When buying travel insurance, it’s easy to focus on the obvious things we want covered; medical emergencies, luggage theft and possible cancellations… but not all unexpected issues while travelling are created equally.
Here is the list of 5 things that you probably haven’t thought of when looking into purchasing travel insurance:
1) Financially destroying you or your family… if you aren’t prepared for possible medical expenses
Medical bills can be a real pain! No pun intended. They can be exorbitant without the safety net of Medicare and depending on what country you go to they can be extremely excessive. Added to the general aggravation of having to put your trip on hold for a little while is the fact that the cost of medical attention around the world varies greatly!
Going to hospital in Vietnam can cost anywhere from $2000 - $2500 a night, in France it will be between $9500 - $12, 500. If you happen to need to go hospital in New York City, best be prepared for paying between $16, 000 - $21, 500. Unless you have travel insurance which covers you for those unexpected medical costs, your trip may suddenly become a lot more expensive than originally planned. Another added cost is repatriation, which if needed, consists of a medical team bringing you back to Australia in the event of a serious medical condition. Depending on your condition, an air ambulance can be upwards of $100, 000.
The last thing you want is to come home broke from a trip on top of your medical situation. This is a story too often told by travellers who are not prepared for the expenses that can come with falling sick while travelling.
2) Unexpected cancellation if advised to… by the government and other authorities
When travelling it is important to do your research on areas considered as ‘higher risk’. All travellers need to take responsibility for decisions they make while travelling overseas. The reason Fast Cover has travel advisories is to inform travellers of the high-risk areas globally in real-time. Before travelling, check Smartraveller’s website for updates of their travel advisories. If your flight or pre-booked plans is cancelled due to a travel warning then you may lose out on thousands of dollars. It could be worthwhile to look for a policy with cancellation benefits, to help reimburse for your trip investment in case of the unexpected.
Not all policies cover you for cancellation benefits, especially if it is advised by government authorities and you are aware of these advisories at the time of purchasing a policy. Cancellation benefits are for unexpected events that occur before you travel that are of no fault of your own, so check either with your insurance provider or Smartraveller before traveling to ensure you are going to a safe location.
3) Rise in in-flight thefts
Planes are considered pretty safe places. However, they are also a magnet for thieves. With everyone situated in one spot it is easy to overlook the potential dangers of theft (see our claim stories for more details) of personal effects. This can leave you out of pocket for hundreds, potentially thousands of dollars. A quick look around the web will easily confirm that there are many stories of travellers, of all ages, travelling without travel insurance. Most, if not all, would have been left out of pocket in the event of something happening to their luggage, not to mention the inconvenience of having to replace their belongings.
Research indicates that only 1 in 4 travellers purchase travel insurance for their trip as not all believe they need coverage. Many believe that the best way to avoid theft is to keep your belongings close to you at all times. This is good advice, but there is no guarantee forth safety of your belongings even when they are with you.
4) Possible dental/other medical emergencies that could break the bank
Many travellers, though well versed and probably medically sound before they leave, don’t prepare for the worst medical emergencies when on holidays. This may not be best practice, especially when the unexpected can happen at anytime. This is why travel insurance is vital when embarking on your overseas trip.
Dental pain is one of the worst experiences you can go through, let alone when you are travelling. Not planning for dental emergencies can not only spell a very painful trip but also leave you in debt! Seeing your dentist before you travel can help you avoid going in and out of the dentist chair – saving you time for more travelling and money to enjoy yourself. No one wants their trip shortened because of an emergency root canal. Having a travel insurance policy that covers dental emergencies may protect you against any sudden issues.
5) Family footing the bill if you die or get involved in legal issues
No one wants to imagine their family member getting injured or hurt… or even worse, dying! But these things do happen and they can certainly occur when travelling overseas. It is best to purchase a policy that covers you for medical evacuations if you fall seriously ill or injured and in the worst-case scenario, funeral or cremation overseas and bringing the remains back to Australia. Springing the cost on your unsuspecting family by not having travel insurance is a risk not worth taking!
Another thing is possible legal issues if something should happen. Personal liability is to compensate for the accidental death of or bodily injury of third parties and/or physical loss or damage of another party. Legal issues can leave most on edge so having travel insurance with Personal Liability may save you and your family tons of money with your legal defense. There is nothing worse than your family getting a call that you are embroiled in a legal issue while holidaying in a foreign country! Make sure you have checked these off your list before travelling:
- Research and consider travel insurance that covers you for Personal Liability, Medical Evacuations and Repatriation in the event of an emergency
- Check the country you are visiting for any laws that might be relevant to you and your travel companions. You can find this information on Smartraveller
- Always have emergency numbers readily available – keep your Certificate of Insurance in your back pocket, wallet or somewhere easily accessible
- Let your family and friends know where you will be travelling to – sending them the details of your policy doesn’t hurt and may come in handy in the event of a medical, non-medical or financial emergency
Plan for the unforeseen
Holidays can be exciting and fun, relaxing and peaceful – and depending on where you’re going, there is plenty to experience while overseas. Most travellers don’t plan for something going wrong and while it’s great to be excited about an upcoming trip, preparing for the unanticipated will spare you thousands of dollars that could be used to go on another holiday. Make sure you plan by purchasing travel insurance and save yourself, your family and loved ones thousands of dollars!