Buying International travel insurance and domestic travel insurance can often be a last-minute add-on. But to save you from medical issues or trip cancellation, make sure you know some key things about your travel insurance.
Getting a good policy that will cover you for the type of holiday you want should be common sense, but there are pitfalls that you should keep in mind.
While we try to make it easy, there are some basic things you should keep in mind when buying a policy and when claiming. Research is your friend in choosing travel insurance, it can be an expensive undertaking if you aren’t covered correctly.
- There are situations where no insurer will cover you, for example if you’re behaviour is illegal or dangerous.
- You must obey the rules of the country you are in to be covered by your insurance.
- If you have an accident on a motorbike or motor-scooter in Bali and do not hold a valid International rider’s license (even if you hold a valid Australian rider’s license) you will not be covered.
- If you weren’t wearing a helmet and had an accident, or do not have a current Australian motorcycle license (or one valid for the country you are travelling in), allowing you to drive the same cc powered bike, then there is a good chance you aren’t covered
- If you are under the influence of alcohol when you are injured, you may not be covered
- If you book your trip after the Australian Government have issued a do not travel warning on smartraveller.gov.au you will not be covered by insurance purchased after the warning is issued
- Mental Health conditions are not often covered (check your policy)
- High-risk sports, sky diving, skiing etc are not covered unless specified in your policy
- Travel insurance will not cover you if you are travelling for medical tourism (ie: breast implants or dental work in a foreign country)
- Not all cancellation policies cover cancellation after your trip has started
- You must declare any medication or surgery you have taken in the last 12 months even if it seems irrelevant, or you could be declined for not declaring your illness
- Most travel insurance is paid when you return from your trip, complete the paperwork and you must carry the cost until you are reimbursed.
- Pregnancy is rarely covered up to 32 weeks (some policies stop at 23 weeks), but the baby is not covered under the policy
- Make sure you check your excess! Is the excess per person or per policy?
- Most policies do not cover acts of terror, acts of God or natural disasters. (what does yours cover?)
- Some policies can include search and rescue
- Not all policies cover riding in local transport like a tuk-tuk
- Watch out for single item cover limits, if you are taking a Rolex with you it may not be covered!
- If you are driving, do you have personal liability coverage
- Travel agent or provider insolvency is often not covered
- Check your limited and sub-limits on items before you book your policy
- Doctors on Cruise ships may not be covered by Medicare, even in Australian waters – check with your cruise provider
- If something is stolen, you need an official police report from the Country in which the incident took place
Make sure you ask your insurer the questions before you buy the policy, find the answers in the PDS or get them in writing from the insurer. Travel knowing what you are covered for and what you are not, that helmet hire is not negotiable, are you covered for the parasailing adventure or if you get hurt hiking are you covered for a search and rescue? Ask before you buy.