Southern Cross Travel Insurance Review
The unpredictable nature of travel means that things can and often do go wrong at the worst possible time. Baggage gets lost, thieves can steal your valuables, flights are delayed and cancelled, and illness and injury can conspire to destroy your holiday plans. And when you’re stuck in another country when problems arise, your dream trip can quickly turn into a nightmare.
No matter where you’re travelling, good travel insurance is a must to protect you against the unexpected. Not only does travel insurance offer security against the possibility of losing the money spent on your holiday, it also guarantees peace of mind. It’s a vital expense whenever you’re travelling, no matter whether you’re taking a quick trip interstate or embarking on a long getaway overseas.Rates last updated July 29th, 2014.
- Who is Southern Cross Travel Insurance?
- Why Consider Southern Cross Travel Insurance Australia?
- Southern Cross Travel Insurance Policy Options
- SCTI Cover of Dangerous Countries
- Policy Options to Consider
- Southern Cross Policy Benefits
- What is the Southern Cross Travel Insurance Excess?
- Southern Cross Travel Insurance Pre-Existing Conditions
- Southern Cross Travel Insurance F.A.Qs
Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) is a travel insurance specialist. An APRA and ASIC regulated general insurer, SCTI offers insurance cover for hundreds of thousands of travellers. This article provides information on SCTI and the policies it offers to help you decide whether SCTI travel cover is the right option for you.
Who is Southern Cross Travel Insurance?
SCTI began its operations in New Zealand in 1982, and specialises in offering travel insurance cover. The company is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Insurance Council of Australia and a signatory to the Australian General Insurance Code of Practice.
Safe and Easy Online Application
SCTI is an entirely web-based company. All communication with SCTI is conducted through the company website and via email, except for their Worldwide Assistance service (see details below). The benefit of being an online-only company is that SCTI has less overheads, allowing them to offer competitive insurance premiums.
SCTI won the CANSTAR International Travel Insurance star rating award for Outstanding Value for the 2013 travel insurance survey. The CANSTAR ratings are awarded to companies that have ‘the right balance between price and product features’, and 2013 is the fifth year in a row SCTI has achieved this award.
Why Consider Southern Cross Travel Insurance Australia?
Range of Cover Types
SCTI offers two policy types to choose from depending on the number of trips you intend to take in a year: a single trip policy and a multi trip policy. A single trip policy provides cover for a single journey overseas, while a multi trip policy provides cover for an unlimited number of journeys overseas, each no longer than 90 days, over a 12 month period. This choice of options lets you select the perfect policy for your specific needs.
In order to ensure you are covered wherever you may be travelling to, SCTI has three different plans to choose from: New Zealand / South Pacific, World and SuperWorld. The SuperWorld plan covers all countries and is mandatory for visits of more than five days in total to the United States of America, Canada, Japan, Antarctica, Sub-Antarctic Islands and the Arctic Circle. Individual and family policies are also available so you can tailor coverage to yourself or your family.
Southern Cross also offers worldwide assistance, giving you access to a global network of emergency medical resources 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have an accident or get sick while on holiday, Southern Cross Worldwide Assistance can help you locate the nearest registered English speaking medical practitioner, arrange emergency medical evacuation, keep your immediate family advised of your situation, and provide payment guarantees to hospitals or emergency clinics.
The Worldwide Assistance service can also offer advice about making a claim; tips for replacing lost passports, money and other important travel documents; and an urgent message service and emergency travel planning. This offers you increased peace of mind while overseas, along with the reassuring knowledge that help will be available when you need it most.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance Policy Options
SCTI offers a range of policy options to make sure you’re covered no matter where you travel in the world. There are three different plans to choose from: New Zealand / South Pacific, World and SuperWorld.
The New Zealand / South Pacific plan covers international travel to the following countries:
- American Samoa
- Cook Islands
- French Polynesia
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Norfolk Island
It also covers visits to World and SuperWorld destinations for five days or less in total over the duration of your journey.
The World Plan covers all international destinations, excluding the United States of America, Canada, Japan, Antarctica, Sub-Antarctic Islands and the Arctic Circle, although visits to these destinations for five days or less in total over your journey are covered. All countries listed under the New Zealand/South Pacific plan above are also covered in the World Plan.
The third option, the SuperWorld Plan, covers all countries and is mandatory for visits of more than five days in total to the United States of America, Canada, Japan, Antarctica, Sub-Antarctic Islands and the Arctic Circle.
SCTI Cover of Dangerous Countries
The Australian government does issue travel warnings to Australians going to certain countries due to war, terrorism, or any other event that could be considered dangerous. Hence, if any country is mentioned on the official do-not-travel list, then Southern Cross Travel Insurance may not cover you if you decide to visit any of those countries. Therefore, it is advisable to check the do-not-travel advisory of the Australian government before planning a trip so as to ensure adequate travel insurance cover.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance also advises potential customers to select a travel insurance plan that is meant for the destination they are headed to. If you choose a travel plan that does not cover the specific countries you are going to or passing through, then any claims arising from travel to those countries may not be entertained by the insurance provider. Whether you are actually headed to a particular destination or simply passing through it, you need to ensure that you choose the appropriate type of TravelCare plan.
Policy Options to Consider
Individual or Family Cover
SCTI also offers a range of options to help tailor your travel insurance coverage to suit your needs. Individual and family plans are available to insure one or more people, and dependent children are covered for free under both types of plans.
Individual cover applies for one adult, or one adult and any of his or her dependent children travelling together on the same itinerary. Family cover, meanwhile, applies for either two adults travelling together on the same itinerary, or two adults and any of their dependent children travelling together on the same itinerary.
Single or Multi-Trip Cover
Single and multi trip plans are also available. As mentioned above, a single trip policy provides cover for a single journey overseas, while a multi trip policy provides cover for an unlimited number of journeys overseas, each no longer than 90 days, over a 12 month period. If you travel abroad more than three times a year, a multi trip policy is a more convenient and probably more affordable option.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance Benefit Options
SCTI policies cover the following:
- Medical expenses and evacuation. If, as a result of an unexpected event, you require medical treatment during your journey, SCTI will reimburse you for your medical expenses. Medical evacuation is also covered, even if you need to be repatriated to Australia.
- Emergency dental treatment.
- Cash allowance while in hospital to help you cover necessary expenses.
- Extra travel and accommodation costs incurred if you are unfit to travel.
- If you are travelling alone and hospitalised for more than 10 days, SCTI will cover the cost of flights and accommodation for a friend or relative to travel from Australia and stay by your side.
- Funeral expenses.
Changes to Your Journey
- If you have to cancel or alter your journey before leaving Australia, for example due to an unexpected illness or the loss of your job, the policy helps you recoup the money you’ve spent booking your holiday.
- Travel interruption. If your trip is delayed or disrupted, for example a delayed flight causing you to miss a connecting flight, cover is provided.
- Coverage also applies if unexpected trip delays cause you to miss a special event, or if an unexpected event forces you to cut your journey short and return home to Australia.
Baggage and Personal Items
- The cost of lost, stolen and damaged items, for example laptops and jewellery, will be reimbursed.
- Baggage delay. If an airline misplaces your baggage for 12 hours or more, you will be reimbursed for the cost of buying essential items of clothing and personal effects until your bags catch up with you.
Cash and Travel Documents
- Lost or stolen cash will be reimbursed.
- If your essential bank cards, travel documents or passports are lost, stolen or damaged, SCTI will reimburse you for the cost of their replacement.
- This covers things like death or disablement during your journey, as well as loss of income as the result of an injury.
Other policy features cover you in the area of personal liability and rental vehicle excess. As with any insurance policy, limits and exclusions apply to the coverage available. Make sure to read the Product Disclosure Statement closely so you know exactly what the policy does and doesn’t cover.
What is the Southern Cross Travel Insurance Excess?
An excess is also charged on Southern Cross Travel Insurance policies. A $100 excess applies for every event occurring under the Medical, Changes to Your Journey, Baggage and Personal Items, and Cash and Travel Documents sections listed above. For example, if your wallet containing your cash and credit cards is stolen and you make a claim, you will be charged a $100 excess.
Travel cover through SCTI also features a rental vehicle excess feature. If you hire a rental vehicle overseas and it is stolen or damaged on your journey, SCTI will reimburse you for any excess payable to the rental company that is not refundable.
This rental vehicle excess cover does not apply, however, if you are in breach of any local driving laws or rules, if you have not hired the car from a licensed rental vehicle agency, or if you have violated the terms of the rental vehicle agreement.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance Pre-Existing Conditions
It’s important to note that pre-existing conditions are excluded under a SCTI policy. This means that any medical or physical conditions or symptoms which you are aware of prior to the start date of your insurance, or that a person in your circumstances ought to have been aware of, are not covered. Some minor and common conditions, such as acne, asthma, migraines and hayfever, are automatically covered by the policy unless otherwise specified.
If you want to get coverage for your pre-existing condition, you can seek this during the policy application process. To do this, you will be asked to complete a simple online medical assessment. The results will be displayed to you before you decide whether or not to proceed with the policy, letting you make an informed choice about what you’re signing up for. An additional premium will apply if SCTI does offer cover for your pre-existing condition.
If you do not want to apply for cover for a pre-existing condition, you can opt to leave these excluded during the application process. However, remember that any pre-existing conditions that you choose not to seek cover for, or do not tell SCTI about, will not be included under your policy.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance F.A.Qs
Q. How much does Southern Cross Travel Insurance Cost?
A. The cost of your cover will come down to a number of factors including;
- Single or multi-trip policy
- Length of the trip
- The destination selected on the policy
- Age of traveler’s
- Number of traveler’s
- If there has been high value items registered on the policy
Q. Can I extend my policy?
A. You can lodge a request to extend your policy provided the original policy has not yet expired. Multi-trip policies cannot be extended once the 90th day of the trip has passed.
Q. Can I change my policy after I have applied for it?
A. It is possible to make adjustments to your policy provided the journey has not commenced. There may be an additional charge applied for some amendments.
Q. Can I cancel my policy?
A. Each policy is issued with a 14 day cooling off period whereby you can cancel the policy and receive a full refund of any payment made provided the policy has not yet stated or you have not yet left for your trip.
Q. When does my cover start and end?
A. Cover will start from the start date stated on the certificate of insurance. Cover will end on the end date of your journey.
Q. Can my policy be cancelled?
A. Yes. Southern Cross Travel Insurance reserves the right to cancel your policy if you are found to not comply with your duty of disclosure, made a fraudulent claim or act within the provisions of the policy.
Q. Who can apply for SCTI
A. To be eligible for SCTI you must be;
- An Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident with no Visa restrictions
- A New Zealand citizen or permanent citizen residing in Australia
- On a working holiday visa that allows you to stay for a period of at least two years.