When you’re a student, squeezing every cent you have is crucial…especially when saving up for something as significant as an overseas holiday. So, you can imagine the reaction any student would have when booking a holiday who’s asked to fork over more of their hard-earned money on travel cover.

Booking travel insurance when you’re a student is surprisingly important, however. Many things can go wrong on your trip, and paying a little bit now may ensure you have money when you return from your trip.

Why get covered?

If you’re concerned that travel insurers ‘don’t pay’, keep in mind that roughly 90% of travel insurance claims were paid out in 2012-2013 – of more than 200,000 claims. Unpaid claims were usually denied because the insured person didn’t understand their policy.1

Here are a few scenarios for you to consider that’ll change your mind about travel cover.

  1. Coverage for the activities you want to do. One of the best things about travelling is taking part in activities you wouldn’t normally consider at home, like riding a horse on the beach in Spain, or cycling around San Francisco Bay. While you travel insurance certainly won’t cover every activity, there are policies that cover skiing, bungee jumping, hiking in exotic locales, and more. Just make sure you check your product disclosure statement to see exactly what you’re covered for.
  2. Money back if you miss a reservation / owe cancellation fees. Say your bus breaks down on the way to the airport, and you miss your flight to Spain. On a holiday with a packed itinerary (e.g. Contiki tours), this can be an enormous hassle, especially when you spent so long saving for the trip! But your travel insurance policy may be able to refund some of your money if you end up owing cancellation fees.
  3. Your medical bills paid. 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 does not have a reciprocal healthcare agreement with ours (i.e. where Aussies can access subsidised treatment), we strongly urge you to get travel insurance.
  4. Being returned home in an emergency. In a really bad situation, you may need to be transported home. The cost to do this could be enormous if you don’t have travel insurance.
  5. Lost luggage expenses & theft protection. Say your bags are stolen from your room in the hostel. – don’t panic! While that stuff may be difficult to recover, your insurance policy could pay out the value of your belongings in cash. You are obligated to let the local police know what happened in order for your insurance claim to be considered, so make sure you report the crime.

Please note: the extent of your coverage will vary from policy to policy.

When should you get covered?

Get travel insurance before you leave on your trip. That way, if you have to cancel your flights at the very last minute (e.g. if you get sick), you could recover some of your money.

How much does cover cost?

Travel insurance doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. The cost varies based on how much coverage you want. 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 policy cost will also vary based on your age, physical status, where you’re travelling, etc. You could find a better price by comparing different providers against one another.

We’ve also written guides for anyone else needing travel insurance (e.g. families, adventurers, etc.)

Sources

  1. http://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/all-travellers/insurance/pages/choice-travel-insurance-cheat-sheet.aspx