Your bags are packed and you are ready to hit the road – but wait, have you booked your travel insurance yet? Choosing the best travel insurance for your trip is almost as important as choosing a place to stay. If you don’t know where to start, Oiyo has got you covered. Let’s explore different types of travel insurances, what to look for and other considerations for safe travels.
What is travel insurance?
Your travel insurance covers you for anything that may happen while you’re on the road. When travelling, you may have to deal with unexpected challenges, this is where a reliable travel insurance policy can help. Medical emergencies lost luggage or cancelled travel plans can all be taken care of with the right policy.
- Injuries and illness
- Loss or damage to your luggage and belongings
- Cancelled trips or additional costs due to delay or cancellation
Whether you are travelling within Australia or overseas, you can choose domestic travel insurance or international travel insurance. Most insurers provide a range of basic and advanced levels of cover, depending on the length of your trip, the destination and what you plan on doing on your trip. Deciding what the best travel insurance is for you typically depends on these factors.
Finding the best travel insurance
Domestic travel insurance
Australia has a lot of beauty to offer, making it a popular destination for Australians. With stunning white beaches, culinary delights from all over the world, and a wide range of outdoor activities, Australians have a lot to explore on their doorstep. Travelling closer to come comes with many advantages. However, there are still things that can go wrong. If you want to avoid getting stuck with a big bill in Woop Woop, you should choose a decent policy to cover you for:
- Trips cancelled due to illness, accidents, the latest cyclone or any other natural disasters
- Lost or stolen luggage and personal belongings
- Damage to a rental car
- Legal liability
Domestic travel insurance normally doesn’t include medical cover. While travelling in Australia, you will still be covered by your Medicare and any additional private health insurance. You will most likely also not be covered for any extreme sports or hazardous activities. If you plan on doing any activities like diving, skiing, or rock climbing you may either have to disclose this in your application or may not be covered while engaging in those activities. In case of an accident, you can still get medical treatment from Medicare but your travel insurance won’t cover any additional costs linked to the event. However, some insurers offer policies specifically suited for extreme sports.
International travel insurance
If you are planning to hop on a plane to explore the beauty of different cultures overseas, you want to be prepared for any unexpected events. No one expects to get injured but scooter accidents in Thailand are much more common than you think, which is why you need travel insurance.
While travel insurance will cover many basic nuisances, there are plenty of things that won’t be covered. It is crucial to check your policies and read the terms and conditions before you head overseas. When looking for the right policies, you will notice that some countries are not covered by international travel insurance.
The Australian Government updates their travel advice regularly and you should check if your travel destination is considered a high-risk country. In this case, you may not be covered at all. Most policies won’t cover you for expenses linked to pre-existing medical conditions. Again, if you plan to engage in any extreme sports, most policies won’t cover you for any injuries. This includes high-risk activities like bungee jumping and skydiving, and sports like mountain biking, most water sports, rock climbing and some extreme hikes.
What should the best policy cover?
What constitutes the best travel insurance for you will depend on a range of factors. For most people though, these are the key elements they’ll want included in their cover:
In case of a medical emergency, you want to make sure the policy covers you for doctor visits, hospital stays, emergency care and medical evacuation to another country. This often includes repatriation in case of sudden death. If you have a medical emergency and need treatment, you may want to call your insurance first to make sure you are covered.
Lost or stolen luggage
This should include travel documents like your passport and other important belongings. Lost or damaged luggage is a frequent problem encountered by travellers that can be easily resolved with the right policy.
In case of illness or sudden change of plans due to natural disasters, your travel insurance can reimburse you for any flights and accommodation that has been paid for. If a delay or cancellation of one of your flights incurs extra costs, you may also be able to claim them.
Having insurance is no excuse to break the law. However, if you find yourself on the wrong side of the law and need legal assistance, your travel insurance has got your back and may cover costs for a lawyer or translator.
Single trip cover or annual travel insurance?
Are you a nomad or occasionally travelling for leisure? Either way, there is a right policy for you. You can choose between a single or an annual trip policy. If you plan on travelling a lot over the next year, an annual policy may be right for you. Do your research first, some policies only cover you for trips of a certain length. Single trip insurance can cover one long trip or longer breaks.
If you plan on multiple short trips in the space of a year, or you’re a frequent traveller, it may work out cheaper if you choose an annual insurance policy. If you plan on going on an active holiday that includes action sports, you may want to choose a single trip cover and pay extra for extreme sports cover if this is available to you.
Other helpful info
At Oiyo, our mission is to supply everyday Aussies with the helpful information they need to make informed decisions. Looking for more information on the best travel insurance? Why not check out some of our other articles here! Independent consumer advocacy group, CHOICE, also partnered with MoneySmart to produce a helpful guide on travel insurance. So, make sure to check that out to see what the government has to say.
Oiyo is a consolidated online resource, we are not financial advisors. We work with a range of industry professionals and compliance check our articles to ensure factual accuracy. However, we do not provide professional financial advice. Consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information and ideas presented in this article relate to your unique circumstances.