I have been very busy preparing for my upcoming trip, so I have not been making much new content lately. One thing I have been working on recently is choosing my travel insurance. So far, this has been one of my least favourite aspects of preparation. But I know it is important, so I am taking it very seriously.
There is a lot to consider!
This is a lengthy, time-consuming exercise if you want to do this properly as you have no idea what you are getting unless you go over the lengthy Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) with a fine tooth comb. It is important to note that they may advertise that they cover you for X amount of dollars for medical, dental, personal luggage etc. but these things all come with a list of conditions. There are situations they won’t cover you for, so you need to look into this in depth. A lot of people might not be getting what they think they are paying for without taking the time to research.
Avoid becoming another travel horror story
I regularly read horror stories in the news where Australians go overseas mainly to Asian countries. and are in motorcycle/moped/scooter accidents and sustain serious injuries. These individuals end up being seriously in trouble because they aren’t covered by their insurance. They end up making ‘Go Fund Me’s’ and relying on the kindness of others to compensate. Despite these stories many people don’t seem to know that you are not covered when driving those kinds of vehicles without a motorcycle license. It is super important to know what activities you are covered for and the conditions that go along with it.
You can’t just rely on reviews when choosing travel insurance
I have read a lot of very popular bloggers shoving one brand of travel insurance down peoples throats but this insurance is one of the most expensive ones you can get and the reviews are horrendous. Even worse, you cannot truly depend on reviews, especially with negative reviews. How can you determine if that individual did adequate research into what they were getting?
It is probably impossible to find the perfect travel insurance (they are businesses after all who exist to make money) but finding the best for my criteria, that will look after me if the worst happens, that is doable.
This was my process for choosing my travel insurance:
- I visited the Choice website. They are a consumer advocacy group in Australia, who provide independent reviews of a huge variety of products and services and defend consumer rights. They have a buying guide and they have evaluated what seems to be every single travel insurance product on the market available to Australians. I selected a handful of their top-rated Travel Insurance products, for my additional analysis.
- I researched travel insurers for long-term travel. I hand-picked the insurers that allow the longest amount of travel.
- I created an excel spreadsheet with important points from my personal criteria. I proceeded to fill out each section for 8 different brands, including 1-2 policies from each brand.
- I selected my top 2 policies based on my evaluation of the spreadsheet.
- I printed out the PDS for each product and read them thoroughly to see what I am really being offered. Surprisingly, my top 2 were very similar but had some points that set them apart.
- I contacted both insurers with some questions that I couldn’t answer by reading the PDS.
- Choose: I have chosen to go with Itrek and get their top-notch cover (Pioneer).
If you are also looking for travel insurance here are some reasons I choose to go with Itrek:
They automatically cover a wide range of activities include loads of snow activities. As I will be spending winter in some snowy destinations. I like to have the peace of mind that my options are open in terms of doing these activities and being covered by my insurance. A lot of insurers charge substantially more to have this type of cover.
A lot of snow sports are included in the policy, so this is a bargain compared to other insurers. This was a compromise for me as it is a mid-range price. I wasn’t prepared to blow my budget out on a ridiculously priced insurance but didn’t want to just go for the cheapest cover and hope for the best.
You can extend for up to 18 months with Itrek. It is one of the few longer length insurers on the market.
Luggage & Personal Effects:
The policy I am purchasing comes with a decent level of cover for luggage including for computers, cameras and mobile phones (with limits, of course). I know that some people who have more expensive equipment sometimes purchase a separate insurance just for all their gear but that isn’t necessary for me.
I hope you find that my methods gave you some insight on the factors you might want to consider when selecting your travel insurance. I know some people just choose the cheapest one and go for gold. I’m not judging but you are playing Russian roulette. I implore you to spend a couple of hours making a decision and looking into this. This is about your health and safety, very important aspects of your survival and wellbeing. Do your part to know what you are entitled to and what you shouldn’t be doing. Then you can adventure away with the peace of the mind, knowing that in the worst case scenario your insurance company will probably have your back.
Update: I ended up using and reviewing my insurance.
I used my Itrek Insurance while I was in Portugal if you would like to read a review about my experience click on the link here.
Do you have any personal insights about what to consider when choosing travel insurance or recommendations for brands? Please comment down below :)!