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Travel Insurance Policies - What to Look For

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Travel Insurance Policies - What to Look For

I am sure if you’re middle aged man that you always take out insurance when travelling.  But remember, no travel insurance policy covers you for every eventuality, and all insurance policies are not the same.  Travel InsuranceThis is more so with travel insurance, because of the large number of unforeseen events that can happen when travelling.   A policy holder will only be covered for wTravel insurance - what to check in the fine print to be sure the policy is right for you?hat is in the policy, so it is important read the Product Disclosure Statement.   



Use insurance comparison web sites to screen for polices that meet your criteria.  The 6 most important questions asked by insurers are:

  • Where are you travelling to?
  • What activities will you be doing?
  • How long are you going for?
  • How old are you?
  • What valuables are you taking? 
  • Do you have any existing medical conditions?


Then read the detail to find which policy is the best fit for you.  If necessary call and speak to a real person.


In 2013 the highest proportion of claims against travel insurance  policies were:

  • 38 per cent of claims for the loss or theft of personal belongings and baggage
  • 37 per cent of claims  for medical charges and expenses



The most important aspects you should confirm in a travel insurance policy are: 


Make sure your destination covered?  This includes all destinations even stop overs on the journey to and from your final destination.

Most insurance policies will not cover claims made in countries where it has been publically advised not to travel to e.g. because of terrorism.  So check Smartraveller for travel warnings and other advice on your destination

Inclusions and Limitations

What is included in the policy and what are the limitations?


Unfortunately the older you are the higher will be the travel insurance premium.  And this can start from 50 years of age.  Excess may also be higher for older people. Some travel insurance policies may require a medical examination over a certain age.


Lost Baggage and Personal Items

Policies typically have limitations for high cost items such as jewellery, computers and camera equipment.  If you have expensive individual items there may be a policy option to list those expensive items separately and pay a slightly higher premium. 

Proof of ownership is also common for claims of lost or stolen baggage or personal items.  So record serial numbers or photograph your items before you leave

Some policies also insist on a police report as proof of loss.  This can be difficult to get in some countries.



Unlimited Medical Insurance is typical these days, make sure this is included together with medical evacuation flights for serious medical events.

Medical cover should include:

  • Dental
  • Repatriation of your remains in the case of death.
  • Personal liability and any subsequent legal costs you may incur



Common exclusions include:

Pre-existing medical conditions: most policies will not cover pre-existing medical conditions.  However some conditions may be excluded from the pre-existing condition list, so if you have a pre-existing condition check with the insurer before accepting a policy.


Adventure sports:  sports such as hunting, parachuting, riding motorbikes and scooters, snowboarding, skiing, surfing, and scuba diving are classed as adventure sports andHiring a Scooter May Not Be Covered By Travel Insurancemay be excluded from a standard travel insurance Adventure sports such as snow boarding  may not be covered by travel insurancepolicy. If you intend undertaking adventure activities whilst travelling it may be better to look for policies geared to these types of activities.  They will be more expensive but at least you will be covered.  



Risky behaviour: excessive drinking of alcohol or carelessness with your possessions may be classed as risky behaviour and if a loss or injury occurs while undertaking risky behaviour you may not be covered.


24 Hour Overseas contact

Make sure your insurer has a 24 hour contact from overseas


Excess for Claims

You should be aware of the policy requirement regarding excess charges.  Be aware that excess charges may be per incident, not per claim.


Buying Travel Insurance

If you have booked your trip through a travel agent they will more than likely try to sell you travel insurance.  In fact the agent will likely insist on selling you their policy.  That’s because travel agents normally receive a healthy commission from the insurer for each policy sold.   

It is advisable to shop around for travel insurance, you will likely find a lower cost alternative than the one the travel agent was offering for similar policy conditions.  And yes it is ok to buy insurance online. The Midlife Man has a few pointers on how to safely buy travel insurance online in the article "Important Steps to Buying Travel Insurance Online" .


Did I mention don’t forget to read the insurance policy product disclosure statement.  And if in doubt call the insurance agent to discuss.




Disclaimer: The content of this article and other articles on this website are for informational purposes only and do not constitute professional advice. Please seek advice from a professional in the relevant field, in relation to any specific matter. Refer to the website Terms and Conditions. 




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