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5 reasons why travel insurance is the first thing you should pack while travelling overseas

ET CONTRIBUTORS|
Jan 23, 2019, 10.27 AM IST
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Travel insurance plans provides financial support to cover many such exigencies.

Highlights

  • A comprehensive travel insurance policy will not just cover minor out-patient expenses but in case of a life-threatening situation it extends coverage to pre-existing ailments as well.
  • Some travel insurance plans also offer a benefit called 'Personal Liability' wherein the insurance company will cover the expenses for third-party damages.
By Anuj Gulati

Embarking on overseas travel whether for business or leisure requires extensive preparation to ensure that the journey would be fruitful and safe. This is why having travel insurance becomes an essential part of travelling. It not only acts as a safety net against the risk of incurring unforeseen medical expenses but also safeguards against other travel related emergencies that could spoil your trip; for example - losing a passport or checked-in baggage.

Here are some key reasons why a travel insurance is a must have for overseas travellers.

1.Saves from unforeseen medical expenses
Despite how meticulous our planning is, there are enough things that could go wrong while travelling which can make us feel specifically vulnerable while being on foreign soil. Incurring a cost of a medical emergency that we did not budget for could lead to financial stress, thus making the entire holiday experience turn nightmarish. This is where a travel insurance comes to the rescue. It basically offers coverage for medical exigencies and that too on a cashless basis.

Further, since cost of healthcare overseas is usually 3 to 5 times more expensive as compared to India, a visit even for a small issue can turn out to be expensive. A comprehensive travel insurance policy will not just cover minor out-patient expenses but in case of a life-threatening situation extends coverage to pre-existing ailments as well. Added to this, there are plans that will offer services like medical evacuation or air ambulance etc. and even allow treatment to be completed in one's home-country post their return.

2. A friend in an unfamiliar territory
A travel insurance cover that offers 24X7 customer support for claims overseas could prove to be a friend who helps bridge language barriers or geographical constraints. No matter where one is; with a travel insurance policy they'd be sure of the fact that there is a dedicated team to support you in case of any medical or travel-related emergency.
It assures one of immediate assistance be it for a medical evacuation, admission to the nearest hospital or guidance on process for reissuance of misplaced travel documents. The process is hassle-free for the insured as the customer care would work with the local medical provider/authorities directly.

3. Coverage for personal liability
Sometimes an emergency might involve a damage being inflicted to a third party - person or property - wherein expenses for the same would have to be borne by the insured. To cover this, some travel insurance plans also offer a benefit called 'Personal Liability' wherein the insurance company will cover the expenses for third-party damages.

4. Travel-related emergencies
At times, we might incur non-medical emergencies such as losing a passport, laptop, international driving license, checked-in baggage or trip delays owing to bad weather which in turn could lead to a missed flight connection or unutilised hotel reservation. Travel insurance plans provides financial support to cover many such exigencies. Some companies even offer compensation for visa fee incase the same is rejected. So it's best to have a travel insurance by your side to be able to tackle such situations in a better way.

5. Mandatory requirement
Few countries have made it mandatory for visitors to have travel insurance; you don't want to arrive at the immigration counter and be informed that an absence of insurance has prohibited you from entering the foreign land. There are times visa applications get rejected due to absence of travel insurance documentation - so before travelling abroad, be sure to check whether or not your destination country has made travel insurance a pre-requisite for visitors.

(The author is MD & CEO, Religare Health Insurance)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)

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