Insurance companies are often blamed as having so called 'loopholes' inserted in their policies that gives them a way out to avoid paying out on claims. However, these claims often result in the policy holder not understanding the terms and conditions and hence, exactly what he or she is covered for. An insurance policy is after all a legal document and something that you must make yourself fully aware of before you agree to the conditions it contains.
Travel insurance is no different. There are many companies which offer travel insurance and most of these differ from each other in one form or another. This makes it even more important that you fully understand what you are actually covered for in the particular policy you have chosen. Some travel insurance is offered as a complimentary feature to entice you to sign up for a specific credit card. In these cases the main objective of the financial organisation which owns the credit card is to have you purchase the card. The offer of travel insurance is the enticement although the travel insurance itself will be underwritten by a legitimate insurance company that specialises in this type of product.
One bank that offers travel insurance with its platinum credit card is Westpac. We have put together the results of a thorough analysis to help you decide whether the Westpac Earth Platinum travel insurance is what you have been looking for.
Westpac Credit Cards with Travel Insurance
Important Points Regarding Westpac Platinum Travel Insurance:
- The Westpac Platinum credit card travel insurance is available to insure the actual card holder, his or her spouse and any dependent children who undertake travel overseas for a period of three months.
- The insurance cover begins automatically when you purchase your airline international return tickets but you must pay the full cost with your Westpac Platinum card, or Westpac rewards points. You will not be covered if you purchase your flight tickets any other way.
- You can not pay by direct debit, BPAY or by cheque if want to take advantage of your Westpac Platinum travel insurance, even though you will be taking, and using, such a card with you on your travels.
- It is important that you check with Westpac to make certain you are covered before you leave on your travels.
- You can't even pay a holding deposit to your travel agent.
- You must pay the whole cost of the return travel with your card before you will receive any travel insurance.
These are all very important points to keep in mind otherwise you will only come to learn you card's travel insurance will be absolutely useless to you when you come to make a claim. Another point to keep in your mind is that you will be subjected to an excess of $200 on any claim you make other than when you have to obtain a replacement credit card, emergency clothing, travellers cheques or travel documents should your luggage be lost.
Events That are Not Covered
Before we get started on what the Westpac Platinum credit card travel insurance does cover we should look at some of the events that are not covered, these include the following:
- Situations that could have been avoided if you had taken the advice of any government warning, officials or public news reports.
- Items stolen that had been left in a car overnight or if left in full view of passers by, whether the car is locked or not.
- Items not personally owned by yourself or your family but owned by a business.
- When you knowingly put yourself in danger.
- When you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- If injured in a professional sport and most adventure sports.
- Clothes damaged whilst being laundered.
- When you have not taken adequate precautions against any event from occurring.
- Any items left behind, misplaced or forgotten.
- There is no income protection included
Events Covered by Your Westpac Platinum Credit Card Travel Insurance
- Delays while travelling. Although there is no cover offered for any missed flight connections you are covered if you have been delayed through no fault of your own for six hours or more. In this case you will receive $500 a person to a maximum of $900.
- Car rentals. An amount of $5,000 will be paid on all rental car accidents occasioned while you are driving overseas.
- Theft or damage. You are not covered for anything that you carelessly lose but you are insured up to an amount of $15,000 if you are the card holder or $20,000 for the family as a group against loss through theft or damage. This cover is limited to $3,000 for any one item apart from a laptop computer with is covered for $5,500 for any personal items. You can also claim up to $500 for each person (maximum of $1,000 for a family) for any lost baggage to replace clothing and toiletries in an emergency. Items stolen from a locked car are covered for a total of $2,500.
- Death cover. If a death occurs in a transport accident the card holder, spouse or child are all covered for $250,000 each. If the death results from a non-transport accident (paid up to 12 months following the incident) an amount of $15,000 will be paid on the cardholder’s life and $10,000 on the spouse's life, Children are not covered under these circumstances.
- Medical cover. Emergency dental treatment up to a maximum of $1,250 will be paid if the treatment is to ease urgent pain. You will also be able to claim $100 a day while hospitalised up to a maximum of $12,000. Pre-existing medical conditions that flare up again while you are travelling can still be insured against if you inform the company before departure and pay an assessment fee as well as any loading on your premium if that is required.
Does Your Trip Require an Extra Level of Cover?
You may feel that your situation requires a travel insurance policy with an extra level of features and higher level of cover than what is available on complimentary travel insurance from credit cards. If this is the case it might be worth considering a standalone policy from an Australian travel insurer. While you will have to pay a little extra for the cover, you can benefit by being able to tailor your cover to your travel needs and receive protection for a greater range of losses that may be suffered while travelling.