To help you decide on the cover that's right for you, we've compiled a quick guide to travel insurance - including answers to a few commonly asked questions and some policy features to look out for.
So when researching your provider, bear in mind that the actual policy benefits vary considerably between companies, and there are several different types of cover within most policies. The best place to start is the Policy Wording.
This is THE reason to take out travel insurance. Medical costs when travelling can be enormous. In the USA, for example, you could be looking at $10,000 per day, while medical evacuations to New Zealand can easily exceed $100,000.
Some policies will cover cancellation costs if you can't travel for some unforeseen reason—such as the serious illness of a close relative.
The important thing to remember here is to buy the policy when you start booking tickets, and not the week before you leave—otherwise you may not qualify if needing to make a claim.
There are a few things to remember with cover for baggage loss or damage. Firstly, there are usually individual item limits (or how many of certain items, like watches or perfumes) that you can claim for.
There are also exclusions associated with 'reasonable care'—which means a claim will be denied if baggage is left unsupervised in a public place and subsequently stolen.
Important also is that proof of ownership will usually be required with baggage claims, so you may wish to document the things you’re travelling with before departure.
If you cause an accident and are found to be legally liable when overseas and injure someone, insurance can cover your liability and legal expenses, but most providers won't pay legal expenses if you have a car accident.
If you have an accident in a rental car, a policy excess is usually payable to the car hire company. Some travel insurance companies, like ours, can reimburse these costs.
On occasion, delays can run into days of waiting around, which can quickly become expensive. The conditions and benefits vary between policies, so always read the PDS carefully.
Generally speaking, if you buy a travel insurance policy for three months and come home after two weeks, you probably aren't entitled to a refund on the unused portion. Important to note however is that some policies do allow for 'special circumstances'.
With policies like these, for example, if you had to return home due to a death in your immediate family, then not only could you claim for some of the associated travel costs, but you can also resume your journey with your travel insurance policy in place.
The conditions and benefits vary between policies, so always read the PDS carefully.
Regardless of who you decide to go with, it’s important to pay close attention to the policy ‘exclusions’ (everyone has them, they’re the things you can’t be covered for under the terms of a particular policy). And if you have any questions, ask.