Travel Tip Background Info:
I have always had travel insurance, but have never had to make a claim. Make sure whatever choice you make for yourself, you back it up with your own research and googling online reviews.
Factors to Consider:
- What countries are covered (costs vary based on where you are going)
- Activities covered (I like to do things like Ski, Mountain Bike and all sorts of other fun things)
- The level of cover for my personal items – paying particular attention to phone, camera and laptop (if travelling with those items)
- It is also important to consider the level of medical coverage and that evacuation back to Australia is covered – you don’t want to get stuck having surgery in a bodgy place!
- Reviews by travellers in the travel community
Types of Insurance:
- Single trip – A single trip is basically for any duration
- Annual multi-trip – An annual multi-trip is usually multiple trips that are no longer than 60 days each and are at least 250km from home* (always check T&C’s, as this will vary between companies)
So of course, there are squillions of insurance companies to choose from – I’m actually just going to mention two: World Nomads and CoverMore.
(A colleague of mine recommends 1cover – but I have not used them, the only thing I know is that they offer both single trip and annual multi-trip policies)
World Nomads are solely online (to the best of my knowledge), I have regularly used World Nomads for at least eight years. When I have had to make policy changes they have been great with their timeliness in responding to queries.
I feel that the company is young and vibrant and in tune with what people like me want to do.
They offer two levels of cover: Standard and Explorer. Explorer is the more comprehensive of the two.
You are able to add additional high value items to your plan coverage, at an extra cost, if it isn’t already covered by the policy cover level you chose.
You can also nominate the types of activities you want to have covered and they will ensure you get the appropriate level of cover for that – it may bump up the cost a little, but if you are mountain biking death road in Bolivia you want to make sure you are covered!!
I don’t think Nomads offer an annual multi-trip policy, I certainly haven’t noticed one.
Nomads offer more than just travel insurance, they offer space for you to create your own travel blog, they release free language apps, and the thing I find most useful is their community. (I have been a nomad since July 2011)You can post any questions you have about a destination or anything else travel related, and that goes out to all the ‘nomads’ in the community who have been to that destination so that someone can provide you an answer. It’s ridiculously useful!!
CoverMore is the company that my travel agent recommends (yes I occasionally still book travel through a travel agent and yes I realise they probably get some kind of deal by pushing that particular insurance company).
They also offer two levels of cover, the base level is Essentials and comprehensive is TravelSure.
I know that the TravelSure policy does offer a high level of medical cover, including evacuation and it also covers most activities and electronics.
I don’t know a great deal about the company, but I feel as though they are reliable. I was also pleased that they price-matched the nomads quote that I had when it came to getting travel insurance recently.
NB: Recent experience – I was rather unimpressed that they wouldn’t refund the unused portion of insurance when I returned home for Christmas!!
CoverMore do offer an annual multi-trip policy.
Comparison of World Nomads and CoverMore
At a glance, the Nomads standard cover is cheaper than the CoverMore essentials but the Nomads Explorer is more expensive than TravelSure. So in terms of cost – it depends on what level of cover you are looking for. Also they both have a $100 excess for any claim you make.
I personally like that it really easy to see what activities are covered by Nomads, and in general I just really like the organisation and they are always my first preference. You don’t need to go digging as hard to find the information as with many other companies.
Free Credit Card Travel Insurance
I feel that it is also worth mentioning that some credit cards offer you free travel insurance for example the BankWest Zero Platinum Mastercard that I have, offers free travel insurance (as does the Zero Gold and many other credit cards that are out there).
If you are considering making use of it, then I recommend reading the T&C’s VERY closely, as there are guidelines which affect whether or not you can use the travel insurance or will get the travel insurance.
The Zero Platinum card I have offers me 6 months (the Zero Gold offers 3 months) of complimentary travel insurance. To get that travel insurance I must purchase my travel with the card OR spend $500 on travel related expenses for the trip. I must also have a return ticket to Australia.
If I felt that I was eligible to use this, I would then go and read very carefully what was covered by the policy. In my case though, I do not meet the appropriate criteria to make use of the insurance. It may seem silly, but I am a little bit wary of free travel insurance.
Additional Note: I just learned that a friend used the free travel insurance from the BankWest Zero Platinum card and had to make a fairly epic claim. She was very impressed with their service and the insurance covered everything.