Kavita Mehta, a 30-year old banker took a one-day trip to Delhi from Mumbai for office work. Like always she unchecked the insurance box on her flight aggregator portal and booked a flight. But unlike previous occasions, she lost her checked-in luggage that contained two parts of designer bags and a limited edition watch. Still keeping hopes high, Mehta is going back-and-forth between the airline company and the airport authorities to get her lost valuables.
Losing baggage is considered to be the most common complaint filed during air travel. While the loss of a personal item may also have sentimental value attached to it, the monetary compensation could be payable by insurance.
Domestic travel insurance products offer a baggage loss cover that will protect against theft or misplacement of the checked-in baggage. Some policies even offer insurance for hand baggage though the overall limits are low.
A regular travel insurance cover for inter-city travel only costs Rs 100-300 depending on the duration of the flight as well the distance between the two locations. Missed connections for flights as well as flight delays are covered.
Insurers admit that the uptake for domestic travel insurance is very low. It constitutes less than 5 percent of their business and whatever little business is written is from frequent business travellers between the metro cities.
The civil aviation ministry is considering steep fines for loss of baggage as well as compensation for passengers for missing a connecting flight. However, not all airline companies currently offer any monetary benefits for loss of neither checked-in luggage nor hand baggage.
In this scenario, paying a minimal amount and getting the travel insured would be a good idea.
Another area where a travel product will be helpful is in the case of any accidents during the trip. While death during air travel is eligible for monetary compensation, accidents and expenses incurred on them are not covered. However, all travel insurance policies cover this aspect.
So the next time you are booking a flight, it wouldn’t hurt looking to add a basic travel plan to the ticket. A Rs 200 cover for a 3 hour-flight costing rs 10,000 is not a bad deal; especially if you consider all the things that could go wrong during that trip.moneycontrol