Over the past 10 years, it has been shown that more and more Australians are travelling abroad. Over 9 million Australians travelled out of Australia in 2013-14*, a huge boost from 2004, when only 3.9 million Australians left the country.
But one of the key questions many travellers want to know is – WHEN should I purchase my travel insurance?
The answer is very simple: The best time to purchase your travel insurance is as soon as you have booked or finalised your holiday. And don't worry if your holiday plans are not set in stone, your insurer will most likely provide you with the opportunity to discuss any changes/upgrades to your policy.
So why should you book travel insurance sooner rather than later?
Booking your travel insurance as soon as possible means you can benefit from cancellation cover. Always ensure to read your PDS prior to purchase to understand if cancellation is included and what the terms are.
Cancellation cover typically allows you to claim back your prepaid costs if you need to cancel your trip prior to departing the country. In most cases, you can claim for lost funds related to cancelled, non-refundable flights, accommodation, tours, activities, travel agency fees and other travel-related bookings
Under what circumstances can you claim on cancellation cover?
If you need to cancel your trip prior to leaving Australia, you can usually make a claim for your expenses if your cancellation is due to:
- Injury, illness or death
- The death, injury or illness of a companion you are travelling with
- The death, injury or illness of a relative back home
- A substantial disaster at home (e.g. flood, fire, burglary) with in 48hr before the date you planned to leave
- Being quarantined
- Your obligation to appear in court as a witness
What could happen if you leave travel insurance until the last minute?
If you put off organising your travel insurance until later (e.g. a week or a day before you travel) and then discover you need to cancel your trip, you won't be able to take advantage of the cancellation cover – and you'll lose any non-refundable fares or costs that you have already paid.
Jane booked herself on a holiday to China, but decided to leave her travel insurance arrangements until a few days before she left. However, Jane's partner suddenly became very ill and she ended up cancelling the trip.
The airlines and hotels had a non-refundable booking policy and would not refund Jane any of the money she'd already paid.
Since she did not have travel insurance, she wasn't able to make a cancellation claim, either. Jane found herself without a holiday and out of pocket for $6,200.
If Jane had organised her travel insurance early, she could have made a claim for the funds she lost and then used the money to re-book her trip later on.
Don't leave your travel insurance until the last minute! If you cancel your trip, your losses can impact your finances significantly.
Organise your travel insurance now and start a quote with InsureandGo.*http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/products/961B6B53B87C130ACA2574030010BD05