One of the key questions many Australian travellers ask is: when should I purchase my travel insurance?
Well the answer is very simple. The best time to purchase your travel insurance is as soon as you have booked or finalised your holiday.
However, before you buy, you should make sure that your insurance covers you for:
- the destination/s you will be visiting
- your general level of risk depending on what you will be doing on your trip
- luggage and baggage items (if you want these covered)
- any additional valuables you decide to bring
- your planned activities and sports
- your specific needs, such as age or pre-existing medical conditions.
Why should you book travel insurance sooner rather than later?
Booking your travel insurance as soon as possible means you can benefit from cancellation cover, which some insurers cover.
Cancellation cover allows you to claim back your prepaid costs if you need to cancel your trip prior to departing the country. In most cases, you can claim lost funds related to cancelled, non-refundable flights, accommodation, tours, activities, travel agency fees and other related travel bookings.
Under what circumstances can you claim on cancellation cover?
If you need to cancel your trip prior to leaving Australia, you can usually make a claim for your expenses if your cancellation is due to:
- injury, illness or death
- the death, injury or illness of a travelling companion
- the death, injury or illness of a relative back home in Australia
- a substantial disaster at home (e.g. flood, fire, burglary) within 48 hours before your planned departure date
- being quarantined
- being a member of the armed forces, unable to travel due to an unexpected posting in Australia or overseas
- an unexpected job redundancy
- your obligation to appear in court as a witness
- cancellation of an educational course that you were planning to attend (and where you had no control over the cancellation) if the sole purpose of trip is attending that course.
You will need to supply documentation (like a medical certificate or police report) to show that you were not able to travel and had to cancel your trip.
Can you organise insurance after deciding to cancel your trip?
This is not allowed and will essentially mean you are not eligible for travel insurance or cancellation cover.
What could happen if you leave travel insurance until the last minute?
If you put off organising your travel insurance until later (e.g. a week or a day before you travel) and then discover you need to cancel your trip, you won’t be able to take advantage of the cancellation cover – and you’ll lose any non-refundable fares or costs that you have already paid.
Don’t leave your travel insurance until the last minute! With InsureandGo travel insurance, you can purchase your cover up to 365 days prior to departure. In addition, as a YourLifeChoices subscriber, you will receive 10 per cent off your next policy at www.insureandgo.com.au or phone 1300 552 701.
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited, ABN 49 000 525 637, issues InsureandGo Travel Insurance (the insurance). Please read the combined product disclosure statement and financial services guide available at www.insureandgo.com.au/policy-wordings to decide if the insurance is right for you.