Things to Know About Travel Insurance

What does travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance policies typically cover the following:

  • Medical expenses from personal injury or illness
  • Loss of goods
  • Theft
  • Disruptions to your travel plans (e.g. cancelled flights)

The most important aspect of travel insurance relates to the need for urgent medical treatment or if your flights get cancelled.

Choosing a travel insurance policy

Travel insurance requires you to pay an upfront premium to cover you for a set period of time. You can also purchase travel insurance for the whole year if you travel a lot.

Some credit cards provide travel insurance under certain conditions.

On top of the premium, you may have to pay an excess when you make a claim. Make sure you know what the excess is before deciding which travel insurance provider to go with.

When choosing a travel insurance policy find out:

  • The cost of the premium and the excess
  • What is included and what is excluded
  • The dollar limits for claims on individual items and as a whole
  • What proof you need to make a claim
  • How to contact your insurer if you are overseas
  • What paperwork you need to take with you on your holiday

Travel insurance exclusions

Travel insurance usually does not cover:

  • Injury from extreme sports (e.g. bungee jumping)
  • Illness or injury from pre-existing medical conditions
  • Loss or injury from acts of terrorism, war and some natural disasters
  • Loss or theft if you left your luggage unattended, so ask your insurer what 'unattended' means for your policy

Some insurance policies exclude losses incurred due to the financial failure of an airline, hotel or other travel operator.

If you're about to travel overseas and want insurance, checking the exclusions that apply to your policy is worthwhile. You can read the product disclosure statement or simply ring and ask what's covered and what's excluded, especially if you're planning any unusual activities.

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