Cool Travel Zone

What to Look for in a Travel Insurance Policy

By Harry Jameson

Many of us know that we should take out travel insurance to cover us while we are away on trips – regardless of whether these trips are for business or pleasure. With a variety of policies available and at different prices, it can be confusing to compare cheap travel insurance with pricier options. While we are often told to just ‘read the fine print’ this too can be daunting and can fail to provide us with a clear understanding of what is and is not covered.

However, there are a number of features that we should always look for in travel insurance cover. Of course, these things can be covered to varying degrees, but these components should be present in all travel insurance cover:

Hospital and Medical Expenses
It is absolutely essential that you cover yourself for hospital and/or medical bills that may be incurred whilst on your travels outside of Australia. Hospital care in overseas countries can be far more expensive than you think and it is not uncommon for a medical evacuation back to Australia to be priced in excess of $100,000.

If you experience a serious illness, injury or accident while travelling you will want insurance cover to meet the costs of your trip home on a commercial aircraft or, should it be necessary, a private medical evacuation aircraft.

In your insurance policy check for

  • High limits for hospital and medical cover
  • Emergency evacuation
  • A relative or friend being able to travel with you if you are ill or injured and travelling alone
  • Emergency dental work cover
  • Cover for pre-existing medical conditions or pregnancy
  • 24/7 Medical emergency service

As well as carefully reading all of the fine print, be aware that hospital and medical cover ceases when you are back in Australia.

Possibly the most common travel insurance claim, lost or damaged luggage and personal effects is incredibly inconvenient and is often the result of theft from baggage carousels that are not supervised.

Be aware that there may be a limit on the amount that can be claimed for some expensive items and within your policy, check to see whether:

  • There are limits on individual items
  • Cover applies if luggage is stolen from your hotel room
  • You are covered if cash is stolen

Cancellations or curtailment:

Check to see whether your policy covers you for financial loss in the event that your trip is cancelled or reduced in time for a range of different reasons – particularly if something were to go wrong in your personal life (e.g. a serious illness or accident involving yourself or a close relative), which results in you not being able to travel.

Personal Liability
Some travel insurance policies will cover your legal expenses and liability if you cause an accident and injure someone in the course of your travels. However, most travel insurance does not cover legal expenses arising from you driving a car and causing an accident.

Rental Cars
In the event that you hire a car while overseas and have an accident, a policy excess is usually payable to the rental car company. This excess can be covered by your travel insurance in some cases, which is a lot cheaper than paying for the car rental company’s own insurance.

It would be foolish to think that flight delays do not occur and oftentimes, we operate on tight schedules with very limited lay over time. If you miss a flight you may be faced with expenses of: hotels, transfers and shuttle costs and so it is sensible to have travel insurance that covers you for the unexpected costs should your connections be missed.

Different policies offer quite different protection related to delays so be sure to read the policy wording carefully.

Resumption of Journey
By and large, most travel insurance policies cease as soon as you are home from your travels. Having said this, some policies exist that account for special circumstances and thereby allow you to return home because a relative is sick or there has been a death in the family. Such policies allow you to claim for some of the costs incurred and resume your journey.

As with all insurance policies, the fine print pertaining to travel insurance policies needs to be carefully read so that limitations are known and understood. With so many travel insurance products available, there is a policy to meet the needs and budget of all.

Global Travel Insurance


By Harry JamesonBy the way, do you want to learn more about travel? If so, I suggest you check travel insurance and cheap travel insurance.

Source: Cool Travel ZoneYour Source For Great Vacation, Travel and Cruise Articles!

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