There’s an old saying that “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. Whoever came up with it was hardly the life of the party, but they do make a good point. Without insurance, there’s a lot that can go wrong.
But scanning through insurance policies doesn’t make for a light Sunday read. So, to lighten up this heavy topic, our FXperts have put together a guide to comparing travel insurance policies.
Step 1: Compare the Providers
There are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself – such as whether your provider offers 24-hour assistance. It can also help to check what ratings are like for the providers you’re considering.
In terms of options, there are more than you might think available. But in general, these will be the options worth considering:
A policy from a direct provider
In this case, travel insurance is their primary focus. They’ll likely have the experience to help you find the right policy for your holiday.
From a larger business
In this instance, it’s important to look at what other customers have to say about their travel insurance offering. The company’s main focus is likely to be on its primary business (such as groceries) and not your holiday insurance, so their claims process and customer service might not be as slick.
Travel insurance included with your credit card
With one of these policies, you need to make sure you know the level of cover and the benefit limits being offered – it can often be much lower than what you would get from a direct provider.
Travel insurance through a travel money expert, or travel agent
Here, you get a policy from a direct provider, but with your travel money expert or travel agent acting as a middleman.
Step 2: Consider Your Needs
Everyone is a little different, so it’s important your travel insurance is tailored to your needs. The sorts of questions you should be asking are:
- Do I need international or domestic cover?
- Do I just want a basic budget-level cover, or something more comprehensive?
- Am I likely to be travelling more than once in the year?
- Am I travelling as a single, a couple, or with family?
- Am I a senior citizen?
- Am I pregnant?
- Will I need protection in the event of legal trouble?
- Are there any other medical conditions that could affect my trip?
The best thing you can do is read the PDA of any policy you’re considering, and ensure that any special considerations you need to make will be covered.
Step 3: Compare What's Included
With different levels of cover come different levels of inclusions, so you should start by finding out what’s included in each policy – from the budget ones through to the comprehensive ones.
The main inclusions to focus on would be:
- Medical cover
- Cancellation cover
- Luggage cover
- Additional cover for the activities you’ll be undertaking.
All policies are different, so it’s worth checking the PDA for exactly what’s included and excluded in each policy you’re considering.
Step 4: Compare What's Excluded
All insurance providers have their own list of activities and events they won’t cover you for, but as a base, you can assume you won’t be covered for any costs associated with you:
- Breaking the law
- Drinking alcohol
- Ignoring official warnings (like those issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
- Leaving your belongings unattended and they get stolen
- Purchasing a policy after a claimable event (like a natural disaster) has been announced
- Taking out a policy with a travel supplier or agent who goes out of business
- Believing you’re covered, but you haven’t properly read the PDS.Pleading ignorance will not get you covered unfortunately.
Sadly, pleading ignorance will not help in the event your coverage isn’t enough.
Step 5: Compare the Price of Policies
It’s worth knowing upfront that a policy’s price will be influenced by:
- Your destination (typically how far it is from Australia)
- How long you’re spending overseas
- Your age
- Your pre-existing medical conditions
- Any additional points of coverage you’ve requested.
Once you know exactly what you need, you can compare the costs of policies catering to your needs. And naturally, when you find the cheapest policy that’ll suit you, you’ve found your winner!
You can get your research started by taking out a quote from Cover-More Travel Insurance today.
Limits, exclusions and conditions apply. Insurance issued by Great Lakes Australia (ARBN 127 740 532, AFSL No. 318603). Any advice is general advice only. Please consider your financial situation, needs and objectives and read the Combined PDS/FSG available from us before deciding to buy this insurance.
This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you. We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.