You’ve just selected your flights for that end of year escape, you’re nearly at the checkout, when a travel insurance add on, pops up. You might think “Yep, that sounds good, why not kill two birds with one stone?” but research by consumer advocacy group CHOICE has shown the convenience of booking your travel insurance through airlines like Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar can cost up to 150% more.
A family of four is jetsetting overseas for 30-days and is after a worldwide travel insurance policy, as they are visiting multiple countries. When conducting its research, CHOICE found that the family would be up for savings of between $445 and $871 by purchasing a standalone policy instead of one offered by an airline. That’s a mighty chunk of that family holiday budget, wouldn’t you say?
So if you’re planning a holiday in the next few months, here’s some words of wisdom for getting the best value travel insurance deal:
1. Don’t book airline insurance, do go for a specialist insurer: I’ll use my own holiday situation as an example. My husband and I are travelling to New Zealand for a 10 day holiday with one of the airlines mentioned above. If we took out travel insurance with them it would set us back $233.90. Whereas, Mozo’s travel insurance comparison tool shows at the time of writing itrek is offering a similar level of cover, for the two of us, for just $36.44.
2. Check the policy has unlimited medical cover. Have you heard the numerous stories of the $1-million medical bills, faced by travellers without adequate travel insurance in countries like America? I know those stories have been enough to ensure, each and every time I travel overseas, my travel insurance policy has no limit on what I can claim re medical bills.
3. Be aware of exclusions. Did you know things like pre existing medical conditions, pregnancy after a certain period and activities like jet-skiing and off piste skiing can void your cover? So make sure you check the policy will cover you for any of these instances before you take it out. You might have to pay a higher premium for the cover but the peace of mind will be worth it.
4. Check if your credit card comes with in-built travel insurance. If you have a platinum credit card, you might just find you don’t have to fork out for travel insurance at all, as the card may have it as a complimentary feature. If you do find that’s the case, just make sure you check what you’ll need to do to activate it, like making a certain spend on the card and or purchasing your flights with it. Also of course, take note of tips 2 and 3 above and check if it comes with the cover you’ll need.