Where do you plan your next trip to? Will it be a nice happy vacation in Los Angels, or a hiking adventurous trip to Switzerland? Do you plan to party in Las Vegas or go for a business meeting to Japan? Or are you going out with friends to the jungles of Africa or have planned a family trip to Italy? Where ever you plan your next trip to and however often or many times in a year may you plan to visit a place of your choice beyond the borders of the country, we hope you have thought enough about your safety and well being in the new country.
We suggest, whenever you plan to take a trip anywhere outside the country, may it be one trip or multiple trip round the year, to get a good International Travel Insurance Plan for yourself first. To whoever thinks that they are completely healthy and fit and do not need any such insurance plan, an International Travel Insurance plan is not only limited to covering your medical insurances but is there to support you in any case of emergency that includes that of loss of baggage, stolen gadgets, accidents, emergency cash requirement, cancellation or delay of flights and booking and any other emergency situation. And none of these situations before occurring would send a prior information notice. They can happen anywhere and to anyone. One has to be prepared in advance to face them. And the best way out of any such emergencies is to get yourself insured.
Mind you, a Domestic Travel Insurance Plan does not cover you outside the borders of the country. It is limited to your trips within the country. There are a number of companies that are offering International Travel Insurance Plans in India. The policies of each company differ. Another problem that comes up when you decide to get an insurance plan for yourself is when you are confused as to which insurance plan would be the best for you.
One is very wisely supposed to choose their international travel insurance plan that he /she wants. There are certain details of the policies that he/she must confirm before taking up the insurance. These include that of the situations and emergencies that the policy would and would not cover.
Before opting for a policy and taking your final decision you must always check for the following:
- The coverage Limit: You must always first check the coverage limit of the insurance plan. A good insurance plan would have coverage of around $100,000 USD. There can be other policies that are providing you coverage of up to $1,000,000 USD. You may not always need such a large amount. But if you go for say an insurance of $20,000 USD, you might need some external help too if in case you break your leg because the insurance would get over only in covering your medical bills. This could be one of the worst decisions you could make.
- Care and Emergency Evacuation: Know before in hand that what all emergencies your insurance policy is covering. Will it or will it not include evacuation in cases on natural disasters and terrorist attacks. In case you need medical help, will it or will it not take care of you reaching the help in time. In case you go for paragliding and break your hand, will it offer help to you in evacuation. A great international travel insurance plan would cover any such evacuation or care needed.
- Countries Covered: You must always make sure that what all countries your insurance plan is covering you in. There are many policies that are limited to certain countries. Make sure that your International Travel Insurance Plan covers almost all the countries that you wish to visit.
- Emergencies Covered: A great International Travel Insurance plan would cover nearly all the emergency situation. These maybe lost or stolen baggage or gadgets, accidents, cancellation of hotel bookings, delayed or cancelled flights and trips, need for emergency cash, injury, illness or sudden death. Do not go for an insurance plan that does not cover all of these.
- 24*7 Hour help: Make sure that whichever plan you chose has your back 24*7. It would be disheartening if you need help and are asked to wait until the next day or for another couple of hours as they aren’t the companies working hours.
- Electronics: There are companies that do not insure your electronic devices that include your camera, mobile phones, ipads, or laptops. These are other companies that offer supplement plan for coverage of electronics. These may or may not cover your electronics worldwide. Know well about the insurance of your electronic appliances when choosing your international travel insurance plan.
- Claims: You must know that however good your company may be, it has its objective of profit. No company would easily want to give you handsome amount of money when you make a claim. You’ll have to be very patient for this. Ask about how and when can you make a claim. Inquire about all the documents and other paper works that you would need to make a claim.
Similarly, as it is important for you to know what all your insurance covers, it is equally important for you to know what all does your plan not cover. When you buy an international travel insurance plan it does not cover the pre-existing medical issues and any such emergency of voluntarily involvement. In case you meet an accident when you are on drugs or alcohol, you aren’t insured. In cases that you lose your baggage because of your carelessness or it is stolen because of this, the policy would not be of any help. You aren’t reimbursed if you hit somebody on the road. Get to know about the do’s and don’ts of your policy before you get yourself insured.
More than you having an International Travel Insure Plan before you travel, it is important that what all does your travel insurance plan cover. There can be chances where you do not need coverage for adventure activities because you aren’t planning for any of them on your trip. Similarly there can be around half a dozen of things that you may not find necessary for your trip. Make these points very clear to the company that you are getting your insurance plan from. It is also important that you understand the policies well. Ask as many times as you want to but clear all your doubts. Let no situation of panic arise later. Also, do not forget to compare your International Travel Insurance Plans with that provided by other companies too.
What could be worse than not having insurance at all is having a bad insurance and not knowing about it well. Be smart and choose wisely!