Jain Temple

Hot Spots

India Links
Call Home


Art & Culture
Book Shelf



About Us

Contact Us
About Us

Article by Mohan Babu


Travel insurance: Prevention is better than bills!

Most people are unaware of the significance of travel insurance. They are reluctant to get themselves insured just to save a few dollars. MOHAN BABU warns that it is necessary to take travel insurance as the consequences can lead to financial devastation

Indians and NRIs are found in almost all corners of the globe, with nearly two million people of Indian origin settled in the US alone. Therefore, it is not surprising that hundreds of thousands of Indian visitors travel abroad every year. Scores of them annually visit their next-of-kin abroad. Thousands of students and businessmen too travel abroad for short visits to attend business meetings, seminars, conventions, etc. Even with the number of visitors travelling abroad, preparing for a foreign trip involves rigorous planning. Along with visas, documentation, foreign currency, travel itinerary, etc, many travellers also invest in buying travel insurance. Because of the high initial cost of such insurance policies for travelling abroad, some people cut corners and try to save a few dollars by avoiding travel insurance. The consequences of such a move can be financially devastating.

Given the risks involved in foreign travel, along with the high cost of medical services in foreign countries, it makes a lot of sense to insure oneself against the worst-case scenario. Most of us try to avoid accidents and plan for contingencies. However, human tragedies involving injury, hospitalisation or death can occur at inopportune times, putting an undue financial strain on self and dependents. The average cost of even a simple hospital stay in the US can run into thousands of dollars. The entire medical system in the US is based on insurance and although one will not be denied medical care in an emergency, the patient or their dependents are expected to reimburse the medical care providers.

Short-term visitors, those on businesses or visiting friends or family, are especially vulnerable since they can be lulled into a false sense of security by presuming that their regular medical policies provided by employers in India (or native lands), will cover them. That is not true since most insurers of regular policies explicitly exclude foreign travel. Even students coming to the US to study may find it intriguing that although universities may provide plans that cover them after they register as full-time students, they may not be covered when school is not in session.

Where to buy the policies?

As with other products and services, thousands of companies provide insurance policies of different kinds, ranging from very basic “emergency” policies to extensive policies with in-depth coverage. Even the length of coverage, premium, deductible payable, number of people covered, area of coverage (local, country wide or global), may vary from one provider to another. Because of the complex nature of insurance policies, the insurance industry in the US and elsewhere is highly regulated. It is advisable to work with a registered insurance dealer who can help one work the way through a maze. There are also a number of specialised insurance vendors who have sophisticated interfaces on the Web, which allow visitors to view brochures, compare policies and even buy the policies directly using a credit card. My favourite is, a niche portal for Indians in the US. Checkout Also the section of Frequently Asked Questions:




About the Author

  • A Bio and profile of the author, Mohan Babu, can be found at his homepage
  • Mohan has authored a book on Offshoring and Outsourcing (Publisher McGraw Hill, India), a link to which can be found here
  • Mohan has also authored an Online book on "Life in the US," available for free download.
  • Sponsored Advert

    Advert: Visitor's Travel Insurance

    Click for free online Quotes


    For FAQ, Trivia and Information on Life in America, visit the Ask-A-Desi section

    ©Mohan Babu: All Rights Reserved 2005

    Mohan Babu is an international consultant trying to find the ‘sweet spot’ where IT meets business. E-mail: mohan He is also the author of a recent book on "Offshoring IT Services"

    All rights are reserved. Mohan Babu ("Author") hereby grants permission to use, copy and distribute this document for any NON-PROFIT purpose, provided that the article is used in its complete, UNMODIFIED form including both the above Copyright notice and this permission notice. Reproducing this article by any means, including (but not limited to) printing, copying existing prints, or publishing by electronic or other means, implies full agreement to the above non-profit-use clause. Exceptions to the above, such as including the article in a compendium to be sold for profit, are permitted only by EXPLICIT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT of Mohan Babu. 

    Disclaimer: This document represents the personal opinions of the Author, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Author's employer, nor anyone other than the Author. This Article was originally published in Express Computers


    GaramChai® 1999-2005