Why do I need Travel Insurance?
One usually travels abroad for various reasons- a pleasure trip, a business trip, a study trip etc. You do not want anything to ruin your hard earned holiday, foreign study or your crucial business meeting. But there is a possibility of some unexpected occurrence no matter how perfect the planning is. Unfortunate events such as baggage loss, passport loss, a medical emergency or an accident can affect you. Having Overseas Travel Insurance protects you from all such perils. It ensures that in the unknown foreign land, you are not left stranded in any kind of an emergency. For detailed coverage’s you can visit our site.
Do I need to take travel insurance each time I make a trip or is one policy valid for multiple trips made over a period of time?
You can either choose a Single Trip or a Multiple Trip policy. If you choose a Single Trip policy, the cover will be valid for the duration of the trip, (as selected by you). The durations available differ from company to company.
If you choose a Multiple Trip policy, the cover will be valid for one year from the start date of the policy. The maximum duration per trip under this option is 60 days.
An annual multiple trip policy is more suitable for anyone who is likely to travel more frequently.
Who can take travel insurance?
Any person going abroad can take overseas travel insurance – a tourist, a businessman or a corporate executive, student, a person visiting his family members.
Is travel insurance mandatory for all countries?
Travel insurance is mandatory for Schengen visa countries. The Schengen visa basically allows the visa holder to travel to any (or all) member countries using one single visa, thus avoiding the hassle and expense of obtaining individual visas for each country. This is particularly beneficial for persons who wish to visit several European countries during the same trip.
Travelers obtain the visa from the Consulate of the country of their main destination. If your main destination cannot be determined, the country you first enter is responsible for granting your visa.
One thing many travelers may not know about the Schengen visa application process, however, is that they must provide proof of health insurance to obtain it. The insurance is designed to pay expenses that might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention, and/or emergency hospital treatment.
Since June 2004, travelers who are subject to the visa requirement to stay or transit in one or several Schengen countries must demonstrate, in support of their visa application that they are in possession of adequate and valid travel insurance. In other words, without travel insurance, the visa will not be issued.
Though all Schengen countries are in Europe, travelers should not confuse Schengen countries with European Union (EU) countries. Schengen and EU demarcate two different agreements between European countries. The Schengen area consists of 15 countries within the Europe zone: Austria, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands. Certain states, two of them being significant members of the European Union (the United Kingdom and Ireland), do not belong to the Schengen area. Two other countries, Norway and Iceland, while not members of the European Union, are nevertheless part of the Schengen area. In regards to France and the Netherlands, the Schengen Convention only applies to their European territories. The Principality of Monaco, for example, allows entry on its territory without any formality to the holder of a Schengen visa.
Schengen visa insurance requirements: Medical insurance for the Schengen visa must meet the following requirements:
1. Medical coverage of at least Euro 30,000.
2. Medical evacuation/ repatriation must be covered.
It would be a wise idea to carry traveler’s insurance no matter what the destination, and this requirement for the Schengen visa should not be something travelers resist, but rather view as a welcome formality.
Even if you are travelling to countries where travel health insurance is not mandatory, it would be wise to carry traveler’s insurance as it protects the traveler in the event of emergencies or circumstances that create any type of interruption or disturbance in the trip plans. Travel insurance is basically a means to minimize the financial risks that can occur due to Medical emergency, Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Passport loss and legal expenses, Events like delay or missed departure, loss or delay in arrival of baggage, etc.
What are the things to look for while choosing a travel insurance plan?
Given below are some factors you may consider while selecting an appropriate travel insurance plan.
1. Purpose of visit: Choose a plan according to your needs whether you are going for study, business, family visit, single trip or are a frequent flier, going for pilot training, professional sports etc.
2. Sub limits if any: It is very important to note that the insurance plan chosen has certain sub limits. At the time of claim you will get claim for sub limits given in plan, for example if plan says room rent sublimit of $500 per day, it means for room rent, you will get $500 only, and if you have taken room with higher room rent then balance will be borne by you.
3. If your stay is likely to be extended, choose a plan which is extendable and also see premium for total duration as some companies charge extension premium for your total stay i.e. original period and extended period minus premium already paid. Plans for shorter duration are cheaper and as duration increases it becomes expensive. It is advisable to get from us extension premium if your stay is likely to be extended.
4. If your stay is likely to be cut short i.e. you are not sure about travel duration, choose a plan where there is an option of refund on early return.
5. If you have a pre existing condition, select a plan which covers the same in emergency situations to make person stable.
6. Per illness limit if an. If plan has such condition, it means for any one illness you will get claim upto per illness limit given in plan. For example if plan chosen by you says per illness limit is $10000, then you will get only $10000 for any one illness, even if you have chosen plan for higher sum insured, so it is very important to see that plan has per illness clause or not, as virtually you are taking higher sum insured but practically you will get claim for one illness only the limit plan has.
7. Co-payment if any. If your plan has Co-payment clause, it means for every claim you have to pay co pay limit given in plan. For example, your plan says co-payment of 10%, it means for every claim, you have to pay 10% and balance 90% will be paid by insurer.
I have already left Pakistan and forgot to take travel health insurance, can I still buy?
Yes, some insurers provide cover after departure and subject to the condition that you are in good health. You can contact our call centre and our customer care executive will help you in getting the travel health insurance. Please note that to give such a cover is the sole discretion of the insurer.
My travel medical policy has expired and I forgot to extend same. Can I get it extended now?
It is Insurance Company’s discretion to extend insurance policy.
Can I buy Overseas Travel Insurance If I am traveling on an immigrant visa?
Yes, you can buy Overseas Travel Insurance even if you are traveling on an immigrant visa (e.g. H1-B Visa, Work permit, Green Card or Permanent Residency (PR)). However, the maximum duration of your policy can only be 60 days. After 60 Days, You need to purchase the Policy from the country you are immigrating.
I want to purchase travel insurance and want to know how will you deliver the policy?
You have to contact our call centre on 111-000-301 and they will do the rest.
I have taken a travel insurance policy but my travel dates have changed (postponed). Can I use the same policy?
If you wish, you can use the same policy if your travel start date is within 15 days of the policy start date. Or you can get the dates changed before your policy starts. It can be changed after policy start date too but then you have to give proof that the travel has not been undertaken i.e. your passport copy, tickets etc.
If the duration of your trip has reduced, you can save money also by getting dates changed. In any case, if your travel start date is postponed by more than 15 days, the current policy will be void, so better to get dates changed.
I have taken travel insurance policy but there are some mistakes like spelling, address, passport no., nominee name. What can I do?
You will get the endorsement on the same day if your policy has not started. But if your policy has already started, endorsement can only be made after proper evidence for the required change is given.
If you are in a hurry and have to leave immediately, it is advisable to buy a new policy and inform our call centre for cancellation of your earlier policy. The amount will be refunded to you within 7 working days.
What is a definition of a family?
A family is defined as husband & Wife and dependent children under 18 years old.
Can Travel start outside Pakistan?
No, travel must always commence from Pakistan.
Is Travel insurance available to non-residents of Pakistan?
I have purchased tickets for my overseas trip and my travel itinerary is final. When should I buy my travel insurance policy?
Once you have purchased the air tickets and/or made hotel and other bookings, you have already spent a large chunk of your trip budget. It is best to buy your travel insurance policy soon after you buy your tickets and make bookings as many policies offer trip cancellation and interruption benefit wherein the Company will pay this benefit up to the Sum Insured as specified in the policy for trips that are canceled before the scheduled departure date due to certain specified reasons. The Company will reimburse for the forfeited, nonrefundable prepaid payments, made prior to the Insured Person’s departure date.
Before departure you can even cancel your policy by paying a minimal charge. So, there is no harm in buying your policy. Don’t wait till the last minute to buy your travel insurance as sometimes, server issues or payment issues might also be there due to which you may have to buy a plan different from the one you have selected.
Note: Please check plan benefits while buying travel insurance whether trip cancellation is covered or not. Also refer policy wording to check the circumstances under which this benefit is payable.
Can a minor become assignee in travel insurance?
No, an assignee should be 18 years old, holding a valid CNIC and have blood relationship with Insured.
When does the travel insurance cover begin?
The travel insurance cover commences on the date specified in the Policy Schedule or the time you board the conveyance to leave for onward overseas journey or the Departure Date as per the policy, whichever is later.
If you are starting your journey after 15 days from the travel start date mentioned on your policy then your policy becomes invalid, so get your policy revalidated and travel start date on it changed. If your travel start date has not begun, you can simply put request for change of travel date and if travel start date has begun then you need to send us the passport copy as proof that you have not travelled and date needs to be changed.
Is pregnancy covered in overseas health insurance policy?
No, in fact it is one of the exclusions of travel health insurance.
Medical treatment of typical symptoms suffered during pregnancy and their consequences, including changes in other chronic conditions as a result of pregnancy is not covered.
Any medical check-ups during pregnancy or treatment of the pregnancy are also not covered.
What is the point of buying overseas medical insurance if it does not cover pre-existing medical conditions? These are the ones we need to get covered. Probability of other illnesses is very low anyway.
Even though the insurance will not cover pre-existing conditions, it will cover other conditions that were not pre-existing or unrelated to pre-existing conditions. The basic purpose of insurance is to cover you against the unexpected, unforeseen circumstances. You may be worried about the pre-existing conditions. However, you never know what may happen in future. A person may get into any health problem such as weather change, allergies in a new place, change of food, cold, fever, flu, diarrhea, pneumonia, food poisoning, snake bites, getting hit by car, falling in snow, or any other small or big health problems like urine infection, heart attack for reasons not related to pre-existing conditions. Therefore, it is advisable to buy health insurance for those traveling abroad.
My mother has diabetes and she needs to take insulin injection every day. Is that covered in overseas medical insurance?
No. That would be considered as a pre-existing condition and hence would NOT be covered.
Is there a cover for pre-existing medical conditions?
Pre existing diseases are excluded from the scope of travel health insurance policies.
What are pre-existing conditions?
A condition for which medical care, treatment, or advice was recommended by or received from a Physician within a two year period preceding the effective date of coverage or a condition for which hospitalization or surgery was required within a five year period preceding the effective date.
How do I know the limit of each type of expenses, what expenses are covered or not?
For details, please visit our website.
What happens if my baggage is delayed for more than one day but not lost? Will I get some compensation?
We cover baggage delay if the baggage is delayed for more than 8 hours. Compensation is given for emergency items purchased like medicines, clothing and toiletries. You will have to provide receipts for the same. If your baggage is lost, then compensation is given for the market value of the items lost subject to coverage and limits specified in your policy.
If I lose my passport, will that be covered under overseas medical insurance?
Loss of passport is covered as per limits prescribed under the terms and conditions of policy. Please check the coverage offered by the specific plan that you choose.
My parents are quite healthy and are going abroad for visit. Do we really need overseas medical insurance for them?
Overseas medical insurance is for future financial protection for medical problems. As future medical problems or injuries/accidents can’t be predicted and medical treatment in foreign countries is very expensive; hence it is always advisable to buy medical insurance.
Is there any travel medical insurance plan which covers Drug Abuse, Cancer Screening, Inter collegiate sports, child care, Mental & nervous disorders, pregnancy?
Is there any travel insurance plan without Medical Cover?
No, however we can provide the plan if required.
What is the procedure for issuance of a duplicate policy?
You can call our Call Centre at 111-000-301 and request for duplicate policy. Rs. 100 will be charged for issuance of duplicate copy.
Can I get a refund if there is change of plan?
Yes, you can get the refund after fulfilling the requirement of cancellation of policy .The original policy amount less taxes will be returned and fresh policy will be charged.
How can I make any change (addition/deletion/change in name or address etc) in my present overseas travel insurance policy?
For any endorsement before departure date, please call our Call Centre and your request will be catered. After departure date, a copy of passport would be required for any permissible endorsement.
Do I need to go to the doctors specified by travel insurance policy?
There is no specified list of Doctors / Clinics / Hospitals / Labs to get the medical exam done.
Are the expenses for the test a part of the overseas travel insurance policy or additional?
The cost of the medical tests (wherever required) has to be borne by the insured.
What are the Medical tests required?
We require three tests: E.C.G., Urine and Blood Sugar.
I am over 70 years old. Do I need to take medical tests?
Is medical examination necessary for travel insurance policy? When and where are medical tests to be done?
Medical tests are required for certain age groups, sum insured, and the insurance package.
It is always good to get yourself medically examined before visiting a foreign land, if you are going for a long trip. Medical tests have to be done within 30 days before travel start date. Travel health policy where medical tests are required can be issued within 30/15 days of travel start date ,for example if you are planning to travel on 15th Dec 2012 then medical tests have to be done after 15th Nov 2012 and policy can be issued after 15th Nov 2012.
Medical tests can be done in any pathology lab and reports need to be certified by a doctor.
Is there a cap on the hospital amount per day?
Yes, in certain policies there is a cap on the hospital amount per day. Please refer to our limits of liability benefit for further details or refer to the policy wordings given against each plan.
Do I need to carry the policy along with me?
You are advised to carry the policy along with you when traveling. This would be helpful in case of a claim. But most important the policy details, like policy number, should be known to the insured when traveling.
Till when is the travel insurance policy valid?
Overseas travel insurance cover shall terminate
i) With the end of Insurance Period i.e. the period for which the preium has been paid or
ii) When the insured person first disembarks on return to Pakistan Although insurance companies provide the benefit of Automatic Extension of the Policy if the completion of the insured journey is delayed solely because of a failure of public transportation or other services upon which the insured was reliant.
If you want to extend your policy further due to reason your stay has extended, you can get same extended by contacting us. Normally, it is done before the expiry of policy.
What are trip cancellation and interruption benefit and what is covered in it?
Trip Cancellation Benefits: This benefit pays up to the Sum Insured as specified in the policy Schedule for trips that are canceled before the scheduled departure date due to the reasons specified below. The Company will reimburse for the forfeited, nonrefundable prepaid payments, made prior to the Insured/Insured Person’s departure date.
Reasons of Trip Cancellation: Sickness, Injury or death of an Insured, Immediate Family Member, Traveling Companion, or Business Partner. Injury or Sickness must be so disabling as to reasonably cause a Trip to be canceled or interrupted.
I have taken a rental car abroad. Is the damage to the rental vehicle covered under overseas health insurance policy?
No, it is one of the exclusions of the policy. Kindly refer the policy wording for further details.
Do we need to pay upfront in case of a medical treatment and then claim, or the insurance policy will pay upfront?
In an emergency situation where hospitalization and/or medical evacuation are required, the insurer covers these costs upfront (subject to the insured complying with the policy wording). You would need to contact your relevant Emergency Assistance Service immediately to notify them of the situation.
If it is not an emergency and the costs are uptoUS$500, then you would pay upfront and make a claim once all treatment is complete.
What is a TPA (Third Party Administrator)?
TPA stands for Third Party Administrator. The most essential service they provide is cashless medical services. They also provide the necessary information to deal with any problem regarding emergency and claims.
From where can I get the claim form to make a claim?
You can download the claim form from our website
In case medical treatment is required, is there any need for any pre-approval before hospitalization?
You would need to contact SOS International at 0097-146018829 and they would arrange for the cashless claims for the medical treatment. In case, cashless facility is denied for any reason, you can still apply for the reimbursement of your medical bills on your return to your native country. You need to provide all relevant documents for reimbursement of your claim.
Would I be reimbursed for the medical expenses incurred abroad, if I go specifically for the purpose of seeking medical treatment?
Travel health insurance covers you only for accidents or sickness which happens unexpectedly and unintentionally while you are traveling abroad. This policy does not cover planned Medical Expenses / Treatment overseas.
In case I lose my baggage, how do I claim?
SOS Pte Ltd is our Travel Assistance Service Provider and can be contacted to register the claim. You will have to submit the baggage loss claim form along with the supporting documents from the airline. Claim forms and SOS contact numbers are given in your policy document and are also there on our site.
What if in an emergency I don't have time to call up?
SOS should be contacted by any person within 48 hours and give details about the insured.
Can I continue my treatment of the disease which happened during my travel abroad, in the home country, after expiry of my policy?
Yes, you can continue your treatment as long as the initial treatment is received during the trip and all expenses are incurred within 10 days after the expiry of your TPL Travel Direct Insurance Policy. The maximum sum payable is equivalent to 10% of the Accidental Medical Reimbursement limit.
If I am evacuated on grounds of medical reason, can I continue my treatment in India?
Travel Direct is a policy for medical contingencies that may happen outside Pakistan; therefore it will pay for the medical treatment outside Pakistan.
I have purchased a family travel insurance policy for sum insured US$100,000. Does this mean coverage of US$100,000 for each member or is it US$100,000 coverage for all of us together?
The coverage is for all of you together and not per person. This means that in any case, the total amount payable in case of a claim shall not exceed US$100,000, subject to terms and conditions of the policy. Also, the amount for each benefit is the total amount payable and not per person.
Which doctors/hospitals can I visit?
You can go to the hospital of your choice and SOS will arrange for the cashless facility for you in the same hospital. In case cashless facility is denied for any reason, you can still apply for the reimbursement of your medical bills.
How and where can I register a claim? What are the documents required?
Being a satisfied customer I would highly recommend TPL Insurance to anyone who wants to have a secure journey with his family.One cannot really wait when is in sickness, and it’s better to get insured rather than bearing medical expense in any foreign country, especially when the provider is an expert in its field like TPL Insurance.