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Tips for buying travel insurance

The following tips may assist you when deciding on the type of travel insurance to buy, or even whether or not you need travel insurance to go with your cheap campervan hire.

If you're not sure of your travel plans only buy enough travel insurance for the start of your trip the extend it later. In this case it's best to arrange your insurance on-line. Make sure you can top it up from wherever you're likely to travel.

Alternatively, if you travel a lot it may save you money to obtain an annual policy.

Shop around:

  • The travel insurance market is very competitive so do some research, shop around, compare policies and companies.
  • As travel insurance policies vary, don't pay for something you are unlikely to use. Arrange a policy where you can customise the items you want and don't want.
  • Make sure your insurance policy is underwritten by a reliable, highly-rated company.
  • Travel agents and tour operators are usually much more expensive than buying directly from travel insurance companies.

Check the details:

  • When comparing policies check all the details, not just the price -- a lower premium will usually mean a higher excess and you may not be covered for items that you need.
  • Read the fine print so that you know exactly what you are and are not covered for and to avoid any ambiguity or misunderstanding.
  • Check the details regarding where valuables should be kept, especially if you're going to leave them in a locked campervan.
  • Make sure you declare any pre-existing medical conditions.

You may already be covered:

  • Check your current insurance policies, such as for your house, car or health -- there's no point getting travel insurance for items that you already have covered.
  • If you pay for your travel with a credit card you may already be covered for travel insurance -- check with your credit card company.

Take a copy of your travel insurance with you and leave a copy with someone reliable -- email a copy to yourself or have a copy available on-line so that you can access it anywhere.

If you need to make a claim:

  • Keep a copy of all documentation and receipts -- if possible scan them and keep a copy on-line.
  • Take photographic evidence where possible.
  • Submit your claim as soon as possible and definitely within the given time frame -- do it on-line if possible.
  • Most insurers will not pay for a claim that has arisen due to you taking non-prescription drugs or being under the influence of alcohol.

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