When you are looking for the best education in the world, we believe you will compare student travel insurance and look for the best value there as well, not for the cheapest one which could fail you in the time of need.
Indian insurance companies, with their worldwide tie-ups for cashless claim settlement, offer some of the best student travel insurance products at perhaps the most competitive prices in the world. And hey, even if your University or visa process does not insist on a student insurance, we urge to you still buy one – it is great value for the price it comes for, and there is no saying when it can come to your rescue in a foreign land.
Compare Student Travel Insurance
There is no doubt that student stay abroad needs good travel and mediclaim insurance protection. There are more than 50 variations of International Student Travel Insurance policies in India. So here is our recommendation on how to compare student travel insurance and buy the one that fits your needs best.
Decide the Level of Insurance Cover and the Duration
Ideally, your university will suggest this amount. If not, go for as high a cover as you can afford but certainly not less than US $ 100,000 if you are going to the US/Canada, 50,000 Euros (approx US $ 55,000) if you are going to a Europe, or US $ 50,000 if you are going to Australia/New Zealand or any other country. Remember, there are bare minimum figures. Ideally, given the cost of medical treatment especially in US/Canada, it should be higher (around US $ 250,000 is ideal). Do consider your own needs and make the decision.
When you decide duration, keep a little buffer to accommodate unforeseen delays and changes. It doesn’t cost you much more. Also, check whether the insurance plan can be extended online, and up to how much. This is a very important flexibility you may need.
Check Acceptance of the Student Travel Insurance Plan
Some universities are strict about specific cover and kinds of plans accepted. Make sure you check this before you buy your student travel insurance plan.
Focus on Medical and Health-related Benefits
Hospitalization : Mediclaim is the most important benefit to look for when you compare student travel insurance . This covers your for most expenses if you are hospitalized due to an illness and treatment cannot be delayed till you come back to India.
Daily Hospital Allowance : Covers you on a daily basis for your stay in hospital for reasons covered under Hospitalization. Bills will need to be submitted.
Day Care Cover : Treatment or surgery which is done is less than 24 hours but which would otherwise needs >24 hours hospitalization. This is a great cover to have if you get a product which provides it.
Do check for sub-limits and deductibles in all Medical and Health-related benefits. Also, when you compare student travel insurance, give weight to benefits such as
- in-patient and out-patient expenses
- cover for PED (pre-existing disease) if you have any, especially under life-threatening condition. This is critical.
- medical evacuation that helps you to be evacuated (moved back) to India in case of illness
- repatriation of remains (burial/transportation of the body/remains in case of death, this can be very expensive)
- emergency dental procedures (especially if you have a poor dental history) that can’t wait till you are back in India
- accident and disablement benefit
- compassionate visit – cost of a return ticket for an immediate family member visiting you in case you are hospitalized for more than 7 days.
- cover for expenses incurred while participating in inter-college sports activities, if you are a sportsperson
- cover for mental and nervous disorders – from too much mental stress
- cover for mammography and cancer tests expenses
- cover for treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse, etc.
Cover the 3 Main Student-specific Benefits
When you compare student travel insurance, these are high-priority items depending on the kind and structure of the student program you are going for. There could be variations depending on the insurance company you choose.
1. Study Interruption or Tuition Fees Waiver : This covers you if you have to leave the education mid-way because you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, or have to be medically evacuated (returned to India) or in case of death of an immediate family member, and not able to continue your studies for the remaining part of the term for which Tuition has already been paid. To know how much of cover you need, just check what is the maximum amount of tuition fees that is payable in advance at any time during the whole course.
2. Sponsor Protection : If you have a sponsor and in case there is injury to your sponsor resulting in Death or Permanent Disablement, the Tuition Fee incurred for the remaining period of this education up to the maximum limit stated is reimbursed to you. You need this benefit only if you have a sponsor.
3. Bail Bond : If you get into trouble with the law, or are falsely arrested or are wrongfully detained by the police, any government or foreign power, this benefit comes handy because it covers the amount required for you to get a bail. This could be important in countries which are prone to street violence or have rampant lawlessness.
Cover Personal Liability
Personal Liability insurance is a very critical feature when you compare student travel insurance. Especially if you are accident-prone (or even otherwise), there is always the possibility that when you are abroad, you might be involved in an accident or cause harm to someone or someone’s property without intention. The benefit of personal liability is paid to cover expenses due to injury to a 3rd person or damage to that person’s property. Generally, costs associated with that accident can run into thousands of dollars especially when the person can put a claim on you. It is wise to be covered for an incidence like that. Sometimes, if you are staying in a rented apartment and cause accidental damage, this cover comes to the rescue.
Check Journey-related benefits
This covers loss of passport, checked-in baggage, delayed/missed flights, delayed baggage, etc. In any case, make sure you take good care of all your belongings – compensation received from insurance will not replace the loss of your baggage, time, effort. Some companies also offer cover for loss of international driving license, credit/debit card fraud cover, loss of laptop, etc. For the price it comes, these are good features to look for when you compare student travel insurance, and give you complete protection during your study stay.
Check if a Medical Test is Required
Having a medical test as part of the buying process is neither good nor bad. Just that if you are leaving for your trip shortly, you may not have the time to get it done. So do check that when you compare student travel insurance, and before you make the buying decision. Another thing – if you have a PED (pre-existing disease or illness) such as heart disease, cancer, kidney ailment, brain disease, etc., some companies may need you to get a medical test done (or submit reports of tests done in the last 30 days). In such cases, the cost of tests has to be borne by you of which 50% is reimbursed by the company if you eventually buy the policy from them.
Many students make the mistake of taking their insurance lightly because it is not an expensive product. The reality is that if you are not careful at the time of buying student travel insurance, it will turn out to be too expensive for you later. At a time when you are likely to be spending a lot of money on travel, fees, books, hostel, etc. you don’t want the burden of a medical bill that you could have avoided in the first place. So before you pack your bags for the Winter, Spring or Fall academic session, don’t forget to compare student travel insurance, buy right and keep your worries away. Don’t compromise on the quality of your student travel insurance. Stay secure and focused on realizing your dreams!
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8 thoughts on “Compare Student Travel Insurance – How to Get the Best Value”
Sneha, the plans may appear to be the same, but if you look closely, they are as different as chalk and cheese! Whatever you do, make sure that at least medical insurance and personal liability are taken care of, they are the ones that can cause highest damage to your pocket if something goes wrong. All the best for your studies!
Good and clearly written article. Is it good to compare student travel insurance plans online and buy the cheapest one? they all look the same to me. Please reply early because I want to buy my policy today or tomorrow as I am leaving for international studies to the US in early next month. Thanks in advance.
Super. Wish you a safe and successful trip to Deutscheland!
Not an issue. I think I’m gonna lock on HDFC Ergo as I have a HDFC Account and Ergo is a major German based insurance company; Germany being my destination :]
Sahil, thanks for your comments. To keep it completely unbiased, we do not recommend specific brands – hope you will understand. But what we do and do well is understanding your requirements and helping you buy right. Do share your contacts through an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank You for this. Really helped.
Btw, I’ll be heading to Germany soon. Would you recommend any Insurance companies for me please. I am choosing between HDFC Ergo, TATA-AIG, ICICI Lombard and Bajaj-Allianz.
Priya, if you are buying in India, you can get cover up to a million dollars, i.e. US $ 10,00,000, although very few companies offer that. In addition to just the size of the insurance benefit, such products are also very comprehensive and give you complete cover during your stay abroad.
very informative. what is the highest value of insurance cover that is available for students?