Insurance fine print important
I’ve just spent an hour trying to imagine the worst holiday from hell a traveller could suffer.
The reason for my cruel flight of fancy was to illustrate some of the things travel insurance does not cover you for.
Sensible folk heading overseas, even as close as Australia, need travel insurance to cover catastrophic risks and for travel insurance that is medical treatment and medical evacuation, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
But it seems there are more awful incidents not covered by travel insurance than ones that are.
And there is something positively parsimonious about that.
Policies contain more than a pinch of ‘‘thou shalt not’’, and many of the exclusions would please the most hardline of pulpit moralisers.
So here’s the holiday from hell I dreamt up.
Your job is to tell me what claims the poor holidaymaker was successful with under a policy from one leading travel insurance provider.
Things go wrong from the very start for our hapless holidaymaker. The taxi crashes en route to the airport. Though unhurt, the holidaymaker is made by police to give a statement.
That meant he missed his flights and is forced to book on the next available one to his destination. Will his insurance pay for the new flight?
The beachside Caribbean paradise hotel he booked is lovely. Locking his things in his room, he goes for an ocean swim. When he gets back, his expensive watch has been stolen along with his cash. Thankfully his credit cards were untouched. Are the stolen items covered?
A few restoratory drinks in the hotel bar and things no longer seem so bad but on the way back to his room he trips and falls, breaking his wrist.
This led to an expensive trip to the local hospital. Is he covered for the ambulance and medical bills?
Next day one of his teeth starts to ache. He’s in agony by day three and is forced to visit a local dentist.
A policy is a contract. You are bound by every word
Take the minimum with you. Expensive jewellery stays home
Get a good hidden, waterproof cash and card pocket. Will insurance cover the trip? Tooth agonisingly root-canaled, our holidaymaker returns to his hotel and gets his last shock.
The phone rings. His old Dad’s had a massive heart attack. It’s not the first time but this one has proven fatal.
Our man dashes to the airport to fly back early for the funeral. Will the ticket be paid for by insurance?
As you may have guessed, the answers to the questions were: No, no, no, no and no.
Failure to check in is not covered. Nor are thefts of cash, cards and jewellery from a hotel room if a hotel safe is available.
Nor is any claim connected with the ‘‘influence of alcohol’’. Nor is treatment for tooth decay.
Nor are claims connected to preexisting conditions.
There are literally dozens of exclusions in travel policies and holidaymakers must be aware of them.
Tragically, many are connected with fun, but kinda-risky stuff.
Get lucky and invite that cute Cuban back to your room. Beware general exclusion 10 prohibiting claims related to people you invited in.
Dumped by girlfriend for getting caught with cute Cuban. General exclusion 6. No claims related to relationship break-ups.
Pickpocketed at the casino. General exclusion 12. Participating in gambling.
And though I’m sure I don’t need to mention it. General exclusion 11. No claims related to prostitution.