Importance of Travel Insurance

Travelling is such a fun and amusing activity. The journey is sometimes even better than the destination. But what about the risks that tag along? Most of these risks are unforeseeable. 

In this case, travel insurance is what can ease the anxiety.  You can get travel insurance online if you are willing to spend some time finding a suitable policy, alternatively, you can get it from a travel insurance agency

Mostly international travel insurance covers almost all countries but there are different requirements for each country.

For instance, Schengen countries need Schengen visa travel insurance.

Importance of Travel Insurance

What is Travel Insurance?

We know that travel insurance will cover the risks during a trip, but what exactly is the meaning of travel insurance? Sure that getting the trip insured gives a sense of security, however, there is more to it. Travel insurance is the coverage for the risks that may occur while traveling. Many agencies can provide travel insurance in India, it is therefore essential that you opt for a trusted agency to get your travel insured.

Why secure your travel?

There are a lot of things that are not foreseeable at the time of traveling, be it domestic or international. Traveling with strangers, possibilities of mishaps in trains, flights, or even buses, or the climatic adversities and other such things can make one worry about the consequences. 

Well, these are only a few reasons to list as to why one should secure their travel with the best travel insurance. Also, when you have your trip secured, you can travel without having to stress over the consequences of anything that cannot be foreseen while you are away from home.

Let’s understand the Importance of Travel Insurance with the below Scenario,

Scenario 1

Scenario 2

Mr. Mindless with his wife planned a leisure trip to Sydney, Australia. Their Travel Plan was as below:

Mr. Smart with her wife planned a leisure trip to Sydney, Australia. Their Travel Plan was as below:

7 Days Stay & Budget was 3,50,000 INR

7 Days Stay & Budget was 3,40,000 INR

Transportation: 1,50,000 INR for two

Accommodation: 65,000 INR for two

Food Expenses: 40,000 INR for two

Shopping and Other Expenses: 45,000 INR for two

Medical Emergency: 50,000 INR for two

Transportation: 1,50,000 INR for two

Accommodation: 65,000 INR for two

Food Expenses: 40,000 INR for two

Shopping and Other Expenses: 82,000 INR for two

Travel Insurance: 3000 INR only for two

Ohh! Unplanned Incident*****

On his way to the airport for his return journey, Mr. Mindless met with an accident as he slipped badly from the stairs and got his leg fractured.

Ohh! Unplanned Incident But Secured Plan!

On his way to the airport for his return journey, Mr. Smart met with an accident as he slipped badly from the stairs and got his leg fractured.

After undergoing a minor operation, treatment, and 5 days of stay in the hospital, Mr. Mindless received an unplanned bill of amount 30 AUD.

It had cost him around 1,50,000 INR and also he had to cancel his return flights!

As he had already issued International Travel Insurance, Mr. Smart’s hospital bill, canceled air tickets and extended hotel bills were covered by the recognized travel insurance company.

It had cost him almost nothing for the trouble he had to go through.


Why Travel Insurance?

There are multiple travel insurance benefits to be listed. The plans for getting a trip insured will differ depending on certain factors. 

For instance, the travel insurance plans for domestic tours will vary vastly from the international trips. Even the travel insurance policy will differ depending on the type of the trip and the destination. 

However, there are a few things that are common for every type. There is a set of incidents and circumstances that travel insurance covers.

Probable Situations When you Need Travel Insurance

  • Accidents or Ailments: The insurance covers all types of accidents that may happen during travel. If you have any kind of medical emergencies caused during the trip, the hospital costs are also covered under the insurance.
  • Hijacking and Emergency Evacuation: If any kind of damage is caused to you, say a stroke, during a hijack, or any such life-threatening incident, the travel insurance covers the costs. Although, certain terms will be looked upon as per the travel insurance policy.
  • Canceled and Delayed Flights: If your flight has been canceled or delayed, the flight cancellation insurance will cover the cost of another flight that is to be booked. The insurance will not cover the expense if you are late for the flight.

There are other situations as well that will be covered by the insurance. These often differ as per the travel insurance policy of the firm you are acquiring the insurance from. Also, it is actually convenient when you get the insurance online.

Key Features of Travel Insurance Policies

Salient features of the travel insurance policies can differ depending on the provider. There are a few features that are constituted in most of the policies and these can be understood as follows:

  • Emergency Hospitalization & Medical Treatment: As discussed previously, there is almost always a possibility of an occurrence that can affect your health. Therefore, it is only better and safer to have the trip secured with travel insurance cover.
  • Compensation for Flight Related Activities: There is going to be a possibility of something going wrong during a flight. Any kind of distress that is caused because of issues with the flight is also covered in the policy. For instance, if you have missed a connecting flight because of a delay in the previous one,  these kinds of distress are covered by the insurance.
  • Cashless Hospitalization Facilities: When you are acquiring medical treatment from an authorized hospital, which can provide the services with cashless hospitalization, the cost of such treatment will be covered with your insurance.
  • Customized Policies for Senior Citizens: The requirements of the senior citizens will vary from those of laymen. Therefore, insurance companies generally provide senior citizens with a customized policy to suit their individual needs.
  • Available for Frequent Flyers: Well, buying insurance separately for every trip can be quite a hassle. Some policies can be altered in a way that suits the requirements of frequent flyers. These come with yearly validity with multi-trip benefits.

Online Travel Insurance

The Digital India scheme of the government is spreading and taking a positive toll. This is one of the reasons why even the process to buy travel insurance online has become easier. It can even be bought from a visa agency while obtaining the visa. There are certain precautions that you need to take to know which company you are opting for. 

For instance, check the reviews of the service provider. Try contacting them to get more knowledge about the policy thoroughly.

Types of Travel Insurance in India

There are different kinds of Travel Insurance in India that can be availed by any traveler. These can be classified based on the type of trip they are being issued for. Some of the common and important kinds of insurance are as follows:

Based on Geographical Border

  • Domestic Travel Insurance 

This kind of insurance is provided for domestic trips. It can also be termed as national and are less expensive than international insurance. The validity is normally depending on the duration of the journey and the location of the destination. Trips that are taken inside the country are covered under this policy and all kinds of modes of transportation are covered under this. Domestic travel insurance secures buses, trains, flights, and public transports within the country. The details of the policy will differ from case to case.

  • International Travel Insurance

An international type is issued for international tours. This also covers the transiting flights. It is only better to cover the complete trip with transits. Sometimes some policies will cover a group of countries such as the Schengen. The coverage may differ from case to case but normally it is recommended that the complete trip is secured with International Travel Insurance. 

  • Schengen Travel Insurance

There are 26 countries in the Schengen area. Travel insurance for a Schengen visa is the policy provided to travelers who are visiting the Schengen area. It covers the emergency expenses of traveling to the Schengen, staying in Schengen, and returning to India. The policy can also be customized as per the requirement of the traveler, for instance, there will be different features in a child’s travel insurance and different features for the adults and senior citizen travelers. The policy is to be customized upon understanding the case in its entirety.

Based on the type of Travellers

  • Student Travel Insurance

A student travel insurance is provided to students who are traveling internationally for education, be it short-term or long-term courses. It can also be provided to interns and trainees as per certain criteria. This insurance policy covers the unforeseeable distress that the student will have to go through. Sometimes, the insurance covers the complete period of the course that the student is pursuing or for the trips the student will be taken within the validity of the insurance. This will all depend on the case and the requirement of the bearer.

  • Family Travel Insurance

When the family members are traveling together, say for a vacation, this kind of insurance is provided to the family collectively. A kind of collective or group travel insurance like this is actually helpful and cheaper. Generally, it is more useful for international trips than national. The cost will differ depending on certain factors such as the number of members in the family such as adults, children, and senior citizens in the group. the destination country, and other such factors. It can also vary depending on the coverage, that is, is it for the one-way trip or the complete round trip.

  • Medical Travel Insurance

This is the kind that covers the healthcare of the bearer. Medical emergencies during the journey or other health requirements such as daycare or dental expenses, medical evacuation are also covered under this policy. Well, there is more to it. With medical travel insurance, you can acquire cashless medical treatment from an impaneled hospital. This policy offers health coverage as well which is mostly not covered by your usual health insurance. This policy is well suited for all ages and all kinds of travelers. It can also be for domestic trips as well as international.

  • COVID-19, International Travel and Medical Insurance

The current pandemic situations have affected the entire world. It has hit the travel industry like never before. However, the importance of medical insurance while traveling has been realized too. With the increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections, many countries have made it mandatory for air international travelers to get their health insurance done.  

The List of Countries include,

  • Aruba
  • Brazil
  • Cambodia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • French Polynesia
  • Russia
  • Schengen Area
  • Sint Maarten
  • Thailand
  • The Bahamas
  • Turkey
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • UAE
  • Ukraine

However, it does not matter if the country you are traveling to mandates travel health insurance, it is for your safety. You must include this insurance in the mandatory list. Considering the infections scenario. It will always be better to have an amount insured than spending extra on the treatment.

  • Senior Citizen Travel Insurance

There are times when senior citizens are traveling alone. This is when specialized insurance is issued to them with a modified policy. This will cover the potential medical emergencies that can occur during the trip. It is not the medical treatment that is covered. In case there is some kind of political threat or a requirement for evacuation, the insurance will be able to cover the same. Medical tests or additional health checkups as well won’t be required up to a certain age which will only make the trip hassle-free and pleasant.

  • Corporate Travel Insurance

Corporate policy is where several journeys of the corporate person or a businessman are covered. It generally comes with a validity of a year or more depending on the requirement of the bearer and other parameters. Other than medical needs, the insurance also covers the loss of luggage, trip delay or trip cancellation, miscellaneous expenses, and even emergency evacuation. This policy is preferred by companies quite often as and when traveling is frequent. Also, senior citizens are generally not covered under this policy, they will have to issue a senior citizen’s insurance separately.

  • Group Travel Insurance

There are times when senior citizens are traveling alone. This is when specialized insurance is issued to them with a modified policy. This will cover the potential medical emergencies that can occur during the trip. It is not the medical treatment that is covered. In case there is some kind of political threat or a requirement for evacuation, the insurance will be able to cover the same. Medical tests or additional health checkups as well won’t be required up to a certain age which will only make the trip hassle-free and pleasant.

Based on Insurance Policy Validity

  • Multi-Trip Travel Insurance

In this type of policy, multi-trip insurance covers all the trips that are to be taken by the bearer within the given validity period. It can be customized in a way that the bearer gets coverage of multiple trips with just one policy. It generally depends on the kinds of trips taken. There is a different policy for international trips and a different one for domestic trips. Also, an insurance policy for international trips doesn't need to cover domestic trips. Multi-trip travel insurance is quite feasible and affordable for frequent flyers so that they do not have to worry about getting the trip insured every time they need to travel.

  • Single Trip Travel Insurance

As the name suggests, a single trip travel insurance policy will cover just a one-time trip. It then could be one complete round trip or just a one-way trip. The specifications and details will differ from case to case. The coverage also differs as per the policy and its features. Some agencies that also book flight and train tickets offer this kind of single trip insurance which is valid only for the given single trip. It is essential to secure the trip even if you are traveling just once, there are various unforeseeable circumstances you can find yourself in which could have severe consequences.

Other Types of Travel Insurance Plans

  • Baggage Insurance

The definition of baggage insurance is quite simple. This insurance will only cover the loss of luggage or delay in receiving the same due to any kind of issues in the process or if the luggage is stolen or even damaged. Generally, it is covered with a different kind of insurance for which baggage coverage is just one of the features of the policy. A baggage insurance policy is not normally acquired separately and is not recommended similarly as well. Also, the airline automatically provides baggage insurance but if it doesn’t, it needs to be purchased.

  • Flight Insurance

A flight insurance policy is where monetary benefits are involved. Normally, there is one flight insurance policy that will give you cover for various situations such as emergency evacuation or death due to an accident. However, at times, some policies will cover accidental losses and other losses separately. When only the potential accidental losses are covered, the policy is termed flight accident insurance. When choosing a policy for the same, ensure that you go through the features and coverage of the policy.

How much does Travel Insurance cost?

Several aspects will affect travel insurance costs. Some of these include the type of insurance, the validity, kind of emergencies it is capable of covering, the company it has been acquired from, and others. Also, note that getting cheap travel insurance does not guarantee you providing benefits.

What are the Benefits of Travel Insurance?

Well, there are numerous benefits to securing your travel. Some of the major ones are listed as follows:

  • Cover for a Cancelled Trip: You wouldn’t have to worry about losing money over a canceled trip. The travel insurance will cover it and you shall get a refund for the money that you have lost.
  • Cover for Trip Delay: In case you have to wait longer due to a delayed trip and you miss the next connecting flight because of the same reason, it will be covered by the insurance policy.
  • Repatriation of Mortal Remains: It is already devastating when there is a death of a loved one. Getting the trip insured will make sure that the remains of the deceased are returned to the family members.
  • Cover for Loss of passport and Checked-in baggage: When traveling, your luggage has the essential items that you would need during your stay away from home. If in case you lose your passport or checked-in baggage, the travel insurance will cover the recovery of the same.
  • Cover for Medical Related Emergency: If there is any kind of medical emergency threatening your health, the costs will be covered by the insurance policy. You then wouldn’t have to worry about the long bills.
  • Hijack Distress Allowance: If your flight has been hijacked causing you any kind of distress, the insurance grants a hijack distress allowance which can even help you acquire appropriate therapy.
  • Accidental Death or Disability. If any kind of disability or even death occurs because of an accident during the journey, it will be covered by the travel insurance policy.
  • Pre-existing Disease Cover. It will cover pre-existing Diseases in life-threatening medical conditions.

Countries where Travel Insurance is mandatory

Given below is a list of countries for which the submission of travel insurance is mandatory for obtaining a visa and travel to the country,

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Yemen

Given below is a list of countries for which travel insurance is mandatory (*Conditions apply) while traveling as it is checked at Immigration. 

  1. United Arab Emirates
  2. Canada (For Super Visa / Parental Visa)

What Documents to Submit to Claim the Travel Insurance?

When you are assured about the expenses, you need to know what all documents you need to submit to the insurance policy.  

Go through the following checklist,

  1. Claim Form
  2. A soft or hard copy of the policy document. 
  3. Identification proof
  4. A valid passport (for international insurance)
  5. All Travel Tickets
  6. Hospital bill and discharge summary
  7. FIR copy for theft cases
  8. Correspondence from the airport (for cases such as damaged luggage at the airport)

Some countries have a policy document/summary in the foreign language or their native language. If a policy claimant does not understand the language, or if the policy provider demands so, the individual should get their insurance document translated from a certified translator.


Which travel insurance to buy for a Schengen visa?

When you have a Schengen visa, make sure that you buy Schengen travel insurance. This will cover all the emergencies that may occur in any of the Schengen countries. If you have a visa for one of the Schengen or just another European country, then get the trip insured for only that one country. This can save you some money.

Is Travel Insurance mandatory?

Well, this part depends on the trip. Generally, travel insurance is a prerequisite to ensure a safe trip. For international tours, some of the countries mandate insurance even for the visa application, it can be a compulsory requirement for obtaining a visa. Other than that, it is not necessarily mandatory and is just a safety measure.

When to Buy Travel Insurance?

Generally, the best time to buy travel insurance online is well before the trip. The processing may take time, but do not buy one unless you are sure about the trip. You can apply for one when you have applied for a visa or after you have booked your tickets for a domestic trip.

Do I Have to Go for a Medical Test to Buy International Travel Insurance?

The requirement of a medical test for obtaining international travel insurance will depend on the provider of the policy. In the case of most agencies, travel insurance is provided without any medical test. However, some of the companies will ask for proof of the medical test conducted.

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