Travel Insurance: Coverage, Mandatory Criteria, Claim Process, TPA - All your questions Answered

Wondering whether you should get travel insurance? Can’t figure out what travel insurance covers? We’ve got you covered.

Breaking-down Travel Insurance: An introduction

Insurance is our way of addressing the risks and uncertainties of life. When it comes to travel, there is an obvious risk as you are travelling to a new place and are not sure what it holds for you. Loss of baggage during check-in, loss of passport or theft of personal belongings are the risks that are typically inherent during travels. With these factors in mind, having travel insurance is a reassuring cover that you can buy while travelling. Besides, overseas travel insurance is mandatory while travelling to many countries.

Here you will find all your questions regarding travel insurance in one place.

What are the benefits under ‘Hijack Distress Allowance’?

If the insured person is on an aircraft/ship that has been hijacked, the insurance company pays compensation for the distress. It is available if the hijack situation continues for more than 12-24 hours or as mentioned in your policy terms.

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance gives you insurance coverage and travel assistance before and during your journey. It protects you from unforeseen incidences.

Why do I need travel insurance?

A lot of unfortunate things can happen during a trip - you could miss your flight, lose your baggage, have a medical emergency, etc. Travel insurance covers these risks. 

What exactly does travel insurance cover?

Most travel insurance policies cover trip cancellation, trip delay, loss/delay of baggage, medical expenses, and emergency evacuation due to natural calamity or terrorist activity, among other things 

Is travel insurance mandatory?

Travel insurance is not mandatory for every travel, but it is highly recommended. But there are many countries where you cannot enter without travel insurance.

Is student travel insurance mandatory?

Most universities abroad make it mandatory for students to get travel insurance.

Who can buy travel insurance?

Any individual travelling for work or leisure, who has bought return tickets, can buy travel insurance.

What are the eligibility criteria to buy travel insurance?

Generally, age is the only factor. Anyone aged between three months and 60 years is eligible for individual travel insurance. Senior citizens till the age of 85 can get the senior citizen travel insurance plan. The age limit may vary from policy to policy and insurer to insurer.

What is TPA?

Third-Party Administrator, or TPA as it is commonly known, receives your claims and handles them on behalf of the insurance company. 

What are single-trip and multi-trip travel insurance?

Single-trip insurance covers you for a specific trip. It starts when you board your flight from India and ends when you are back, or till the end of the issuance period, whichever is earlier.
A multi-trip policy covers you for multiple trips in a given period, generally 365 days. Conditions may apply to the number of trips and maximum duration of trips.

How do I file a claim under travel insurance?

As soon as you are back from your trip, you need to fill up a claim form and submit relevant documents. Refer to the claim contact details provided by your insurer to file your claims.

How long will it take for my travel insurance claim to be reviewed?
This depends purely on your insurance provider. It can take from three business days to 15 business days.

What documents are required to make a travel insurance claim?

The documents generally needed for raising a travel claim include a claim form, policy document, identity proof, tickets, passport, and visa copy. Specifically, you may need,
For Loss/delay of baggage: Claim form, copies of baggage tags, correspondence with airline, property irregularity report from the airline, bills of expenses for the period.
For Loss of passport: Copy of new passport, copy of old passport, FIR report, bills for expenses incurred in obtaining a new passport.
For Flight cancellation, delay or missed connections: Claim form, original tickets, correspondence with the airline, bills for expenses occurred.

How long can I extend my overseas travel insurance?

If you have bought an extendable policy, you can extend your insurance for up to 180 days in most cases. You will be charged an incremental premium for the extension. 

What is the minimum period for a domestic trip to qualify for travel insurance?

Depending on your insurer, the minimum period can be as short as a few hours, and as long as 365 days.

Can I cancel a travel insurance policy?

All travel insurance plans come with a ‘free look’ period. This is for travellers to review the policy to see if it fits their needs. You can cancel your policy during this period. You cannot cancel your policy for a refund after this period is over or after your trip has started.

Can I change the details of my travel insurance policy?

Most travel insurance companies allow you to change the details of your policy; however, it needs to be done before your scheduled departure.

What is trip cancellation travel insurance?

Trip cancellation travel insurance reimburses you if you have to cancel a prepaid non-refundable trip. The reason for the cancellation is critical here. You will be reimbursed only if the reason is covered by the insurer.

If I cancel my trip, do I get insurance coverage?

Most insurance companies allow a refund if you cancel your trip, provided the cancellation is for specific reasons mentioned in the policy document. There will be some deductions towards the administrative costs.

Will claims be settled on my return to India?

Yes. You need to file your claim and submit the required documents as soon as you return to India. 

Does travel insurance cover loss of credit/cash?

Most insurers cover loss of credit/cash. However, they put a cap on the payout amount. This depends on the terms and conditions of your insurer.

Is the loss of a passport covered under travel insurance?

Yes, most policies cover the loss of a passport.

What is covered under ‘loss of checked-in baggage?

If your checked-in baggage is damaged or permanently lost, the insurance provider reimburses the cost of replacement of the goods.

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

Generally, travel companies do not allow a refund if you cut short your trip. However, you should read your policy to see if there is such a provision.

When does one have to submit medical examination results?

There is no medical examination required till the age of 60 or 70, depending on the insurer. If you have any adverse medical history, make sure you submit the relevant documents before your trip commences.

Are ambulance charges covered under a travel policy?

Yes. Usually, a travel policy covers medical treatment, hospitalisation, and ambulance fee. Most travel policies are also including COVID-19 related treatment and hospitalisation as a part of the coverage.

Conclusion:

The exact terms and conditions of travel insurance vary from policy to policy and insurer to insurer. Therefore, it is recommended that you go through the policy document before finalising the policy. This will also help you find a policy as per your requirement, like single-trip policy or period-based policy, hospitalisation benefits, favourable cancellation terms, etc.

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