Travel insurance is the least sexy part of travelling. It’s the sunscreen your mum forced on you when you went to your school swimming carnival. It’s the comfy sweatpants you wear on Sundays when no one will see you. Except travel insurance can cost a bit more than a pair of sweatpants.
Does that mean it’s best to forgo travel insurance and keep a few dollars in your bank account?
Travel insurance can save you thousands if you are involved in an emergency. Fast Cover’s highest claims in the last year ranged from $20,000 for a cancelled cruise and $190,000 for a woman that injured her neck and spine. Another woman who paid less than $50 for a policy was covered for $23,000 of overseas medical expenses when she tripped down a flight of stairs in Bali and broke her foot.
Handing over $50 and saving $23,000 sounds like the best trade ever made.
But not all travel insurance policies are created equal. To find the best policy, you might want to consider some of the following factors:
1) That Low Price Tag
The cost of travel insurance will vary between providers, so getting the best deal can require taking the time to compare policies. Check the price of policies offered from travel agents, airlines, cruise lines and travel insurance companies to see where you can save!
But some things are more important than the price alone. You also have to buy a policy which provides cover that suits your needs!
2) A LOT of Emergency Medical Cover
$23,000 for a broken foot in Bali isn’t the worst story travel insurers hear. There’s $100,000 medical evacuations. Then there’s $10,000 hospital stays in the United States. And that’s for one day! No one has time (or money) for those medical bills.
3) Cover for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Are you on medication? Have you been hospitalised recently? Then under your travel insurance you are likely to be considered as having a pre-existing medical condition. If your insurer doesn’t provide cover for that condition, it is unlikely that you’ll get a pay-out for a claim related to that condition. Travel insurers don’t offer you cover for all medical conditions, so check whether your insurer provides cover for yours.
4) Cancellation Cover
It may feel that nothing will stop you getting on that plane to Bali, Thailand or Europe and having the best holiday of all time. Sorry to burst your bubble, but something can happen that could prevent you from travelling. If you get sick or injured and can’t travel, the best outcome is getting as much of a refund as possible to put towards your next trip right? That’s what cancellation cover is for. Always consider whether your travel insurance gives you adequate cover for your plans.
5) Getting a bit wild
Activities can be the highlight of a trip. But again, travel insurers aren’t just providing cover for anything and everything. Some rules apply, so find out what activities they provide cover for before setting off.
6) Valuable belongings
If you have a phone over $1,000 or a laptop over $3,000 that you’re taking on your travels you should double check your luggage cover. Electronics are often considered as standalone items and cover for them can be capped to a particular amount.