Whether you’re travelling overseas or flying interstate, taking out some form of travel insurance is highly advisable.
Those travelling overseas can enjoy knowing that should things not go as planned – such as losing baggage or flight delays leading to missed room reservations, or worse, medical mishaps or accidents – that you’re totally covered.
Also, some countries won’t even let you in the door if you don’t have travel insurance.
Domestic travellers, while covered for any medical events by Medicare or private health insurance, take up coverage for baggage mishandling, cancellations or car hire excess.
Typically, travel insurance isn’t too expensive, unless you have pre-existing conditions or are engaging in some pretty risky activities.
But as affordable as travel insurance can be, there are ways to make it even cheaper and still enjoy the coverage you need for your time away.
Our friends at Smartraveller have teamed up with CHOICE to create a super-informative Travel Insurance Buying Guide. In it, you can learn when you need insurance, find out the best time to buy and how to make sure you choose the right cover.
Even better are their tips for helping you save money on insurance.
You only pay for the period in which you’re travelling, but you’re covered from the moment you buy your policy. So, if you buy two months before you fly, you effectively have free cover for any events that affect your travel plans in those two months. Left it until the last minute, or even later?
Only a few insurers let you buy insurance once you’re already overseas (look for the ‘Have you already left Australia?’ checkbox).
While not all policies are discounted online, plenty are. Make sure you understand the policy and what it covers. Sometimes you get less cover with online policies, so make sure a reduced price doesn’t mean reduced cover.
Tips: Check asic.gov.au/afslicensing to find out whether the agent has an Australian financial services (AFS) licence or is an authorised representative of a licence holder. Take the usual precautions when giving your credit card and other details over the internet.
Does your health, car or home insurance provider also sell travel insurance? Some companies give 10 per cent to 15 per cent discounts to members.
Trying to negotiate with a website won’t get you a better price, but if you’re buying over the phone or through a travel agent, give it a go.
Travel agents pocket a commission when they sell you insurance, so if you find a better deal elsewhere, ask them if they can beat it.
Use your credit card
Some credit cards come with ‘free’ travel insurance when you use them to buy a ticket or to pay for other travel expenses (we say ‘free’ because you’ll pay a premium in fees for the card itself).
This type of insurance can sometimes be a money-saver, but make sure it gives you the cover you need.
Compromise on cover
While good medical cover is always essential, you could save money on your premium by choosing a policy with lower or variable cover for cancellation, delays and baggage, particularly if you aren’t spending big on your holiday or taking expensive items with you.
Do you take out insurance every time you travel? Do you have any tips for saving money on travel insurance?
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