Finding the best travel insurance
Even fit and healthy travellers can run into trouble.
Unexpected events such as sudden illness or injury, missing luggage, or lost or stolen valuables can really throw a spanner in the works. Make sure you’re covered at all times with the right travel insurance policy.
Why you need travel insurance
Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan. Travellers who experience difficulties overseas may find themselves relying on family and friends for financial assistance or saddled with significant debts if they don’t have travel insurance. Others may end up out of pocket because they skimped on their cover.
Travel insurance is an all-purpose insurance for a variety of travel-related mishaps. It can provide a level of cover for overseas medical expenses, lost or stolen belongings, trip cancellations and personal liability.*
Chances are you won’t need to make use of your policy – but you’ll be extremely glad you have it if you do!
What does the best travel insurance look like?
The type of travel insurance right for you depends on your circumstances.
For example, you can choose from:
• Domestic or international policies.
• Basic, mid-range or comprehensive policies.
• Single or multi-trip (annual) policies.
• Policies for single travellers, couples, families or seniors.
Remember that the right travel insurance is not always the cheapest. A no-frills policy may be less expensive up front, but it’s no bargain if it leaves you exposed at claim time.
Bear in mind, too, that different policies have different excesses. The higher your excess, the more you’ll pay out of pocket if you need to make a claim.
The right travel insurance should offer the highest level of financial protection against the broadest range of unfortunate events you may encounter, giving you peace of mind wherever you go.
Tips for choosing travel insurance
Most health insurance policies won’t cover you if you get sick or injured overseas, and medical and hospital bills could run into the tens of thousands of dollars, or more, in no time.
It’s a good idea to look for a policy that provides unlimited overseas hospital cover and emergency evacuation and care in case you require an extended hospital stay, or need to be airlifted to the nearest hospital or flown back home for treatment.
Remember to declare any existing medical conditions on your policy, including pregnancy. You don’t want to end up with a big hospital bill because you forgot to mention something on the application.
Also, consider how much the policy pays out for loss of cash, luggage, jewellery and electronic equipment, such as laptops, cameras and phones. You might decide paying a little extra for higher cover for your valuables is well worth the cost.
Finally, see if the policy includes reimbursement for airline tickets, hotel stays and deposits. This can come in very handy if you need to cancel your trip or change your plans.
Depending on where you’re going and the type of holiday you’re planning, you might also want to consider:*
• Multiple trip policies. If you’re travelling more than once a year, a multi-trip (annual) policy may be cheaper than buying separate policies for each trip.
• Sporting activities cover. If you’ll be engaging in ‘high-risk’ activities (such as riding a quad bike or skydiving), look for a policy that provides cover for these specific activities. Otherwise you may end up footing the bill yourself should anything go wrong.
• Scooter cover. Look for a policy with a motorbike cover option if you’ll be riding a scooter overseas. Remember you may void your cover if you fail to comply with foreign licensing requirements, don’t wear a helmet or drive under the influence.
• Dental benefits. In addition to medical cover, it may be a good idea to find a policy that covers emergency dental procedures away from home.
• Emergency accommodation cover. Check whether the policy includes emergency accommodation, in case you need somewhere to stay due to adverse weather or unforeseen events.
• Personal liability cover. Are you covered for third party liability and legal expenses if you’re involved in an accident while travelling? Not all policies have this option, so check the terms and conditions on your specific policy.
When it comes to choosing a travel insurance policy, it pays to plan for the unexpected. Don’t let an unforeseen event spoil your trip.