Travel insurance: Curbing the risks as you globe-trot; here’s all you need to know

While this may look like any other family vacation discussion, it highlights a transformational shift in the mindset of the Indian traveller. From the conventional beaches and mountains, vacations for the quintessential Indian have evolved to a more ‘experiential’ kind of travel. Sunita above is not alone. 

According to an October 2023 report by online ticketing portal SkyScanner, 94% Indians are likely to participate in a trend called ‘set-jetting’ or travel that is inspired by an influencer, a movie or TV show (think Corsica, post the phenomenal success of Ranbir-Deepika starrer Tamasha that introduced Indians to this quaint island around the French Riviera.) Set-jetting is one of the myriad experiential forms shaping Indians’ travel choices.

Also Read: Travel Insurance: Flight cancelled or delayed due to fog? 5 important points to keep in mind

Immersive or experiential travel inherently involves higher risks, especially in the post-COVID era. These forms of travel pose increased possibilities of cancellation due to weather conditions, injuries or accidents, prompting a significantly higher number of individuals to prioritise travel insurance to safeguard against unforeseen unfortunate events and mitigate potential losses.

Importance of insurance to the ‘experiential traveller’

A report titled ‘Research on Travel Behaviours 2023’ had an insightful analysis. In a country where the total insurance penetration (across all products) is only about 4% (Statista Research Report, 2023), the Lombard report highlighted that 92% from this cohort were likely to purchase travel insurance for their next vacation.

This shift in perception can be attributed to two significant factors: the safety net offered by travel insurance in unforeseen events and the vast array of customizable insurance products that cater to individual needs. During a vacation, several situations can hamper the flow of your holiday. These can be conditions like:

1. Emergency medical expenses for sudden sickness like food poisoning, infections, allergic reactions, dengue, malaria etc.

2. Trip cancellations and interruptions

3. Lost baggage or delays

4. Loss of passport

Travel insurance in such a situation will insure you by providing reimbursements, compensation and other assistance irrespective of your geographical location. Apart from these, covers like personal liability shields you from unexpected legal expenses, personal accident coverage provides financial support in unforeseen events.

Emergency cash advance and compassionate visit benefits offer crucial support during emergencies, underscoring the significance of a well- rounded insurance plan for a worry free travel experience.

Also Read: 5 myths and facts about travel insurance that everyone needs to know

Types of travel insurance

As previously stated, there exists a diverse range of travel insurance products that cater to each traveller’s unique preferences. Selecting the appropriate travel insurance depends on purpose of the visit- whether it’s for individuals on a leisure trip, or those undertaking a business trip or a student embarking on a study journey. Also frequent fliers may opt for multi trip policies which may save them from hassles of buying policies before every trip.

When to buy travel insurance?

While travel insurance can be purchased any time before your trip’s commencement, investing in one as early as possible is prudent. Acquisition of the policy ensures that you have ample time to carefully assess and customise your insurance plan based on your unique travel needs. It enhances the overall preparedness for a protected and enjoyable journey.

Also Read: Vacation ready? Here is how to get affordable travel insurance on your next trip

Things to remember when purchasing travel insurance

Like any other insurance product, it is essential to do thorough due diligence before zeroing down on travel insurance. Here are some things that you should check:

Coverage details: Thoroughly review the policy to confirm it adequately covers all aspects of your trip –

Policy start and end date: Ensure that the policy aligns with your entire travel duration and covers all the locations you plan to visit

Geographical scope: Understand the geographical scope of the coverage. Some policies may have restrictions or exclusions for certain regions, so confirm that your destinations are included in the coverage. It’s crucial to be aware of any restrictions or limitations based on your itinerary.

Claim process: Familiarise yourself with the claim process. Be aware of the documentation required and the steps to follow in case of an incident. A transparent and straightforward claims process can make a significant difference in the event you need to make a claim.

Record keeping: Most policies require the holder to keep proof of travel and payments to fulfil claims. Thus, you should safely keep track of all receipts and proof and present them when required.

In conclusion, as the need for travel insurance becomes more pressing, it is imperative to bridge the gap in customer awareness. Travel insurance is not just a recommended addition; it is a need of the hour. As travellers embark on increasingly diverse and experiential journeys, the unpredictable nature of such adventures necessitates a safety net. Travel insurance provides this crucial support, offering financial protection, assistance, and peace of mind, making it an indispensable component for any traveller in today’s ever-evolving travel landscape.

Girish Nayak, Chief Tech, Health UW & Claims, ICICI Lombard

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Published: 05 Mar 2024, 08:55 AM IST