International student travel insurance: Know what's covered & what's excluded

The most important part of an advertisement about insurance is its disclaimer – *conditions apply. Most of the insurance buyers don’t read/listen to the entire specifications of the policy – which they’ll regret later. If you ask me, know the depth of the lake before deciding to dive right into it. Especially if you are a student moving abroad, understand what your travel insurance plan covers and excludes. That way, you can plan for all the possible emergency expenses.

On average, around 3 lakh students move abroad for higher studies and job opportunities. Canada, USA, Europe, and Australia are the countries majority of Indian students prefer to migrate to. The premium rates of insurance policies in these countries are much higher than those in India. So, it makes more sense to purchase a student travel insurance policy in India. It is observed that immigration policies and university details are the top priorities of every student who is planning to go abroad. Add purchasing a student travel insurance to your list if you are planning the same.

What is student travel insurance?

Student travel insurance offers coverage for unexpected medical and travel expenses to those who are studying abroad. The best travel insurance in India, USA, and Europe offer more comprehensive coverage to students than any other type of insurance. Top insurance companies in India offer to cover medical and travel emergency costs. Though different insurance companies have various benefits to the insured, here are the primary benefits:

  • Medical expenses
  • Sponsoring of travel expenses for one family member in case if the insured is hospitalised.
  • If the insured discontinues his/her studies, the tuition fee is reimbursed
  • If the insured loses his/her passport or baggage, the insurance firm will provide compensation.
  • Usually, insurance firms offer the student travel insurance policy to students of the age group 16-35.
  • These policies have a coverage period of 1-2 years.
  • The coverage amount of student travel insurance plans range from $50,000 – $5,00,000.

What does a student travel insurance plan cover?

Medical expenses in countries like Australia, USA, and Canada are almost five times the costs in India. Also, the premium amounts of student travel insurance policies are similarly higher. Many universities have made it mandatory to have an insurance policy. Apart from the benefits related to medical expenses, this insurance policy manages potential travel risks.

Here are the benefits that are offered under a student travel insurance plan in India.

  1. Medical benefits:
  • If the insured is dealing with an emergency illness or an accident, medical expenses are reimbursed.
  • If the insured has a toothache or any dental injury, the treatment falls under the coverage of the policy.
  • A certain coverage amount is paid if the insured is permanently disabled
  • The sum assured will be paid by the insurance firm in case of insured’s accidental death.
  • In case the insured needs to be sent back to his/her home country for a medical reason, expenses will be paid by the firm.
  • In case of accidental death of the insured, an amount of coverage is paid to the family of the insured. This amount of coverage is decided during the purchase of the policy.
  1. Travel Risks:
  • If any items from the luggage are lost after it is checked in, the amount will be covered under the policy.
  • If there is a delay in luggage, compensation will be provided to the insured.
  • If the insured misses a departure or misses a connecting flight, the expenses will be reimbursed.
  • If the flight is delayed for more than 12 hours, all the incurred expenses will be covered under the policy.
  •  If the insured loses his/her passport, the incurred expenses will be covered under the policy.
  1. Liabilities:
  • In case the insured is involved in a lawsuit or has caused any property damage, the policy provides cover for these expenses.
  • The student travel insurance covers the bail amount in case the insured is arrested.
  1. Other benefits:
  • Psychological treatment coverage
  • Medical screenings
  • Maternity benefits
  • Hijack benefits
  • Emergency accommodation expenses

What expenses are excluded from the policy?

  • Medical expenses incurred due to any pre-existing illness are not covered under the policy.
  • Expenses incurred due to self-inflicted harm like suicide, alcohol/drug abuse doesn’t fall under the medical benefits.
  • If the insured has to travel for any medical treatment, the policy doesn’t cover the expenses.
  • If the loss of passport is not reported to the local police, the insurance firm doesn’t provide the reimbursement.
  • If the country the insured is travelling to is under a nuclear threat or a war, any situation wouldn’t be considered under the policy.

Points to be noted:

While opting for additional risks, consider each and every option carefully. For example, mental health issues aren’t predictable. But these will result in higher medical expenses without insurance. Therefore, when your insurance provider suggests additional coverage, consider choosing cover for:

  • drug/alcohol dependence
  • Mental health issues
  • Medical screenings and examinations
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Sports injuries

Many foreign universities include the premium amount of a best health insurance plan along with the fee. However, if you purchase a student travel insurance plan in India, you can claim a refund from the university.

In case of a medical emergency or a family emergency, if the student has discontinued the course for a while, then the tuition fee would be reimbursed.

The policy can be renewed until the course is completed. The renewal process is entirely online.

In case the insured returns early to India with the insurance plan still active, the premium amount will be refunded. Every insurance firm makes a certain deduction from the refund.

The claiming process of the policy is pretty simple. Inform the provider about the emergency through the helpline number provided.

Student travel insurance India ensures that you can be safe and sound in spite of emergency medical/travel risks. Read the policy documents carefully and ask your insurance provider about the exclusions. Choose a policy that is available online so that the process of claiming or renewal is easy. Compare several plans and the benefits offered before choosing a policy.

Almost all student travel insurance India plans have internal caps. Though the total sum assured might be a larger amount, the firm sets a sub-limit for a particular emergency. Ensure that all the internal caps on coverage amount meet your requirements.

In a foreign country, it is essential to have pre-planned aid for an emergency expense. Purchase a plan that accommodates your study period. Be risk-free.


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Written by Eric Reyes

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