Overseas Travel Insurance for Students – What’s in and what’s not in your policy

A travel insurance policy that covers the student for the entire period of study abroad is not only essential but also insisted upon by many universities/institutes. Preparations for sending your child to study abroad can take months and need you to take care of several details, from getting prospectuses to filling up forms, applying for scholarships and writing exams, to calculating expenses and booking air tickets. The matter of getting an insurance cover may end up getting pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. It becomes all the more important then to have a ready reference/checklist that will guide you as you go about buying the right insurance. What all should a good student insurance cover apart from medical situations or loss of belongings? In the following report, we will focus on these aspects and also assess the various insurance plans on some standard parameters.
Policies Compared: HDFC Ergo (Student Suraksha – Bronze), Bharti AXA (Smart Traveller Student – Standard), Chola MS (Student Travel Protection Plan – Gold), Royal Sundaram (Travel Secure – Student Travel – Gold), ICICI Lombard (Globetrotter – Overseas Individual Student- Gold) , Apollo Munich (Educare – Bronze), Bajaj Allianz (Student Elite – Standard), Religare Health (Student Explore Plus), Future Generali (Future Student Suraksha – Standard), Star Health (Student Travel – Gold)

For this study, we chose 10 insurance plans based on consumer feedback and product structure. The parameters on which we have compared them include minimum and maximum entry age, maximum policy term, personal accident, personal liability, loss of checked-in baggage, delay in checked-in baggage, loss of passport, medical cover, dental treatment, study interruption, sponsor protection, family visit, bail bond, and premium for one-year policy. We gave the highest weightage (15 points) to consumer feedback, which helped in determining product quality as well as the most important and beneficial variables. These variables have a direct bearing on the product structure. Our questionnaire covering various features of the plans received responses from a cross-section of product users.

This study does not cover travel to the United States and Canada because insurance companies charge higher rates of premium for standard coverage when it comes to these countries. Besides, since a sizeable number of students opt to study in countries other than the USA and Canada, we thought it better to stick to comparable plans.

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