Money & Banking

With baggage delays becoming common, don’t travel without insurance

Bavadharini K S Chennai | Updated on September 18, 2019 Published on September 18, 2019

On Monday, an Indigo flight from Delhi to Istanbul flew without passengers’ checked-in baggage due to payload restrictions resulting from heavy winds. Though the airline would deliver the baggage, the passengers may have a long wait.

There are other situations where your baggage might not be loaded on your flight due to procedural errors and you may have to wait for more than a few days. In worst cases, baggage could even get lost. This is where travel insurance comes to your rescue.

While insurance might not replace your belongings, it can compensate you financially. So, if you are travelling abroad, make sure you have the right travel insurance that covers such baggage loss/delay, in addition to basic covers. Here is what you should know.

Coverage

Delay in receiving baggage or, worse, loss of baggage, can throw your carefully laid out plans in jeopardy, especially if you are travelling for an occasion that has a specific dressing protocol. However, if you have travel insurance, you can use the money to go on a shopping spree and replenish your wardrobe. You can buy travel insurance even a few hours before you travel.

A basic travel insurance would cover certain key medical expenses, including emergency medical expenses, personal liability expenses (covers expenses due to injury to third party or damage to the person’s property), personal accident cover, emergency medical evacuation, cash on hospitalisation, and dental treatment.

While medical cover is provided by almost all the players in the industry, it is the non-medical cover that one has to pay attention to if you want comprehensive coverage.

Non-medical cover includes payments for baggage delay, loss of baggage, loss of passport, trip delays and cancellation, repatriation of mortal remains and a hijack. In addition, there are covers for home burglary, hotel change or hotel upgrade and trip curtailment.

Premium rates vary across players, so choose the best rate with maximum coverage. For instance, flight delays are not covered by New India Assurance, while HDFC Ergo General Insurance provides up to $120 ($10 per hour) for delays beyond 12 hours.

Similarly, delay in arrival of checked-in baggage is covered by almost all players, though the coverage limits may vary. While HDFG Ergo General Insurance and Apollo Munich Health insurance offer up to $200 for delay in baggage, Reliance General Insurance and Royal Sundaram General Insurance offer $100.

Choice

Before you select your travel insurance, read the exclusions list. It will tell you what will not be covered by the insurer. Also, read the policy document carefully to understand how much of the claim will eventually be settled. For instance, if there is an accident that leads to permanent loss of hearing in both ears, insurers such as ICICI Lombard Travel Insurance pay only 75 per cent of the sum assured as part of personal accident cover. The settlement amount could vary with the insurer, but you should be aware of this gap.

There are other caveats that could be hidden in the fine-print. The insurance company deducts a certain amount before paying the claim in certain cases. In case of emergency medical expenses, for instance, some insurance companies insist on a deductible - an amount of say $100 to be borne by you.

Published on September 18, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor