Student Travel Insurance – Buy from India or Abroad?

  • February 6, 2018

Students travelling abroad must invest in a student travel industry. Although most students are aware of this and eager to buy one, they face a common dilemma of where to buy one – India or a foreign university. Here’s how you should make a wise choice:

Check University Rules

Before deciding on an insurance policy, it is important that you check rules and regulations set by the College/University you look forward to pursue studies in. Each university has its own policy for insurance. You need to know about these to ensure validity of insurance you buy. The rules are usually mentioned in ‘Joining Pre-Requisites’ for the course you wish to pursue. You may even check out the official website of college.

Is It Mandatory?

International travel insurance is mandatory for the following universities:
– Unites States
– United Kingdom
– Canada
– Europe
– Australia/NZ

This travel insurance covers medical costs too. Hence, buying student insurance is a compulsion and not a choice! Additionally, healthcare costs abroad are very high. So you would be taking serious risk by not buying a one.

Some of the universities prefer their students buying insurance from a specific insurer of that country. This may be because of a collaboration of that university with insurer or customized paybacks meant specifically for their international students. In this case, you have no choice but to adhere to university’s rules.

Some of the universities do not mandate travel insurance. Here, you have a choice of buying or not buying one. However, it is strongly recommended not to skip insurance. The overall cost of student travel insurance is quite reasonable when compared with the benefits they offer. Also a student studying abroad requires protection in the event there is a casualty.

Many universities across the globe allow students to purchase from an insurer of their native country as far as the policy meets minimum requirements (minimum health cover, pre-existing illnesses, etc).

Indian insurance companies are fully aware of these requirements. Their student travel insurance plans adequately cover all conditions established by Universities abroad. Students can also get optional add-on benefits with primary policy. Customization facilities are also available on special requests.

Premium Rates

There is a huge difference in premium you pay for student insurance in India and abroad. When you buy it in India, it will cost you only about one-fourth of the premium you pay in a foreign country. For instance, a travel insurance cover when bought abroad at $100,000 for studies in the US would cost $2,200 each year (approximately INR 82,000). On the other hand, student travel insurance from Indian insurer for studies pursued in US will cost only INR 20,000!

Sub-limits

Sub-limit works in many ways:

– Limit on daily expenses
– Limit on room the insured can rent out in a hospital
– A cap on overall amount the insured can claim per illness
Cover of foreign students is available with sub-limits. On the other hand, Indian insurers rarely include one even in their basic policies.

Claims Settlement

The best way to check credibility of student travel insurance is to know about claims settlement ratio of an insurer. It refers to the percentage of claims approved of the total number of claims received. In case of Indian insurance companies, the info is published annually by the IRDAI.

Free-Look Period

In India, student travel insurance products are available with a unique feature under the latest Indian insurance industry norms. Under this feature, you can easily return a policy bought in India with full refund (minus minimal costs). This can be returned within 30 days of policy purchase. Hence, you have ample time to go through policy cover. In case, you come to know about something you expected but didn’t receive, simply call up the insurance company get refund. This free look facility is not available with insures in foreign country.

Why Buy Indian when You Need to Avail Services Abroad?

These days, Indian insurance companies have successfully managed to offer apt services to international students well. There are a number of reasons behind this. Presently, all insurance companies have collaborated with international insurers and international service providers to manage customer service. Hence, when buying a policy from an Indian insurer, there are a number of easier processes you can follow in case of the need for hospitalization abroad. For instance, you can simply call up the local number of the country provided to you by the Insurance Company and allow the service provider take over and manage your case.

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