International travel insurance
Planning an overseas trip is exciting, but before you even think about leaving home, make sure you’re covered with the right international travel insurance.
For a small investment you can get something priceless: peace of mind wherever you go.
Why you shouldn’t leave home without it
From a lost surfboard to a bad case of ‘Bali belly’, even experienced travellers can run into problems overseas. That’s where international travel insurance can help.
Think of it as all-purpose emergency insurance. It can provide cover for delays, cancelled flights or stolen cameras. It could even pay to get you back home in an emergency evacuation or refund the cost of your trip, depending on your level of cover.
Overseas travel insurance is the single most important thing you can pack on your trip – hopefully you won’t need it, but you’ll be extremely glad it’s there if you do.
Don’t risk it
Medical cover might be the number-one reason to buy travel insurance.
Your regular health insurance won’t cover you if you get sick or injured overseas, and medical bills can mount up in no time at all.
When choosing international travel insurance, look for a policy that provides a high or unlimited amount of overseas medical cover along with a separate emergency evacuation plan that includes transportation back to Australia. As many travellers have unfortunately learned the hard way, you never know when you’ll need to be airlifted to the nearest medical facility or flown home for treatment.
As always, be sure to declare any pre-existing medical conditions, including pregnancy, and check your policy in detail to see what’s covered. That way you’ll avoid any surprises at claim time.
More than just medical insurance
In addition to medical and emergency evacuation cover, a good policy should provide a level of financial protection should something go wrong while you’re overseas.
Here’s a list of things to look for as you compare different policies:
• Belongings cover. Cover for personal belongings such as cash, luggage, electronic equipment, cameras and phones. Coverage and excess levels can vary widely by insurer.
• Cancellation cover. A level of cover to help reimburse you for airline tickets, hotels and other deposits if you have a sudden illness, death in the family, or other covered emergency.*
• Scooter cover. If you’ll be scooting around overseas, look for a policy that includes motorbike cover. Always comply with foreign licensing requirements, wear a helmet, and don’t drink drive to prevent voiding your cover.
• Sporting activities. Cover for activities such as bicycling, golfing or scuba diving. You may need to buy additional cover for higher-risk activities – ask your insurer for more details.
• Personal liability. Insurance for third-party liability if you’re involved in an accident resulting in injury or property damage.*
• Collision damage excess. Can pay for your hire car insurance excess if you’re involved in an accident overseas, so you don’t end up out of pocket.*
• 24/7 customer service. The best policies will have real people you can talk to at any hour of the day or night if you run into a problem.
Basic or comprehensive?
As with most types of insurance, cheaper is not necessarily better when it comes to international policies.
Basic coverage may be less expensive up-front, but you won’t think it’s such a good deal if it leaves you financially exposed at claim time.
The right policy will cover you for a wide range of unexpected situations, while minimising your out-of-pocket expenses if you need to make a claim.
To make sure you have adequate protection at all times, it’s a good idea to take out the most comprehensive coverage you can afford. If you ever need it, you’ll be very glad you did!
* The level of cover and benefits varies between policies, as do exclusions. It’s important to check the policy terms and conditions and the Product Disclosure Statement to make sure the policy is right for you.