14th Feb 2018

How big spenders avoid taking out travel insurance

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Olga Galacho

If you have a credit card with bells and whistles, chances are it comes with free travel insurance.

Many of the gold and platinum cards that charge exorbitant annual fees offer to cover certain expenses if you get into a pickle while on holiday. The catch is that you generally have to fund an expensive chunk of your vacation with the credit card. More often than not, this is taken care of by buying your airline or cruise ticket or booking accommodation using your credit card.

There are also other requirements if you want to rely on your credit card to cover your mishaps. First, you need to notify the bank that you will be travelling and wish to activate the insurance. Failure to do so means you may not be covered.

Second, if you have a pre-existing health condition, it is wise to mention it when you activate your travel insurance and let your bank know that you will be going off on a jaunt, in case you end up paying hospital fees.



The government website MoneySmart warns travellers to check the fine print of the complimentary travel insurance offered by a credit card. Policy details will vary between  financial institutions so it is worth familiarising yourself with any exclusions.

If you have specific medical needs or want to reduce costs associated with lost luggage, theft or disrupted travel, ensure that the credit card’s travel policy covers your requirements. This is especially important if you are considering taking part in high-risk adventures, such as mountaineering, while you are away. Certain extreme activities that may land you in hospital are not covered by the free insurance.

The same is also true if you take a trip to a country the Federal Government has warned against travelling to. For more information about those locations, look up smartraveller.gov.au.

A tool called Launch My Risk was designed by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance to help people determine their risk profiles in order to assess what type of policy best suits them. Comparisons of different credit card travel policies can be found on the Canstar website.

In releasing the 2016-2017 Consular State of Play report, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Australians took 10.7 million trips overseas in that year. In that year, 12,000 Aussies were helped out of trouble. Among those travelling Aussies who lucked out last year, 1641 were arrested, 1090 were victims of crime, 2546 went missing, 1701 were hospitalised and 1653 died.

If you do not have a credit card with a travel insurance policy, consider buying a standalone policy.

As Ms Bishop cautioned when she released the consular report last year: “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel overseas”.

Related articles:
Seniors travel insurance
When should I buy travel insurance
Is credit card insurance enough





COMMENTS

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dontwantwun
14th Feb 2018
12:48pm
So true.
If you can`t afford travel insurance you can`t afford to travel. Credit card insurance has many pitfalls and generally is not worth it.
Like most things that seem too good to be true usually it is.
KSS
14th Feb 2018
1:11pm
Agree.

There is no 'consider' a stand alone insurance policy. Just get it, and read the small print to ensure you are covered for what you need to be covered for.
VeryCaringBigBear
14th Feb 2018
3:46pm
Read Choice as credit card travel insurance stacks up better than many other polices. One of credit cards has QBE insurance and it is the same policy you pay for. It ia also same as other rebranded policies too.

I only use credit card insurance to travel overseas as the rest refuse to cover too many things and are a waste of money.
Greg
14th Feb 2018
5:24pm
Not all CC insurance is the same - mine is through Bankwest, platinum card with NO annual fees and a very good policy coverage. My wife and I had a couple of pre-existing conditions, told them about the conditions and you pay a fee of $40 each, it's through Zurich Insurance. Quotes I got for paid insurance were $600-800 with less benefits in some policies, and similar in others. I'd completed a lot of research before going with CC insurance and read a lot of positive experiences.
johnp
14th Feb 2018
2:05pm
I have heard good reports about the ANZ Visa card international travel insurance. Any comments from anyone re them ??
tj
14th Feb 2018
2:14pm
Johnp I think it all depends on the actual insurance company itself not so much the bank .Also if you have used one particular bank/insurance company credit card insurance for one trip do not assume next time you travel that the same insurance company is the same underwriter as they do change .Another thing do not rely on what the bank/credit card people for information like i said contact the insurance company direct
micko
14th Feb 2018
2:22pm
I have ANZ Visa with travel insurance and about 4/5 years ago cut my leg open in floods in Thailand and needed hospital treatment. On my return to Australia all costs above the policy excess per event of $250 were reimbursed, no problem. You must keep all receipts and a hospital letter outlining the treatment. The ANZ Travel Insurance is with QBE.
tj
14th Feb 2018
2:06pm
I have used credit card insurance a few times (fortunately never had to claim).As i have sometimes stayed in south east asia for extended periods of time i found it convenient to use as am getting on a bit and insurance does get bit pricey for long periods of time ,however i have always found out who the underwriter is ,rang them and actually asked them direct questions of what i am covered for from a detailed list i have prepared .The insurance they provide is definitely no frills basic insurance. The main thing i was concerned about was if injured in some sort of mishap etc. For example if you are injured on a motor bike (even if you are licensed) in Bali - tough luck but Vietnam no problem ,go figure that one .Simply speaking do your homework
VeryCaringBigBear
14th Feb 2018
3:51pm
I wanted to go on a trip recently and was refused unless I paid their very expensive travel insurance. They were very upset when I said if my credit insurance wasn't adequate I'd find another provider to go with instead. I had contacted their travel insurance and was told I wasn't covered so maybe it was just little bit extra in the travel companies pocket.


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