Essential travel insurance tips
Ignoring the practicalities of traveling through a large, remote and often very hot and dry country has caught out many experienced travelers. Here are a few things to know about your travel insurance cover before you travel around Australia.
Australians are renowned for their welcoming attitude and it’s with good reason, however, while the majority are friendly to travelers, some are more interested in your wallet than getting to know you. Theft is a common claim in Australia. It takes just seconds for a thief to grab your camera or wallet from under your beach towel at Bondi while you’re swimming, or off the table while you’re ordering coffee. Always keep your valuables on you or locked up (using the hotel safe or hostel lockers). Also don’t leave anything in your car as break and enters are common in urban areas (especially at night). If your belongings aren’t with you, and there is no evidence or police report of a theft, you may not be covered if they’re stolen.
Travel insurance isn’t designed to cover everything, particularly if you leave something behind or, on some insurance plans, if your gear is damaged. Check your policy carefully for full details of cover, including the limit payable on each item, the excess (your contribution or deductible) and any exclusions or conditions of cover such as depreciation or valid proof of ownership.
Australia’s remoteness is part of its charm but can also present some challenges if your baggage is delayed. Most visitors require a halfday plane ride to get to Australia, so you’re unlikely to get your baggage back quickly if your airline has delivered it to Sidney, Canada instead of Sydney, Australia. Most travel insurance policies can help replace essentials, like a change of clothes or toothbrush, if you have to wait more than 24 hours for your bags to arrive. Travel insurance isn’t designed to swap your ripped jeans for a designer pair, so read this section of your policy carefully before you spend up big and then try and claim.
Before you leave home, ensure your baggage is clearly labelled and the tags are firmly attached, giving your airline the best chance of getting it on the right plane or finding it quickly and getting it back to you.
The Australian medical system is first class, but it comes with a price, so make sure you take out a full medical travel insurance plan before you travel. This is different to the medical insurance cover you might have at home which won’t cover you overseas. Medical Insurance is your safety net if you become very unwell; it’s not designed to pay for every scratch and headache, which is why benefit limits and excesses apply. If you’re hurt or injured, contact us for assistance and we can help you understand what your policy covers. You may decide, if your ailment is minor and under the excess, to not make a claim. If it’s a life-threatening medical condition, always seek medical help immediately. Let us know as soon as you can what has happened so we can help you access medical assistance and keep your family and friends informed.
There are many great opportunities to do adventure sports in Australia, which is why our travel insurance covers hundreds of them from kite surfing to skiing and parasailing. Policy exclusions do vary, so, depending on the level of cover you’ve purchased, read it carefully and make sure you’re covered before you go bungee jumping in Cairns or scuba diving in Byron Bay. If you get hurt skiing in the Victorian Alps, and it’s not in your policy, it’s going to be a very expensive trip. Check your policy carefully so there are no surprises Your travel insurance policy will have limits and exclusions. This ensures the policy you pay for is kept at a lower cost. And, remember, if you do something really stupid, like grab a snake by the head or go swimming with crocodiles, you may not be covered at all.
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You can still purchase a World Nomads policy if you have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition (PEMC) – whether it is serious or not – but we won’t cover any claim/s made by any traveller under the policy as a result of this condition (this includes if you’re on separate or joint policies). This exclusion can’t be removed from the policy.
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) has a travel insurance directory on its Money Advice Service website, or you can contact the service on 0800 138 7777. This service provides details on what may be considered a PEMC, and travel insurance providers that may cover serious PEMCs, which may assist travellers wanting cover for these conditions.
If you need medical assistance or emergency medical evacuation our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year before and during your trip.
Are you in need of emergency assistance right now?
For policies purchased on or after 1 September 2021:
+44 (0) 2030931750 (Call via an operator reverse charges. Not toll free.)
For policies purchased before 1 September 2021:
Phone: +353 21 237 8005 (Call via an operator reverse charges. Not toll free.)
Phone: +61 2 8263 0470 (Call via an operator reverse charges. Not toll free.)
Wherever you are, whatever has happened, our multi-lingual assistance teams are here to help you and your family.
Travel insurance for independent travelers and intrepid families. Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on their trip, but these things can and do happen. So be prepared and get your travel insurance today.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel - Need to know before you buy
Our policies provide cover for some coronavirus-related events. Cover is not available for loss arising from: government intervention including travel bans, border closures or broadly imposed quarantine requirements; events for which the Government has warned against all, or all but essential, travel for your destination(s), or failure to follow advice from official bodies. Your ability to travel may be affected by travel restrictions. Check your cover and the latest government advice and our travel insurance alerts.