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Travel Insurance For Italy
Italy is very popular among Aussies, with 192,000 Australians heading there from July 2016 to June 20171. Its amazing history, stunning scenery, and Instagram worthy food make it irresistible for anyone visiting Europe.
Italian adventure ideas – and travel insurance considerations
Italy offers activities for all sorts of travellers, whether you want a luxurious European culture holiday, or a jam-packed schedule full of adventure. Here’s just a few ideas to get you started:
• See an active volcano: Mount Etna and Mount Stromboli are two active volcanoes in Italy that can provide a spectacular experience for tourists. The famous Mount Vesuvius is currently inactive, but still monitored closely. Active volcanoes can disrupt travel plans, making insurance an essential to avoid ending up out of pocket.
It’s also important to remember that if a volcano eruption is in progress, and you ignore advice against travelling in the region, that your insurance may not cover you. Also, if you purchase travel insurance after the volcano is active, you might not be covered for any claims related to volcano and its consequences.
• Snow sports: The Italian Alps are an incredible destination for snow-lovers. Think skiing by day and decadent gnocchi by night. Sounds pretty good, right? Just make sure before you travel that your insurance policy includes skiing and/or snowboarding as these activities usually aren’t included in base level cover.
• Amalfi coast road trip: Driving along the stunning scenery of the Amalfi coast is a breath-taking experience. But driving in Italy can be chaotic to say the least. If you are planning to drive, make sure you get the right permits and check your travel insurance policy to make sure that it covers driving-related incidents.
• Roman ruins: What’s a trip to Italy without taking in sights like the Colosseum? But travellers in Rome need to be careful about petty crime like pickpockets, and if you decide to live like a Roman and ride a scooter around the city, make sure that you are appropriately licensed and wear a helmet.
• Wine touring in Chianti: Sipping red wine with a plate of pasta has to be up there for many tourists as a must-do Italian experience, and the wine in Chianti is some of the best. But if you’re doing your wine tour by car, remember to enjoy that wine with caution and keep under the limit. No travel insurance policy will cover you for drink-driving accidents!
Potential problems in Italy
Italy, like most European countries, is relatively safe but there are occasional earthquakes and Sicily is prone to wildfires in the summer2. In the Italian cities thefts from handbags and vehicles are common2. This is especially the case in tourist hotspots and transport hubs.
What your insurance should cover
Your medical costs
Australia and Italy have a reciprocal healthcare agreement3, which means that you’ll have access to government medical care if required. However, certain things won’t be covered such as prescriptions, some medical devices, medical repatriation, and additional accommodation, and travel costs. The only way to be covered for these costs is by purchasing the right travel insurance policy.
Travel disruptions and cancellations
Despite the best of plans, sometimes the unexpected can derail your trip. If you’re delayed by something beyond your control, then you’re covered for the costs of cancellation fees and any additional expenses incurred.
If you lose your luggage, or if it’s damaged or stolen, then you’ll be reimbursed by your insurer. Comprehensive insurance will also cover cash and travel documents. Remember though that leaving your luggage unattended will mean you’re likely to invalidate your insurance cover.
You’ll need your International Driver’s Permit to drive in Italy and you’ll have to drive on the right side of the road. Italy’s urban roads can be tricky to navigate2, so choose a policy that covers your rental provider’s excess.
Your personal liability
Italy is generally considered a friendly country, but if you injure someone or damage property, then you’ll still need personal liability insurance to cover these costs.
Cycling and sailing is popular in Italy and during the winter, and ski resorts in the north are incredibly popular with international tourists. If you’re planning to ski, sail or cycle, then you might want extra cover to protect both you and your equipment. Remember, if you’re planning on participating in winter sports, it’s important to ensure your travel policy covers you for these activities.
What isn’t covered?
If you drive recklessly or ride a motorbike without a helmet, then you won’t be covered. If you ignore travel warnings and go to an unsafe area then you’ll also be unprotected.
Any alcohol or drug-related accidents or injuries are also unprotected, so it’s important to take care when indulging in Italy’s world class red and white wines.
You should also declare any and all pre-existing conditions, as failure to do so can invalidate your policy.