invest in an annual policy which will cover you round the year. This will save you from frequent renewals or extensions. Also, cost of medical treatment is high abroad. A frequent traveler is prone to body ailments due to change in food, weather, jet lag, etc.