They say planning for a holiday, with all its glorious anticipation of the trip to come, can contribute to your wellbeing as much as the holiday itself. This well-trodden track includes dreaming about potential itineraries, consulting guidebooks and travel agents, selecting the sites you want to see and finding the accommodation which seems just right for you.
There are transport options to consider, tours you might want to take in, the opportunity to get the best value for your budget and the chance to schedule a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Will you be gazing at the ancient Pyramids of Giza, going on a gondolier in Venice or goggling at the Great Wall of China? Will you be dining on Singapore chilli crab, on safari seeing the Big Four in Africa or flying over the expanse of the Grand Canyon by helicopter?
The one thing you probably won’t be planning for, but which can have the biggest impact on your trip, is travel hassles.
Travel hassles come in many shapes and forms and they can present a serious risk to your enjoyment of your dream holiday. We are talking about flight delays, theft of personal belongings, lost luggage and even the more serious overseas medical emergency.
There is one sure-fire way to plan for these things and get your contingencies in place. It simply involves purchasing a robust travel insurance policy before you leave.
Sage advice from Smartraveller.gov.au
“If you incur medical expenses while overseas and you don’t have travel insurance, you are personally liable for covering these costs. The Government cannot pay for medical expenses overseas. Nor will your domestic private health insurance,” is the warning given by the Australian Government via Smartraveller.gov.au, which also offers travel advice and information.
And the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade offers a very clear view on getting covered: “Travel insurance is as essential as your passport, regardless of your travel destination. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel!”
Four handy travel insurance tips
- Make sure your personal belongings are covered
If you have invested in an expensive camera for your trip or are taking jewellery for that special occasion, chances are you will be stepping out with thousands of dollars worth of valuables. When it comes to high value electronics or precious items, most policies have limits. Check you are covered and if not, speak with your insurer about extra cover for your specific items.
- Have proof of ownership documented before you go
For recently purchased laptops, phones or other expensive equipment, make sure you have receipts filed somewhere safe. For heirloom jewellery or gifts, you may not be able to find proof of ownership documentation so easily, although such proof will become vital in activating the insurance coverage in the event of a claim. So take photos of your covered possessions before you go and get valuations for any precious metals or gems.
- Understand the medical coverage included in your policy
The moment you fly away from Australian shores, the safety net you enjoy via Medicare or a private health insurance policy is removed. In places such as the United States, medical care is very expensive. Even a short stay in hospital could lead to financial hardship if cover isn’t provided for. Patients may also be refused care if they are unable to demonstrate an ability to pay. Insurance policies commonly feature different limits of cover depending on the region to which you are travelling, so make sure your level of medical cover is right for your trip.
- Consider your pre-existing conditions and check coverage with your insurer
Most insurers will exclude pre-existing medical conditions. However cover for these can sometimes be discussed and arranged. It is important to be aware that failing to declare any pre-existing medical conditions you may have could void the insurance coverage you were entitled to.
For further information or to purchase your travel insurance, visit Australian Seniors Insurance Agency: www.seniors.com.au or call 13 76 76. Purchase online and save 10 per cent on your premium.
Australian Seniors Travel Insurance is issued and underwritten by ACE Insurance Limited ABN 23 001 642 020, AFSL No. 239687 (ACE), and promoted by Australian Seniors Insurance Agency Pty Ltd (ABN 48 097 746 391) (Australian Seniors), an Authorised Representative of ACE (AR No. 270983). ACE and Australian Seniors only provide general advice, and do not consider your objectives, financial situation or needs. To decide if this product is right for you, read the Seniors One Trip Travel Insurance Policy Wording and Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Seniors Annual Travel Insurance Policy Wording and Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) available at www.seniors.com.au or simply call 13 76 76.
Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply as set out in the PDS.
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