Travel insurance is in the spotlight again after Bali's Mt Agung began erupting, albeit mildly, last week and insurers moved to define their cover for the event. (Incidentally, it was revealed some Australian companies were choosing not to provide cover for any volcano-related disruptions if policies were taken out after Tuesday, as it would no longer be an "unforseen event".)
But travellers should be ready to scrutinize insurance options regardless of the destination or forecasts. With a little help from Mozo.com.au, we’ve outlined some of the things you’ll need to know about insurance:
- Know the exclusions, which can include accidents when drunk, illegal activities, adventure sports, and pre-determined events (like volcanic eruptions).
- Double check pregnancy cover, as many policies impose strict limits or don’t offer cover for pregnancy at all.
- Heed age limits. This mostly affects older travellers, but if you have a birthday abroad, you might move into a different age bracket (and set of rules).
- Compare your options. Like you would for groceries, or indeed travel, shop around – having the right (or wrong) policy can make or break a holiday if misfortune strikes.
- Consider annual travel insurance. This isn’t just for the frequent traveller. Purchase annual cover and can usually recoup the extra expense in just two trips.
- Buy it early. The earlier you buy travel insurance, the earlier you’ll be covered. Simple.
- Retain all documentation of expenses relating to claims. And not just receipts, but things such as emails from airlines regarding cancellations etc.
- Talk to a travel agent. Not only do they know the products, they can save the time and hassle involved in shopping around, if you’re time poor.
Do you have any tips for shopping for or using travel insurance?