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 AGA Assistance Australia trading as Allianz Global Assistance. You can choose from four types of travel insurance, each offering cover for individuals or families.
This international single-trip policy is Westpac's highest level of cover, offering a range of travel and medical benefits. You'll get unlimited cover for overseas medical and hospital expenses, emergency medical assistance and cancellation fees/lost deposits. The $50,000 toward additional travel expenses protects you if you are injured and someone needs to travel to be with you, or vice versa. On top of that, you'll get $10,000 worth of cover for lost or stolen luggage, $5,000 toward alternative transport expenses and $3,000 toward rental vehicle excess.
Multi- Trip Cover
This is a 12-month comprehensive international policy covering an unlimited number of journeys. It has the exact same benefits and benefit limits as the Comprehensive policy above. This policy will cover you for as many journeys as you can fit into a 12-month period, but any single trip can't last longer than the 15, 30 or 45-day maximum journey period (you will select the maximum journey period when signing up for your policy).
For the budget traveller, this international single-trip policy offers same medical cover you'd get with the comprehensive policy. It also offers many of the other benefits of the comprehensive policy, but with reduced limits. It comes with unlimited cover for overseas medical and hospital expenses, $10,000 toward cancellation fees and lost deposits, $25,000 toward additional travel expenses, $3,000 for luggage, $2,000 for travel delay and $3,000 for rental vehicle excess.
This is a single-trip policy for Australians travelling domestically. Since most Australians won't need medical cover here at home, it does away with medical and focuses on what you'll need most. It gives you unlimited cover for cancellation fees and lost deposits, $25,000 toward additional travel expenses, $10,000 for lost or stolen luggage, $2,000 for travel delay expenses and $3,000 toward rental vehicle excess.
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 $1,500.
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, including $1,000 toward dental expenses. 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 $25,000 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 $50 per day up to a maximum of $5,000.
Delayed Transport, Accommodation and Meal Expenses: If you transport is delayed for 6 hours or more for reasons beyond your control, you will receive $200 at the end of that 6 hours plus $200 per day that you are delayed, up to $2,000 total. You will be required to submit a written document provided by your transport provider verifying the delay to be eligible for this benefit.
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 $10,000 to cover your damage ($3,000 on the Essentials policy). 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 if you have the comprehensive, multi-trip or domestic policies).
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