Travellers are putting themselves at a huge financial risk by delaying travel insurance

Julia Corderory 10 July 2018 NEWS

Purchasing your travel insurance early is just as important as pre-booking your accommodation and tours. If you don’t you could be left out of pocket.

Aussie holiday-makers are putting their wallets at a huge risk by delaying the purchase of travel insurance until the last minute, new data has revealed.

According to the results of a survey conducted by RAA Insurance and provided to News Corp, less than one third (32%) of travellers booked insurance on the same day as they booked their vacation.

Almost half (47%) of the 2,500 clients surveyed waited up to a month before getting cover while one in five (21%) delayed the important purchase even longer.

And this trend is a risky one, says RAA Travel spokesperson Mandy Nasuti. By putting off travel insurance until just before you switch on your "out of office" email notification, you risk swallowing the cost of your entire holiday if something goes wrong and you have to cancel your trip.

“It is important to ensure you have cancellation cover at the same time you make purchases such as airfares, train travel and accommodation,’’ Nasuti told The Advertiser.

“It’s the same principle as insuring your car as soon as you buy it, to make sure you are covered for any unforeseen circumstances. The last thing you would want is to cancel your holiday but still have to pay for it.’’

Almost a third (30%) of insurance claims through RAA are for pre-holiday cancellations as a result of an unexpected illness.

What is cancellation cover and how do I get it?

Cancellation cover is typically a basic component of any decent travel insurance policy. It will reimburse you for the cost of airfares, accommodation and pre-paid travel arrangements in the event you are forced to cancel your vacation before you leave due to unforeseen circumstances out of your control, such as unexpected illness, injury or death.

Travel insurance will not cover you for cancellations arising from your own negligence or disorganisation such as booking the wrong dates, not organising your passport or visa in time or arranging to travel when you know of circumstances (eg a medical condition) that could lead to the trip being disrupted or cancelled.

Cancellation cover will also only cover you up to the limit of the policy, so you should always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) carefully when deciding on a policy that is right for you.

Can I cancel my trip because of flight or transport delays?

Unexpected flight delays or flight cancellations can interfere with your holiday plans if it causes you to miss your cruise or a scheduled tour. However, it doesn’t always mean you can cancel your trip entirely and claim for it.

To make a trip cancellation claim, the travel delay must typically have caused you to miss more than 50% of your scheduled holiday and you must have made a good-faith effort to continue your travels.

For example, if the majority of your holiday was to be spent on a cruise or tour and you couldn’t make it to the departure point on time, even though you accepted a reasonable alternative service offered by the airline, you may be able to claim for trip cancellation. However, if you didn’t leave a sensible amount of time to reach the departure point, then your claim may be rejected.

Travel insurance also doesn't cover the cancellation of scheduled flights caused by or related to the airline, such as mechanical issues or overbooking. It also will provide limited cover if your luggage is lost by your airline. Compensation should be sought directly from the carrier in these situations.

Don't delay, get travel insurance online today

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