Travel insurance can protect you from most things while you're travelling but there are general exclusions that most Australian travel insurers won't cover. It's no secret, and they will always be outlined in the product disclosure statement (PDS).
When am I not covered by travel insurance?
This can be a bit hard to answer since claims can be denied and approved based on specific circumstances. Here are some examples of where you might not be covered.
If you can get your money back from another entity.
Travel insurance won't reimburse money that can be refunded. As an example, if you had to cancel your flights, the airline might only charge a 50% cancellation fee and refund the rest, so your policy will only cover the other half that you lost.
If you've drunk alcohol or are under the influence of drugs.
When it comes to alcohol, there are some insurers who will straight up deny any related claims, other insurers may assess your level of intoxication before they agree to cover you. Either way, the ball is in their court if you have a few too many drinks and end up suffering a loss.
As for recreational drugs, you're definitely not covered.
If you fail to act responsibly or take care.
The purpose of travel insurance is to protect you financially from the unexpected while you're travelling. If an insurer finds that your claim had arose from something avoidable your claim can be denied.
Did you know that your claim can be denied if you don't store your valuables in a safe when you stay in a hotel and they are stolen? This would be considered a loss that was avoidable.
If you don't disclose pre-existing conditions.
Getting cover for a pre-existing medical condition can be costly (depending on your condition), which is why some people can be tempted to not add on the extra cover to their policy. Whether this was done intentionally or not, if anything happened to you or your travel companion that is traced back to a pre-existing condition, your policy can be made void.
If you ride a motorcycle or scooter.
With this one, you really want to check your PDS to make sure you follow the rules stipulated by the insurer. Travel insurance companies vary quite a lot when it comes to when they will cover you if you suffer a loss associated with riding a motorcycle or scooter.
Almost all insurers will only cover you if you have an Australian motorcycle license or the correct local permits. Policies will also have a limit on engine sizes and insist that drivers and pillions wear helmets.
If you take part in extreme sports and activities.
Snowsports and trekking are often not included when taking out travel insurance because they are high risk activities. You can usually take out extra cover while applying online, you'll just have to pay more for it. If you don't do this, you obviously won't be covered if you get hurt.
If your luggage is lost or left unattended.
When it comes to your luggage there are a few scenarios. If your luggage is lost by an airline, it will be their responsibility to reimburse you. If you leave your luggage unattended, that's considered avoidable and your claim might be denied.
If your trip is affected by terrorism.
Terrorism is on the minds of many travellers when they head overseas. Whether or not you'll have a claim honoured that is the result of a terrorist act will depend on your insurer. Many insurers will cover you for medical claims, while some will cover evacuation and less still will cover loss of income or cancellation as a result of terrorist actions. Similarly, you won't have cover if you've travelled to a country against a governmental warning or advisory.
If your trip is affected by a natural disaster or known event.
If a natural disaster occurs and you haven't bought your travel insurance policy, unfortunately you won't be covered for any related claims since you purchased the policy after it has become a known event.
Also, most insurers will not cover expenses if you choose to cancel your trip because you're worried about a natural disaster happening. You will only be covered if there is a government-issued warning and you have bought your policy before it became a known event.
If a "relative" is hospitalised, injured or dies.
This is only the case in certain situations since most of the time you're covered. You may not be covered if;
- The family member is not considered a "relative" as per the PDS definition, this might include cousins and godchildren
- The relative succumbs to an already known pre-existing medical condition
- The relative is over the age mentioned in the PDS
- The family member doesn't reside in Australia or New Zealand
Exclusions of general benefits
General benefits have exclusions as well, these exclusions protect insurers from those who are intentionally adding risk to their trip.
Now you know what's not covered, compare travel insurance policies today
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