Compare Travel Insurance before you Book

By Emma Merkas on 14/Oct/2013
It’s a no-brainer, if you’re traveling overseas you absolutely need travel insurance to cover you for any accidents, hospitals stays or medical expenses that may occur… or even if it’s not all quite so extreme and you just lose your smartphone or the airlines misplace your luggage, travel insurance comes in handy to replace your missing items.

But not all policies are created equal. Here are some key things to look out for when you’re running a travel insurance comparison for your next holiday, to make sure you get the best possible policy for you.

1. Buy Travel Insurance Direct

It’s no big secret that insurance companies pay travel agents big commissions to sell their policies – but it’s still shocking to learn that in some cases, that commission is up over the 50% mark!

To avoid paying unnecessary mark ups, buy your travel insurance direct from the insurer and consider buying it online to get the absolute best price.

2. Read the PDS thoroughly

Even if you’re going through a travel insurance comparison website, make sure you read the full PDS for all the policies you’re considering. While the comparison sites will let you know how much you’re covered for in the case of hospital stays and what excess you’ll be stung for, they won’t go into full details about what is and isn’t included in each policy.

It’s not exactly light reading, but it’s important to be vigilant and to go deeper into what the travel insurance comparison websites are telling you.

3. What aren’t you covered for?

Just as important as what you are covered for in your policy is what you won’t be covered for.

Planning a holiday to Queenstown, New Zealand? You need to make sure your travel insurance policy covers bungee jumping and skiing/snowboarding. Arranging a moped ride through Vietnam? Make sure you’re covered for motorbike hire in foreign countries. Partying it up at the Full Moon party? Beware of policies that don’t cover you if alcohol is a factor in your accident or condition.

These things may mean you can’t get your travel insurance cheap, you’ll need to pay a little more on your premium and excess and maybe even keep to special conditions (like having a motorbike license and protective gear before you jump on a bike) but at least you’ll be aware of it before you begin your holiday. Be honest up front with your insurance company to avoid any nasty surprises later.

4. Acts of God, Natural Disasters, War and Terrorism

All terrifying prospects and all things commonly not covered by travel insurance agencies. Furthermore, if you’re heading to parts of the world that the Australian Government has travel warnings out for, you’re probably not covered for that either. You can check travel warnings at SmartTraveller.gov.au

Be vigilant, and if you’re headed to a country known for its earthquakes or volcanoes, be sure to go through each insurer's policies to see which has the least exclusions if any of the above worries you.

5. Use Travel Insurance Comparision sites and read Reviews

Do as much research as possible through online travel insurance reviews and travel insurance comparison sites. Don’t always go for the cheapest policy, they may not cover you for anything - like Travel Insurance Direct who have great rates but cover basically nothing fun, so you’d just have to sit in your hotel room sober the whole time. In a helmet. Covered in bubble wrap.

Most importantly, be sure your travel insurance policy matches the holiday you’re going on – so you can actually relax and have fun while you’re away and know someone has your back.
By Emma Merkas on 14/Oct/2013
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Tagged as: Travel Insurance, compare travel insurance, save money