Westpac travel insurance review
Do you think you are a smart traveller? Being a smart traveller is not just about looking for good deals and discounts. It also means having travel insurance, so that you get covered if you incur losses should you cancel your trip before departure, cut your trip short or lose your luggage during transit.
Who is Westpac Travel Insurance?
Westpac Travel Insurance is part of the Westpac Banking Corporation, which began trading on 8 April 1817. In those days it was known as the Bank of New South Wales, operating out of a single office in Sydney.
In 1982, the bank merged with Commercial Bank of Australia and became the Westpac Banking Corporation. Westpac has continued to evolve over the years to offer a variety of banking solutions to customers including bank accounts, home loans, credit cards, personal loans, super and retirement, investments and insurance.
The organisation offers affordable travel insurance for families and single travellers. It has two types of travel insurance cover; Holiday Travel Insurance and Frequent Traveller Insurance. Both cover individuals and families for specific events, including cover for baggage, travel documents and credit cards, 24-hour medical assistance as well as travel assistance, unlimited overseas medical expense cover and cancelled travel and accommodation expenses.
The review will explore the different travel insurance options available from Westpac and the different benefits provided.
Westpac Travel Insurance Options
Westpac Travel Insurance policies are issued by Vero Insurance Limited. You can choose holiday or frequent traveller insurance policy which offers individual or family cover.
Holiday Travel Insurance:
Whether you are planning a trip within Australia or overseas, this insurance offers aan extensive range of cover to suit the needs of a variety of travellers. It is designed as a single trip policy.
The single policy will cover you and one child (or grandchild), who is accompanying you on the holiday. When you opt for the family policy, it will cover you, your spouse or partner, children and grandchildren who accompany you on the holiday or trip.
When you buy the insurance policy, you will also need to select the region and/or countries that you will be visiting during the course of your trip.
The amount you will be paying for the policy will include the premium based on the calculation done by Westpac plus GST and certain mandatory government charges, such as stamp duty. The total amount will be shown on the schedule of the policy.
Frequent Traveller Insurance:
The Frequent Traveller policy provides cover for an unlimited number of trips in any 12 month period. The maximum duration of individual trips must not exceed 90 days.
The insurance period begins from the day you start your journey or from the date mentioned on the schedule, depending on which occurs last.
Similar to the Holiday Travel Insurance policy, the Frequent Traveller Insurance policy offers single and family cover. Here too, you can get cover for yourself and one child or grandchild accompanying you on the journey for the single travel, while for the family policy, you, your spouse (or partner), children and any grandchildren that accompany you on the journeys are covered.
Both Holiday Travel Insurance and Frequent Traveller Insurance provide the following cover:
- Unlimited cover for medical expenses that you incur overseas
- Cover for cancelled accommodation and/or travel expense that you incur
- 24-hour medical and travel assistance
- Cover for credit cards, travel documents and luggage
Both types of insurance come with a cooling off period where you have the right to cancel the insurance policy within 30 days of getting it issued.
Westpac Travel Insurance Policy Benefits
Cancelled Travel and Accommodation Expense: Benefit provided for accommodation and travel expenses if you have been cancel them due to unforeseen reasons. To qualify for this benefit you must have already paid for accommodation or transport and be unable to recover the monies. You can expect unlimited cover for a reasonable amount.
The policy also covers the travel agent’s cancellation fee up to $1,000 or 10%, depending on which amount is the lesser.
If you buy the airline ticket using frequent flyer points and lose the points due to cancellation, the policy will pay an equivalent amount in cash.
Overseas Medical and Dental Expenses: During your overseas trip, if you fall ill or sustain an injury, cover will be provided for reasonable medical expenses incurred. You may also receive cover for dental expenses incurred overseas. The policy will pay a reasonable amount for travel and accommodation of another person, so that he or she can travel to where you are and stay with you in the location or accompany you home.
Additional Transport and Accommodation Expenses: If you fall ill or suffer an injury which does not allow you to complete your journey, the policy will pay you a reasonable amount as additional transport and accommodation expenses. It will pay for your return journey home if an unexpected death, sickness, injury or illness occurs in your family.
In the event that you pass away during your journey, the insurance will pay up to $10,000 to your estate for overseas cremation or burial or to have your remains brought home.
If your passport or travel documents are lost or stolen during your journey, the insurance policy will pay for travel and accommodation costs that you incurred while getting a replacement passport and travel documents.
Cash Paid While in Hospital: If you are hospitalised overseas for more than 48 hours, you will receive $100 per day up to a maximum of $6,000.
Delayed Transport, Accommodation and Meal Expenses: If you transport is delayed for 12 hours or more for reasons beyond your control, you will receive $250 every 12 hours to a maximum of $1,000. You will be required to submit a written document provided by your transport provider verifying the delay to be eligible for this benefit.
Up to $500 will be paid to cover the relocation fee that the rental vehicle company charges you for relocating your rental vehicle.
Personal Baggage and Travel Documents:
During your journey, if your baggage, personal items and clothing are damaged, you are eligible to receive a maximum of $8,000 to cover your damage. The insurance company will decide whether the item can be repaired, replaced or paid for.
Westpac will pay up to $250 for cash stolen from your person while travelling.
Additional Westpac Travel Insurance Benefits
Other benefits of Westpac Travel Insurance include:
- Accidental death
- Personal liability
- Resumption of journey
- Special event cancellation expenses
- Delayed baggage emergency purchases
- Loss of income
- Substitute person to fulfil your business obligations
Making a Westpac Travel Insurance Claim
Making a Westpac Travel Insurance Claim can be as simple as calling the company or sending a fax or email.
You can contact the Westpac claims department by phone 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world.
Depending on the nature of your claim, you will be required to provide additional documentation so that your claim may be verified. These may include the following:
- Original medical certificates
- Original dental certificates
- Specialist doctors' reports
- Police reports
- Proof of ownership, like original receipts and invoices
- Travel itineraries
- Airline, bus, train or other transport tickets
- Luggage tags
- Court or legal documents that you received about the claim
The time taken to settle the claim varies and all the claims are assessed and approved within Australia. If you have submitted all the relevant documents and information required, you can expect to hear from Westpac (Vero Insurance Limited) within 10 business days informing you whether your claim has been accepted.
The circumstances under which your claim can be rejected include not being truthful, not furnishing all the required documents and information and withholding vital information that should have been informed while making the claim.
Westpac takes into consideration different factors to calculate the claim amount. These include the following:
- The amount of loss, damage and/or liability
- Policy limit
- Terms and conditions of your Westpac Travel Insurance
Once the company calculates the amount that is payable to you, it has the option to:
- Pay for your personal baggage repair or replacement
- Pay for your medical costs overseas
- Pay a third party
- Directly pay you