Key policy features to look out for in STA Travel insurance
Pre-existing medical conditions:
Travel insurance policies are designed to cover accidents and unforeseen circumstances while you travel. This means that they don’t generally cover pre-existing medical conditions, except as laid out in your PDS. STA Travel insurance covers at least 36 pre-existing medical conditions without extra premium, and if your condition doesn’t appear on this list then you can apply to have it covered for an extra premium.
Fine print: If you’ve been hospitalised for your condition within the last 24 months, it won’t be covered under your STA Travel insurance policy, even if it appears on the list of automatically covered medical conditions. If your condition is undiagnosed, awaiting a diagnosis or currently being diagnosed when you take out your policy, it can’t be covered either.
Travelling while pregnant:
Single, uncomplicated pregnancies up to the 26th week are included in STA Travel insurance policies as a pre-existing medical condition and covered for no extra charge. Like other pre-existing conditions, you can apply to be covered for pregnancies that don’t fit this description, but whether or not you can be covered is left to STA Travel’s discretion.
Fine print: Regular antenatal care, childbirth and care for a newborn child are not included in your STA Travel insurance policy. Also, if you’re claim is related to a pregnancy except in the case described above, your policy won’t cover it.
Not sure if you’re covered? Mozo’s travel insurance guide for pregnancy has lots more helpful information on travelling while pregnant.
STA Travel insurance is designed for students and young travellers, but, for the young at heart, policies can be purchased by people up to and including 79 years of age. Infants and children between 0 and 11 years are included on your travel insurance policy for no extra cost.
Fine print: Age is a factor which will determine the cost of your travel insurance policy - generally, the older the traveller, the more expensive the premium. Also, if you’re 75 or over, you’ll need to purchase the comprehensive travel insurance option.
If you’re travelling as or with a senior, check out our guide to travel insurance for over 55s.
Extending your STA Travel insurance:
Sometimes when you’re travelling, you need to extend your travel insurance cover, either for happy reasons or not. The good news is that if you need to extend your policy because of unforeseen circumstances, like a delay in your travel arrangements that you aren’t responsible for, you can extend your STA Travel insurance policy free of charge. If you’re just having a lot of fun and decide to extend your trip, you can purchase a new policy from STA Travel before your old one runs out.
Fine print: If you’re extending your trip and buying a new policy, it will only cover up to 12 months time and will not carry on from your old policy, so make sure you read the fine print over again and be sure you understand your new policy. Extensions generally can’t be given on cover for medical conditions, except those listed as automatically covered - for example if you become sick on your trip, that illness usually won’t be covered by your extended policy.
There is a list of about 50 sport and leisure activities in your PDS that are automatically covered under your STA Travel insurance policy. These include bungee jumping, skydiving and go karting.
Fine print: Not included are other activities, such as BASE jumping or rodeo riding. Any professional or competitive sports or snow sports off-piste are not included either. You should also be careful if riding motorbikes, mopeds or scooters as you won’t be covered unless the person driving holds a valid license.
Cooling off period:
You can decide to cancel your STA Travel insurance up to 15 days after you buy it for a full refund of your premium.
Fine print: After the 15 days you can still cancel your policy, but you won’t be entitled to a refund. You can also only cancel as long as you haven’t started your trip and you haven’t made any claims under the policy.
Important things to remember for a successful travel insurance claim with STA Travel
If you ever do have to make a claim against your STA Travel insurance policy, being prepared and knowing some of the basic rules for a successful claim will make the process much quicker and easier. The fine print can be tricky, so know what it is up front and don’t get caught when it’s already too late! Here are a few things you should remember when claiming on your STA Travel insurance:
- If you’re claiming for theft, loss or damage to your personal items, it’s important to have proof of ownership and value for them. This means receipts usually, but if you don’t have those, it’s a good idea to take photographs of your belongings before you leave. It’s also best to check with STA Travel before you leave that this will be adequate proof.
- Remember to make a report with police or local authorities if anything is stolen or missing on your trip. Ask them for a written statement of the report to include with your claim.
- Delays are bound to happen - sometimes it just can’t be helped. If the delay lasts more than 24 hrs in the case of baggage or 6 hrs for transport, you can claim for expenses, like food or essential personal items, that you might need to buy in this time. If this happens, make sure you let STA Travel know as soon as you can, and get an official statement from whoever is responsible so you can prove the length of the delay. Also, make sure you keep all the receipts for things you purchase.
- Keep in mind also that if you can claim compensation from the transport or courier company responsible for the delay, then you can’t claim the same compensation on your travel insurance policy. If you’re only given partial compensation by someone else, your STA Travel insurance policy will cover the difference. You’ll need a written record of any compensation you’re given.
How to make a claim with STA Travel
You can make a claim with STA Travel insurance by visiting their travel claims website, or giving them a call. You'll have to complete and lodge a claims form within 30 days of returning to Australia, on which you should include all the relevant details to your claim. These might include:
- travel insurance policy information
- travel booking confirmations
- your bank details
- receipts, police reports, official statements, photos or medical reports that support your claim
You should be contacted within 10 business days to either receive the outcome of your claim, or if necessary, to provide extra information. It’s important to try to include detailed information in the initial claim - if you don’t, it can not only cause delays, but also a reduction in the payment made to you.
Take a look at our travel insurance claims guide for more information about making a successful claim on your travel insurance.