Mon, 12 Feb, 2018
10 details in your travel insurance PDS that will catch you out
Read the fine print of your travel insurance very carefully so you aren’t caught out on a technicality.
1. Pre-existing medical conditions
Medical care is the main reason most people take out travel insurance. But if you have any pre-existing conditions (either ongoing or in the past) make sure you declare them. Be honest about your health or your claim could be denied.
2. Mental health issues
Many people assume that pre-existing conditions apply only to physical health, but mental health issues are taken into consideration too. If you don’t declare them honestly and then have to cancel your trip or seek treatment on holiday, you could be out of pocket.
3. Terrorism and cancellations
Sadly, terrorism is a real issue that must be considered when travelling anywhere in the world. Many policies won’t cover you for having to cancel your trip because of a terrorist incident or threat, so read the PDS carefully. However, if you are injured in a terrorist attack your medical expenses are generally covered.
4. Travel provider insolvency
If your chosen airline, hotel or tour operator goes belly up, there’s a good chance that your insurance won’t cover you. Only a handful of providers cover this issue, so read your policy very carefully or you could be left holding a worthless booking.
5. Travel agent insolvency
The news is worse here – no insurance providers cover you if the travel agent you use goes broke. You may have paid out thousands to an agent only to find that they have made no bookings for you. The only potential way to get any money back in this case is to ask for a credit card chargeback from your bank (this won't work if you pay cash or by debit card) or seek compensation through the agent’s own insolvency cover.
6. Cancelling your trip for a sick relative
Most policies cover you if you need to cut short your trip and return home when a close relative is ill. But this clause generally has an age limit, often around 80 years old, so you may not be covered if the relative is elderly.
7. Sick relatives and pre-existing conditions
Relatives are bound by the same pre-existing medical condition rule as the policy-holder themselves. You will need to declare these issues upfront and see if they will be covered.
8. Baggage stolen from a locked car
Think your suitcase is safe in the boot? Think again. Even though the car is locked and seems secure, many policies won’t cover you as they consider the bag to be left unattended.
9. Limits on individual items
Baggage cover can range from $1,000-$25,000, but you need to be aware of limits on individual items. These limits generally range from $250-$1,000 unless you specifically add an expensive item (like jewellery or a camera) to the policy.
10. Personal liability in car accidents
Policies often have huge limits for personal liability, sometimes in the millions, which covers you for when you are responsible for causing damage, loss or injury to a person or their property. However, this generally doesn’t apply when you are driving a car so you could be forced to pay up or use your care hire companies insurance (and the huge excess).
Have you ever had an issue with travel insurance?