Travel insurance policy document. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: In a tweet on Monday, the Indian consulate in Dubai advised citizens to buy insurance before heading to the UAE.

The consulate reiterated the often-repeated message to travellers from India owing to repeated requests for medical assistance or repatriation by Indian visitors to the country, the advisory added. While the consulate usually helps Indians in distress, these expenses, the consulate added, "do not fall under our scope."

Why get travel insurance?

Many travellers ignore the benfits of having a low-cost insurance policy to cover unexpected expenses during travel. From medical costs to lost baggage cover, a policy ensures fast and cost-effective coverage for anything that might happen during a trip.

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In the UAE many cases have come to light where people travel into the country with no insurance. It doesn't matter until the person falls ill, is a victim of an accident or, worse, dies while in the host country. Medical costs can quickly rack up against the traveller and his/her family, not to mention repatriation costs.

Repatriation costs alone to India can range around Dh30,000, this in addition to medical expenses in case of an illness or accident can rise to hundreds of thousands - leaving family members, friends and even well-meaning social workers in a lurch.

Insurance from Dh55

A policy can cover, to certain limits and based on the policy purchased, medical expenses, repatriation costs, cancelled visas etc.

You could get a travel insurance policy online for as low as Dh55 for a short trip, around Rs 1,000. For a higher amount, for example Rs 3599 or Dh185, you can get covered for three months (standard UAE visit visa term) for an insured sum of US$50,000 - around Dh183,660. This policy covers medical expenses (up to insured limit) and also covers interruptions or cancellation of flights or baggage loss (except those caused by policy-holder).