Sunday, February 15, 2009

Travel Insurance

~ Returning to the article Cheap Tricks For A Great Trip by Herald Sun writer, Donna Coutts, Donna writes:

“THINK of travel insurance as potentially saving you money. An accident or illness overseas could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is an expensive holiday in anyone's language. But don't waste money on overpriced or inappropriate cover.”

Ah yes, but what constitutes overpriced or inappropriate?

I paid around AU$1,200 for insurance, and didn’t once make a claim in seven months. Should I have paid less? How about, nothing? How much is enough, and how much is too little? Only you can answer these questions. The cold hard reality is that if you take a chance and have no insurance or too little, it could cost you dearly if you need major medical treatment while you are away.

One of your main considerations will be to look at the type of holiday you are planning. If you are into extreme sports of any kind, you would be mad not to have the best travel insurance you can get.

If on the other hand you are taking part in a fully organised, 14 day guided tour of European capitals, you may decide to tailor an insurance package specifically for your needs, and hopefully save a handful of money in the process.

By the way, travel agents make huge commissions on insurance, so whatever you do – make sure you shop around. A good place to start is the online comparison site, Travel Insurance.

If you are buying travel insurance online, make sure you read the fine print before you pay for anything. If you are unsure of anything, email the provider with your questions before signing up. If you can’t find anyone to answer your questions – move on to another provider.

Some countries have reciprocal health agreements with Australia, and will treat Australian citizens as if they are their own. These countries are New Zealand, The United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Malta, and Norway.

Visit the Medicare Australia site at this link for full details of any conditions which may apply, and for a list of what you are entitled to in each country.

Other countries, especially the United States are notoriously expensive, and travelling in America without adequate insurance is courting financial disaster if you need treatment for even minor ailments.

In her article, Donna suggests you check your credit-card policy. Some of the major providers include travel insurance in their policies, although special conditions will almost certainly apply. If you have existing private health insurance, you may be able to upgrade your coverage to include travel insurance.

Once again, if you have any tips to offer, please feel free to add a comment.

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