WHAT SHOULD STUDENTS LOOK FOR WHEN SELECTING A TRAVEL AND HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN?
If you are planning to travel overseas to study or as part of excursion program, getting yourself insured would be a good idea. If you search the internet, you will find innumerable travel and health Insurance plans, both long term and short term, for students going abroad. There are also companies like Student Cover which specialize in health and travel Insurance for students going abroad, especially to countries like the USA (visit www.studentcover.com/about-us/ for more info).
Students must keep certain things in mind before going for such plans. In this blog we have tried to highlight what students should look for when selecting a travel and health Insurance plan.
INSURANCE – THE PRODUCT AND THE SERVICE
Before going further, one must first know the difference between insurance – as a product & as a service. Many of you know insurance as a service which serves the insured in the hour of need for a premium amount. Insurance plans, on the other hand, are products designed to serve specific needs on specific occasions.
Life, health, travel, property and car Insurance are some of the broad categories under which insurance products are classified. For students going abroad, two product categories are of main concern i.e. health and travel Insurance.
RELEVANCE OF TRAVEL AND HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS FOR STUDENTS
As mentioned above, each insurance product serves a specific purpose. A student health insurance plan might be relevant if a student falls sick in a foreign country but it won’t be helpful in getting compensation for the baggage lost during travel. Therefore, students should select an insurance plan according to its relevance.
There are further sub-categories in health and travel insurance. Some health insurance plans are for the short term while others extended to a year. Similarly, some travel insurance plans are active only during the journey. i.e. after check-in and check-out of the airport, whereas others extend to the entire duration of travel. Students are therefore advised to thoroughly go through the insurance plans or ask experts like Student Cover before taking a decision.
COVERAGE OF TRAVEL AND HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS
To rephrase the popular proverb, “Insurance in need is Insurance indeed”, both health and travel insurance plans provide cover for unforeseen circumstances. For students, especially those going overseas to countries like the USA, health insurance is a must. This is because the medical treatment is very expensive in that country.
Students must choose health insurance plans that not only provide cover for treatment in case of accidents but also those medical emergencies that may arise due to ill health e.g. Pneumonia, Appendicitis etc.
Travel insurance plans on the other hand provide cover for baggage loss, flight cancellations and flight delays and medical emergencies. Some travel insurance policies also have provision for treatment in case of in-flight medical emergency.
A COST AND BENEFIT ANALYSIS
A cost-benefit analysis of the Insurance plan will go a long way in ensuring that a student gets adequate cover in case of an emergency. Most of the time, people purchase insurance for the sake of purchasing it. They fail to make a proper assessment of the likely cost in case of emergency in a foreign country. For example, a health Insurance plan that provides cover for upto Rs. 10 lakhs of treatment may look sufficient for treatment in India. However, in the US, it may not be sufficient.
Similarly, while purchasing a Travel Insurance plan, the amount of compensation mentioned in the plan document would not be so useful if it doesn’t adequately match the value of the actual goods lost in case the baggage gets misplacement or damage.
Students are advised to go through the above points and purchase an Insurance plan only if it meets their needs completely.