Personal Finance

Going abroad for education? Stay insured

Nikhil Apte | Updated on March 03, 2019 Published on March 03, 2019

A comprehensive student cover can be bought In India for a lower premium

Overseas education is a dream for millions of Indian students. What begins in the months before joining the university can be very stressful for both parents and students.

Every respectable university, especially in the UK, the US and Australia, makes it mandatory for every student to have a health insurance policy from their predesignated insurer. This is because any hospitalisation is expensive in foreign countries, which can topple the entire education budget of a student.

However, there may not be a preferred insurance provider defined by the institutes or universities; students going abroad for study must buy a comprehensive health insurance policy.

Here are a few steps that will help you choose the best insurance plan.

Know the requirements

First, study the government requirements of the country you are planning to study in.

Second, go through the university insurance plan details and find an equivalent product from India that fulfills the university’s insurance needs.

Even if your university has a mandatory insurance plan, there may be options to waive it off — you will have to submit a waiver form or confirmation of coverage document, mentioning that you have adequate student health insurance.

Cost factor

Foreign universities guide students to choose a decent health insurance cover under ‘cost of attendance’ section, whose premium varies from ₹1.4-₹2.8 lakh ($2,000 to $4,000) per year. However, a comprehensive student overseas travel insurance plan can be bought from India for just ₹20,000- 30,000 ($300 to $430). This can result in a yearly savings of ₹1.2-2.5 lakh ($1,700 to $3,500), which can be easily used by Indian students to travel two to three times back to India during vacations.

Comparison of benefits

Foreign student health insurance policies come with a high deductible of about $500 against most of the benefits vs a minor deductible of approx $100 in Indian student overseas travel insurance policy.

Hence, at the time of hospitalisation, you may end up burning a hole in your pocket with high deductible that comes with the foreign policy.

Further, student overseas travel insurance from India will not only come at a significantly lesser premium, but also with matching or additional benefits such as medical evacuation, sponsor protection, loss of passport, loss of baggage, compassionate visit, loss of laptop etc.

In fact, student overseas travel insurance plan comes with a comprehensive worldwide coverage and also covers students travelling to other countries under ‘study abroad’ programmes of their universities or “summer internships” to other universities in different countries, which may not be available under the overseas health insurance plan bought from a foreign country.

A comprehensive student overseas travel insurance with additional benefits can be bought for a significantly lesser premium than a student health insurance plan bought from a foreign country. In a way, if you buy student overseas travel insurance from India, two to three trips to India during vacations will be free!

The writer is Chief Product Officer, Royal Sundaram General Insurance Co

Published on March 03, 2019
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