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Don't Travel without Travel Insurance

Let me begin with an interesting quote “When preparing for travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.”  – Susan Heller

It is not advisable to travel — especially outside India — without proper travel insurance. In fact, in many places e.g. US or Europe it is mandatory to have one. You won't get your visa without it.

Travel insurance will, primarily, protect you against
- Medical expenses
- Theft or loss of baggage
- Theft or loss of passport
- Travel related accidents 
- Flight delays and cancellations

While others risks may not such a serious issue, medical expenses abroad can be quite exorbitant. Therefore, you should not forget to buy adequate travel insurance. 

Moreover, it won't cause any serious dent to your pocket. The premiums would depend mainly on the country of travel, age and period of travel; and, of course, your Sum Assured which you can fix based on the country you are travelling to. 

Preferably, buy your travel insurance separately on your own. This may work out cheaper than the one offered by your tour operator. Ideally compare quotes from 3 to 4 different insurers.

Validity of a travel insurance policy is limited to your travel period. It starts after you clear the immigration process at an international airport and ends when you come back to India and complete the immigration formalities. However, don't restrict your policy only to the travel dates. To account for any unforeseen delays, take your cover for 2-3 additional days.

Like any typical insurance policy, travel insurance too comes with exclusions, limits and deductibles.

Some important exclusions include pre-existing illnesses, loss of checked-in baggage, taking part in hazardous sports like mountaineering, loss of cash, tickets, camera or jewellery. 

Limits on your claim amounts would depend on the kind of loss you suffer.  For example, a typical policy may cover medical expenses up to US$ 50,000, loss of baggage up to US$ 500, delayed baggage up to US$ 100, loss of passport up to US$ 300, etc. 

Further, there would be standard deductibles too, i.e. the minimum amount of any claim that would have to be borne by you. 

Finally, make sure that you carry all proper documents and contact details with you, apart from being fully conversant with your policy details. I am sure you don't want to be left totally clueless as to what you should be doing in case any unfortunate incident were to happen.

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