Tips for buying travel insurance online

The below tips may be useful if you are planning an overseas trip and are about to buy travel insurance online. A list of websites that may also be of assistance when planning your trip can be found on our travel resources page.

Not all policies are the same

Even if the included benefits for two policies look similar, what is covered and what is not covered under each policy benefit will differ. When comparing policies it is important to consider factors like: the destinations you plan to travel to, the activities you intend to participate in (like scuba diving or skiing), the luggage you will be taking with you, and the non-refundable deposits and payments that you will need to make in advance of the trip.

Read the product disclosure statement

When arranging travel insurance online, it is easy to rush through the booking process without spending adequate time reading the product disclosure statement, particularly when arranging a policy at the last minute. It is important to download and read the product disclosure statement in full (if you are finding it difficult to read on your computer, you can request that a printed copy is mailed to you). Particular attention should be given to the terms and conditions which determine what is and what isn’t covered by the policy, and also to any general exclusions that may apply.

Is emergency assistance included?

Emergency assistance can be invaluable when travelling overseas, especially in countries you have not visited before or foreign language countries. It is thus important to check that emergency assistance is included before purchasing travel insurance. Emergency assistance phone numbers will normally be provided at the time you book your policy (often the phone numbers are printed on the policy document, or there may be a separate document listing the numbers). Make sure that you have these numbers with you when travelling so that you can access them quickly and easily if you do require assistance.

Keep two copies of your policy

A printed copy of the policy document should be taken with you on the trip. Having access to a saved copy of the policy document can also be helpful in case the printed copy is misplaced while travelling - emailing a saved copy to a webmail account like Gmail or Yahoo will ensure that you can access it from anywhere online. Leaving a copy with a friend or relative in Australia is advisable as well, so that they know who you are insured with if something unexpected does occur while abroad.