You spent so much time planning your holiday and spent a few minutes comparing on price when purchasing travel insurance. Is that right?
Pricing is sensitive and competitive, of course. Are you willing to take a risk on your holiday? Going on holiday is fun. You should work a little harder to read the policy before you decide to choose your level of cover.
Buying an inadequate level of cover can cause you out of pocket expenses in some situations. Getting the right level of travel insurance covers is essential. When things go wrong, you might not be covered and have to cover your expenses.
What to look for when you are purchasing travel insurance.
As soon as you book and pay for your flights, accommodation, tours, etc. the best advice is to take out your travel insurance. Why?
The cover for cancellation commences immediately after your Certificate of Insurance is issued. Cover for cancellation costs starts from the date of purchase. All other benefits start from the date that you have nominated as your departure date when applying for insurance
Unforeseen circumstances such as falling ill, injury, or severe weather can cause a disruption to your travel plans and result in substantial cancellation fees.
Make sure you read the policy wording carefully and understand the conditions i.e. what is covered and what is not covered. If you have pre-booked a tour and had to cancel it would you receive a refund and if not, are you able to claim against your policy?
Medical treatment can be highly expensive while travelling overseas. Make sure your travel insurance policy cover offers an appropriate level of cover for emergency medical needs as a result of unexpected injury or illness including medical, hospital, ambulance, air ambulance and emergency dental treatment expenses.
In case of critical illness, you may need your family member to be with you if you are travelling alone. The medical expenses section may cover you for the travel expenses for a nominated person to travel to and remain with you during this difficult time.
The medical cover begins when you leave on your trip and ends when you return home in Australia or when the period of insurance ends, whichever happens first.
Emergency Travel arrangement and accommodation expenses
When one books a holiday one does not plan to cancel or have their holiday interrupted, and this can occur at any point in time. Examples of trip disruptions can include natural incidents such as storms, or transport accidents that stop you continuing your planned journey. You need cover for additional and reasonable expenses apart incurred in addition to your original arrangements e.g. accommodation, transportation, internet use, or emergency telephone calls.
Evacuation and Repatriation
This cover is essential especially when you are travelling overseas in countries where medical treatment is not as advanced or available. You may not realise that a simple accident sometimes can cause you great expense. For example, you may have broken your leg and have a plaster cast from knee to groin therefore needing to buy a business ticket for extra leg room because you cannot use your original economy ticket. For your peace of mind ensure you have this cover.
Luggage & Personal Effects
Travellers nowadays bring along a lot more than just a mobile phone i.e. camera, computer laptop, etc. You need a comprehensive cover. Some travellers decide to leave valuable jewellery at home to avoid the worry of loss or theft. Some also choose to travel light leaving room for equipment such as iPads, SLR camera equipment, etc. You need to ensure you have the right level of cover for loss or damage of your belongings.
You also consider what will happen if your luggage is delayed by the carrier specifically what you might need to buy such as clothes, toiletries, and other personal requirements.
Replacement of passport and travel documents
A passport is your ID when travelling overseas. You cannot travel from country to country without it so its loss can be devastating on your travel plans as well as your finances.
The reissuing your passport may not only include the cost of the replacement passport but also transportation costs when you are required to travel to your nearest embassy as well as accommodation waiting for passport documents to be processed. This may disrupt your original schedule or travel plans. You may also need to replace other documents such as your credit card or traveller’s cheques, and it is important you have the right level of cover on your travel insurance policy.
Stolen cash is usually not covered. Check to see that you have this cover and also the level of cover as this varies according to the destinations selected for travel plans.
Usually, if you are purchasing a higher premium plan cover for North America a higher limit of cover for the theft of cash will apply if that policy offers that cover, to begin with.
Rental Vehicle Insurance Excess
This cover will benefit you when you rent a vehicle from a registered rental company by covering the rental vehicle insurance excess you have to pay in the event of an accident. If you are planning to rent a vehicle make sure you have adequate cover under your travel insurance policy to cover the rental vehicle insurance excess applicable to the motor vehicle insurance provided by the rental company.
This will save you money because when you rent your vehicle, you do not have to pay extra to reduce or delete the motor vehicle insurance excess payable should you have a claim.
Personal liability cover will protect you from claims made against you due to your negligence during the trip that has resulted in injury to another person or damage another person’s property that you are now liable to pay the damages or compensation. For example, playing golf in an area not designated for gold practice and breaking a window after you have sliced a golf ball into a resort window.
This cover if for legal expenses for your legal costs and expenses incurred in pursuit of compensation and damages due to you suffering and injury, accident, or death due to the negligence of another person.
Rule of thumb, before purchasing any travel insurance read the policy wordings, do not make a decision on the price alone but look closely at the covers provided