Why do I need Travel Insurance?
One usually travels abroad for two reasons- a pleasure trip or a business trip. You do not want anything to ruin your hard earned holiday or your crucial business meeting. But there is a possibility of some unexpected occurrence no matter how perfect the planning is. Unfortunate events such as baggage loss, passport loss, a medical emergency or an accident can affect you. Having Travel Insurance protects you from all such perils. It ensures that in the unknown land you are not left stranded in any kind of an emergency.
Will I be covered for day trips, excursions, and holidays with multiple destinations?
Many insurance policies will cover for excursions, e.g. travelling to another country for a day or two as part of your holiday. However, check with the insurance company as there may be conditions and limits to cover. For holidays with multiple destinations, this also varies by insurer. If you wish to purchase a single trip policy you'll need to select the furthest away geographical destination and then check with the insurer they will cover the other destinations and also any time spent travelling. The other option would be to simply purchase an annual policy which will ensure that you are covered at all times and in all destinations, subject to your policy conditions.
Can I cancel a policy I purchased? Do I incur penalty?
Most of the companies allow you to review the policy 10 days following purchase (varies by company and plan). If you cancel your policy within that "free look" period, you will receive a full refund except for a small non-refundable processing fee charged by the company.
How long does it take to receive the policy papers once I purchase the policy online?
The hard copy of the policy will reach you within 7 working days. However, you can buy online within 15 minutes and take print out of the policy instantly. This works as a legally valid document, even at the time of claims, as all you need to have is your passport details and policy number.
If I take a 2 month Travel Insurance Policy, would I be able to extend it later, as per my requirement?
Yes, you can extend your Overseas Travel Insurance Policy very easily, online. The companies would however, recommend you to buy the policy for the full duration, as the extension depends on the terms and conditions of the Company. In case you decide to shorten your stay before the policy expires, you can reimburse the premium for unused policy duration (minimum unused period must be 30 days). For instance, if you take a policy with initial duration of six months but later decide to come back earlier, you can reimburse the premium for unused policy duration provided you are in India by the end of fifth month.
What is a TPA?
TPA stands for Third Party Administrator. The most essential service they provide is cashless medical services. They also provide the necessary information to deal with any problem regarding claims.
Do we have to contact the Third Party Administrator in case of illness and/or emergency?
Yes, all insurance claims throughout the world are settled by third party administrator. In case of hospitalization, the charges would be directly paid to the hospital and they will arrange for a cashless facility. If it is a case of emergency, the TPA would help you provide the cashless facility in the nearest hospital, or else they will inform you on the hospital where you can avail the treatment.
Why should I buy travel insurance?
To obtain a visa for some countries, overseas travel insurance is compulsory. Even where it is not, it is prudent to obtain a travel insurance policy when you are travelling on business or holiday or for education, research etc as medical treatment costs in many countries are much higher than what they are in India and are unaffordable.
Can I extend the period of my travel insurance?
You must check with your insurer regarding this as it would depend on the policy. Read your policy document and understand what it provides. Most policies, especially overseas travel insurance policies have a provision for one or even two extensions.
Is there a minimum duration of period for purchase of travel insurance?
Generally there will be a minimum stipulated period. Normally pricing of the policy goes by the "trip band" i.e., the number of days of travel involved and there would be a minimum trip band.
Is a medical check -up required to purchase a travel insurance policy?
You must check up with the insurer and/or the agent or broker about medical tests required and reports that are required to be submitted along with the duly filled in proposal form. Check up about the validity period of such reports as well - normally reports within three to four weeks prior to departure are required.
Do I need prior approval of the insurance company before proceeding with medical treatment should the contingency arise?
Please read the policy thoroughly and understand whether there are such requirements. Prior approval would be required in most cases though there could be exceptions depending on the emergency involved. Get this aspect clarified at the time of purchasing the policy.
Who is a Third Party Administrator?
A Third Party Administrator is one who offers claims services on behalf of the insurer. In most cases, they offer cashless facility. You must confirm details from your insurer before you travel. Ensure that your policy document has all the contact details and other relevant information related to the services offered by the Third Party Administrator.
Can I get a refund under my policy if I cut short my travel?
In case your travel doesn't take off and you show proof of the same, policies would normally provide for premium refund subject to deductions towards administrative costs. Where travel is cut short, policies may or may not allow refund subject to certain conditions. You must read your document and understand whether there is such a provision and if so, how it operates.
Is my visa status relevant to obtain overseas travel insurance?
In most cases it would be. Normally, such policies are meant for travellers who visit other countries on business or holiday or education or other purposes and not for those residing permanently abroad.