The Courier-Mail

PADDLE SAFE

Even on a dream holiday, things can go awry. That’s why you need travel insurance, writes

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A dream holiday can

turn into a disaster without good travel

insurance MoneySaver HQ

A DREAM holiday can turn to disaster when holiday makers are left thousands of dollars out of pocket because they didn’t pack travel insurance.

Just take the Australian­s that have been stranded in Bali because of a volcanic ash cloud.

For some travellers their insurance policies have failed to cover them because of sneaky exclusions.

Diligent travellers with comprehens­ive cover would have had their additional out of pocket expenses reimbursed, but for the rest of those affected they were left out.

So here are some travel tips you must know before leaving home

Financial comparison website Canstar’s latest travel insurance report compared more than 200 policies from 73 insurers and quickly discovered the devil is in the detail when it comes to picking the right policy.

Some common travel insurance exclusions are:

High risk countries Check the Smart Traveller website for details.

Risky behaviour For example, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Hazardous pursuits Scuba diving, bungee jumping and hang gliding.

Pre-existing medical conditions Disclosure of these conditions is important before travelling.

Loss of items Keep an eye on belongings, for example don’t leave items unattended at the beach or at your hotel.

And it’s certainly a case of buyer beware when choosing a travel insurance policy – the cheapest deal possible is not always the best.

Canstar’s research manager Mitchell Watson says it’s essential jetsetters pack their travel insurance before heading overseas.

“You could have an accident and end up in hospital which requires large medical bills and in certain countries the costs can be extraordin­ary,’’ he says. “Once you have purchased your plane ticket, your next item should be your travel insurance – and if you can’t afford that, then you can’t afford the plane ticket either.”

For those travelling on a shoestring, using cheaper accommodat­ion options such as Airbnb is often popular, but comparetra­velinsuran­ce. com.au director Natalie Ball says users of these services can get caught out with insurance policies that don’t cover them.

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