A travel health insurance policy offers coverage for medical contingencies or emergency evacuation situations whilst in a foreign country. These policies are referred to as international medical insurance or worldwide medical insurance policy across the globe. There are other benefits of travel insurance plans such as loss of baggage, flight delays, missed flight connections, etc. but the medical emergency is the most important reason for opting for a travel insurance plan; especially while travelling abroad. Thus, travel insurance plans are often referred to as Travel “health” insurance plans!
Travel insurance is essential to have stress-free travel, especially so in current times when our vulnerability to illnesses is much higher.
Additional Read: Does your travel insurance policy cover Covid-19 ?
What is a travel “health” insurance plan?
It is a policy that offers coverage against any health emergency during an overseas trip. The cost of healthcare in other countries is much higher compared to that of India. Medical tourism is gaining traction because healthcare expenses are particularly competitive in India. Even a common viral fever could create a significant dent if you will have to get a consultation and treatment in a foreign nation.
A travel health insurance policy provides coverage for medical expenses and ensures the safety of the individual who is travelling. This will ensure that the individual can undertake overseas travel in a stress-free manner. You can avail of travel insurance plans regardless of the purpose of travel, age or medical condition.
Importance of travel health insurance plan:
This policy is one of the most integral parts of your international travel plan. Some of the key points to consider whilst availing health insurance plan:
- Ideal for individuals who want to hedge their health risks during their overseas travel
- If one wants coverage for other emergencies related to international travel such as trip delay, missed connection flight, baggage insurance etc., then one should avail of travel medical insurance
- Many countries have these two aspects separately. However, in India, both these aspects are covered comprehensively under travel medical insurance.
Reasons to buy a travel medical insurance policy:
The key reasons to buy travel are:
- Medical costs are high in other countries as compared to that in India
- Home-based health insurance does not cover medical expenses on foreign turf
- Other untoward flight adversities such as evacuation, trip delay, baggage loss, loss of documents etc., are covered under this plan
Inclusions in a travel medical insurance policy
- Medical assistance – regular or emergency
- Medicine expenses and hospitalisation costs
- Dental treatments and operative procedures/surgeries
- Emergency accident-related medical treatment
- Emergency evacuation to the nearest healthcare centre
- Legal coverage
- Return trip coverage in case of serious illness, accident or death
- Hospital daily cash which is the daily allowance to cover day-to-day expenses at the hospital
- Loss of check-in baggage or delay in procuring the baggage due to misplacement by airline staff care also covered
You will have to assess if the plan you are considering to avail covers all the aspects mentioned above.
Additional coverage under travel health insurance policy:
- You can avail of coverage for pre-existing diseases from certain travel insurance. However, most insurance will not cover pre-existing ailments under a regular travel insurance plan, unless specifically added.
- You get coverage for flight delays for more than a specified number of hours; in addition to the health-related aspects.
- You get coverage for any legal liability during the international trip for causation of injury/damages to a third party.
Exclusions of travel medical policy
Like all other insurance plans, there are a few exclusions in travel medical policy:
- Travelling against the advice of a medical expert.
- Usually, travel plans do not cover pre-existing diseases unless otherwise specifically availed for. It is usually an add-on feature, the base plan does not cover pre-existing diseases.
- Medical illness or injury and the expenses thereof occur due to the consumption of intoxicants like alcohol or drugs.
- Travel medical insurance policies do not cover medical emergencies due to civil unrest and war-related situations.
- Cosmetic surgery or procedures, which are not directly related to an accident, and is especially to build self-esteem, are not under the coverage of travel insurance plans.
- These policies do not cover treatment for STDs and HIV.
- Any self-inflicted injury will not qualify for claims under the policy.
- Most plans only cover conventional treatments only and not alternative ways of treatment under this plan.
- This plan does not cover injuries or illnesses arising due to indulgence in adventure sports.
- It usually excludes medical disorders such as depression, panic attacks, and anxiety under the travel medical insurance policy.
Features of travel medical insurance policy:
- 24*7 medical assistance availability
- Offers global coverage
- Both individual plans and family floater plans are available
- Cashless hospitalisation facility
- A must for occasional or frequent travellers
- Up to 70 years of age, there is no need for a pre-policy medical check-up. Just a declaration of good health would suffice.
Additional features that you should be aware of are, that all the countries worldwide are covered unless the policy specifically states otherwise. Most of the policies were re-designed during the pandemic to ensure that Covid-19 coverage was adequately covered, considering that the number of infections among international travellers was the highest. Most of the plans have now started offering a cashless facility. However, if for some reason a cashless facility is not available; then you may choose the reimbursement route with claim assistance.
Types of travel health insurance:
There are two types of classifications for travel health insurance:
Based on the frequency of trip:
- Single trip travel health insurance:If the wish to avail of a travel plan only for a specific single impending trip, then you need to take a single trip travel insurance. The insurance coverage would initiate as soon as you commence your trip and end as soon as you return to your home country.
- Multi-trip travel health insurance: An insurance that provides coverage to travellers who frequently travel. The policy term of these plans is typically 1 year, they can be extended as required. The duration of the trips undertaken by the policyholder has to be limited to 30/45/60 days in accordance with the travel insurance company.
Basis of the destination of travel:
Schengen Travel health insurance:
These policies provide coverage to the policyholders who are visiting one or more of the Schengen countries. The limitation for the travel would be 90 days or lower.
- Non- Schengen Travel health insurance: These plans provide coverage to the policyholders for all the countries apart from Schengen countries. These policies can be for single trips or multi-trips.
Travel medical insurance in India offers comprehensive coverage for all medical and flight-related adversities. It is a must if you are planning an international travel irrespective of age and purpose. Like all other plans, it is also necessary to compare the features of the plans available in the market. SecureNow offers a comprehensive comparison of all the plans which will help you choose the right one that aligns best with your requirement.
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