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Importance of health insurance during travel

COVID-19 has made travellers more aware of the risks that are involved while travelling. In the Pre-COVID times, travellers would not focus on the risks involved in travelling abroad. However, now, people weigh the risks before they even make any travel plans. While travellers’ insurance was made mandatory before entering some countries, people are now considering availing of insurance even while travelling domestically.

Health insurance is one of the most common forms of insurance availed of by travellers.It is mainly due to the sky-high medical bills that one may receive in case of an emergencyand also the uncertainty and sheer spread of various medical emergencies especially COVID 19. Medical insurance helps mitigate these expenses. It offers people a sense of security. In Asia, medical assistance is relatively cheap. However, when one moves westwards, the daily costs can be upwards of USD1500 a day. It is when medical insurance helps the traveller.

With more countries relaxing restrictions and opening up their borders, the number of international travellers per day is on the rise. The rise in travellers has to lead to a boom in the number of people availing of health insurance. Mostpolicies offering health benefits cover emergency hospital visits, accident claims and emergency treatment. One may also find policies that cover emergency medical evacuation which covers expenses arising out of an accident or illness related medical treatment and evacuation. One can even choose between separate medical insurance plans or comprehensive travellers’ insurance that has a medical cover.

Travellers’ should proactively research on the wide variety of insurance policies available to buy what is relevant and useful to them.Research helps one choose the package that they think would be best for them. It also avoids the disappointment one may face,if they were relying on insurance, only to learn that their policy does not cover what they thought it did.

In the uncertain times that we are in, medical insurance should not be considered optional, even if it is for domestic travel. Insurance companies are also adapting quickly and are offering better packages and benefits to their customer. Some companies have increased medical coverage due to the higher medical risk that is now involved in travelling. Health insurance whether taken individually or as part of a travel policy is one of the most important tasks to tick when one plans the next travel.

BY: Dr Sudha Reddy – HEAD – Health and Travel – Digit Insurance

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