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How to choose the right travel insurance for you

July 08, 2014

Travel insurance is an important consideration if you’re heading on a trip domestically or overseas.

Yet it’s important to keep in mind that there are many levels and options in a travel insurance package that you can choose from.

Below, we explain how to choose the right travel insurance for you and your next holiday.

1. Where are you going?

This will affect the type of insurance you need – are you travelling domestically, internationally or both? Are all of your destinations coverable?

If you will be travelling frequently throughout the year, you should consider whether a multi-trip package might be more cost effective for you.

2. How old are you?

Make sure that the insurance packages offered suit your age level. If you will be travelling with children, you should also research how your cover applies to kids (or not).

3. Decide what cover is essential

There are various types of inclusions and exclusions in any travel insurance policy and these can differ between providers. The best way to get started is to make a list of the types of cover you require.

While most policies will cover you for standard items – like medical/hospital and emergency, trip cancellation, liability, baggage – think about what other unique areas you need cover for. These can include:

  • Any sports and activities you plan to participate in
  • If you plan to drive a car or vehicle while you’re away
  • If any trip disruptions or delays could affect your income
  • Any valuables you will be taking with you (e.g. camera, iPad, laptop)

4. What limits will best suit you?

Trying to understand how much cover you need might seem tricky at first, but it simply needs a little attention to detail:

  • Start by attributing a dollar value to everything involved in your trip – your flights, accommodation, tours, activities, baggage and valuables
  • When it comes to things like medical and emergency expenses, or liability cover, you’ll need to look at the limits offered, assess your own financial situation and consider how much more you could afford to pay – or not pay –out of your own pocket
  • If you don’t have a lot of spare cash, opting for more comprehensive cover or cover with higher limits could work out to be more beneficial for you if you get into strife on your trip

Remember, at the end of the day, the more that’s included in your travel insurance policy, the more protected you will be!

5. Do You Have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?

Pre-existing medical conditions can exclude you from certain policies, so if you do have a condition or illness, you may need to do a little more research and compare the options that are available to you and your specific condition.

If you are pregnant or becoming pregnant on your holiday, you should also investigate what is/isn’t covered here as well.

6. Read the Terms & Conditions Carefully

This is the best (and often only) way to understand what your policy involves and whether it is right for you and your trip. You should take special note of:

  • Specific inclusions and exclusions
  • Conditions surrounding cover levels or items
  • Circumstances, actions or events that might exclude you from cover (e.g. driving while under the influence)

If there are any areas or clauses you don’t understand, make sure you clarify these with the provider before you buy. Consider phoning the provider or making an appointment with them in person so that they can go through it the T&Cs with you.