What should a travel insurance policy cover?

Richard Laycock 1 March 2018 NEWS

Do you know which areas are most important to cover before taking off?

Buying travel insurance is a must for most Aussies heading abroad. A 2017 Smartraveller study found that a stunning 91% of us get cover before heading overseas. Which is great! But, what is a "must have" when it comes to travel insurance cover?

We spoke to Travel Insurance Direct's (TID) Ash Zaman about the difference between the benefits that are commonly claimed versus those that are most important to have covered. To get these results, TID looked at what benefits were commonly claimed in 2017; and for important benefits, Zaman consulted with TID's customer service team.

Probably not surprisingly, the top of the list for both "must have" covered and most commonly claimed was medical attention.

"It’s not surprising to see that ‘medical attention’ topped the list. We know from our data that it’s the most researched upon benefit by customers. The thought of incurring whopping expenses for medical treatment overseas has rightfully put it at the top of people’s minds when buying a policy," Zaman told finder.com.au.

There was some cross cover with what were the most commonly claimed benefits and those that were important to have covered:

Cover Importance Commonly claimed
You need medical help 1 1
You are in an accident 2 2
Your luggage and personal effects 7 3
Your flight is cancelled or delayed 3 4
You have to cancel your trip 8 5
Your travel is delayed 4 6
Your bags are delayed 9 7
You have to return home early 5 8
You have to pay rental car insurance excess 11 9
You need medical evacuation 6 10
Your passport or travel documents 10 11
Your credit cards 13 12
You incur a loss of income 12 13
You suffer a total permanent disability 14 14
You become legally liable 15 15
Accidental death 16 16

One item that saw an increase in the number of people making a claim in 2017 was rental vehicle insurance excess.

"That’s not necessarily an indicator that we are becoming worse behind the wheel overseas. Rather it’s a sign that more and more people are realising they’re covered by travel insurance and opting to claim rather than pay out of their own pocket," Zaman said.

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