Travel insurance for short trips can cost less than dinner at a restaurant, while longer overseas trips can cost not a lot more than that (depending on how many people you cover). That’s outstanding value when you consider that:
One of the best things about travelling is participating in activities you wouldn’t normally try at home, like riding a horse on the beach in Spain or cycling around San Francisco Bay. While standard travel insurance doesn’t cover every activity, you can get cover for things like skiing, bungy jumping, hiking and more as add-ons or optional extras (although sometimes adventure sports cost an additional premium to cover).
Say your passport is stolen and you miss your flight to Bali or bad weather forces you to stay another night. Travel insurance can cover the cost of alternate transport or unforeseen accommodation expenses to ensure you don’t miss out on your big plans!
Many of us have heard nightmare stories about travellers heading overseas without insurance, getting injured or sick and then being forced to pay thousands of dollars for medical treatment.
It bears repeating: if the country you’re travelling to doesn’t have a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with ours (where Australians can access subsidised treatment overseas similar to Medicare), international travel insurance with overseas medical cover could be worth looking into. Even if you travel to an RHCA country, considering travel insurance might still be a good idea as RHCAs often have minimal cover.
It’s worth noting that domestic travel insurance doesn’t cover medical expenses; if you’re travelling around Australia, your medical bills will be covered by Medicare or your private health insurance.
While your items may be difficult to recover if stolen or lost, your insurance policy could replace these or pay out the value of your belongings in cash. Your travel documents should always be kept safe but, should you lose your passport, student travel insurance may help you recoup the additional expenses for this loss.
Please note that the extent of your coverage and eligibility for claims will vary from policy to policy. Always read the full details for your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for any policy wording you may be unclear on and to find out exactly what you’re covered for.
Travel insurance can’t cover everything, so it’s important to read your policy’s PDS to understand its exclusions. Specific exclusions may vary between policies and insurers, but here are a few common ones to look out for:
That way, if you must cancel your flights at the very last minute (e.g. if you get sick), you could recover some of your money (if your policy includes this kind of cover). By comparison, you won’t be covered for such an incident if you take out travel insurance after your circumstances change and you’re unable to travel.
If you’re gearing up to party on your big trip overseas, you need to check the legal drinking age of the country you’ll be visiting. For instance, we probably all know that the drinking age in the USA is 21, but what’s the drinking age in Thailand, Germany or Japan, for example? The Australian Government is limited in what they can do to help you out of legal trouble, so it’s important to know what the international drinking ages are, just in case.
Also, if you have consumed an intoxicating substance such as alcohol and something goes wrong, this could void your travel insurance.
If you’re organising a trip for a group of students who are perhaps on a gap year or student exchange, they will all likely need the same level of cover. Luckily, you can take out group travel insurance that will cover the entire party of travellers (exclusions permitting).
So, why do this?
The cost for travel insurance varies based on how much coverage you want, and most travel insurers offer various cover options to choose from. This allows you to match your cover to the type of holiday you are on.
For example, if you want to do some more risky activities like skiing or snorkelling, you may have to pay a little extra for your policy. Your age, where you’re travelling to, how long you are staying, when you’re travelling and whether you need cover for pre-existing medical conditions influence the policy price. So, if you could find a better price by comparing different insurers against each other, why not give it a try?