If you've just bought an insurance policy from us, you might be wondering: what happens now?
Many travellers are understandably left wondering what exactly they've just forked out their hard-earned cash for when all they have to show for it is a piece of paper and/or an email.
But your travel insurance policy is so much more than that, and if something unexpected happens to you before or during your travels, that email or piece of paper might turn out to be the best value for money you ever spent.
Read on to find out where your travel details go and how to make the most of your policy.
What do you use my travel details for?
The details you provided when you purchased a Fast Cover travel insurance policy are lodged with our emergency assistance team.
This means your travel details are now registered in their traveller database so they’ll be able to provide you with emergency assistance should you need it while travelling.
The emergency assistance phone numbers are provided on your travel insurance certificate so you can call from anywhere in the world.
What should I do with my travel insurance policy?
Ensure your travel insurance policy is easy to access.
It’s important to have easy access to your travel insurance policy details so that you can contact the assistance team faster in an emergency. It also means the emergency assistance team will be able to quickly identify you and help you more easily.
If something happens while on your travels such as someone is seriously ill or injured, your flights are cancelled or your belongings are stolen, it will make contacting emergency assistance easier if you:
1) Keep printed copies of your travel insurance policy:
Keep a copy in each of your large travel bags as well as a copy in your carry-on or day bag in case you can't access the digital copy if your phone is lost or goes flat. Rather than trying to access your emails or the online version, you can simply grab the policy certificate from your bag.
This can especially make situations easier such as:
- Providing your policy details to hospital staff.
- Providing your policy details to medical staff on a cruise ship.
- Finding the emergency phone number in areas where there’s no WiFi to access your email.
- When you’re not conscious or otherwise unable to provide your policy details, it will be easier for hospital staff to contact your emergency assistance team if they can easily find your printed travel insurance policy.
2) Keep digital copies of your travel insurance policy:
You can always access a digital copy of your travel insurance policy from the My Policy section of our website.
You may also want to consider sharing your travel insurance policy details with your travelling companions, close family members, friends or partner.
There’s a couple of benefits to doing this, including:
- Making it faster for family or friends to communicate with your travel insurer about your policy.
- Helping you to extend your travel insurance policy on your behalf while you’re travelling.
- Helping you to add on extra cover if required such as for rental vehicle insurance excess and adventure sports or activities
- Giving your family and closest friends the ability to follow up on a travel insurance claim on your behalf, if you have given your insurance company permission to speak with them about it.
What do I use my travel insurance policy for?
1) Use your travel insurance to seek expert advice in an emergency.
If you’re sick, injured, stranded, or the victim of robbery, you can use your travel insurance to seek assistance without hesitation.
The Worldwide 24/7 Emergency Assistance team are available 24 hours a day and can advise you on what your next steps should be after an incident which may involve requesting a statement from your hotel or hostel manager, visiting a police station to make a report, seeing a doctor or even going straight to a hospital.
They’re also able to assist in other ways, including:
- Acting as a guarantor for treatment and managing your case in hospital.
- Organising emergency transport or repatriation home.
- Providing advice.
- Getting in contact with your family or employers.
- Arranging translation services.
If in doubt, always call the emergency assistance team.
Once you’re safe and have support you can follow the next steps if you need to make a claim.
2) Use your travel insurance to make a claim.
You can make a claim for any unexpected emergency expenses online or by calling the phone number on your travel insurance certificate.
You can claim while still overseas or within 30 days upon your return home.
Remember to keep all of the relevant documentation to make the claims process as fast and simple as possible. This might include:
- Police reports.
- Purchase receipts.
- Medical bills or invoices.
- Reports from a doctor or hospital.
- Photographs of items that were stolen or damaged.
- A statement from the hotel or hostel (for cancellations or if something was stolen).
- A statement from the airline or tour company (for cancellations).
Find out more about how to make a travel insurance claim here.
What else can I do to prepare for my trip?
There are a few more things you can do to better prepare for health and safety risks you may face while travelling.
- Register with Smartraveller so the consulate can contact you or find you in an emergency.
- Fill in your Medical ID on your mobile phone – iPhones for example allow you to make important health information accessible by setting up a Medical ID. Provide information about the medication you take and conditions you have by editing the Medical ID. You may also be able to set up an ‘in case of emergency’ or ‘ICE’ contact.
- Read our Top 30 Tips To Prepare For Your Trip post which covers everything you need to know to prepare for a safe and happy holiday overseas.