Travel insurance tips
We all want to save money and be spontaneous when we're about to venture off on a big overseas trip. Sorting out your travel insurance may seem like the opposite of that, but being prepared could save you a lot of money and stress down the line.
In the lead up to a big holiday, the practicalities, like travel insurance can easily fall off your radar, but being prepared with the right cover could make all the difference and save you a lot of money and stress down the line.There are some things you should look out for when buying travel insurance. Here’s a guide to help you choose a policy that’s right for you.
Cheap isn’t always cheerful
There are some cheap policies out there that give you good coverage for the price. But if you want comprehensive coverage, like unlimited medical expenses, or if you want to travel with expensive jewellery or electronics, read the policy wording to make sure you choose cover that suits your needs.
Baggage, documents and spending money
You won’t be getting very far without your luggage, money and passport. Since you’ll also need extra documentation to travel now, it’s more important than ever to make sure your insurance policy actually covers these things. It's also important to check the limits and understand what is excluded.
Check the limits
There will be a limit for each single item you claim for. It pays to bear that in mind if you are planning on bringing an expensive camera, luxury bag or pricey laptop. If you are travelling with these items, it’s important you check you'll have adequate cover so you're fully covered if they are lost, damaged or stolen. If the policy’s single valuables limit is $500 and your $1000 smartphone gets stolen, you will feel short-changed at claim time if you haven't specified it for its full value.
Check the excluded activities
Some activities are considered too risky to insure by many insurance companies. Bear this in mind if you’re the type to go mountaineering, rock climbing, scuba diving, sky-diving, moped-driving or skiing off-piste. If you’re more of a cruisy holidayer, it’s worth noting that cruises are also often excluded. Some insurance companies don’t insure cruises full-stop, or they'll ask you to pay for an add-on to your policy.
Is your insurance company available 24/7?
If the worst happens and you find yourself in an emergency at an odd hour of the day you’ll want to call for help. Head away knowing you’re able to contact your insurance provider 24 hours a day, seven days a week.In a medical emergency, your insurance company should be there to get you the best treatment possible and answer any questions you may have. If your flight has been cancelled and you need to arrange a new one urgently you’ll want to be able to get in contact with someone as soon as possible. Before you leave, take note of your company's emergency contact number and put it in your phone so you've got it when you need it.
Most budget policies don’t cover pre-existing health conditions like heart problems and sleep apnea. Disclose any pre-existing health conditions and pay a little more for a policy that provides you the cover. If you get a policy that doesn't cover your pre-existing condition and something happens while you're away as a result of it, you won't be able to claim. You should keep this in mind if you are:
- over 65
- have asthma
- have any illness or condition that is an ongoing problem
When should I buy travel insurance?
You can take out travel insurance at any time before your trip starts, but the sooner the better. Buying your travel insurance as soon as you book your tickets means you’re covered if something disrupts your travel, like a delay or cancellation. If you take out travel insurance after you’ve booked your trip, there is usually a waiting period before the same protection comes into effect.
Read the policy wording
If you know exactly what your insurance covers, you’ll probably find it a lot easier to relax and enjoy your trip. If in doubt about anything, ask your company’s customer service representatives so you can head away with total peace of mind.