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Steps to Buying the Best Travel Insurance for Your Holiday
When shopping around for a great travel insurance policy, it is vital that you choose a provider who is able to offer you full coverage for your holiday. This means taking into account the various risks and factors associated with your trip and deciding how much cover you need for each one. These questions have been designed to help make selecting a travel insurance policy easier and straightforward:
Where am I going?
Your destination/s will be influential in determining your level of cover. Make sure that the policy you choose is able to cover you for all of the countries you are visiting, including any stopover destinations. Keep in mind that some high-risk countries (such as Iraq or North Korea) may not be covered. You should also check www.smartraveller.gov.au on a regular basis and note any disruptions or warnings about the areas you’ll be travelling to. Insurance providers will not cover your losses if you travel against advice issued by the Australian government.
How long am I going for?
It’s important to find a travel insurance policy that covers you for the duration of your holiday. If you are planning on taking several trips throughout the year, a multi-trip policy may be more beneficial. If you will be travelling for a long period of time (e.g. 1 year), you may want to consider a policy that includes ‘trip resumption’, in case you have to return home to deal with an emergency.
Do I have any pre-existing medical conditions?
Pre-existing medical conditions can influence your travel insurance policy and claims. If you have had any medical problems, try researching a provider who is more flexible about what conditions they will cover, rather than a provider who automatically excludes various illnesses or who charges excessive amounts to cover these illnesses.
How much baggage do I have? What about valuables?
Your baggage and valuables (including your passport) will be of utmost importance, so you’ll need to calculate how much all of your items are worth to determine how much baggage and valuables cover you need. Valuables such as laptops, tablets, cameras and mobile phones may be excluded from some lower-level policies, so make sure your chosen policy includes the items you will be taking. When it comes to items like sports equipment, you will usually be able to upgrade your policy to cover these specific possessions.
What will I be doing on my holiday?
High-risk activities, like skiing, bungee jumping or motorcycling, often mean you need a higher level of insurance cover. If you do plan to engage in certain sports and activities, you’ll need to make sure you have the right level of medical cover in your policy, particularly if there’s a possibility you may injure yourself and/or need medical treatment while on holiday.
What about cover for my kids?
Many people assume that travel insurance for the whole family can be costly, but protecting your children is just as critical as protecting yourself! The best way to save money in this instance is to look for a policy that covers your children for free and gives them protection under the same conditions as your own policy.
What if I get into an emergency while travelling?
Emergencies can be very stressful and if you need to make a claim, you will want a provider who offers 24/7 phone support and an easy claims process while you’re away. Make sure you investigate this early on when choosing your policy, as it can save you lots of hassle in the long run.
Other things to consider:
Trip cancellations: If you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly, some policies can offer you reimbursement for some or all of your losses
Excess: Almost all policies will have an excess, so note these costs before you buy
Claims: Make sure you understand how the claims process works. Most companies will require you to submit any claims within a certain timeframe once your trip is over or your policy has ended, and you’ll usually need to present documentation, such as receipts, police reports or medical certificates.
Exclusions: Ensure you are aware of all exclusions in your travel insurance policy relating to areas such as medical, health conditions, cancellations, baggage, valuables and activities etc; all exclusions will be listed in your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and it is extremely important that you read this document carefully before purchasing.
To make sure you have chosen the right policy for your trip, make sure to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or contact our customer service agents before you buy to understand your options.