A common dilemma amongst students planning to study overseas is selecting a proper student travel insurance plan. Many make the mistake of equating such schemes with regular travel insurance, while others skip purchasing it altogether, thereby exposing themselves to some financial risks. In this article, we’ll try and simplify student travel insurance to help make your purchase decision easier.
Coverage and features: How is Student travel insurance different from regular travel insurance?
While travel insurance only covers you during the trip and expires when it ends, a student insurance policy is far more comprehensive and continues to protect you during your stay abroad. The following is an indicative list of the main features of a student travel policy:
What you should know before buying this cover
Your university may require that you purchase a particular product and hence in such a case you don’t have any option but to do so. However, universities generally prescribe certain broad criteria/ parameters and leave the options open for students to purchase their own insurance policy. In such a case, you have two choices:
Which option works better?
It is advisable to prefer student travel insurance over regular health cover since a student cover protects you on travel related aspects as well & thus, obviates the need to purchase a separate travel policy every time you travel.
Also, choosing a policy from an Indian insurer over an overseas policy can generate significant savings in terms of cost of the premium. For example, for an annual cover of USD 1,00,000, Student Guard- Overseas Health Insurance Plan - Plan B Plan from TATA AIG General Insurance will cost you around Rs. 32,000, while Collegiate Care Plan from US Fire Insurance Co. will cost you USD 732 (~ INR 49,044, assuming USD 1 = INR 67).
However, the premium should not be the only things you consider; factors such as network hospitals, claims process, cashless facility, etc. are more important. It is here that inputs from enrolled students or university counsellors may prove helpful, so do ask as many questions as possible and read online reviews and forums as well.
Some other points
Related: Travel insurance exclusions in India
Given the high cost of medical expenses in developed nations, an insurance policy is a must for families to protect themselves from the financial impact due to hospitalisation or disability during the stay abroad. Student travel insurance fulfils this need and hence is a highly recommended cover for students going abroad.
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