Burj Khalifa

Indians, who plan to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are advised to take travel insurance to cover unexpected expenses, especially for meeting unforeseen medical costs, during their trip.

Indian consulate here came out with a travel advisory for visitors in the aftermath of two such cases where families in the Gulf state had to bear exorbitant medical expenses of their relatives who came without a travel insurance.

"In all such cases, the Consulate tries to help distressed Indians within the means provided by the Government of India. Many expenditures, however, do not fall under our scope," the consulate said in a tweet.

Although travel insurance is mandatory for visitors, it is not necessary for the sponsor to take the same. It is the responsibility of the visitors to take such a health insurance before they travel, but many of them ignore it.

In fact, the policies generally cover emergency expenses arising from accidents, ambulance transfer to the nearest hospital and repatriation of body back home.

According to a Gulf News report, repatriation cost alone to India can be around 30,000 dirhams, which is in addition to exorbitant medical expenses in case of an accident or other major illness like a cardiac arrest.

Travel Insurance Cost

The cost of a travel insurance policy in India ranges from Rs.1,000 to Rs.3,600, depending on the duration of the trip and coverage, and provides coverage against lost baggage, flight delays, trip cancellation and emergency medical expenses including life-saving surgery. However, pre-existing illness are not covered under the policy.

Lack of such a policy could cause problems for the family and friends to arrange money immediately. In case of medical expenses exceed the capacity of families, social workers step in to arrange funds and hospitals try to wave off a part of the bill.

In fact, several countries in Europe and American continents have made travel insurance compulsory for visitors and tourists.