The complimentary travel insurance catch you need to be aware of before your next big trip

Ben Tosi

Friday 09 March 2018

Raise your hand if you’ve used your credit card’s complimentary travel insurance on an overseas trips. Keep that hand up if you activated that service before leaving. Nope? You’re not alone.

Complimentary credit card travel insurance needs to be activated before you head abroad.

According to a recent report from the General Insurance Code Governance Committee, Aussies are having their travel insurance claims turned down at an unprecedented rate because they’re failing to activate the complimentary cover that is a feature of many credit cards.

In the 2016-2017 period analysed, travel claims had the lowest acceptance rate of any type of insurance with just 87.9% of claims accepted compared to 99.5% of claims filed to motor insurers.

And while more of us are choosing to forgo traditional travel insurance policies - instead electing for the cover that comes with a credit card - we’re failing to activate that cover.

‘Before accessing the benefits of complimentary travel cover, consumers must activate it, for example, by using the credit card to pay for travel arrangements,’ the report stated.

RELATED: Best 2018 travel credit cards for every Aussie traveller - Mozo editors’ picks

How to activate complimentary travel insurance on your credit card

A common mistake, failing to activate the travel insurance on your credit card could quickly turn into a costly one - but how do you go about making sure you’re insured before heading abroad?

Generally speaking, activating the complimentary travel cover features of your plastic will require you to pay for some of your trip - whether that be on accommodation or flights - with your credit card.

But as the report stated, ‘activation requirements vary from product to product’ so the only surefire way to know what you need to do in order to be covered is to check your credit card’s PDS. 

Do I need a more traditional travel insurance policy?

The best thing about checking the fineprint on your activation criteria is that you’ll also have the chance to check the specifics of your cover.

If you’re planning a hiking-filled trip to New Zealand, are adventure activities covered? Or if you plan on knocking back a Cosmopolitan (or three) during a cruise through the Pacific, how will that affect your coverage?

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A critical step in your pre-holiday planning, Aussies doing their research may find added value in a more traditional travel insurance policy according to Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont.

“When it comes to cutting down on travel costs, researching your destination and investing in crucial travel insurance is going to save you money in the long run,” said Lamont.

“While no one likes to think about accidents and injuries abroad, medical bills have the potential to run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars in countries like the United States.”

Unhappy with your credit cards level of cover? Check out a range of comprehensive travel insurance policies before heading abroad using Mozo’s travel insurance comparison tool. Simply plug your destination, travel dates and traveller info into the calculator to find a range of policies that will cover you!

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