This article was provided by travelonline.com.
Having travel insurance has never been more important. Between recent political unrest and a spate of natural disasters, it’s now more important than ever to ensure that you’re adequately covered when you travel overseas. Some travellers might feel that travel insurance is a waste of money – but it’s definitely not. On the unfortunate occasion that you need it – it could literally save your life.
“Taking travel insurance is as important as taking underwear”
Many travellers believe their credit card provides ‘free’ travel insurance that automatically covers them but this may not actually be the case. Although some credit cards do offer travel insurance, what is covered will vary from provider to provider and some covers can be very basic. Often there are also some pretty tricky hoops to jump through and if you don’t complete each and every step just so, you run the risk of a claim being denied.
There are many ways that credit card companies can control your coverage under the included insurance policy. This can mean you are required you to pay for a specific amount, or even all, of your travel costs with the credit card. You may find that you are not covered for pre-existing medical conditions and may not be covered for taking part in certain activities such as adventure sports and skiing. Effectively, this means you may need to take out an additional travel insurance policy if you want to be covered for these things.
It’s always important to be aware of any limitations in the travel insurance cover you have and to read the terms and conditions carefully.
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) recommends that: “If you are relying on travel insurance that is part of your credit card benefits, it is crucial that before you book your travel you obtain a copy of the policy wording from your bank or credit provider, read the policy wording carefully to ensure that it meets your personal needs or situation, understand what you need to do to ensure that cover has been activated and is in place and check to see whether existing medical conditions can be covered.”
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) recommends that:
“If you are relying on travel insurance that is part of your credit card benefits, it is crucial that before you book your travel you obtain a copy of the policy wording from your bank or credit provider, read the policy wording carefully to ensure that it meets your personal needs or situation, understand what you need to do to ensure that cover has been activated and is in place and check to see whether existing medical conditions can be covered.”
It’s extremely important to understand the nature of your credit card’s travel insurance as well as the way it operates.
10 Things You Need to Know About Travel Insurance
- No matter where you intend to travel, travel insurance is as vital as your passport and underwear!
- You should ensure that your insurance policy covers ALL expenses in the event of illness or injury, theft, baggage damage and flight path interruptions.
- Any expenses of a medical nature that are incurred while abroad will not be covered by the Australian Government. No matter how high the cost, these expenses will be your financial responsibility if you are not covered by travel insurance.
- Always purchase full coverage insurance. You might think you’ll save a few dollars by skimping on your policy but the risk is far too great and the benefits far outweigh the cost. If you’re looking for a good deal, shop around for the right policy to suit your individual travel plans and personal circumstances.
- Make sure you understand your policy and everything it does and doesn’t cover. Thoroughly read the Product Disclosure Statement and ask any questions you may have. Your insurance policy should cover participation in any special activities you have planned, such as skiing. Be sure you are covered for the entire duration of your holiday.
- Honesty is the best policy. Be sure to provide documentation for any pre-existing medical conditions. Full disclosure will mean no nasty surprises in the event you need to make a claim. Pay special attention to any exclusions in your policy, it’s important to be aware of if and how your cover may be affected.
- Consider your lifestyle. Not all travel insurance policies will cover injuries or accidents that occur while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- If you are unsure about anything or have any issues regarding your policy, always clarify directly with your insurer.
- Even if the Australian Government issues a travel advisory warning for your particular destination, you are not automatically guaranteed a refund. Refunds are subject to the terms and conditions outlined in your particular policy.
- If you can’t afford travel insurance then you can’t afford to travel!
This article was provided by travelonline.com and represents the opinions of travelonline.com. The article is general information only and should not be considered personal advice.