Five travel insurance surprises.

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Here are five surprising things which you may not know about travel insurance. Discover what you are actually covered for while away on your holiday. 

1. When hiring a car, do you need to pay for rental car insurance? The answer is “it depends”. Your existing motor vehicle insurance policy may cover rental cars, but make sure that you read the fine print on your policy or call your insurance company ahead of time to check the details.
If you are sharing the driving of the rental car with someone who’s not included on your regular insurance, make sure that person has their own coverage before saying no to rental car insurance.

2. Insurance policies covering terrorism are becoming more common, but be aware that many companies will only pay out claims if the terrorist incident happens in the same city which you are visiting. If you are in a neighbouring town or municipality your insurance may be invalid.

3. Pre-existing conditions clauses trip up many travellers and it seems that many insurance companies have so many loopholes to worm their way out of paying any claims. Something as simple as changing medications during the previous few months can affect a claim. But be aware that the pre-existing conditions of your travel companions can also have an effect on any claim you may make – if you have to cancel your trip due to an emergency involving a pre-existing condition, your claim won’t be paid.

4. In some insurance companies’ eyes, when you cancel a flight and then pay the fee to rebook it so you can go another time, then it’s not really cancelled. Your airline will endeavour to get you to agree to pay the change fee and if you do, you forfeit your chance to a claim for reimbursement.

5. If you fall sick prior to your trip and your doctor judges you unfit to travel, you must not travel as you will not be covered by your travel insurance policy.

Have you had any nasty surprises when making a claim on your travel insurance policy? Do you think that insurance companies need to be more upfront about what they will and will not pay?

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Written by Andrea

9 Comments

Total Comments: 9
  1. 0
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    Warning to travellers.

    Make sure the travel agency you deal with (ask the question) has INSOLVENCY INSURANCE!

    I would not book with one who did not have it.

    Up until recently it was mandatory that all travel paid into a fund but that is no longer the case.

    Read the other day of seniors losing their money when the company went belly up and travel insurance did not cover their losses.

  2. 0
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    Make sure they will pay your bill if they are contacted that you are sick and need to claim.
    You may need to pay an excess as per arrangement. Also in some countries (e.g.Japan) you have to pay part of your bill before receiving treatment, so make sure you have plenty of money in your bank account. The son of mine fell and injured his shoulder. That is how I know about they system.

    • 0
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      A friend of mine was I in Japan and had to lodge a $20,000 surety before being admitted to hospital – thank heavens the insurance company took over and arranged all their bills

  3. 0
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    I never take out rental car excess insurance from the car hire company, as it’s always way overpriced.
    It can cost you half as much again as the car hire cost, to reduce the car hire company excess to zero or a low figure.
    I use my travel insurance cover to cover the rental company excess, if the car should be damaged.
    This costs very little in comparison to car rental company insurance charges.

    I accidentally damaged a hire car in Greece when I sideswiped another car when backing up.
    It cost me 500 Euros ($750), that I had to pay upon return of the car – but I took all the details, took photos, and submitted a claim on my travel insurance when I returned to Australia – and the travel insurance company repaid the entire amount without complaint (I wasn’t even charged the travel insurance excess).

    • 0
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      Correct. And if you have a Platinum credit card and charge the car on this + waive the insurance then you are covered there too. In fact the Platinum card also replaces your (expensive) travel insurance which is no better from what I can see and saves you a bucket of money.

  4. 0
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    Aaron, sounds like you got a good company, care to share?

  5. 0
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    Surely if a person has a pre-existing condition, but does not state that to the insurer, the insurer cannot dismiss a claim for a cancellation or lost luggage. Also any claim illness not related to any pre-exisiting condition, even if not stated, should surely be paid?

    • 0
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      Don’t know about that one. I’d be inclined to agree with you there. But ALWAYS read the pre existing conditions part in the pdf as some insurers cover most pre existing conditions whilst other have a convenient out. Traveller beware.

    • 0
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      We found that the airline paid for delayed luggage – we were able to buy clothing etc as long as we kept the receipts which we were then reimbursed. – luggage was returned a fortnight later – so we didn’t actually have to claim the contents – but it was available


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