Nowadays people widely opt for a travel insurance policy while they leave the comfort of their hometown to travel internationally and domestically for various purposes like business, office work, holidays, meeting relatives and others.
A travel insurance policy is a true travel companion and protects the policyholder from a wide range of unknown and unplanned risks they may face while away from their city of residence and on travel, without a policy some of these risks during travel can put in a great financial difficulty and make the whole travel experience abominable.
The general sections covered by a travel insurance policy are
- Emergency medical expenses, dental pain relief, evacuation, repatriation
- Hospital cash allowance
- Personal accident and dismemberment
- Accidental death and dismemberment while travelling through a common carrier
- Loss of checked in baggage
- Baggage delay
- Loss of passport
- Hijack allowance
- Trip delay
- Personal liability
- Emergency cash advance
- Trip cancellation or trip curtailment
- Home burglary in home country
- Compassionate visit
- Emergency hotel accommodation or extension of a family member
- Loss of personal belongings cover
- Replacement and rearrangement of staff
- Escort for minor child
Some optional covers may include pre existing illness coverage, HIV and AIDS cover, Maternity and baby cover from day one, mental illness and alcohol related disorder cover to name a few.
Having named the sections which will be covered in a travel insurance policy, we will be discussing a few important points regarding filing a claim under this policy.
Important Points to Consider While Filing Travel Insurance Claim
Assistance Service Provider
While abroad if any claim situation arises and as the insured is completely unknown of where to go for help, the assistance service provider will be the first point of contact.
At these times first we should inform the travel assistance company with which your insurer has a tie-up and one should not start doing things of their own.
Assistance service providers have up tie-up with all Indian insurers and are professionals, they keep every arrangement to help the policyholder in case of any claim with their specialist advices and actions.
Insured should keep the contact number of assistance service provider very handy during the whole travel and stay duration.
Notice: It is a condition precedent to liability i.e. must be fulfilled by the insured before liability of insurer comes into picture. Any claim arising out of this policy must be intimated to the insurer or assistance provider not later than the specified number of days or as soon as possible and practicable from the insured’s end.
Some medical or other services beyond a particular cost covered under the policy needs mandatory pre authorization of the insurer or assistance provider, which must be obtained before any expense is incurred.
Inform Theft/Loss of Insured Valuables
If property covered under the policy is lost or damaged the insured must take all reasonable steps to safeguard the insured property.
Any other person, carrier or bailee if responsible for the loss or damage must be given immediate notice to. The local police should be notified and police report obtained for cases of theft, burglary or loss of valuables.
Description of the incident must be complete and in a chronological order. It should be not over exaggerated but at the same time all details should be present.
Documentation: Insured needs to furnish any document which is asked by the insurer or assistance provider for establishment of claim circumstances. We need to note that different sections covered under the travel policy may need some different documents for claim settlement.
Some of the documents generally required, we list out below
- Claim form duly completed and signed will be required for claiming under any section
- Identification proof and address proof may be required
- For medical or dental related claims below documents needs to be preserved by the insured and furnish when asked to. Original bills and receipts for pharmacy, consultation, diagnostic tests etc. Prescription reports, discharge summaries, case histories and investigation reports supporting the treatment taken. For trip cancellation because of a medical issue the insurer may call for a doctor’s statement.
- For a personal accident claim a doctor’s certificate which certifies death or level of disability needs to be submitted. Basis this certificate and the table of benefits for personal accident section mentioned in the policy document, the claim will be settled by the insurer.
- Trip tickets, boarding passes and other travel documents should be preserved as they may be required for claim settlement. Save other receipts and documents as well as you don’t know in advance and they can be required by the insurer while claim settlement.
- For baggage delay, loss of checked in baggage a certificate from common carrier certifying the delay or misplacement will be required. For claims where a common carrier is involved a certificate from the carrier is needed to be submitted.
- For home burglary section or for proving a theft a police report or FIR needs to be submitted.
- Photocopy of passport lost can be required at the time of filing a loss of passport claim.
Any excess mentioned in the policy will be paid by the insured out of his own pocket and that too before the insurer settles the claim from its account.
At the time of policy purchase only one must heed to the table of benefits where the section-wise excess is mentioned, to be better prepared for surprises at the time of claim when the insured is already having tough times.