Are you sending your child to a foreign country for graduation or post graduation studies? If yes, then you probably know what all goes in to the preparations. From attending career fairs to deciding the right university, filling up forms, writing exams and calculating the total expenditure involved in the entire thing can actually take up a lot of your time. It is a time consuming task which needs to be dealt with patience. Amidst so many things, you must not overlook something that is really important for your child and that is overseas travel insurance.
In the US and Schengen countries, having a insurance policy is mandatory whereas it is optional at places like UK, Australia and Far East. Even if your child is going to a country where an insurance policy is not required, it is highly advisable to take safety precautions and get your child the right insurance policy that he/she would require in case of an emergency.
If your child is going to the UK for studies, he/she is entitled to get a cover for medical expenses under National Health Services. However, overseas student travel insurance keeps your child protected against incidents like loss of passport or belongings or any third party liability.
Even if the university does not mention the need to buy overseas travel insurance in any of its prospectus, you must buy it on your own as a responsible parent as the medical costs in most foreign counties are way higher than India. In India, a doctor may charge you around Rs 200- Rs 300 for a regular checkup or consultation whereas in the US, the doctor charges around 300 USD for consultation.
One can also buy overseas travel insurance from an agent in the foreign country but it is suggested to buy travel insurance from an agent in India as the journey itself starts from India.
There are some universities which have stricter rules when it comes to travel insurance policy. They make it a rule to buy insurance from the university itself. Some do not accept insurance policies that are not issued in the home country while some only allow the insurance companies which can match the policy as per their guidelines.
If it is allowed, you must buy travel insurance from a domestic insurance company as it offers you special advantages which no other policy offers like study interruption cover and travel cover.
Most people are pretty restless at this juncture as they invested their time and mind in other important things such as deciding on the university, course etc and therefore buy insurance policy from the university itself. However, the fact remains that travel insurance policy from a domestic insurance company is way more economical than the one offered by the university.
Most university insurance plans only cover costs related to health issues whereas insurance policy from a domestic insurance company comprises of benefits such as loss of baggage, documents, parents stay/travel cover if the student is under medical observation, study interruption cover (if a student fails to attend a particular semester due to health issues and sponsor cover (the insurance policy reimburses the tuition fees if the earning member of the family dies.