If you are planning to pursue further studies in the US, it is definitely a good decision. You will meet with people from various countries and experience different cultures and traditions. You may also be able to learn a foreign language!
The number of international students traveling to the US is increasing. This is no surprise as students passing out of US universities are highly preferred by employers worldwide. Along with getting quality education, living in the US also prepares one for the life ahead.
Before you start making a list of all the important items you need to take with you to the US, put some thought into purchasing student travel insurance for yourself. The right insurance plan will cover you for all the unexpected incidents during your stay in the US. Your parents can also relax knowing that you are adequately covered for most contingencies. And you will be able to focus on just the important stuff.
Here is a checklist to refer to so you know what student travel insurance needs to cover essentially.
It's common knowledge that even getting a routine check-up in the US can prove to be very costly. As you'll be staying in the US for at least a year to complete your course, your travel insurance will have to cover all your medical expenses.
Make sure that your insurance policy covers costs related to general practitioner visits, prescriptions, and hospitalization.
The insurance policy should cover preventive, minor and major dental treatments. Preventive treatments such as oral examinations, teeth cleaning and X-ray charges are generally reimbursed completely. For minor treatments such as root canal and fillings, insurance providers may cover up to 80% of the cost. For major treatments such as getting crowns or bridges, only up to 50% may be covered by the policy.
Be aware of annual caps in certain fields such as dental treatments. If you exceed the limit specified in the policy, you'll have to dole out the rest.
Student travel insurance should also provide optical cover.
In a country where general healthcare is very costly, the costs related to air-lifting will obviously be even higher. An individual may need to be evacuated for several reasons.
Repatriation costs or return flight costs should be covered by student travel insurance.
Costs related to events where the insured needs to be medically evacuated or air-lifted should be covered by the policy. Your policy will specify the maximum amount that you can claim in such cases so be sure to take note of the same.
If the individual needs to be accompanied by medical professionals in case of serious injury or illness, relevant costs should be covered as well by the policy.
Travel insurance may also cover flight and accommodation costs to the US for family members of the insured in case of serious illness, injury or death.
Quite a few unexpected costs may crop up during the journey itself. Travel insurance normally covers expenses in certain cases. Go through your policy in detail and make sure your insurance covers you for the following incidents.
Remember that insurance companies have a cap on the maximum amount you can claim in the case of theft. They will also consider the depreciation value of costly items such as laptops or cameras. So don't expect to be paid the full value of such items in case they are stolen or lost.
Costs Related to Risks
If you are deliberately going to put your life at risk by engaging in extreme sports, you will need extra cover. Your normal student travel insurance won't be able to take care of the costs that you may have to incur in case of any mishaps. Don't let that deter you from experiencing the thrills of sky diving, bungee jumping, hiking or river rafting though!
Read through the documents with a keen eye and make note of all the exceptions and exclusions to the policy. Compare policies from different companies and assess which one is best suited to your needs. Don't choose a policy just because the premium fits your budget. It is more important to select a policy that provides adequate coverage.
Conversely, don't select a policy with the highest premium thinking that it will be the best for you. Chances are such a policy may require you to pay for coverage that you don't need at all. For instance, if you know for sure that you're not going to indulge in extreme sports, there's no need to purchase a policy that covers you for the same.
While the above are basic things that a student travel insurance policy should cover, there are many optional extras provided by insurance companies. These may include providing cover for medical treatment even after the insured has reached his home country, expatriation costs so that the insured can fly back to the foreign country to continue with his studies, costs related to kidnapping, ransom, and false arrest.
With any insurance policy you purchase, you will need to pay an excess amount whenever you need to claim the money. If your finances allow you, you can opt to pay a higher excess amount. This will reduce the amount of the premium that you'll have to pay.
Lastly, purchase the right policy as soon as you spot it. At times, policies don't come into effect until a certain time period has lapsed. It could also be possible that the right offer may be available only for a limited time. You need to be armed with the right student travel insurance policy so that you're all set to fly to the US and enjoy a new phase of your life!