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Precautions to Ensure Safe Domestic Travel

The COVID-19 pandemic struck the world since the beginning of 2020 and is still present across several nations. Many countries had imposed travel restrictions to curb its spread which resulted in substantial losses to the travel industry. Though the restrictions were lifted, most people stayed indoors due to fear of contracting the virus. Currently, the availability of vaccines and better medical careare leading people in India to travel again. Restrictions persist for international travel while domestic travel has opened up. But you must take precautions even for domestic travel and make sure to get travel insurance.

Domestic travel insurance is not compulsory but it takes care of your needs and provides you with financial protection during unforeseen circumstances. Insurance companies offer travel insurances specifically designed to suit the needs of individuals belonging to different age groups. You can get senior citizen travel insurance for the elderly as travelling for long hours has greater risks for them.

In some countries, a student travel insurance is mandatory for students travelling abroad for higher studies. Travelling is associated withrisks and uncertainties and you usually buy travel insurance when you travel overseas. However, emergencies can occur anywhere, so you must not avoid getting domestic travel insurance while travelling within the country either. Read on to know about the benefits of this particular type of travel insurance.

1. Coverage for medical expenses

 The insurance policy will protect you and your family members in case of medical emergencies resulting from illness or injury due to an accident. So, you have a safety net during your trip. You can claim reimbursement subject to the policy terms. The policy also offers cashless hospitalisation and emergency medical evacuations.

2. Personal accident cover

In an unfortunate incident of death of the insured or permanent disability or dismemberment caused by an accident during the trip, the insurance company will pay a specified percentage of the sum insured.

3. Cover for lost or stolen baggage

Loss or theft of baggage is common while travelling. Your travel insurance compensates for any financial loss you may suffer due to stolen or lost baggage. Take note of the fact that you would be compensated for partial loss of checked-in baggage only.

4. Coverage for trip cancellation or delay

The insurer will reimburse you for any prepaid expense like the price of tickets or bookings, including the accommodation charge. This cover is applicable if your trip gets cancelled or delayed because of a hazard that is covered under the policy.

5. Emergency cash

You may be in big trouble if you lose cash in an unknown place. Insurance companies consider this as a common problem faced by insured people and provide coverage for it.

6. Loss of ticket

If you lose your flight or train ticket and cannot travel because of such an incident, the insurer will compensate you for it. The claim settlement will depend on the terms and conditions of the policy.

7. 24/7 assistance

It can be very difficult if you require emergency medical help in an unknown location. You may face difficulties during communication due to language barriers. The insurers guarantee 24/7 assistance to travel insurance holders to help them with any medical or trip-related emergencies.

8. Missed flight or train

If you miss your flight or train, the policy will compensate you for the cost of your ticket based on the amount that you had declared in the policy document.

9. Personal liability cover

Personal liability cover is a new clause added by insurance companies. It provides coverage for accidental damage to third-party property. This inclusion is particularly beneficial for people with children as kids may unintentionally damage other people's property.

Exclusions of domestic travel insurance

Before purchasing a domestic travel insurance policy, go through the exclusions carefully. This would help you during claim filing as you would know the extent of coverage. The exclusions generally consist of:

  • Certain medical conditions

Most travel insurance policies donot cover medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, etc. Thorough research may help you find a policy that lets you pay a little extra to cover such medical conditions, but this will not work for every medical condition. Moreover, for the insurance policy to include a medical condition, you must disclose information to the insurer about your health before signing the policy document. Also, the insurance policy doesnot cover complications arising due to any pre-existing conditions, such as those mentioned above.

  • Baggage loss due to negligence

    Your claim is invalid if your belongings or valuables are lost because you left them unattended. Donot leave your belongings under the supervision of someone you are not well-acquainted with since theft is very common within the country.

  • Cancellation by the tour operator

    If you book your vacation through a tour operator and they cancel the trip, the insurance policy will not compensate you for it. No travel insurance policy would cover this clause. Ensure the tour company sends you an email confirming the trip. You should not finalise the details over the phone or based on undocumented confirmations. Although having an email doesnot mean you can file a claim, at least you have concrete evidence to hold the tour operator responsible and get the refund amount from them.
  • Loss caused due to intoxication

    You will not receive any money for a financial loss if you were inebriated when it took place. To process a claim, insurance officials make a report that considers the mental state of the policyholder at the time of the incident. If the officials find that the policyholder was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the claim is declared void.

  • Damage due to acts of war or terrorism

    Most travel insurance companies refrain from including this clause. One of the primary reasons for this is that governments usually issue warnings against travelling to destinations with heightened political tension. Because of this and other litigation reasons, travel insurance policies do not cover losses incurred due to war, riots, military outbreaks, civil unrest, or terrorist acts.

  • Loss due to nuclear radiation or radioactive elements

    Every domestic travel insurance policy in India excludes coverage for such factors. No airline or hotel can avoid any form of damage to you because of an area affected by nuclear radiation or lingering radioactive elements. So, your travel insurance also does not cover these risks. It is better to avoid visiting such places, especially if you know that clearing your medical bills in such a situation would be difficult.

    Whether you plan to travel for business or leisure, make sure that you have a domestic travel insurance policy so that youare protected against travel-related risks. Although having an insurance policy is not mandatory for domestic travel, getting covered can help you have a stress-free trip. Before choosing the right domestic travel insurance policy for yourself and your family members, go through the exclusions to know the limit of coverage of your insurance policy.​