daughter fell ill in Washington, DC. She had to be shifted to a
hospital, which was not even affiliated with the private insurer.
But she got her reimbursement within months. The delay, she explains,
was partly because of the forex transfer.
which product should one choose for quick issuance, less cumbersome
documentation, the plans offered and claim settlement? The competition
is between two government-owned companies, New India Assurance Company
and Oriental Insurance Company, and private players like Tata AIG
and Bajaj Allianz.
PSUs suffer mainly on account of issuance and settlement of claims,
says Divya Narang, an executive in the general insurance department
of Bajaj Capital, an insurance product distributor.
even have more or less standard plans. While they cover only accident
and sickness expenses, hospitalisation, emergency (medical) evacuation,
repatriation of remains and baggage loss, the private players also
cover the baggage delay, loss of passport, flight delays etc. If
there is a delay in take-off by more than 12 hours, one is given
US$ 10 for meals.
of policy in case of PSUs may take anywhere between three-four days.
One has to fill out seven to eight pages and get a medical check-up
done before one can get a travel policy. On the other hand, in the
case of private sector, the procedure is simple and the form is
not lengthy. Private insurance policies are designed in such
a way that the whole process takes not more than 15 minutes,
claims representative of a travel policy distributor. The policy
document to be carried along is only one page or of the size of
a small ID card.
basic policy from private insurers, like Tata AIG starts at Rs 651
per person for a two-week trip as against Rs 642 from Oriental Insurance
and Rs 645 from All India Assurance for the same period. Emphasises
Devesh Kumar, a manager at Oriental Insurance: Our basic policy
is cheaper than the travel policies elsewhere.
frequent flier Saurabh Mishra, who is a senior executive with Tata
Consultancy Services: The premium for a private insurance
policy is Rs 5 or Rs 10 more than a PSU policy, but the add-ons
and the value for money is incomparable.
case of a PSU policy, you have to be admitted only to an affiliated
hospital and settle your own bills, which are reimbursed once you
are back in the country. Kumar admits: The claim settlement
in PSU companies does take a very long time due to red tape, but
we are in the process of streamlining.
case you are holding a private insurance policy and need help, all
you have to do is to call up the insurer, give your policy number
and contact details. They contact you immediately and refer you
to the nearest affiliated hospital.
if for some reason you are not able to travel and are looking for
a refund, be it the PSU or the private players, they all are bound
to disappoint you the same way. They have no refund provisions.