Before you even embark on your trip, it’s crucial you understand exactly what your policy covers and the limits, sub-limits and exclusions of that policy.
Your excess is the amount of money you pay towards an incident that you’re claiming for. You may be able to choose your excess amount, but keep in mind that lowering your excess will likely increase your premium.
Depending on your policy and level of cover, you may be covered for lost, stolen or damaged belongings up to specific limits listed in your PDS. However, you may need to provide proof of ownership for your claim to be accepted.
Consider taking photos of your belongings before departing on your travels if you don’t have the relevant documentation (e.g. receipts or bank statements) that prove ownership. If you’re taking valuables, consider choosing a policy with higher limits and sub-limits for lost or stolen items.
According to the ATO, travel insurance is not a deductible expense.1 Travel insurance is considered a private expense, even when travelling on business, so you cannot claim any money spent on travel insurance on your taxes.
Beyond following the steps above, you can make your claim as smooth as possible by:
Insurance claims usually go smoothly, but if you feel your claim has been wrongfully denied or not paid in full, you can contact your insurer’s complaints department to try settling the dispute. If that doesn’t work, get in touch with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) to lodge a complaint.
If you’re wondering when to claim on travel insurance, it’s best to claim as soon as possible. However, some insurers may allow you up to 30 or 60 days from the completion of your trip to claim. Check your PDS to find out when you need to lodge your claim.
It may vary from insurer to insurer, but you can generally expect your travel insurance claim to be processed in 10-14 business days. However, it may take longer if your insurer doesn’t have enough information to complete your claim. In this case, they’ll typically contact you for the missing details.
Any payment on your travel insurance claim is likely to be paid in Australian dollars and may not come through to your account immediately. Check with your insurer to see if they can give you an estimate of when your claim will be paid.
Your coverage will differ depending on your insurer and level of cover, but travel insurance policies usually cover things like:
Your insurer may also offer optional extras like cruise, ski or adventure sports cover, since these things aren’t typically included in travel insurance. These extras will cover those activities that aren’t included in your standard travel insurance policy.
As we mentioned above, it’s essential you thoroughly read your PDS so you understand what you’re covered for and what claims processes you need to follow.
While you hope that everything will go smoothly on your trip, sometimes things go wrong when we least expect it. Not only that, but medical bills can be expensive in some parts of the world, as is replacing phones, cameras and other pricey items if they’re stolen or lost. But with a suitable travel insurance policy, you may be covered for all this and more.
1 Australian Taxation Office, Australian Government. Common expense T-W. Last updated May 2022. Accessed February 2023.