Buying travel insurance online is as easy as 1-2-3, but it also doesn’t mean you should jump on board with the first insurance offer that pops up on your screen.
So, how can you know if you’re getting the right travel insurance for your trip? And from the best provider? Here are our most crucial shopping tips!
1. Make a List of Your Must-Haves & Limits
Each trip is unique, so it’s important to make sure that the insurance you get is enough to cover your trip, your medical issues and your belongings.
There’s no point in buying an insurance package that offers $5,000 of baggage cover when everything in your bag amounts to $10,000. Or going with insurance that excludes cover for skiing when you’re planning to go skiing.
What’s essential for your trip? Here’s a quick example:
Ryan is going on holiday to Bali for a week. While there, he plans to go scuba diving with a group, and possibly go on a hiking tour.
He is mostly travelling light, and has determined that his baggage and items amount to around $800. In addition, he wants to take his iPad and camera.
He’s pretty healthy, but does have an allergy to seafood.
Ryan should ensure that:
- He obtains a travel insurance package that includes cover specifically for Bali and Indonesia.
- His travel insurance includes cover for scuba diving and hiking, and covers the specifics of each activity (e.g. diving to a certain depth).
- The travel insurance he chooses is able to provide cover for the cost of his baggage. He should also double-check whether the insurance will cover his iPad and camera.
- The costs for treating issues due to his pre-existing medical condition (seafood allergy) will be covered if he goes to see a doctor or is admitted to hospital.
- Cancellation cover is included in the insurance, which means that if he does end up having to cancel his trip, he can recoup the cost of cancelling his flight, hotel and tour bookings.
2. Don’t Ignore Your Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Do you have a pre-existing medical condition?
Each insurer will be different, so once you’ve narrowed down your list, you’ll need to ask if they can cover your specific condition. Don’t assume that your condition will automatically be included under ‘medical’ or ‘hospital’ travel insurance cover.
- Examples of pre-existing medical conditions include: Illnesses and diseases, heart conditions, pregnancy, allergies, that you’re currently being tested for or that you have recovered from in the past (e.g. cancer).
3. Scrutinise What’s Covered
You can only fully understand what you’re covered for by reading your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). We know it’s dull. But it’s the only way to ensure you’re getting what you need from your travel insurance.
When reading your PDS, pay specific attention to:
- Any medical conditions that could be excluded from cover.
- What baggage items or valuables are and aren’t covered in your policy.
- What sports and activities are covered, and under what conditions or circumstances.
- Types of behaviours or activities that could void your cover (e.g. not watching your bags).
- What you can claim in relation to delays, cancellation, theft/loss and medical treatments.
If there’s anything you don’t understand in your travel insurance PDS, make sure you ask the provider to clarify the issues before you buy.
4. Read the Brand Reviews
Finally, do a little research on your provider/s to find out how satisfied their customers really are.
- Travel insurance reviews can shed much light on how reliable a certain insurance provider is.
There will likely be negative feedback for most providers, so weigh up the amount of good comments vs. the bad.
Photo Credit: Amalfi, Campania, Italy