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Your expensive holiday abroad can turn from pleasure to pain; Do you have these critical travel insurance aspects covered?

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Failing to buy travel insurance for your international trip can surely come at a huge cost, and no one else can right now better understand this than Indian expat Anubhav Khanna, whose father s hospital bill has exceeded 100,000 dirhams ($27,225) in Dubai. As per the media reports, a native of Punjab, India, Anubhav travelled to the UAE 11 months ago and was excited to bring his parents to the country for a holiday. In this excitement, Anubhav forgot to procure travel insurance for his parents for their visit to Dubai.

As per Anubhav, when his parents arrived, he did see that his father, Surendra Nath Khanna, was a bit breathless, but he didn’t show any signs of being sick. However, by morning things turned fatal and he had to call an ambulance in emergency as his father complained of acute breathlessness. From there, his father was rushed to the NMC Hospital at the Dubai Investment Park where he was diagnosed with a lung infection that had already spread to other organs, leading to multi-organ failure.

As per the doctors, the infection spread so fast within Surendra Khanna s body that his left hand had to be amputated and the doctors are still trying hard to save the other limbs. Unfortunately, his right leg seems to be affected with gangrene and may need to be amputated as well. For his father s treatment, Anubhav is shelling out approximately over 20,000 dirhams (Rs 3 Lakh) every day. He till now has unpaid bills mounting to over Rs 18 lakh. Anubhav, after losing his and his brother s savings, admits that it was unfortunate that he didn’t realise the importance of having travel insurance. He accepted that he was not familiar with the concept of travel insurance and had he bought travel insurance, he would not have been in such a financial crisis. It is not just the mental trauma that he is going through every day due to his father s critical health condition; the urgency of arranging huge finances is making the things worse.

Had he just spent a mere Rs 1000 on buying a travel insurance worth coverage of $1,00,000 online for his 10-days trip to Dubai, all this mental pain and financial stress could have been easily avoided. Some prominent plans providing adequate travel insurance for Dubai include Tata AIG s Travel Guard, Religare s Explore Asia, Star s Travel Protect, Apollo Munich s Easy Travel Individual and HDFC Ergo s Single Trip Worldwide (excluding USA and Canada).

While travelling to a foreign land, it is quite possible that you may encounter an adverse medical condition due to the change in climatic conditions or may be any other reason. During any such crises, you can easily avail the best possible medical facilities around, provided you are well equipped with adequate travel insurance. Many of the travel insurance policies even provide assistance like daily hospitalisation cash allowance and emergency evacuation whenever required. Had Anubhav spent a little amount on buying travel insurance for his parents, he would have not lost Dh 42,000 which he borrowed from family and friends to book an air ambulance from India. Moreover, the air ambulance was of no use and the company refused refund as the doctors who came from India stated that the portable ventilator could not match the oxygen given to his father in the hospital ICU.

With numerous developments in the travel insurance space, travel insurance now covers you in ways you don’t even expect. Apart from offering financial recovery for medical expenses incurred due to accidents and illnesses, some of the travel insurance policies even cover pre-existing medical conditions. As medical treatment is very costly in most foreign countries, those who sustain serious injuries may have to pay medical bills that amount to thousands of dollars. With adequate travel insurance, travellers can get reimbursement for the total amount of money that they spend on medical treatment.

(By Tarun Mathur, Chief Business Officer-Travel Insurance,