Be Protected When Escaping the Winter Blues
So it’s winter… again and you need warming! You’ve booked your holiday escape to a tropical destination; but have you bought travel insurance? If you are one of the millions of Australians turning to price-comparison sites to find insurance, trying to decide on which policy to buy can be baffling.
Travel insurance comparison website comparetravelinsurance.com.au helps to explain the ins and outs of travel insurance comparisons and what to look for in a policy.
The ins and outs of travel insurance comparisons
The list of travel insurance providers in the market is expanding which means you are likely to find a competitive price for your travel insurance. You are also likely to have to do a fair amount of scrolling before you come across a brand you recognise.
What’s the story with the unknown brands? What kind of cover do you get? Would they be there to help in a crisis situation?
Many of these unknown table-topping brands have brightly coloured logos you have never seen before. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t reputable. Large insurers tend to trade under a range of different names, or distribute their insurance policies through partners. An unknown brand could actually be backed by a large insurance company you have heard of. For example, Kango Cover is a trading name of 1Cover, which is underwritten by Allianz Australia. Priceline Protects is underwritten by ACE Insurance. By choosing one of these providers you know you would be backed by a larger insurance company.
“Choosing a provider that is part of a big insurer should provide travellers with the peace of mind that they will be covered during their travels” says Natalie Ball, Associate Director of compareinsurance.com.au. You can check the policy document, the “about us” section of their website or the footer of a provider’s homepage to see who the policy is issued by. There are several standalone players in the market such as Southern Cross Travel Insurance offering great value policies.
Travel insurance claims
Whether a provider pays out in the event of a claim and how they deal with customers post-purchase should also be a consideration for travellers when choosing a policy. Comparison and review site www.compareinsurance.com.au allows customers to write reviews on their insurer. Consumer generated ratings are a useful way of understanding how companies look after their customers.
What policy should I pick?
Travel insurance policies usually fall into one of two categories: Basics or Comprehensive, with some providers offering a third mid-range product. Basics (sometimes called Medical Only) will cover you for overseas medical expenses. Mid-range and comprehensive policies will cover you medically and include varying levels of cover for luggage and personal belongings, personal liability, rental vehicle excess, cancellation and more.
“Before doing any kind of quote search it is a good idea to have a good understanding of what cover you need”, says Ball. For holidaymakers that know they need more than just medical cover, they can generally skip the Basics policies and just consider the Comprehensive ones. Many comparison sites provide an overwhelming list of policies with all policies lumped together, making it difficult for holidaymakers to find a policy right for their trip.
What excess should I choose?
Look out for high excesses that bring down the quote price. Many providers will increase excesses or reduce some elements of cover to appear at the top of the table.
Travel insurance tips you’ll need to know this winter
■ Baggage cover Your Louis Vuitton luggage might not be covered. Cheaper basics policies will have limited cover for luggage and personal items. Make sure that you check your benefit limits to ensure that you get enough cover for your needs.
■ Valuables Many of us are taking away high value items including electronic devices like laptops and iPads – check the limit for individual items. If not enough cover is provided you can add them as a high value item. You can even check if these items are covered under your home insurance.
■ Missed flights Flight delays can cause missed departure on connecting flights. Make sure you allow enough time between connecting flights or you may not be covered. Check your policy details.
■ Excess The excess is the amount you have to pay towards the cost of your claim. Watch out for high excess which could make a claim worthless in the event of a low value claim.
■ Medical exclusions Most, if not all travel insurance policies exclude pre-existing medical conditions unless you declare them. Failure to do so could make your policy void or result in non-payment of a claim.
■ Booze Don’t drink to excess. Some insurers refuse to cover any claims arising directly or indirectly from excessive alcohol intake.
■ Dependents Some policies cover dependent children up to age 25, whereas others will cover up until age 18. Step families should check the detail of their policy. Some policies will cover stepchildren as standard for free and some don’t specify stepchildren in their policy documents.
The comparison space in Australia is closely monitored by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and regulatory bodies ASIC and the ACCC. “With online comparisons proving to be such a hit with consumers, it is no surprise that the regulatory bodies have the industry on their radar” says Ball.
About Compare Travel Insurance
They are Australia’s leading travel insurance comparison site, comparing more travel insurance quotes than any other aggregator. Compare Travel Insurance provides comprehensive unbiased travel insurance information to save its’ users time and money.
Compare travel insurance is owned and operated by CoverDirect Pty Ltd and powered by ‘Compare Insurance’. CoverDirect holds an Australia financial services licence that allows us to provide general travel insurance advice, including our comparison services.
All policies listed on www.comparetravelinsurance.com.au are underwritten by one the Australia’s leading underwriters and include a 24-hour emergency medical assistance helpline.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]