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Non Life Insurance - Why you need personal student insurance before going to study abroad
17-Oct-2014
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Studying abroad at a foreign university is no more unusual for Indian students and studen travel insurance is an essential in most countries. While many universities will provide the required medical cover (some may even make it mandatory to buy the cover from them), it is good to pack a cover from home before you board that flight.

"Even If a student is entitled to college or state provided health covers, they should make sure that state provided medical insurance is adequate enough to cover all medical costs while they are studying abroad," says Sanjay Datta, Chief - Underwriting and Claims, ICICI Lombard. Also, there are many non-medical contingencies that are never covered by college covers or the state sponsored health plans. With increase in demand, competition and the changing requirements, student travel insurance plans are now a much more comprehensive product category.

The new policies are not just medical insurance with luggage coverage but extend to cover risks such as third party liability, personal accident and disability cover. Some insurers also cover treatment of mental and nervous disorders including alcoholism and drug dependency, cancer screening and mammographyexpenses that are not covered by some basic health plans. Also, a student living alone outside India might also need visits from family or other back-ups in event of eventualities. Private insurers usually cover study interruption due to medical emergency compassionate visit of parents are not covered under a regular medical cover from the college or state. Even more comprehensive plans provide fancy coverage such as bail bond coverage in case of detention by police or judicial authorities, legally liable to a third party for an incident which results in death, loss of passport and death of the person sponsoring your study.

"In case of state provided health covers for medical treatment, a student may find that there may be long waiting times for some medical services. A personal cover, on the other hand, can give access to private medical care which may be comparatively quicker and helpful in case of emergencies," points out Datta. All these add-on benefits necessitate the use of another personal cover over and above the college provided cover. Picking a good plan: Student Travel Insurance is best purchased close to the time to fly. However, when the admission process is under way, you should do a detailed research and comparison of various plans available and choose the one that suits specific requirements of the student and matches the university requirements.

"It is recommended to go for a comprehensive plan since the cost of incremental coverage is generally low," says Mukesh Kumar, Head - HR, Strategic Planning & Marketing, HDFC ERGO. The premium depends on factors such as sum assured, age, your medical history, duration of the stay and destination. The premiums are approved by the regulator and are fixed as per the age, sum insured, duration and destination irrespective of the channel of purchase that is an insurance broker, travel agent, direct purchase from company or via an online platform.

However, the online channel offers ease of buying. One can buy the policy after leisurely looking at details of the product. Also, the policy is issued to you instantly. The Exclusions List: Like all insurance plan, student travel covers also have also has a long exclusions list that you must carefully go through before purchasing the plan.

Here’s a list of common exclusions under these policies.

* Claims made when travelling against the advice of a physician

* Any claim arising out of illnesses or accidents that has been caused intentionally or as a result of drunkenness or addiction (drugs, alcohol)

* Any claim arising out of mental disorder, anxiety, stress, depression, venereal disease or any loss directly or indirectly attributable to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) and/or any HIV related illness.

* Injury sustained whilst or as a result of active participation in any hazardous sport such as parachuting, hang-gliding, parasailing, off-piste skiing or bungee jumping, skiing, jet skiing, para gliding, parachuting and racing of any type.

We advise you to go through the policy wordings of the plan to know the exact terms and conditions of coverage.

Source : The Economic Times back