“Although travel insurance is both important and necessary when travelling, before purchasing just any policy, travellers need to think about where they are going, what they will be doing at their destination, and what they are likely to need cover for,” says Jonathan Etkind, spokesperson at InsureandGo.
“They also need to declare any pre-existing health conditions, as well as the valuable items that they will be taking with them. These are important considerations that will help travellers choose a policy that is right for them – and, in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong, help them understand whether or not they will be covered.”
1. You need to know where your stuff is at all times
Did you know that any luggage left unattended or unsecured in a public place could nullify a travel insurance claim, and this includes any personal belongings you leave with someone who is not travelling with you for more than 50 per cent of your trip. It also applies to any personal belongings that you accidentally left in your hotel room, after you checked out. However, anything that is lost, stolen or damaged during your trip will be reimbursed by your insurer as long as you were carrying it on you, or it was stored in a hotel safe.
2. You need proof of ownership
You’ll need to keep receipts for expenses, itineraries, travel contracts and items in your luggage that will verify that your lost, stolen or damaged possessions are actually yours.
3. High-value items need additional cover
Never assume that valuable items such as phones, laptops, cameras and jewellery will be automatically covered by your insurer. In fact, they are often excluded from standard or basic travel insurance policies, or their cover is capped at just a few hundred dollars. Some policies may allow you to specify items, while other won’t cover them at all.
4. Know the IMEI number of your phone
Your travel insurance generally will not cover you for any claim relating to a lost, stolen or damaged mobile device if you are unable to supply the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number (a 15- or 17-digit unique number found within the settings of mobile devices, and used to identify them). You will also need to provide proof that you have blocked this number by an Australian telecommunications provider to make a claim.
5. Self-inflicted injuries and illness aren’t covered
If you knowingly put yourself in danger while travelling, you run the risk of having your cover invalidated if an incident occurs. Ignoring official advice by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smartraveller website can also invalidate your insurance. For example, if you caught a tropical disease and did not get the recommended vaccinations, your claim for medical services may be denied.
Want to know how to stay healthy when you travel? Watch the video below.