Every time you book a ticket, the booking portal gives you the option of signing up for travel insurance online by simply checking a box and at a minimal cost in the ballpark of INR 200. A majority of travellers have a tendency to uncheck this box and move on, thinking they have made a savvy move by not falling for the booking portals schemes to mint extra money. If you consider the possibility of any mishap, medical emergency or untoward incident happening while you are out travelling, this tendency is a textbook case of penny wise, pound foolish.
We are not suggesting that you blindly take up the travel insurance plan being offered along with your ticket. We are going a step further and asking you to sign up for a travel insurance that offers extensive cover so that it can come in handy if the need arises. Here are five things to look in a plan before you purchase travel insurance online:
It seems like a given that your travel insurance will cover any medical expenses incurred during the course of your travel and that why’s a lot of people just tide over the fine print when buying their travel insurance online because it is such a pain to read it all. However, you must carefully check what’s covered and what’s not because an unexpected medical emergency that does not fall under the purview of your travel insurance can cause you life-changing financial setback. Is the medical treatment in case of accidents covered? What about surgical procedures? Dental procedures? You need to be thorough in your assessment of this seemingly obvious clause. Also, make sure that your insurance policy offers cashless cover for medical treatment, as you may not have the kind of money needed to foot hospital bills while you are out travelling.
Natural Disaster Cover
Hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes…we have all heard horror stories of tourists and travellers finding themselves in the thick of natural disasters and suffering huge blows to their health or material possessions. Natural disasters are not covered in a standard travel insurance policy and you’d be required to purchase it as an add-on benefit. Doing so is highly recommended if you are travelling to countries or regions – Indonesia, Japan, America that are known for volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and hurricanes, respectively – prone to such natural disasters. If you can neither find natural disaster included in the policy or offered as an add-on in the travel insurance online format, look for alternatives such as ‘force majuere’ or ‘catastrophic events’. Bear in mind that such an add-on purchase is valid only when it is made before a potential disaster has been predicted or announced.
People often assume that finding reliable travel insurance online has them covered on account of any cancellation. Contrary to popular belief, insurance policies aren’t ‘claim all’ by default. While some policies may cover cancellation costs, others may not. How do you find out on which side yours rests? Look for a ‘cancellation due to causes beyond your reasonable control’ or a sentence to that effect in your policy terms and conditions. This clause will cover any last minute cancellations as well as any cancellation made during your trip due to an unforeseen emergency back home such as poor health or demise of a family member.
Holidays are the perfect opportunity to try out fun activities, experience new things and strike things off your bucket list. If your holiday plan involves high-risk activities such as skiing, snowboarding, paragliding, bungee jumping, there is a good chance that any mishap resulting from these activities won’t be covered in your travel insurance policy, simply because no insurance firm would like to risk serving claims on a platter. Even for moderate adventure activities such as mountain biking, windsurfing or even hiking, you need to look for a special travel policy online or buy an add-on cover linked to your existing policy.
The temptation to ride a motorbike or drive around the pristine locales of the destination you are exploring is often too hard to resist. With international driver’s permits, you can easily get your hands on self-driven rental vehicles anywhere in the world. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you may even end up hiring a jet ski or a motorized vehicle of some other kind. All in the spirit of new adventures and experiences. While that’s all very well, a slight oversight leading to an accident or damage to the rental vehicle in any form can set you back by several thousand. If you have even the faintest inclination toward renting a vehicle during your trip, especially in a foreign destination, make sure you find a travel insurance online that cover the excess fees or high deductible in case of any damages.
Due diligence and thorough research are the key to finding the right travel insurance plan to suit your travel goals. With these five yardsticks to guide you, you’ll be able to sift through the sea of travel insurance online and find yourself that perfect policy that has you covered for every eventuality.