Travel is the latest line of insurance to come under the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India’s (IRDAI) rollout of standardised insurance products. Having already proposed policies with uniform features for the life, health and personal accident sectors, as well as a Covid-19 specific insurance, IRDAI is now looking to mandate standardised cover across the travel insurance market.
All general insurers and health insurers in the country will have to offer these policies, which will have common coverage and policy wording. The aim is to start rolling these out on 1 April.
There will be five types of standard domestic policy on offer and four variants of the international policy, as well as optional add-ons for all policies. The domestic policies will only provide coverage while the policyholder is travelling; not during their stay, but they will include trip cancellation due to pandemics and natural disasters.
The international policies will be segregated according to length of stay and will include cover for hospital expenses including those related to pre-existing conditions. Other benefits of the international policies are baggage cover, flight delay, and cancellation due to a pandemic or natural disaster. Premiums can be differentiated based on destination, says the IRDIA, and will be determined by insurers, so will vary.
India has a large travelling population but travel insurance penetration in the country is still fairly low. It is hoped that by standardising cover for both domestic and international travel across the local industry, already growing consumer confidence in travel among the Indian population will be further enhanced and, thus, there will be a greater propensity to buy cover for trips. With the inclusion of cover for trip cancellation related to Covid, this can only serve to provide peace of mind and drive policy sales in 2021.