❚ Travel insured ❚ Buy insurance with care ❚ Don’t leave it to the last minute
travel insurance to cover me against three potentially massive costs: medical treatment, evacuation back home, and extended travel disruption.
I also know that should I fall off a cliff and break my back, my insurer’s global rescue network will kick into action, doing things like coordinating my medical treatment and hiring an air ambulance to get me home, things I couldn’t do myself.
My rules of travel insurance are these:
1. It is part of the cost of travel. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you really can’t afford to travel. It is a dangerous old world. Bad stuff happens. If you don’t get cover, who would pay? Imagine your loved ones having to try to hire an air ambulance to fly you home, or to fund your medical treatment overseas. Parents, when your young ones head overseas, make sure they get insurance, even if you end up paying for it.
2. Don’t buy on price alone. Saving $15 or $20 makes little sense, if the cover is poor.
‘‘Don't buy on price alone. Saving $15 or $20 makes little sense, if the cover is poor.’’
3. Don’t assume every policy is the same. They’re not. Insurance policies are about as much fun to read as a phone book. I’ve just read Southern Cross’ and OneCover’s. I feel like a lie down now. But if you don’t read them, how will you know whether they suit your needs?
4. Buy your insurance when you book your travel. If you leave it to the last minute, you risk a Bali-like scenario where something happens to disrupt your trip, and you have no cover. You can’t buy insurance for something that’s already happened.
5. Travel insurance sales processes are not perfect. People who bought travel insurance after the Bali eruptions began in September probably weren’t told the event wouldn’t be covered by their policy. It was up to them to work that out.
6. Insurers won’t like me saying this, but they can be a tricky bunch. Give them no excuse to turn down your claim. Know your obligations, and don’t breach them. When overseas, behave sensibly, obey the law, and don’t drink to excess. The ‘‘exclusions’’ in your policy are ‘‘must-do’’ reading. Tell the insurer about any pre-existing medical conditions you have when you buy the policy.
Mount Agung spews heavy volcanic ash over Bali, Indonesia.