Booking a trip can be expensive, even before the additional cost of travel insurance. The cost of travel insurance does increase as you get older or have any pre-existing medical conditions, as does the likelihood of something going wrong when you travel, increasing any travel insurance company’s liability. I would strongly advise against travelling without insurance. If you opt to travel without insurance, you will solely be responsible for any medical bills, legal expenses, travel expenses and third-party costs which would be associated with an incident occurring while overseas. These can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars if you’re unlucky enough to have an accident, and can result in you being refused treatment or stranded overseas.
Even smaller incidents such as lost luggage or missed travel connections can have a disastrous effect on your holiday plans and budget. When choosing travel insurance, make sure it suits your needs so you’re not paying for something you don’t need, or need something you’re not paying for!
Make sure you get the right insurance – travel insurance should at least cover the following:
– any medical expenses which arise from injury or illness
– personal liability expenses
– theft or loss of goods or luggage
– disrupted travel plans such as missed or cancelled flights
Don’t stretch the truth – be totally honest when you buy a policy, make a claim or when your circumstances change. Insurance companies will investigate what you tell them and even the simplest untruth can render your policy null and void.
Choose the right policy. If you rarely travel then choose a policy that covers you for the period you are travelling. For those who travel more frequently, an annual policy may be a cheaper option. Before you purchase a policy find out the following:
How much it will cost?
Is there an excess and can this be reduced? Some policies will offer lower premiums for a higher excess. Exactly what is included and, more importantly, what isn’t. Some high-value items may need to be separately insured or, better still, left at home.
Individual item thresholds. You may only be insured for a fraction of the cost of each item you take with you.
Contact numbers for your insurer while travelling.
What paperwork you need to carry with you.
How do you make a claim and what do you need to support it?
Make sure you know what your policy offers. If you’re unsure of a clause or policy wording, seek clarification in writing. Clauses can be confusing and while you may think you know what constitutes an Act of God or a natural disaster, your insurance company’s definition may differ. Once you’ve worked out what you need, you can purchase your travel insurance safe in the knowledge that you’re getting the right cover.