Everything you need to know about travel insurance

You may be forgiven for being a little confused about what travel insurance does and doesn’t cover. You know that it’s important should you get sick or have your luggage stolen, but did you know that it can also cover your pet moggy or save you money on rental car hire fees?

The following are some little known tricks and tips you never knew about your travel insurance:

1. It covers Rover and Mittens!

Travel insurance can help to bail you out from a fair few predicaments, but did you know that it can also pay your pet-minding fees if you are delayed home? Say you are injured overseas whilst your four-legged friend patiently awaits you at a kennel back home. Travel insurance won’t just cover the costs of your medical bills while you recuperate – it will pay for any additional kennel or cattery fees. Additionally, if your fur-baby requires veterinary care while you’re away the cost will also be covered. Not all policies include this benefit so check the fine print before you buy.

2. It can save you a truckload in car hire fees

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Planning a road trip holiday? It’s a little known fact that travel insurance can save you a bundle in car hire insurance. Car rental services will charge you exorbitant daily fees to lower your excess (the amount you must pay if you damage the car). By comparison, travel insurance will cover your car excess for up to $6,000 (or more, depending on your policy). By comparison travel insurance rates are cheaper and will simultaneously cover you for medical expenses, lost luggage, cancellation and more. Now that’s a lot of bang for your buck!

3. The sooner you buy the better

Time is money and the saying definitely applies to travel insurance. When Bali’s Mt Ruang recently erupted thousands of travellers were grounded for days on end. Those who had bought a policy prior to the eruptions managed to have their expenses covered. However, those who hadn’t bought insurance yet found that it was no longer possible to get cover for the event. Buying insurance after the fact is like locking the gate after the horse has bolted – prevention is always better than cure.

4. You may (or may not) be covered for a missed flight

Missing your flight is not only a terrible feeling; it’s one of the most common confusions in the world of travel insurance. In a nutshell, if you’ve missed a flight due to an unforeseen event (i.e. an injury, illness, severe weather or a car accident on the way to the airport) you’d be covered. However, you wouldn’t be able to claim due to poor timing or not reading your flight time correctly. Additionally, mechanical faults, delays or overbooking on your flight should all be compensated for by your airline.

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5. Expensive items will have sub-limits

If, come departure date, you won’t be parted with your heirloom Cartier watch or your brand spanking new iPad then it’s a very good idea to have travel insurance. But be sure to have a good look at the sub-limits that apply to your high value items. Sub-limits refer to the maximum you can claim on any one item. So if you can only claim a maximum of $750 for any one item, you may want to rethink taking that expensive item along. Be mindful that if your luggage is left unattended, it would not be covered either.

6. Pre-existing illnesses must be declared

When applying for travel cover it’s essential to be honest and up-front about your medical history. Not disclosing any relevant pre-existing conditions can potentially void your policy. Some insurers will ask for your medical history from the past ten years and others, for the past six months. Don’t let this news stop you cruising the Caribbean. If you’re denied cover for your current condition you’ll still be covered for all unrelated medical emergencies.

7. Comparing policies can save you a motza

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There’s a surplus of ways to find travel insurance for your next trip, but undoubtedly, cutting out the middle man is best. Buying travel insurance directly through a comparison site not only removes any unnecessary agent’s fees, it put you in the control seat and lets you choose the right policy for your needs and budget.

Ready to see those magical attractions you’ve always dreamt about and take some much needed ‘me-time’? Now that you’re in the know all that’s left to do is select the right insurance. Knowing you’re covered for will ensure you can enjoy your holiday – stress free.

Do you always buy insurance when you travel? Where will your next holiday be?