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Last Updated : Oct 01, 2019 04:17 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Explained: Here is why airlines, portals can no longer mis-sell you travel insurance from Oct 1

IRDAI has said that travel insurance cannot be offered as a pre-selected default option on online portals

M Saraswathy @maamitalks

If you are among those customers who have accidentally bought a travel insurance product while booking a flight ticket, the scenario is set to change from October 1. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has brought out new rules governing the sale of travel policies.

The new rules will prevent mis-selling of travel insurance policies to unassuming customers. Here are five ways how the travel insurance rules change:

Product sale

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No customer can be presented travel insurance as a default option. IRDAI has said that customers must be given the option to choose whether or not they want to buy a policy.

At present, travel insurance is presented as a default option on all the travel portals due to which customers unknowingly buy the product while booking tickets. From October 1 onwards, no such pre-selection will be allowed.

Terms and features

Most travel policies sold via online holiday-booking portals do not have details of the terms and conditions of the product being sold. IRDAI has mandated that insurers should make all the product features as well as exclusions more transparent.

For instance, customers presume that baggage is covered by travel insurance. However, several insurers exclude loss/theft from claim payment. Hence, it is crucial that the policyholder understands the terms and conditions before buying the travel policy.

Product validity

At the time of booking the flight ticket, the travel policy is sold as an add-on product. From now on, that will not be the case. IRDAI has said that premiums can be collected only up to 90 days in advance.

Hence, a travel policy, which is in-force only during the particular travel period, cannot be sold months in advance.

Overseas travel

IRDAI has said that insurers must not put any restrictions on purchase of overseas travel insurance. Any individual looking to buy a global travel cover has to be presented with the relevant option without forcing them to buy a product within a certain number of days.

This time, restriction applicable to domestic travel will not apply for overseas travel policies. For example, it is mandatory to have a travel cover while applying for Schengen visa. The rules have been eased to ensure that the visa process for international travel is not hampered.

Compliance

IRDAI has said that it will be the responsibility of the insurance company to ensure that the travel portals comply with the said rules from October 1. Further, insurers will also have to verify if the travel portals are complying with the rules every three months.

The regulator has made it clear that any insurance product found to be in violation of the rules will be immediately terminated.

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First Published on Oct 1, 2019 01:14 pm
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