The Big Travel Insurance Mistakes
Along with organizing flights, accommodation and visas, purchasing travel insurance is one of the items on the must-do list before venturing overseas. Without travel insurance, emergencies overseas from needing to go to hospital to having to cancel your travel plans can become hugely expensive. But there’s a lot of variety when it comes to travel insurance policies and not all of them are going to be the right one for you. This can easily lead you to Travel Insurance Mistakes.
“Traveller’s have to consider a number of aspects when they’re purchasing travel insurance,” said Mr Dean Van Es, the CEO of Fast Cover. “Being clear about what you need cover for, from valuable electronics to particular adventure activities or medical conditions, will help you quickly identify which policies will provide the cover you need.”
There are a few common Travel Insurance Mistakes made when it comes to getting travel insurance so keep in mind these travel tips before your next vacation.
Find a travel insurance plan that fits your needs as soon as you can. The cover provided for cancellations begins from the moment your policy is issued. No one expects to have an accident, become sick or for their relative to fall ill before they go travelling. Unfortunately, these things do happen and can leave people hundreds or thousands out of pocket on lost deposits. One of Fast Cover’s highest pay-outs in the past year was for a couple who had to cancel their cruise after one person broke their foot before departing. Without travel insurance, they would have lost close to $20,000.
Buying travel insurance once you have paid for flights, accommodation, a cruise or your tour will mean that if something goes wrong before your trip, you can make a claim and potentially be reimbursed. So, overall, while planning a trip, it is best not to put off purchasing insurance until the last minute!
“Forgetting” a pre-existing condition
If you are on medication, have been recently hospitalized or have required surgery, then you have a pre-existing medical condition. Some insurers provide cover automatically for a range of medical conditions. For example, Fast Cover automatically provides cover for 43 medical conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have a pre-existing medical condition you want to be covered for before traveling, check with your insurer if they provide cover for that condition. If they don’t and something happens related to that pre-existing medical condition while on vacation, you’ll be responsible for the costs of any medical expenses.
Thinking you’ll be covered for activities
Another common Travel Insurance Mistakes to avoid revolves around the activities planned during your destination visit. Like pre-existing medical conditions, not all activities are automatically covered. That means if you’re going to be bungee jumping, skydiving, scuba diving, tobogganing or doing other activities while traveling, you should make sure your insurer provides cover for it. Regardless of how experienced you are at any activity, there is always the chance of making an error and injuring yourself. If that happens, knowing you have cover can bring a lot of comfort!
Thinking your valuables are covered
Many insurers offer cover for luggage in their policies, but there may be sub-limits that apply to particularly valuable items. That includes laptops, phones and tablets. For example, if you’re traveling with expensive camera equipment, you might want to double check that each piece of equipment will be covered by your travel insurance in case it is lost or stolen.
Thinking you’re covered while drinking
Another form of travel safety tip revolves around enjoying alcoholic beverages. While having a drink overseas is all part of travelling, you’ll be hard pressed to find an insurer that’ll provide any cover for you while you’re intoxicated. Travel insurers generally won’t provide cover for you if you become sick or injured while acting irresponsibly, which includes if you’re drunk or are under the influence of illegal drugs.
Deciding not to travel and wanting a refund
Unfortunately, vacation planning doesn’t always go as smoothly as we would like. For example, just because ‘cancellation cover’ is included in your policy doesn’t necessarily mean you can cancel your policy at any time and get a refund. Unless your policy allows you to cancel at any time, it is unlikely you’ll get a refund if you decide not to travel. Only if something prevents you from travelling, such as becoming sick or injured, will you be likely to make a successful claim on lost deposits.
Going for the cheapest policy
No one wants to spend more than they have to on travel insurance, but don’t be tempted by the lowest price tag until you’ve looked into the policy benefits! Take our travel advice and note that the cheapest policy might not provide the cover that suits your needs, so spend some time comparing policy benefits before you made a decision based on price.
Thinking you don’t need insurance at all
Many people still choose to travel without travel insurance. But even if you’re young and have never been severely sick or injured, you can run into difficulties overseas. You can also experience an emergency if you plan to simply relax on a beach overseas for a while. You really can’t predict everything that will happen when you travel. For instance, the Australian Government won’t pay for your medical expenses or medical evacuation while you’re overseas. They also won’t assist if your luggage is lost or you have to unexpectedly cancel the trip you’ve put significant amounts of money towards. With travel insurance you can be confident you have a policy that provides cover and that if you need assistance, there’ll be professionals available 24/7.
Avoiding these travel insurance mistakes will help you find the policy which will provide you with the best cover for your trip. Knowing you have the right policy will not only mean avoiding a bad surprise should you have a claim denied, it will also give you the confidence of knowing what your policy provides cover for during your next vacation.
This article was written by John Golicz, Executive Editor of 1000TravelTips.com in collaboration with Fast Cover.
Fast Cover is an Australian travel insurance company that has been providing cover to Australians of any age since 2010. Their aim is to make getting travel insurance simpler. The company has experienced rapid growth due primarily to the philosophy of making travel insurance easy to understand, quick to get and of the quality travellers deserve.
John Golicz, Executive Editor, 1000TravelTips.com in collaboration with Fast Cover | December 22, 2015
Although travel insurance sounds quite straightforward, I fell afoul of mine recently when I tried to go on holiday – and misplaced my passport. Point is, a policy won’t cover your own forgetfulness either.April 18, 2016