What is The Wise Traveller and what travel cover does it offer?
The Wise Traveller is a community of like-minded travellers, offering insider tips, bonuses and other benefits to its members, as part of the annual subscription fee.
One of these benefits is travel cover, included as part of your membership. However, the first thing to understand is that it’s not like other travel insurance.
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What makes The Wise Traveller cover different?
The Wise Traveller is not an insurance company. Instead, it’s a club that has negotiated bulk travel insurance and global assistance for its members, underwritten by Tokio Marine Insurance and supported by Allianz Global Assistance.
Rather than needing to take out travel insurance for each individual trip, your membership simply includes ongoing annual multi-trip travel insurance, with a few differences.
Compared to other forms of travel cover, this has a few pros and cons.
- Everyone on your membership has their own cover: Everyone who’s a member gets their own travel insurance cover, and it travels with them. This means you can freely travel together or separately without worrying about how that affects your cover, and have separate limits for everyone. A typical travel insurance policy will require everyone under a policy to travel together at all times, and will have shared limits between everyone.
- You have worldwide cover: Don’t worry about “travel zones” or paying extra just because you’re making a quick detour into a different zone. You have worldwide cover, minus specific excluded countries.
- Near-permanent multi-trip travel insurance: All members have their cover for as long as they maintain membership. Even if The Wise Traveller becomes insolvent, you’ll still retain your travel cover for the remainder of the subscription period.
- Can be extremely cost-effective: The Wise Traveller membership can cost less than an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy, even for individuals. Family memberships can be more cost-effective still.
- Additional benefits: Your membership also includes benefits and exclusive products other than travel cover.
- Inflexible cover: It’s a “bulk policy” negotiated by The Wise Traveller on behalf of all members. As such it’s not as flexible as typical travel insurance policies. For example, there’s only one level of cover instead of basic and comprehensive options.
- Strict limits: Limits apply to all travel insurance policies, but The Wise Traveller cover might have stricter limits in some places than typical travel insurance policies.
- Few extras: You can’t add extras the way you can with other travel insurance policies. For example, ski cover isn’t available. Even with a membership, you might find yourself picking up separate travel insurance for one-off trips.
- Cover is for travellers up to the age of 65 only.
- There are no options for ski cover, adventure sports cover or similar.
- Your cover is provided for 12 months at a time, based on your Wise Traveller membership periods.
- Family membership can cover your children up to the age of 21.
- The maximum trip length that can be covered is 90 days.
- This policy only covers you while travelling overseas.
How much does a Wise Traveller membership cost?
- Single membership: US$155 per year
- Couples membership: US$288 per year
- Family of 3: US$328 per year
- Family of 4: US$368 per year
- Family of 5: US$408 per year
In many cases, the cost of a Wise Traveller membership might be roughly equivalent to the cost of more basic annual multi-trip travel insurance policy.
What am I covered for?
Much like other travel insurance, you’re covered for a range of essentials and non-essentials, up to certain limits.
You should note that:
- Benefit limits and payouts are fixed in US dollars. Your exact level of cover will vary with the strength of the US dollar, rather than the strength of the Australian dollar. While comparing cover, you should also remember that the limits here may be higher than they initially appear.
- All policy benefits may be subject to additional terms and conditions. The information in the table below is an overview only. Specific exclusions, general exclusions, sub-limits and other conditions may apply.
|Benefit||What it does and how it pays||Limit (per person, per trip, in US$)|
|24/7 emergency assistance||Support provided by Allianz Global Assistance|
|Emergency medical evacuation||Your return home under medical supervision if necessary|
|Repatriation of mortal remains||The repatriation of remains in the event of death overseas|
|Overseas medical expenses||The cost of medical treatments provided overseas|
|Emergency dental||The cost of treatment for acute dental pain or dental injury|
|Accidental death||Benefits payable for accidental death resulting from an insured event|
|Permanent disability||Benefits payable for permanent disability resulting from an insured event|
|Personal liability||Cover for legal and compensatory costs you may be found liable for|
|Trip cancellation||Reimbursement of non-recoverable prepaid travel expenses if your trip is cancelled|
|Trip curtailment||Reimbursement of non-recoverable prepaid travel expenses if your trip is cut short|
|Missed connection||Cover for the cost of ongoing travel connections, if you miss your connection and no alternative is available|
|Travel delay||Up to $150 for each 6 hours your luggage is delayed|
|Luggage delay||$150 for each 6 hours you are unable to travel, such as if a storm closes the airport|
|Lost or damaged baggage||Cover for loss or damage to your baggage|
|Lost travel documents||Cover for lost travel documents|
|Theft of cash||The maximum amount of stolen cash you are covered for|
|Car rental excess||Cover for your rental car excess, if payable by you|
What am I not covered for?
It’s a one-size-fits-all cover type, so there are some specific conditions to be aware of.
- Age limit: Wise Traveller membership only offers cover up to the age of 65.
- Country exclusions: You are not covered if your travels take you to or through Afghanistan, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Sudan or Syria.
- Pre-existing conditions: You are not covered at all for claims related to a pre-existing condition.
- International only. Your membership only covers you to travel internationally. You are not covered for domestic trips.
- Activities: There is no cover for claims arising due to participation in trekking, skiing trips or expeditions.
- Duplicate cover: If you find yourself with another travel insurance policy underwritten by Tokio Marine Insurance, you will need to choose whether to be covered by your Wise Traveller membership, or the other policy for a given trip. If you’re taking out a one-off policy on top of your membership, such as for a ski-trip or to travel with someone over 65, you may want to be aware of this.
Other exclusions and conditions are more typical for travel insurance:
- You are required to exercise appropriate precautions to protect yourself and your property at all times.
- If your claim arises from treatment for mental conditions, sexually transmitted diseases or because you are using a medical facility as a nursing, convalescent or rehabilitation place.
- You are not covered for claims resulting from a failure to follow official travel warnings.
- There is no cover for delays resulting from a change of plans.
- You may not be able to claim sums recoverable elsewhere, such as from a different insurance policy.
How to make a claim
If someone under the policy is hospitalised, or you become aware that the cost of outpatient medical treatments is likely to exceed US$1,500, you should contact Allianz Global Assistance as soon as reasonably possible.
For other claims, you can send a claims form to Tokio Marine Insurance within 30 days of the incident.
How do I get a quote for The Wise Traveller cover?
There’s no need to get a quote. Membership costs are fixed, and cover is negotiated in bulk for all members. All you have to do is become a member at The Wise Traveller.
See how it works: Cover for the whole family
The Johnsons were a family of four, and all were keen travellers. Dad was always frequently travelling on business trips, and Mum often joined him and would travel to nearby areas.
The two kids (aged 18 and 20) would sometimes also come along, but spent more time taking advantage of cheap flights to Bali.
Because they spent time travelling together as well as separately, they were spending a fortune on travel insurance and still getting gaps in cover.
- Mum and Dad got couples travel insurance, but that only covered them while they were travelling together so they couldn’t go off and do their own thing.
- The kids kept forgetting to get travel insurance, worrying Mum and Dad sick and potentially putting themselves on the hook for a lifetime of medical debt.
One day Dad came across The Wise Traveller and realised that for US$378 a year all of them could have their own personal travel cover that stayed with them no matter how many trips they took, and no matter whether they travelled alone or separately.
After going over the policy terms in detail, Mum and Dad found it to be great value. As an added bonus, they also got access to a range of other Wise Traveller products and features.