Travel Insurance is a type of insurance that provides risk cover against accident, disease, death, theft, tour cancellation, forced termination or any such losses that are incurred while travelling, whether in own country or overseas. Visitor Insurance and Overseas Medical Insurance are other two terms used synonymous with Travel Insurance. The popularization of Travel Insurance owes to growing needs of travelling, whether for work, business, study, leisure or medical purposes. The travel insurers devise policies to cover most possible risks to which travelers may be exposed during travel. Some of the common identified risk types can be listed as under
Ø Medical Emergency
Ø Cancellation, curtailment and trip interruption owing to death, disease or serious illness, legal or government notification, compulsorily joining orders such as in case of defence personnel or sudden termination of employment.
Ø Repatriation of Remains
Ø Return of a minor
Ø Trip Cancellation
Ø Trip Interruption
Ø Visitor Health Insurance
Ø Accidental death, injury or disablement
Ø Overseas funeral expenses
Ø Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents, such as passport or ticket
Ø Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
Ø Flight connection was missed due to airline schedule
Ø Travel delays due to weather
Domestic vs. Overseas Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance covers two broad aspects:
ü Domestic Travel
ü Overseas Travel
In India, the most popular is Overseas Travel Insurance, due to simple perception that the risks involved while travelling to other countries are greater and hence greater cost implications. For instance, passport lost or flight missed could hamper the rest of the tour in such a manner that one ends up incurring unimaginable losses. And this is where the need of travel insurance for overseas travel is becoming a must.
Benefits of Overseas Travel Insurance
The overseas travel insurance provides cover against
ü Personal Accident
ü Loss of Passport
ü Medical Expenses
ü Trip Delay/ Cancellation
ü Baggage Loss
ü Additional risks while travelling in foreign land
ü Personal liability benefit
Types of Travel Insurance
1. Individual Travel Insurance- For an individual traveler
2. Family Travel Insurance- For members of family travelling together
3. Corporate Travel Insurance- For employees under corporate travel plan
4. Student Travel Insurance- For students studying overseas
5. Senior Citizen Travel Insurance- For individuals between age group of 61 and 70, includes cashless hospitalization
6. Single Trip Travel Insurance- For single tour covered for a specified duration
7. Multi Trip Travel Insurance- Annual plan for frequent travelers traveling round the year.
Travel Insurers in India
PSU Insurance Companies
1. The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.
2. National Insurance Co. Ltd.
3. United India Insurance Co. Ltd.
4. The New India Assurance Co. Ltd.
Private Insurance Companies
1. Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd.
2. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd.
3. ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd.
4. Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd.
5. TATA AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd.
6. Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd.
7. Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Co. Ltd.
8. IFFCO TOKIO General Insurance Co. Ltd.
9. HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co. Ltd.
10. Apollo DKV Insurance Co. Ltd.
11. Max Bupa
12. SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd.
13. Future Gernerali
Travel Insurance is picking up with the growing traveling needs and related risks, especially in case of overseas travel. Consequently, there is an increase in number of insurers and range of risk cover provided to insured. The above enumerated lists only suggest the scope of travel insurance plans, which must be further scrutinized by the buyers or travel agencies before making a choice. In many cases, it is advised for overseas travelers to check with their respective travel agents and seek their recommendations. The choice of suitable travel insurance plan also depends upon the country to be visited, e.g., in case of USA, medical expenses risk cover could be a deciding factor. With the increased awareness and innovative insurance plans, domestic travel insurance is expected to pick to further boost the travel insurers.
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