Love adventure trips? Your travel insurance policy may not cover them – Mint – 18th October 2018

Before heading out to your favourite destination this holiday season, remember to pack in travel
insurance too. But ensure you go through the terms and conditions of your policy thoroughly. Very often
one tends to take a close look only at the premium and coverage part of the policy without understanding
the fine print.
Last week, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum dismissed a complaint lodged by Mumbaibased
petitioner Nagin Parekh against his insurer for denying his claim for treatment of injuries incurred
during a hot air balloon crash in 2015, calling the ride a “hazardous activity”.
Insurance companies can deny claims in certain situations and an accident during adventure activities is
one such instance. That’s why it becomes important to read the fine print as different companies may
have different policies on exclusions. We tell the circumstances under which an insurance company can
deny claims.
If you go for Adventure activities
Planning to go bungee jumping at the Western Cape in South Africa? Or a fancy skydiving experience in
New Zealand? Adventure seekers may want to get their heart pumping, but your insurer will not be
amused. “Most insurers do not cover adventures activities including bungee jumping, paragliding,
mountain climbing, racing, etc. Some other insurers cover it as an add-on cover for international travel,”
said Tarun Mathur, chief business officer-general insurance, Policybazaar.com.
If you are still looking for options, then you would have to pick a policy that mainly caters to adventure
travel. Only a few companies, including Go Digit General Insurance Ltd cover adventure activities as a
part of their basic policy but at a relatively higher premium. Most insurers don’t cover adventure travel if
your itinerary includes high-risk activities which could put your life in danger.
Baggage loss within 24 hours
Among the many reasons why people purchase travel insurance, the fear of misplacing or losing one’s
baggage tops the list, especially if you are travelling abroad. As a norm, most policies cover loss of
baggage but there is a catch.
Though it depends on the cover you have and its features, most policies don’t process the claims unless
your baggage is missing for more than 24 hours.
If you don’t get a direct flight and the next flight is scheduled on the same day, you may panic and file a
claim within 24 hours but insurers give that much time to the airlines to trace the missing baggage. Your
insurer will step in only if nothing is done by the airline in the first 24 hours.
If your tour operator denies service
If you have booked your holiday through a travel agency and if the operator cancels the trip at the last
moment, you cannot file a claim for the cancelled trip. The most trusted insurance companies within
India or even outside the country would not cover this loss.
Source
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Always remember to get a confirmation from the tour operator in the form of an email receipt or a
hardcopy so you can hold them accountable for the cancellation. Having email evidence will still not make
your insurer dispense the money but you will at least be able to take legal action against the tour
operator.
If you initiate a loss
Travel insurance policies in India and abroad, even if they are from the most trusted companies, will not
pay for the losses for which you can be held accountable. “Baggage loss and passport loss is built-in, but
losses like theft or robbery are provided only as add-on covers,” said Mathur. If you do file a claim for
such a loss, the company will first evaluate if you were under the influence of alcohol or any drugs when
the loss of baggage occurred. Also, if you are travelling by a flight and end up damaging the airline’s
property, you cannot expect the insurer to process your claim.
Other exclusions
Regular travel insurance policies will mostly not cover you for certain medical conditions such as
diabetes, AIDS and high blood pressure. However, on searching widely, you may be able to find a suitable
insurance by paying more to cover for these conditions. Insurance companies don’t accept separation
cited as reason for cancelling a trip. Travel insurance policies will cover you only for unexpected logistical
eventualities or death but not for emotional reasons such as divorce or break-ups. Remember to read the
fine print that comes with your insurance policy and take necessary steps before you plan that trip. It’s
better to be safe than sorry.

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