Travel Insurance #2: 5 ‘Need to Knows’

I’m not sure whether you’ve noticed, but in the last decade or so travel insurance seems to be almost everywhere you look, and sometimes where you least expect it. From your local supermarket, the humble post office, health insurers and even the bank. Then there’s the various comparison-based websites that allow you to compare premiums, definitions, exclusions, excesses, luggage cover etc. etc. The myriad of choices and information ironically makes the purchasing process somewhat difficult. With this in mind, we thought we would cover our 5 ‘need to knows’ when it comes to choosing the right travel insurance:

  1. Overseas Medical Expenses and Cancellation Fee Cover. Depending on the policy you choose there may be different levels of cover for these very important policy benefits. Unlimited Cover for these benefits is the most ideal and is normally attached to a ‘comprehensive’ travel insurance policy.
  2. Pre-Existing Medical Conditions. If you have a pre-existing medical condition(s), make sure you know what is automatically covered under the policy. If your condition(s) are not automatically covered, enquire as to whether they can be included. The extra premium may well be worth it.
  3. Dependent Children. If you’re travelling with adult dependent children, familiarize yourself with the definition of ‘dependent’. Age limits can vary from insurer to insurer so it pays to check if they are covered under your policy.
  4. Excesses. This is a fairly straightforward one but be aware of your excess for the policy you are purchasing. In a lot of cases you’ll be able to choose your excess and sometimes ‘buyout’ the excess to reduce it to nil. Some policies also have additional excesses for some specific claims. e.g. golf clubs.
  5. Luggage and Personal Effects. If you’re travelling with expensive personal items such as skiing equipment, golf clubs and bikes, these items are generally not substantially covered within ‘luggage and personal effects’. Contact the insurer and enquire as to whether you need to individually ‘itemise’ these under the policy to ensure they are adequately insured.

N.B. This travel insurance article’s purpose is general in nature and is by no means meant as advice.

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