Best Travel Insurance
What is the best travel insurance?
There is no definite answer to this question because while some insurance policies may offer better cover than others, there is no travel insurance policy that particularly beats all other insurance policies. This is because travel insurance relies heavily on the individual needs of a traveller, their budget, and the risk that the insured presents to the insurer, together with the risk that their potential destination poses. There is no copy and paste option available for each person - every individual and trip is different to the next one. There are some things to consider before you look for the best travel insurance for your trip.
1. How much cover do you need?
Where you are travelling to, what belongings you are travelling with, and your current health status are some factors to consider when thinking about travel insurance.
The Smartraveller website rates countries according to their safety level, from a “Do not travel” advisory for some, to an “Exercise normal safety precautions” rating for others. If you are travelling to a country with a higher than normal safety warning, your travel insurance might not cover you or will need to be more comprehensive. Medical expenses and personal liability are often the most important aspects to cover, and in a country where there are safety concerns, these are absolutely essential. Some countries are part of the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia, where certain medical procedures and doctors visits are covered by the country you are visiting. If this is the case, you might not require as much travel insurance cover as you would in another country. Read more about the RHCA and which countries are covered before you choose the best travel insurance for your needs.
The belongings that you take with you on your trip also play a part in the insurance you will need. For instance, if your trip is just a weekend stay, you might be able to travel light, and extensive luggage and personal effects cover is then not necessary. However, if you are travelling with expensive equipment or a lot of luggage, then a more comprehensive insurance product will be needed. Look at what you will take with you, and think about the costs involved if those items are lost or stolen. This will help you to decide the travel insurance benefit level necessary for your personal belongings.
Your current health status is also important for choosing the kind of travel insurance you need. While even the healthiest person can fall ill or be involved in an accident on holiday, some people are more prone to illness and may require a more extensive insurance. The same goes for people with pre-existing medical conditions - some insurers will cover certain conditions, while others will ask you to take out additional cover for any pre-existing medical conditions. Consider your health, and where you are travelling to, to determine how much medical insurance you will require.
2. Are you travelling solo, or will you be in a group?
Travelling alone can be more expensive when it comes to travel insurance. If you are travelling with a friend, or a group of friends or family - buying travel insurance as a group can often be more cost-effective. Travelling in groups of 10 or more people can often reduce travel insurance costs even more - you should chat to your insurer about this option. If you are travelling with friends, discuss the possibility of buying travel insurance together to avoid unnecessary extra expenses.
3. What is your budget for travel insurance?
It’s generally thought that if you can afford to travel, then you can afford travel insurance, and while this should be the case, it’s not always possible. There are times when people have simply forgotten to budget for travel insurance, or when additional expenses have crept in, and the thought of paying for travel insurance is daunting. You may not be able to afford the most comprehensive travel cover. Your travel insurance cover will depend on the budget that you have set aside, or what you are willing to pay for. If your budget is tight, you will need to look for a cheaper insurance option or choose minimal travel cover for your trip.
Before you book your trip overseas, you should compare travel insurance quotes with different insurers to know what to budget for in terms of travel insurance. It is advisable to always travel with even the most basic travel insurance in place, and you should be prepared for this expense when you plan your trip overseas.
Why is travel insurance important?
There is always the threat of something going wrong when you are travelling, and while the chances are that you will not need to claim from your travel insurance, there is always a possibility that you will need to claim. Travelling is expensive, and the thought of having your belongings lost or stolen, a flight being cancelled, or a medical emergency taking place, on top of an already expensive trip, is scary.
Travel insurance is the guarantee you need to ensure that you don’t fork out thousands of dollars for medical expenses if you fall ill or are in an accident, your luggage is lost, your rental vehicle is damaged, or you are a victim of crime. These are some of the things that could go wrong while travelling, where travel insurance will cover you for most of the costs involved.
What will the best travel insurance cover?
While every travel insurance provider is different and travel cover will vary from one insurer to the next, a comprehensive travel insurance will offer some - or all - of the following benefits:
Medical and dental expenses
Emergency travel or accommodation expenses
Critical illness or injury
Evacuation and repatriation
Hijacking and crime-related incidents
Rental vehicle insurance excess
Luggage and personal effects replacement (Up to a certain amount)
Computer replacement (Up to a certain amount)
Electronic equipment replacement (Up to a certain amount)
Jewellery and watches replacement (Up to a certain amount)
Passport and travel documents replacement
Credit card or ATM fraud
Funeral expenses overseas
Loss of income
High-risk activity cover
Pre-paid bookings if cancelled
Some insurers will offer further options for travel insurance. It is important to first decide what you will need to be covered - choosing the best travel insurance option for your needs is critical. You should always compare quotes with different insurers before settling on one insurer.
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