The purpose of group travel insurance is to offer you a secure and comfortable journey without worrying about unforeseen events like loss of passport, loss of baggage, personal accident, etc.; which can arise to disrupt your otherwise quiet holiday.
In addition to various benefits, group travel insurance also covers compassionate visits. While travel is often associated with words like fun and pleasures, accidents and ailments can still arise even when you are away on vacation.
If God forbid, you met with an accident during your vacation and were hospitalized, without any emotional support, it might be a stressful situation for you. Being away from familiar faces and home only worsens things. At the same time, your loved ones back home would also be frantically worried.
Having a family member around you during a health crisis can ease the recuperation process. Therefore, some group travel insurance companies are offering compassionate benefit under which it arranges and pays for the transportation costs of a loved one to join the insured who is travelling alone and is expected to remain hospitalized for the next seven days.
However, a group travel policy doesn’t bear the compassionate visit expenses in the following cases=
- If the insured is not travelling alone and a family member has accompanied him/her during the overseas journey or is present there at the time of hospitalization
- A group travel insurance policy only covers family members, including spouse, parent, children (above 18) or in-law of the policyholder and therefore will not offer coverage if a non-family member is travelling to attend to the ailing insured
- If the insured’s hospitalization doesn’t fall under the category of ‘personal accident’ and ‘medical expenses and medical evacuation’ section of the policy. In case the hospitalization was planned, or for some cosmetic purposes, the insurer has all rights to refuse to reimburse the compassionate visit expenses
- If the hospitalization is for less than seven days, the insurer can deny covering compassionate visit expenses
Also, the insurer can refuse to cover compassionate visits if hospitalization is due to illegal activities like an overdose of drugs, etc.
In any case, the group travel insurer’s liability shall be limited to the actual expenditure incurred with respect to and from air transportation or the sum insured as mentioned in the policy document, whichever is low. In most cases, the insurer offers this benefit with a co-payment clause. It says the policyholder shall bear a certain portion of the claim in respect of each claim.
Working as a software engineer in T.S Solutions, Raghav Jain had to visit Australia on an office trip. It was a 1-month trip. As T.S Solutions had its clients in foreign locations, travelling was a common thing, and therefore, the company bought a group travel insurance policy for all its employees.
When Raghav went to Australia, his journey was also covered under a travel insurance policy. It was his fifth day in Australia when, unfortunately, he collided with a car while crossing the road. Thankfully, passersby took him to a hospital, where the doctor did some tests on him and kept him under observation. Raghav stayed in the hospital for four days.
In this case, his group travel insurance policy covered all his medical expenses and Raghav did not have to pay anything from his pocket. Considering the medical inflation in a country like Australia, a group travel insurance policy proved to be the best bet.
When Raghav’s family back home knew about the accident, his brother travelled to Australia to be at his side. Raghav’s sister was also working in some other company in Australia, and she rushed to the hospital upon hearing the accident news.
In this case, Raghav’s brother approached his group travel insurance to cover his foreign travelling expenses under compassionate visit. However, the insurer refused to offer coverage under the compassionate visit clause because of the following reasons=
- Raghav was not alone at the hospital as his sister was with him
- Raghav’s hospitalization was for less than seven days
Though Raghav’s group travel insurance policy covered his medical expenses; the insurer did not cover the compassionate visit of his brother.