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Travel Medical Insurance

Introduction to Travel Medical Insurance

Insurance policy is an umbrella that covers different types and kinds of risks related to namely health, travel, life, fire, motor etc. It is an assurance of compensation for losses, damages on account of sickness, or death by insurance companies or the state in exchange for timely paid premiums. Insurances can be obtained through insurance companies, brokers and other mediums.

When travel insurance is mentioned, many different assumptions are made of its use. The whole crux of obtaining a travel medical insurance is about the safety and security assurance for a traveller visiting places abroad.

What is a Travel Medical Insurance policy?

A Travel Medical Insurance policy can be utilized by travellers who are planning to leave their home country or city and visit new places. In such a case, insurance comes in use for covering medical emergencies and evacuations. This insurance is a safety net that travels along with the traveller and provides aid against financial contingencies. It is also referred to as International Medical Insurance, International Travel Insurance, or Worldwide Medical Insurance.

Travel medical insurance policy is considered a must while making travel plans for abroad as it ensures a safe and a worriless trip with regards to health and other issues that might arise. It is no joke spending on expensive healthcare in aboard. Travel medical insurances can either be for a single trip or for multiple trips. Premiums paid for these insurance plans comprise of a small portion of the expenses on the entire trip, especially considering the medical maximum sum assured by the companies.

These insurances cover all medical expenses, right from falling sick to meeting with an accident. The main area of coverage of the Travel Health Insurance is the medical expenses arising from sudden sickness or injuries. It offers both pre-healthcare and post-healthcare including the reimbursement of carrying the patient to the hospital in an ambulance and back to the policyholder’s country.

Compare Travel Health Plans

Travel insurance is broadly classified into two types- Travel Cancellation Insurance and Travel Medical Insurance.

A brief insight into both these investments:

Travel Cancellation Insurance:

As the name suggests, the cancellation insurance focuses on reimbursement of pre-paid portion of your trip cost on cancellation of the trip for a valid reason.

It is important to purchase the policy adequately in advance to the trip. It has wide coverage and includes trip interruption, delay, accidental death and dismemberment etc. in the policies depending on the company and the insurance chosen.

Travel Medical Insurance:

On the other hand, this insurance, as explained before, is specifically for medical expenses. Those travellers visiting abroad are exclusively covered for all health and medical related expenses, depending on the policy. Moreover, emergency dental treatments are covered in such policies. Its coverage focuses on a completely different aspect from that of the earlier one- it includes some life insurance benefits and provides extra coverage in case of serious accidents and illness, especially to the family.

Features of Travel Medical Insurance

The ideology behind obtaining a Travel insurance policy is to have a safe trip without having to worry about unforeseen medical expenses. Here are some key features of this plan:

Emergency Medical Expenses:

It would be absurd to completely strike out the possibility of some illness, injury, or other medical emergency occurring when travelling. Therefore, to be cautious, it is better to opt for such an insurance to stay assured of coverage against any expenses occurring due to hospitalization or treatments than to dish out a huge sum to cure the same.

Flight- related compensations:

On the basis of possibilities, the next commonly faced issue by travellers are flight related. It could be a delayed flight that leads to missing out a connecting flight, lost or delayed checked-in baggage by the airlines etc. are all insured through this policy and will be compensated for accordingly.

Hospitalization facility:

The whole idea behind the term ‘travel medical insurance’ is to offer medical aid, wherein seemingly cashless hospitalization facility is provided. But it is to be noted that these cashless hospitalization facilities are provided only in impanelled hospitals of the insurer. All the expenses that occur here are covered by the insuring company directly.

Special plans for Senior Citizens:

Travel medical insurance plans are different for senior citizens in terms of the benefits because of their different requirements as compared to other travellers. Keeping this in mind, most insurance companies provide customized plans for elderly citizens travelling anywhere within India or beyond.

Multiple trip coverage:

Those who travel frequently often find it expensive to repurchase insurances before each trip. Hence, it has been made convenient for frequent travellers to maximise the benefits by providing multiple trip coverage policies. The validity of which goes up to a year.

Benefits of Travel Medical Insurance

Perks of having a Travel insurance plan while travelling are specified down below:

24/7 Assistance:

Travellers are provided with 24/7 assistance by all leading insurance companies. Queries can be cleared using their dedicated phone-line or using their E-mail, if necessary. Claims are settled as quickly as possible and are also adequately transparent.

Compensation for flight delay:

Delays in flights can jeopardize the entire plan for certain travellers who might have connecting flights to catch. It is commonly observed during long, distant trips that have a few connecting flights in between. Such unforeseen delays and missed flights due to technical issues, bad weather etc. are covered by the insurance. It is advisable to opt for a plan that ensures one receives a certain amount as compensation per day of the delay caused by the airline.

Cover for loss of luggage and documentation:

As explained before, the loss or delay of luggage is covered in the insurance and compensation is provided for loss, theft, or delay of checked-in baggage and hand luggage. Travel insurance also covers important documents like passport.

Reimbursement for extended stay:

Extended stays can occur due to medical emergencies. One could either be stuck in the hotel or admitted in a hospital that leads to extended stay. Insurance companies compensate for such emergencies too.

Coverage for homes:

Some travel insurances also secures ones homes while on a tour. These policies cover burglary, fires etc. accordingly.

Coverages of Medical Travel Insurance Policy

Travel Medical insurance has a wide coverage in terms of medical emergencies specifically, including certain other relevant, useful benefits. Every policy varies depending on the coverage and benefits offered. Some common coverage areas are given below.

  • Medical emergencies

  • Emergency dental treatments

  • Advance payments for access to medical facilities

  • Medical emergency evacuation and attendance

  • Death due to accident or dismemberment

  • Emergency travel assistance

Top Medical Travel Insurance Companies in India

There has been spectacular growth in the travel and health industry in recent times. This is because of the shift in focus of investments from saving to experience, adventure and travel oriented investments. Therefore, many public and private insurance companies provide competitive insurance policies to the growing demand for extensive coverage. There is a spike in innovative policy plans so as to attract more and more customers. A list of some companies offering competent plans is specified down below:

United India Insurance Company Lt.

HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Lt.

National Insurance Company Lt.

Reliance General Insurance Company Lt.

TATA AIG General Insurance Company Lt.

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Lt.

Star Health and Allied Insurance Company lt. etc.

Types of Travel Insurance

Domestic Travel Insurance:

Travellers travelling within the borders of their respective country can avail this insurance. It has a similar coverage, but with geographical constraints.

International Travel Insurance:

It is for travellers visiting abroad.

Types of Medical Travel Insurance Validity Plans

Different policies are valid for different timeframes and hence, it is an important criteria based on which an insurance policy plan is chosen among certain other features.

Single trip travel medical:

This commonly purchased plan covers up to six months for a single trip. The coverage extends to the length of the trip and is paid up front.

Multi-trip travel medical:

The coverage is for many trips while the validity varies from 3 months to 6 months to 12 months.

Long-term major medical:

It is continuous long term coverage specifically for a frequent traveller and is typically paid on a monthly basis and can be renewed.

How to determine different Travel Medical Insurance cost?

We would all like to have a travel insurance that offers a wide coverage for minimum premium. In order to determine the price of premium payable for the same, a travel insurance calculator can be accessed before buying a policy. It is an internet based tool that provides you with an estimate of the premium price for a specific insurance plan.

To use the calculator, enter the required information like destination, trip frequency, sum insured amount, age, no. of travellers etc.

The data gets processed and the calculator will then present an estimate of the payable premium. This calculator can be used to determine premium prices of different travel medical insurances.

Conclusion

The chances of encountering negative incidents increases drastically while travelling to new cities and countries. Moreover, medical emergencies like food poisoning, falling sick due to weather difference, accidents etc. also is on a high. A growth in travelling across the globe has led to greater awareness to health and safety precautions. Therefore, travellers visiting foreign places, revisiting places aboard etc. can avail the benefits of a travel medical insurance policy.

There are various benefits to having travel medical insurance depending on the policy type chosen. It is advisable to purchase a policy before the happening of an unforeseen event that disrupts the trip like act of terrorism, illness etc. This is because it would then become difficult to acquire one. Make sure to go through the coverage of a policy thoroughly, so as to ascertain where claims can be made. Compare the policies or get quotes and buy them directly.

FAQ's On Travel Medical Insurance

Why do I need a travel medical insurance while travelling?

The idea behind Travel Medical Insurance is based on the phrase ‘prevention is better than cure’. Rightly so, as perks of travelling comes with risks and uncertainties that can jeopardize the trip and create huge financial burdens. The wide coverage of these insurances ensures a safe and uncompromised trip.

Can a tourist get travel health insurance?

Yes, they can. However the policies will be different from the regular travel medical policies and will depend on the company providing it.

How can I claim travel medical insurance?

Claims are cleared with a reimbursement structure at play. Documentations of your issue due to which the claim is filed have to be provided. The medical bill, statement from the airline, etc. have to be submitted too. Once the claim is approved, it would be cleared with the authorities directly.

What is Travel Medical Insurance buying Process?

One can obtain an estimate of the different costs of the policies available using a travel insurance calculator. It can be done by providing relevant information. You can either compare the policies and decide or get a quote and directly purchase it.

After this, a free period with a refund will be included wherein you can review the plan documentation and decide whether some changes have to be made. If yes, you can make them and go ahead with the purchase or cancel it for the refund (a minor fee will be charged for it).

Can a travel medical insurance policy be cancelled?

Yes, but it can only happen if the trip was cancelled or one does not agree with the terms and conditions of the policy.

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