What do I need to know about travel insurance?


The “good news” is that travel insurance can alleviate the worry and pressure when something goes wrong, provided it’s happened outside of your control. (That means sleeping in and missing your flight because you couldn’t drag yourself out of bed early enough after a big night isn’t covered, but a crash that jams the motorway and stops you from getting to the airport on time would be).

Also, if you’re in an accident, or you suddenly become seriously ill when you’re overseas, we are just one call away. If needed, we can jump in and communicate directly with the hospital to confirm treatment, or with your hotel if bills are mounting up in the meantime.

However, there are some things to look out for in travel insurance policies, and things you should know upfront before you buy.

What you should know before you buy.

  1. If you think you might like to claim for a particular event or health of a close relative before you buy, then it’s likely your claim may be declined. Insurance is about protection for the unexpected, so as soon as it’s expected – it’s too late. That’s why we recommend you buy as soon as you book your trip, so you don’t get caught out.
  2. If you don’t tell us about all of your pre-existing medical conditions when you buy – we might not pay your claim. Full disclosure is really important!
  3. Understand what travel insurance covers you for. There is a list of “general exclusions” for every policy. This means that if any of those apply – even if you meet all of the criteria for the event you are claiming for, your claim may be declined. It is always worth checking these exclusions before you buy – and before you go on holiday. Here’s a link to our PDS with the complete list of exclusions, aka what we don’t cover.
  4. Ask yourself, what travel insurance do I need? The bigger the benefits on offer, chances are the bigger the price you need to pay.
  5. The “easy option” is often more expensive. A tick box to ‘add insurance’ when you purchase your flights often costs a lot more, because you get charged for the agent, airline and/or website’s fee to sell or promote that brand of insurance.
  6. The ‘limits’ for each section often have sub-limits as well. Which means for some particular items or events, you won’t be able to claim the full section limit, but you can claim for the relevant sub-limit.

So we recommend you “shop around” with the above in mind, but start with a list of what cover you think is reasonable for this holiday. Read “How to compare travel insurance” next for a few pointers.