Travel Insurance - What You Need To Know

With so many options now available online, purchasing travel insurance can be a daunting experience. Here are some helpful tips to remember when buying your travel insurance.

The number of travel insurance providers has exploded since the early 2000’s.   In the days before travel became on online experience we all tended to buy our travel insurance through the high street travel agent.

This was simple and seemed logical at the time.  What most consumers now know is that the travel agent takes a commission on the insurance policy that they provided when booking your trip.  Depending on the travel agent that commission could be as high as 40-50% of the premium.

With the introduction of the internet came the online travel insurance provider. This has provided the travel consumer with a huge amount of choice for their travel insurance needs. There is no doubt that today’s traveller receives cheaper travel insurance relative to the pre-internet days.  The danger is that the reason the travel insurance is so cheap is because the cover provided is very basic.

The risk of departing overseas with the wrong travel insurance can be a big mistake! It happens all too easily to online consumers who were lured by the cheap price found via a google or an insurance comparison website.  Many travel insurance providers are now in the habit of providing cheap insurance options as a bait to get customers to click through their website. These cheap insurance options only cover the very basic travel activities and will often exclude activities such as surfing, skiing, snowboarding, cycling, kayaking, rafting, scuba diving and more.  All the fun stuff we like to do when we’re on our holidays.

You also need to consider your own state of health and any pre-existing conditions which may affect your travel insurance cover. This includes conditions such as asthma, pregnancy, migraines and other everyday conditions. NoWorries Insurance will automatically cover 38 pre-existing conditions but make sure you always check what is covered before you buy.

There is nothing worse than departing on your holidays and finding out that your cheap travel insurance doesn’t cover you for all the fun stuff you want to do on that adventure holiday you’ve been planning for months. Actually there is something worse – finding out that you’re not covered for an activity when it’s too late. Too many unfortunate travellers have found themselves in hospital after emergency surgery only to find out they were not insured for their favourite adventure activity when abroad. That can be a $100,000 plus mistake.

So how do you avoid getting caught out by cheap travel insurance?

Be very aware of those cheap travel insurance options which seem too good to be true. The reality is that they usually are. They offer very basic travel insurance for those who like to sit in their hotel room all holiday, get room service and travel with carry on luggage only. Do anything outside of the norm and you might find yourself uninsured.

Watch out for all those upgrade options – they’re expensive!

Another trap is buying travel insurance through an online comparison site or simply going for the cheapest option and then getting slugged with upgrade options through the buying process.  The initial travel insurance premium seems great but once you have pay to include things such as baggage, sports activities, winter sports and the like it really mounts up. Be sure to compare the end price from online travel insurance providers that play the upgrade game.

Select the right region and countries you’re intend to visit o your travels.

Some online providers make you identify each country you’re travelling to which seems fine when you buy the travel insurance. The problem is when you’re on holiday and decide to extend to a nearby destination or another region on a stopover.  Make sure you select a travel insurance provider which provides large regions for you to travel within. It will save you a lot of time and worry. It could also save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Be sure to read the fine print if you’re relying on free travel insurance from your credit card provider.

This can be where a lot of travellers can come unstuck for a couple of reasons. Firstly the cover isn’t adequate and excludes those fun filled adventurous activities you love doing when on holiday. You also have to be careful about the extent of coverage, limits provided, pre-existing conditions and age limitations. The second reason is when there are certain conditions around how the insurance is activated. For example, you may have decided to purchase the holiday via direct debit or another credit card. By doing this you have not activated your “complimentary travel insurance” and are unwittingly uninsured.  Make sure you do your home-work if you go down this path.

Know your pre-existing conditions.

You need to make sure you know what pre-existing conditions you’re covered for prior to buying your travel insurance.  Some travel insurance companies provide no cover at all for any pre-existing condition. The cheap travel insurance you thought was a great buy probably provides no cover at all for pre-existing conditions.  If you have a condition that is not listed then speak to your preferred travel insurance provider before you buy the travel insurance and certainly before heading abroad.

Age limitations

Once you are over the age of 65 you may find that your cover becomes more restricted.  You may even find out that you’re not covered over a certain age.  Be careful when buying your travel insurance particularly if you are planning to participate in sports activities or winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding.  Make sure your travel insurance provider doesn’t have an age limitation.

At NoWorries Insurance we’re really proud of our NoWorries Travel Cover product.  It’s jam packed full of great cover all day, every day. Our aim is to give our customers Great Benefits, More Adventure & Outstanding Cover. We passionately believe this approach will give our customers real peace of mind and that NoWorries feeling when they are travelling.

Hopefully the above gives you a steer in the right direction – whoever you decide to buy your travel insurance through.

Happy Travels.

Tony Venning
Founder & MD, NoWorries Insurance

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