Whether it’s exploring our own backyard or jet setting overseas, there is no denying that Australians love to travel. But no matter how much planning goes into your trip, the unexpected can, and often does occur. Whilst you can’t prepare yourself for every situation, a little work and research beforehand can make all the difference, letting you focus on the trip ahead.
Given the recent media exposure, we’ve put together the basics of travel insurance and a few travelling tips to help you stay protected and enjoy your time away.
First things first – Travel Insurance. Do I really need it?
Yes! Travel insurance is an important and crucial purchase to make, especially when travelling overseas for work or leisure. Even if you only plan on lounging by a pool for a few days, accidents and illness can occur, your luggage may be lost or stolen, or flights cancelled.
What can it cover?
- Medical expenses relating to personal illness or injury whilst overseas. Medicare and Private Health Insurance will not provide cover for any medical expenses incurred overseas, so you may be out of pocket tens of thousands of dollars if hospitalised.
- Loss of luggage or personal items, including your passport.
- Flight delays, missed flights and cancellations.
- Evacuation due to a natural disaster.
- Hire car excess if selected.
- Lump sum benefits for accidental death.
- Medical evacuation expenses
*Note that these sections and limits will differ between each insurer
What does it usually not cover?
- Most insurers won’t cover injury or illness relating to an undisclosed pre-existing medical condition. It is important to disclose any pre-existing condition no matter how small you believe it is, or if you are taking medication to control/manage it. Insurers have a range of pre-existing conditions that they will cover, provided they are made aware of it beforehand.
- Injury from some extreme sports or adventure activities, unless pre-approved by the insurer. Activities such as skiing, snowboarding, sky diving or high-altitude hiking may need to be disclosed first. If you’re not sure, just check with your adviser or insurer.
- Loss or theft of unattended baggage.
- Losses incurred due to financial failure of an airline, hotel, travel agent etc.
- Scooter and motorbikes: Many insurers won’t cover you if you decide to ride a scooter or motorbike overseas unlicensed, or if you’re on the back of the bike with an unlicensed driver. Some insurers are more lenient and may offer automatic cover for 50cc or less, or cover if you have a motorbike licence for anything bigger. Again, it is important check the inclusions and exclusions of your policy beforehand and ensure you adhere to any licensing requirements.
Before you go:
- If travelling overseas, ensure you lodge your travel with SmartTraveller and subscribe to their travel advice for the countries you intend to visit.
- Confirm that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date you think your trip will end.
- Confirm that any medication you plan to take is legal and that you have enough prescription medication to last the whole trip. Carry copies of your prescription and letter from your doctor just in case.
- Have multiple payment options and tell your bank that you’re travelling beforehand.
- If you plan on driving overseas, check local traffic laws and confirm if you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP).
- Check the visa/entry requirements for each country you plan to visit as visa conditions can change regularly.
- Research the local laws of the countries you plan to visit.
- Check if extra documents are needed if you’re travelling with children.
- Share your itinerary, copies of passports, visas and key documentation (including travel insurance) with friends or family members.
- Keep a list of items that you are taking and take photos of any high-value items for proof of ownership in the event of a clam.
- Know what to do if there is a crisis overseas.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Where possible, obtain small denominations of currency and keep the bulk of cash and cards in a hotel safe or a money belt, which should only be accessed in private places.
- Don’t drink and claim. Enjoying a few drinks on holiday is fine, but if an insurer determines that alcohol or drugs are a factor in a potential claim, you may not be covered. Individuals are also more vulnerable to attack if they have been drinking.
- Don’t expose yourself to unnecessary risks. Travel Insurance policies are designed to cover unforeseen risks, provided that you take necessary precautions to keep you and your belongings safe. Ignore verbal ‘bait’ from passers-by, be aware of your surroundings and if you suspect that you are being followed, enter a busy public place and call for help.
- Be vigilant and aware of scammers. Someone may try and draw your attention one way while their partner attempts to steal your purse or bag.
- Always carry a mobile phone programmed with emergency contact numbers (including embassy contact details). Keep a list of numbers handy in case your phone is lost or stolen.
When it comes to protecting your family and business you want to be sure you are making the right choice. Travel insurance policies can vary greatly between providers, so you need to ensure that you explore your options, compare plans and choose a reputable provider that meets your needs, the location and activities you will be undertaking.
Whether you’re looking for a policy to cover a leisure trip or a solution for Corporate Travel, allinsure’s team of advisers are always happy to have a chat and give you options best suited to your needs. Contact the team on 02 6131 9700 or 1300 955 682 for an obligation free quote or advice.
*For a last minute travel quote while the office is shutdown over the Christmas & New Year break, you can obtain one from TravelCard here. Remember to check the quote carefully to ensure it meets your needs or contact Peter Chamberlain on 0417 991 100*
General Advice Warning
The information provided is to be regarded as general advice. Whilst we may have collected risk information, your personal objectives, needs or financial situations were not taken into account when preparing this information. We recommend that you consider the suitability of this general advice, in respect of your objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. You should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement before making any decision to purchase this financial product.