The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the travel woes of globetrotters. In addition to the usual health-related risks, they are now grappling with uncertainties about their travel plans. The COVID-19 curbs at destinations and airports are among the top concerns of frequent travellers. If you too have realised the importance of having travel insurance amid COVID-19 uncertainties, then you are at the right place. Today, we are going to look at the factors to be considered while choosing a travel insurance plan. However, before that, let us look at the types of travel insurance policies.
Basic travel insurance is grouped under two categories:
- Medical cover: For medical expenses due to accidents, illnesses, personal liability, cash for hospital treatment, accidental death, and dental treatment.
- Non-medical cover: For airline/hotel cancellations, lost passports, baggage loss or delays, and repatriation of mortal remains.
If you are planning to travel abroad to pursue higher studies, then buy student travel insurance without fail. Student travel insurance benefits include cashless hospitalisation, medical care, and accidental death cover. Some of the best student travel insurance policies, like the ones offered by ICICI Lombard, provide both medical cover and non-medical coverage.
Many travel insurance policies, in addition to covering both medical and non-medical expenses, offer COVID-19 coverage. This means your travel insurance will help you in case your trip is affected due to the pandemic. So, invest in a good travel insurance plan to safeguard yourself during your excursions amid these troubling times.
Aspects to consider when purchasing insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic
If you are planning to buy travel insurance during COVID-19 times, then you must ensure that your policy offers:
- Adequate cover for COVID-19 infection
Medical coverage is an important aspect of travel insurance policies. Sickness and health cannot be predicted, even when on a trip. Especially with the ongoing pandemic situation, you can do only so much when travelling. Come to think of it, there’s no scope for social distancing in aeroplanes, irrespective of whether you’re travelling by business class or in an economy cabin.
Although the COVID-19 vaccine offers protection against infection, there is no guarantee that you will not contract the infection. Therefore, make sure your travel insurance covers not only accidental death but accidental hospitalisation too. The policy must cover your medical expenses including outpatient expenses, cashless hospitalisation, and other hospital-related costs if needed.
- Cover for changes in travel plans
Always opt for travel insurance policies that offer the benefit of modifying or altering your travel plans. Flexible policies allow you to change your travel plans as per the fluctuating COVID-19 situation.
- Cover for trip cancellations
A good travel insurance policy covers trip cancellations. You must get coverage if you cancel your trip because either you or a family member is diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Cover for flight cancellations
Globally, the number of coronavirus infection cases is fluctuating regularly. With that, the international and domestic travel guidelines keep changing. This is causing frequent flight changes and cancellations. All this together can disrupt your travel plans significantly.
In such situations, a travel insurance policy that reimburses you for your travel plan disruptions would be ideal. It will allow you to book another flight for a later date free of charge. Also, airfare rates have become costlier owing to the pandemic. Therefore, with a travel insurance policy, you can save money even if your flight gets cancelled.
- Cover for flight delays
Owing to the ongoing pandemic situation, flight delays have become common. Because of this, you could be kept waiting for your new flight details at times. Here again, a travel insurance policy can come to your rescue by covering your food and hotel expenses.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a travel insurance policy amidst the COVID-19 situation:
- Are your flight delay costs covered?
- Are medical expenses for your overseas trips included?
- Does your policy cover political risks and evacuations?
- Does it offer coverage for flight cancellations and disruptions?
- Do you have cover for connecting flights that you may miss?
- Does your policy cover emergency prolonged hotel stay?
- Does it cover bounced hotel and airline bookings?
Always make sure to carry the latest COVID-19 negative test report while travelling. That is over and above being fully vaccinated. Research your destination well to know what to expect in case of the high number of COVID-19 cases there. This will help you to stay prepared to face any pandemic-related situation.
Travel insurance will take care of most of the unexpected expenses when you are away from home. Just make sure you compare travel insurance online and choose coverage from a reputed insurer like ICICI Lombard.