With the number of Australians travelling overseas increasing each year, it is more important than ever to have the right travel insurance for your trip.
Many travellers forget that the unexpected can happen – even in a familiar location – and that without travel insurance they will be personally liable for all costs in the event of an unexpected medical emergency, loss or theft.
Australian health cover won’t cover you while you are overseas. Out of pocket expenses like hospital fees, alternative accommodation or travel arrangements, or even a medical evacuation in the worst situation, could require upfront payment and run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In a recent case, a traveller visiting their home country fell and was badly injured. They required a medical evacuation to Australia for treatment. Luckily their travel insurance covered the expenses, or their family would have had to pay up to $50,000 in costs.
To avoid this heartache and financial pain, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises travellers to always be informed and prepared for the unexpected, whether travelling to a new destination or the familiarity of ’home.’
When buying travel insurance, it’s important to look carefully at the inclusions and limitations, as the level of cover can differ amongst providers. Pre-existing medical conditions need to be disclosed and there may be general exclusions which void the insurance, perhaps if you sustain injury during activities considered high risk or illegal by the insurer.
Travellers who are relying on the travel insurance offered by their credit card should carefully check the minimum spend required and other conditions of the insurance cover.
To save money and buy the right travel insurance for you, use some of the following tips:
- Shop around and compare travel insurance providers.
- Consider buying online – some policies offer online discounts.
- Look at a multi-trip package if you travel overseas several times a year
- Buy your policy early – you only pay for the period you are travelling, but you will be covered from the moment you buy your policy. This means you’ll be covered for any events that may impact your trip before you travel.
- Take advantage of health insurance member discounts. Some funds offer between 10-15% discount to members.
- Check all the terms and conditions carefully to save you in the long run if you do need to make a claim.
For or all travellers, the message is clear – if you can afford to travel overseas, you can afford travel insurance. And it’s worth it when you consider how much it can save you and your family, if the unexpected happens.
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