A Guide To Travel Insurance

Searching for travel insurance can be tedious and boring...until you need it. It's then you probably wish you'd paid closer attention to the detail.

All parts of a policy are different and the benefits you are entitled to vary considerably between the various companies that offer travel insurance. There are also several types of cover within most policies just to make it all that bit more confusing.

So the team at Cover My Trip have tried to make it just a little bit easier for you when you are searching for that ideal policy to cover your next holiday.

Medical and evacuation

Hospital costs in the USA can exceed $10,000 per day, while medical evacuations to Australia can easily cost over $100,000 from some locations around the world. The cost of travel insurance is minimal and better than having to re-mortgage your house in order to get home after something goes wrong.

When searching for travel insurance, look for a policy that includes:

  • cover for unlimited medical expenses;
  • emergency evacuation or repatriation home in the event of a serious illness or injury;
  • the option for a relative to accompany you if you're ill or injured and travelling alone;
  • cover for emergency dental work;
  • cover for pre-existing medical conditions.

It doesn't matter who you purchase a policy with, or who the insurer is for the policy, take the time to read the policy wording carefully, particularly the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions to cover.

Cancellation costs

This section of the policy provides cover  for you if you suddenly find you can't go on your trip due to an unforeseen reason outside your control; such as the death of a close relative.

When you first decide to go on a holiday and start making travel arrangements like booking airfares and accommodation, you should consider getting travel insurance to protect your investment.

When searching for travel insurance, look for a policy that includes:

  • cover for loss of non-refundable deposits and costs paid in advance if you cancel before departure due to things like illness or injury, jury duty and a natural disaster.

Luggage and personal effects

This is probably the biggest reason people take out travel insurance but is probably the least important. Material items can be replaced; your life or health can't!

All policies will generally have a per item limit and lots of exclusions around unsupervised or lack of reasonable care. What this means for you is if you leave your luggage and personal effects unattended in a public place and something happens to them, your claim will probably be declined.

In all instances where you are claiming for luggage and personal effects, you will be asked proof of purchase and ownership. So before you go, consider if you really need to take that expensive watch, two cameras, an ipad, iphone and ipod and whatever you do take with you, make sure you have the receipt or proof of ownership for the item and set them aside where you can find them when you get home incase you need to make a claim.

When searching for travel insurance, look through the policy to see:

  • what the individual item limits are;
  • the option to add high value items if need be;
  • whether there is cover if your luggage and personal effects are stolen from your hotel room;
  • whether you are covered if luggage is stolen from the boot of a locked car;
  • if there is cover for theft of cash.

In the event your passport is lost or stolen, you should make a report with the local police and contact the nearest embassy or consulate. Having a photocopy of your passport and visas can make the process alot easier for you. Further information on lost and stolen passports can be found on the DFAT Australian Passport Office.

Personal liability

The last thing you want to do is unintentionally cause an accident or injure someone while travelling but travel insurance can cover your liability and legal expenses.

Most policies won't cover any liability you cause when driving a vehicle or anything that is motorised but may cover if you walk into a shop and accidentally knock over and break a very expensive piece of crystal.

Rental vehicle excess

If you decide to hire a car when you are overseas, there is usually an excess or collision damage waiver that you have to pay to the hire car company if there is an accident or the car is damaged while in your care or control.

Most travel insurance policies offer some sort of rental vehicle excess cover that can alleviate your out of pocket expenses if something happens.

When searching for travel insurance look through the policy to see:

  • what the maximum benefit payable is for rental vehicle excess;
  • if there is an option to increase the benefit;
  • are the amounts payable in Australian dollars (because if they are you will need to work out the equivalent in the applicable currency of where you are travelling to).

Flight delays

We all know delayed flights are not uncommon, but there are times when a little delay can run into days which can become very, very expensive. Most travel insurance policy benefits will vary considerably in the market so always read the fine print carefully to see if the particular policy offers the cover in the first place and up to how much you are covered for.

In most cases, no one policy is going to be the same as another...even if they are underwritten by the same insurer. It is important to always read the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions to cover to know exactly what you are going to be covered for.

Always make sure before you buy and if in doubt or you are still not sure if the policy is going to cover a particular activity you want to do while you're travelling, then ask the question.

©2017 Cover My Trip Travel Insurance Pty Ltd ® ABN 89 165  918 141, AR 448483 is an authorised representative of AGA Assistance Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177, AFS Licence No. 245631. This insurance is issued and managed by AGA Assistance Australia Pty Ltd and is underwritten by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFS Licence No. 234708. Any information provided by us is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or individual needs. This insurance is subject to terms, conditions and exclusions. Before purchasing this insurance please read the Product Disclosure Statement to decide if this product is right for you.