|As soon as you have made any payment for your travel, including a deposit, you should ask your travel consultant to arrange Travel Insurance for you. |
You pay only for the period that you are actually away, but once you have effected the insurance you will be covered for costs you might incur should you have to cancel prior to your departure (subject, of course, to the conditions of your policy).
The Australian Federation of Travel Agents members have trained and certificated Travel Insurance experts on hand to help you organise appropriate insurance to suit your travel plans.
Why should I bother with Travel Insurance?
|Intending travelers often ask the question, "Why should I bother with travel Insurance? Nothing is likely to happen to me on this trip". |
The fact is, that for every well published event involving costs that run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, countless Australians suffer less serious, but still significant losses.
Every Travel Insurance company has stories of relatively minor incidents that turn into a major financial loss for the traveller. You don't have to be involved in a major road accident or robbery to incur substantial costs associated with your loss. For instance, almost any stay in a US hospital will cost a lot of money.
|CLICK HERE to read real life examples of "Why all Australians should take out travel insurance before going overseas" on the Australian Government "Smartraveller" website.|
Many travel insurance policies will cover you if you need to cancel your trip due to a range of circumstances prior to your departure as well as while you are traveling, for example an accident involving injury to yourself or a spouse or child, even in some cases a problem with your business or illness of a business partner.
The extent of your coverage and the specific items and events that are covered by your policy will vary depending on the insurance company and the type of policy you purchase. You should read all of the terms and conditions of your policy carefully to ensure you are fully aware of what is covered and what is not covered, or excluded.
Buy your Insurance when you buy your trip.
|You should buy travel insurance as soon as you pay the deposit for your trip. It does not cost any more to purchase the cover at this time, and the cancellation cover can start straight away. It is essential to read the policy wording so that you know what your policy covers and what it does not cover. |
Take Special Care with your luggage
|Make sure you read the luggage section of your policy wording as individual limits may apply.|
Always carry valuables as hand luggage - when flying always take items such as laptops, cameras and jewellery with you on the plane.
Never leave luggage unattended in a public place, including a beach or in a motor vehicle overnight. Don't leave photographic equipment, mobile phones, personal computers or other valuables unattended, or in a vehicle at any time. Rental cars in particular are clear targets for thieves.
Prepare physically for your trip
|If you are heading for a high altitude destination, some exercise is called for. Even carrying heavy luggage can be a problem if you are not accustomed to this type of exertion. Take particular care, especially if you are elderly or have a medical condition and may be affected by a stressful schedule or a change in diet. |
|Delayed or rescheduled flights can disrupt travel plans. Reconfirm all travel arrangements well in advance to ensure that you don't miss your flight, or to utilise any extra time allowed.|
Your travel agent will be able to advise you on check in times and minimum connecting times for flights, as well as booking transfers and other arrangements that will coordinate and make your trip run smoothly.
Can you prove what you purchased?
|Your travel insurance cover starts as soon as you leave home for your journey. Make sure you keep proof of ownership of any goods purchased, such as a duty free camera, and keep the receipt separate from the goods. This will make any claim much easier to document and make it easier for the insurance company to pay your claim. Remember you will need to prove any claim against your Travel Insurance Policy. In most cases this will mean showing how and/or why a disrupting event occurred and being able to supply verification of the value of the claim.|
Travel insurers require "reasonable" proof of loss and of the events leading up to them. So if your camera is lost or stolen in a small village in the Pyrenees you must report the loss to the local police and obtain a police report. It is much easier to get this report at the time rather than waiting until you return to Australia.
Take reasonable care
|It is up to you to look after your belongings. Insurance companies will not cover loss where travellers have not taken "responsible" steps to protect their property. For example when you are making a telephone call from an airport or railway station, make sure your baggage is beside you and is in sight at all times.|
|The Insurance Council of Australia has released a guide to help consumers better understand their travel insurance policies. CLICK HERE to download a copy of this consumer guide. |