Travel insurance is essential, especially when planning to travel abroad. Medical emergencies while traveling can happen to anyone, at any time and can jeopardize the entire plan. The COVID-19 pandemic has already made people aware of the importance of travel insurance. But what if you contract COVID-19 while traveling abroad? Will your international travel insurance policy cover hospital costs?
“All international travel policies cover the treatment of COVID-19, including OPD and hospitalization up to the selected medical sum insured. An insured detected with COVID-19 should immediately go to the health care center nearest and notify the insurance company to avail of a cashless claim, if applicable,” says Sourabh Chatterjee, Senior President and Head of IT, Web Sales, Travel, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.
Before buying a policy, it is equally important to understand its cover so that there are no surprises abroad. “First of all, anyone traveling outside India should clearly check their Mediclaim Abroad policy whether virus-borne illnesses are covered or not. Also check, if covered, whether the illness can be treated outside India or not.People should avail of travel insurance which has overseas medical insurance cover, this includes major medical expenses incurred outside India such as illness , bodily injury or illness contracted,” says Indraneel Chatterjee, co-founder of Renewbuy.
When purchasing a travel insurance policy, it is important to know what additional coverage you will need depending on the nature of the trip. Chatterjee of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance adds, “If it is a business trip, a basic travel plan that covers loss of luggage, passport, medical expenses, personal accident cover, etc. . should suffice. However, if it is an adventure trip, you can opt for additional or optional cover that covers the risks associated with adventure sports. If you are a family on vacation, you can opt for a family travel insurance policy that covers hospitalization, lost luggage, trip interruption, trip cancellation, burglary, etc. If you are a student traveling abroad for studies, you can opt for student travel insurance which covers specific university requirements as well as accidents, hospitalization, family visit expenses, incidental expenses, tuition fees, etc.
It is important to note that your destination, the number of travel days, the destination of the trip and the age of the traveler also play a role in determining the IS and the premium.
“Consumers should look for coverage against loss of checked baggage or loss of passport to avoid being stranded in a foreign country. If one is a frequent family traveler, he should make sure that the insurance covers him in case of cancellation or modification of last minute trip. Life is uncertain and any member of the family can get sick for whatever reason, and a last minute cancellation shouldn’t burn a hole in your pocket,” says Chatterjee of Renewbuy.
Therefore, always review the terms and conditions, coverage limit and exclusions mentioned in the policy document to avoid last minute surprises.