Australians are a lively bunch and when we get some free time and money, we simply can’t pass up an opportunity to travel. More than 9.7 million Australians travelled overseas in the 2015/2016 financial year, up from 9.3 million the previous year, with more than a quarter of short term resident departures being by travellers 55 years old and above.
With an increase in travel comes the need to stay safe while on holiday and find the right travel insurance policy. And while Australian’s appreciate the importance of organising travel insurance, not all are aware of exactly how the policies work.
According to a study by 1Cover Travel Insurance, 46 per cent of all travellers believe their insurance policy only begins once their holiday starts.
“Waiting to book travel insurance until just before you depart is an easy mistake made by many,” says 1Cover chief operating officer, Richard Warburton.
Read more: What to do if you need medical attention overseas
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“But it’s one that can end up costing thousands if plans go awry in the lead up to the trip. As soon as you’ve locked in the travel dates, you should be booking travel insurance. There’s no extra cost for booking early, yet you’re covered for so much more than just that period of time you are on holidays.”
Cruise lover and regular traveller, Kim Thompson, says she too wasn’t aware that travel insurance was valid before the commencement of a holiday, but would consider arranging it earlier if it mean she was covered.
“I would [arrange insurance] earlier but I really need to understand what it is covering,” she says.
“I find with [many] insurance [companies] there is always something that still is not covered.”
Thompson suggests being clear with the insurer about what’s included and excluded from an insurance policy before making a purchase.
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“I have had an experience where I did want to cancel due to a travel companion’s relative dying and cancelling still would not be covered. I have come to conclusion that you never know if they will cover you until you claim.”
Handy tips for finding the right travel insurance:
- Do your research and get in touch with a variety of travel insurance companies to see what they offer and whether it is right for you.
- Ask questions. If you’re worried about something in particular, be sure to ask the insurance company directly to see if you would be covered in such an event.
- Book early. The earlier you begin searching for travel insurance, the earlier you’ll be covered if you need to make a claim.
- Read your policy properly and make sure you understand exactly what you’re covered for before you sign on the dotted line.
- Go with a company you trust and is right for you and your personal needs and circumstances.
- Ask about what the exclusions are, too, just to be sure you’re aware of exactly what you are and are not covered for.
How do you find the best travel insurance policy for you? Let us know in the comments section below.