Travel insurance differs between companies, so what you are covered for depends on the individual policy. Many people wrongfully assume that once they purchase travel insurance, they are automatically covered for out of pocket expenses in any situation. This can be a costly mistake.

When dealing with travel insurance, it’s crucial that you make a list of everything you might be doing on your trip – however remote the possibility – and make sure you are covered for all of it.

Rather than just choosing the cheapest policy out there, read the Product Disclosure Statement thoroughly. Knowing what you are covered for is just as important as knowing the policy exclusions; in other words, what you’re NOT covered for.

Having something go wrong during your trip is a nasty enough shock as it is. There’s nothing worse than compounding it by finding out that you don’t have trip cancellation insurance, luggage insurance or cover for out of pocket expenses. If in doubt about certain details of your policy, just contact your insurer and ask.

Some common insurance problems faced by travellers include:

  • Riding a high-powered motorbike or scooter
  • Having valuables (phones, cameras etc.) worth more than the set limit of the policy
  • Partaking in unplanned adventure sports which the insurance does not cover

When looking for travel insurance, look for a policy that provides cover for things like medical expenses, repatriation costs, cancellation, third-party liability, loss of passport and legal expenses. Additionally, look for a policy that provides cover for having your next-of-kin flown out in an emergency, or if you need to get home quickly yourself for family reasons.

Remember to be thorough in your search for the right travel insurance policy. What might seem like a hassle at the time (when all you want to do is set off!) can protect you from bigger problems later on.

This is general advice only and does not take into account your individual needs, objectives or financial situation. Before you buy any policy, make sure you read the product disclosure statement.