The travel insurance policy exclusions you need to know

Compare travel insurance to feel sure you are fully covered.

What travel insurance won’t cover

Your passport and visas are in order, your itinerary has been researched to within an inch of itself, you’ve booked and paid for your tickets, the suitcase is almost packed and you’ve bought travel insurance … what could go wrong?

Plenty, actually. Some travel insurance policies have only limited cover for medical expenses incurred overseas. If you want to set and forget your next vacation, then you must study the clauses of travel insurance policies you’re thinking of buying, because not all of them are guaranteed to give you genuine peace of mind.

The unexpected cannot be planned for and in most cases that means medical emergencies. According to Australia Post (which unashamedly sells travel insurance), the single biggest reason for getting travel insurance is medical cover.

The site reports: “Each year, the Australian Government handles over 20,000 cases involving Australians in difficulty overseas, including those requiring hospitalisation or evacuation. However, they (the Government) will not pay medical expenses incurred overseas, and neither will Medicare.

“According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the cost of medical evacuations from the US regularly ranges from $75,000 to $95,000, and sometimes up to $300,000. In South-East Asia, a favourite destination for Australians, daily hospitalisation costs can exceed $800. Medical evacuations from Bali have exceeded $60,000.”

The number of comparison sites make it pretty easy to compare travel insurance policies. Some of the more popular ones include:

According to CHOICE, its best rating is scored by RACV Total Travel Care. The policy’s rating is just 73 per cent – 27 per cent short of a perfect 100 score – but the RACV product impresses with its provision for unlimited medical expenses, unlimited cancellation expenses and $15,000 for baggage expenses.

Comparetravelinsurance.com.au reports that most standard travel insurance policies have exclusions.

“Regardless of when a travel warning is issued, and whether you took advice from the Government or not, you may find you will not be insured for certain events. General exclusions that tend to be included across the board include: strikes, riots, civil protest and political instability, any act of war, terrorism, any event to do with nuclear or chemical weapons, contagious diseases and/or epidemics or pandemics.”

So if you are planning a trip to an area where there is social or environmental instability that could thwart your holiday plans, be prepared to not be reimbursed for any inconvenience, unless you ensure that your travel insurance policy specifically covers a range of events.

Have you ever had a travel insurance claim rejected? Who do you most trust with your travel insurance? Is travel insurance an unnecessary expense?

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    COMMENTS

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    Nerk
    14th Jul 2018
    7:43am
    I travel a lot, so I buy travel insurance a year at a time, it is about $450 for a couple and if I travel anywhere in australia we are also covered, so if you travel more tan once a year then its worth while to look into.
    Nerk
    14th Jul 2018
    7:51am
    Forgot to mention, I travel in asia area so cheap, dearer if going to usa, I use racq insurance.
    MICK
    14th Jul 2018
    8:09am
    This is not a genuine comparison of Travel Insurance.
    I went to one of your links and all it did was give a price, and a rather expensive one at that.
    Platinum credit card insurance has the SAME, I repeat SAME, cover as paid insurance. I spent hours reading through the PDF a couple of years ago to ascertain this.

    Your story is a con Olga and you appear to be flogging a product. If you were genuine you would have provided the figures rather than links where readers can buy the product. I assume that YLC is being paid for this and it is wrong to disguise this as an article rather than an advertisement.

    As I have been saying for a long time DON'T WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY on purchasing something that is identical to a free product unless it makes you feel better. Personally we have a better use for money than this.
    Sundays
    14th Jul 2018
    8:16am
    I agree Mick. Our travel insurance on our credit card covers everything paid insurance does. We used it once and there was no problem with them paying up
    MICK
    14th Jul 2018
    8:21am
    Thank you for the confirmation Sundays.
    We have never claimed but I read enough posts to convince me there would be no problem if we had to. Saved between $5,000 and $15,000 over the years. Not chicken feed!
    I find it amazing that people do not accept that 'free' means FREE and there are no strings attached other than paying for your trip on the card.
    David
    14th Jul 2018
    9:55am
    I agree Mick and Sundays.
    I compared my free credit card insurance policy with one costing hundreds.
    Everything was the same except that my credit card didn't offer cover for car hire excess (which I didn't need) but if I needed it, it was only going to cost me under $30.
    MICK
    14th Jul 2018
    10:26am
    Mine covered that too from memory David but not all platinum cards have exactly the same cover. That's why users need to put in some serious time before committing, something most refuse to do.
    ozirules
    14th Jul 2018
    12:03pm
    I also agree Mick. My free credit card insurance coughed up $15ooo last year when there was a medical problem overseas. They required lots of paperwork to justify our claim but arranged to fly us home then repaid our losses within a couple of weeks. I used to buy annual insurance on line for around $450 a year too Nerk but luckily they wouldn't cover me once I turned 70 so they forced me to look elsewhere. I wish I'd done it years ago. Funny thing is that the paid for insurance I used to get uses the same underwriter as my free credit card insurance so my risk hasn't changed at all.
    KSS
    15th Jul 2018
    2:49pm
    If the last time you read the pds was a couple of years ago, I recommend you read it again. All insurance changes over time and travel insurance is no different. People may be quite surprised at what is not covered when it used to be. Migraine is a good example!! No longer coveted by most policies since it has been reclassified as a neurovascular condition and therefore comes now with potential hospitalisation risk whether you have ever been hospitalised or not!
    dreamer
    14th Jul 2018
    8:43am
    I had travel insurance for a cruise 7 years ago booked 12months in advance,Found out I needed hip replacement and could get it done a few weeks before cruise so let them know I had to cancel a couple of months before.No refund as said it was prexisting it might have been but I didn't know about it when i booked.
    This was NRMA insurance and I have never used for travel insurance again.
    MICK
    14th Jul 2018
    8:59am
    They ALL have 'pre-existing' out clauses UNLESS the policy specifically says otherwise. Very few do and then only on certain items.

    You need to read the PDF before you purchase this sort of product. I know it's tedious and we all have better things to do but no one to blame other than yourself if this happened.
    Having said that a crook hip has nothing to do with Travel Insurance anyway unless you fell and injured the hip. Not sure why you would be unhappy with the policy if that were the case.
    You would have been covered for travel related injuries. A painful lesson!

    14th Jul 2018
    10:30am
    Insurance of any kind is a scam. The insurance industry is yet another sector that needs a Royal Commission probe into it.
    MICK
    14th Jul 2018
    11:17am
    Probably requires another government funded Ombudsman to adjudicate when they try to avoid paying claims.
    Sadly we already have a bogus Ombudsman in the telecommunications industry where they put in an industry body, call it the Telecommunications Ombudsman and then get decisions in favour of crooked ISPs. I went through this with Optus which avoided paying mandated compensation with the so called Ombudsman making its case.
    I do believe we need a government funded body paid for by the industry as the insurance industry has been another sham for years with politicians unwilling to fix it.
    ozirules
    14th Jul 2018
    12:07pm
    I got repaid $15000 for my claim on a policy I got free through my credit card.....can't see how I was scammed
    johnp
    14th Jul 2018
    11:33am
    some good comments here. I have always used Visa platinum card travel insurance and gone thru the conditions etc; usually underwritten by the likes of QBE. Appears to be lot cheaper than arranging travel insurance separately and additionally. Suppose though you would needed to go O/S at least every 2 years to make it worthwhile.
    ozirules
    14th Jul 2018
    12:12pm
    another benefit from using platinum card insurance is that you can be away up to 6 months per overseas trip whereas the annual insurance I used to purchase for $450 limited me to 37 days away. If my trip was longer I had to purchase additional cover for the extra days.
    Alipal
    14th Jul 2018
    5:40pm
    johnp are you saying you are paying for your Visa platinum card insurance or have I misunderstood?
    johnp
    15th Jul 2018
    8:36am
    Yes, overall its about $150- per year from memory for that card which I believe is lot cheaper if go O/S at least every 2 years.
    Alipal
    14th Jul 2018
    5:33pm
    RACQ insurance have just left us in the lurch. I was going to ask for recommendations which take pre-existing medical conditions into account. As with most insurance companies, they are happy to take your money but not so happy to give it back.
    SteveR
    14th Jul 2018
    7:43pm
    I had a claim rejected by RACV Travel last February (via the underwriter Tokio Marine). I had paid extra for certain pre-existing health conditions and had noted in the policy that glaucoma (for which I take drops) was automatically covered. I thought I was pretty safe however I made the mistake of forgetting to take the drops on a trip to the USA (I take a number of other medications that I did remember). Although I had an Australian script with me that was unacceptable in the USA so I had to visit a local doctor to get a script to buy the tablets. RACV refused to cover the brief (though expensive) consultation because tucked away on page 42 of a policy booklet of over 60 pages was an exclusion for medical consultations to get a script. They also refused to cover anything else associated with the issue including the drops. I suggest people read policy booklets to the nth degree because insurance companies can't be trusted. It seemed illogical to me that the policy covered me for the condition but not for something to prevent the condition getting worse.
    Alipal
    14th Jul 2018
    8:00pm
    Guess what, SteveR. RACQ underwritten by Tokio Marine.


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