Are all your destinations covered?
Make sure all the countries you’ll be visiting are included in your policy, even if it’s just a stopover on the way. That means if you’re off to Europe but stopping off in Hong Kong on the way, you’ll need a policy that covers both.
Declare pre-existing medical conditions and make sure you’re covered
Travel insurance is there to cover unexpected medical events – it’s not for existing conditions. Therefore it’s vital that you check that you’re covered for any pre-existing conditions. If you do have a pre-existing condition that isn’t covered, contact your insurer.
Check you’ve got enough cover for personal belongings
Travel insurance generally has specified limits for personal belongings and luggage, so if you’re taking anything valuable (whether it be a laptop, camera or jewellery), consider getting additional cover to ensure you’re properly covered.
Feeling adventurous? Check you’re covered!
Seeing the sights is one thing; base jumping is another. Depending on what you’re planning on doing, you may not be covered by your insurance policy, so make sure you check it out before making your decision.
Even if you’re not planning anything as extreme as skiing off-piste in the Swiss Alps, it’s important you find out what’s covered and what isn’t anyway. For example, you could potentially be excluded simply by getting on the back of a motorbike.
Know what’s excluded
Travel insurance isn’t a catch-all for covering you in any situation or event – adventure activities in the last point are just one example. It’s important you read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) thoroughly and find out about any explicit exclusions the policy has – these will be listed in the PDS.
Are you covered for cancellation?
Unfortunately life sometimes gets in the way of the best-laid travel plans. If that happens, you may have to postpone or cancel your trip. That’s why it’s important you make sure you’ve got cancellation cover included in your insurance. This should cover you for cancelled flights, accommodation, car hire and tour bookings. Check your policy to find out the maximum amount you can claim.
Know what your excess is
The excess on your policy is the amount you’ll contribute to an insurance claim, with the insurer making up the rest. Let’s say you need medical attention after breaking your leg and the hospital bill comes to $5,000. If your excess is $500, you’ll be required to pay $500, with your insurer paying the remaining $4,500.
With some insurance policies you’re able to lower the excess on the policy; however the flipside of this is the premium you’ll pay for the policy tends to increase. Likewise, if you opt for a higher excess, your premium will generally decrease. This might seem ideal, however if you opt for a lower premium, you’ll need to be able to cover the excess at short notice should you need to.
Know how to contact your insurer
Finally, there’s far more to travel insurance than just a financial safety net. It’s important you know how to contact your insurer at any time. Make sure you have your insurer’s 24-hour emergency assistance number on you at all times – put it into your phone and also write it down and put it in your wallet.