Hopefully the subject of travel insurance will be one of the dullest things that you get to talk about when planning and even reviewing the brilliant holiday that you have been building up to, but it is certainly important and without it, you are probably taking more of a risk than Evil Knievel trying to get across the Grand Canyon on a scooter.
Why you need travel insurance
Needing travel insurance is a bit like needing a parachute, if it isn’t there when you need it, the chances are you won’t be needing it again! Many travelers either just don’t get around to it or simply decide not to bother buying it, but without even basic cover you are running the risk of exposing yourself to a potentially huge medical bill and a sure way to ruin a good holiday if your luggage or wallet is lost or stolen. The cost of medical treatment is reason alone to make sure you get a travel insurance policy especially if you travel to more far reaching parts of the World where their interpretation of basic medical treatment and hospital standards often differ substantially from what you consider to be acceptable.
What type of cover?
We all have a different risk profile and whilst some of us will leap off a bridge on a bungee rope others won’t even set foot on the bridge in the first place, and that analogy can be applied to travel insurance as there very different levels of cover that can be obtained depending on what you want to cover and what you feel comfortable with. The best advice when it comes to arranging travel insurance is to shop around and don’t just take the policy offered to you by your travel broker. You may already have some cover through your household policy or even as part of your banking deal, so make sure that you don’t duplicate your cover, as the insurer will only pay out the once.
A good policy should cover you for cancelling or curtailing your holiday due to unforeseen circumstances or illness, will cover you if your property is lost or stolen and will make sure that you get proper medical treatment in an emergency situation whilst on holiday.
Get the magnifying glass out
Reading the small print is very boring and we are all so used to scrolling down on an internet form and ticking the box to say that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions when about 90% of us probably haven’t. This is one of those moments where you really should get out the magnifying glass and read the very small print that only insurers seem to use and check the list of exclusions and conditions. They could have put an exclusion to say you will not be covered if you are run over by an elephant but a giraffe is ok, let’s be honest most of us would only find that clause out in a real time situation!
Tell the truth
A travel insurance policy will only save you money and pay out a claim if you have told the insurer everything they should know before you travel. If you have a pre-existing medical condition for example, tell them even if for some reason they do not ask about it on the application form. Whilst having a heart condition would be a pretty important thing to tell an insurer, there are many examples of seemingly insignificant details that were not disclosed which were subsequently used as a way of not paying out a claim, so bore your insurer to death and tell them everything that you think is relevant, it could save a lot of time and money in the long run.
Gemma Hobbs is an avid blogger with extensive experience as a travel consultant. She far too often sees travelers get into trouble overseas because of lack of correct information. She enjoys sharing her insights on various blogs. Visit Expedia.com.au to find out more travel insurance information.
FatWallet Tip: Did you know we have a travel insurance company right here on FatWallet? Check out the Allianz Travel Insurance page on FatWallet for details.