Travel has a different meaning for different people. For some, it means exploring new places, unwinding and re-connecting to one’s own self. It means breaking the monotony, coming out of one's comfort zone and de-stressing. Generally, people tend to focus on the upside of travel and don't think about the things that could go wrong.
When you travel, be it to a domestic location or an international one, it exposes you to various risks. Theft, accidents and illness can quiet the much-anticipated fun and excitement.
Thanks to insurance awareness in India, there are people who are buying travel insurance for their international travel plans. That being said, people generally turn a blind eye when it comes to securing their domestic trips with domestic travel insurance plans. The penetration of domestic travel insurance in India is awfully low.
In 2017, Kuneru train derailment in Andhra Pradesh killed 41 people and injured 68. The Utkal Express Derailment in Muzaffarnagar killed 23 and injured 70 people. According to statistics, domestic travel is nearly as risky as international travel. Luck might not always work in your favor while you are out and about to explore India
In order to diminish the risk and avail proactive damage control, domestic travel insurance is a must-have (just as much an overseas travel insurance plan).
In this article, we will tell you about some fool-proof Dos and Don’ts, as suggested by IRDAI.
What is the IRDA: Inception and Functions
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority is an autonomous body set up according to the IRDA Act, 1999. IRDA regulates the Indian insurance sector and protects the interests of insurance buyers. It is dedicated to ensuring an orderly growth of the insurance industry.
IRDAI Suggested Do's and Don’ts for Purchasing Travel Insurance
Listed below are some Dos and Don’ts for purchasing travel insurance, as recommended by the IRDAI.
- Systematic Planning – You should buy your travel insurance in coordination with your travel timeline. Don’t wait until the last minute—you might overlook something in a hurry. For an international trip, play it safe, and start searching for your travel insurance when you apply for your visa.
- Carefully Fill the Form – Be honest and truthful while filling the insurance proposal form. If there is any discrepancy, especially in terms of medical information, medical tests will highlight it and your insurance might get rejected.
- Sufficient Health Insurance Coverage – Buy adequate travel insurance coverage and make sure that your travel insurance plan provides health insurance coverage for the entire duration of the trip.
- Extended Coverage – In case you extend your trip and wish to extend the tenure of your policy, you must submit your request before the expiry of your coverage.
- Carefully Go Through the Fine Print – Before buying a travel insurance plan, carefully go through the fine print of the policy, so that you are aware of all the inclusions as well as exclusions of the policy.
- Refund – In case you end your trip before the expiry of your insurance plan, get in touch with customer care of your insurance provider to check if you’re entitled to a refund.
- Wait Until the 11th Hour – Don’t put off buying travel insurance until the 11th You might miss out on best alternative.
- Finalize the Recommended Plan Blindly – Don’t just buy a travel insurance plan simply on the suggestion of your friend/colleague or travel or insurance agent/broker. Since insurance needs are individualistic, what works for your friend or colleague, might not work for you at all. Additionally, travel or insurance agents/brokers work for a commission. They will push you to buy a plan that is beneficial to them, not you. Some plans offer a high commission to agents/ brokers. Instead of basing your decision on hearsay, shop around and compare various plans and the go for a plan that fits your insurance needs.
- Don’t Buy the Cheapest Coverage – While there are plenty of travel plans that come cheap, go for a plan that offers the best insurance coverage at a reasonable insurance premium. Don’t measure plans on the basis of their price; instead, measure the price against the benefits it offers. The best insurance might cost you a few extra bucks. However, it will be worth it because all the possibilities will be covered.
Summing it Up
I can't stress the importance of a travel insurance plan enough. A travel insurance plan is a fool-proof way to ensure a fun and safe trip. While international travel insurance is gaining popularity in India, it’s high time we give due importance to domestic travel insurance.
Thanks to technological development, buying travel insurance has become super easy, fast and convenient. An insurance plan is a click away; you can buy it online in a matter few minutes. Comparison is the key to buying the best insurance plan . The first step is to analyze your insurance expectations. The second step is to compare insurance plans that fulfill your insurance expectations. The last step is buying the plan that fits the best.