Travel Insurance

There are countless great reasons for travelling to the UK, and thousands of Aussies do so each year. From Stonehenge to the Tower of London, from the Cotswolds to Cornish Pasties and for avid cricket fans, the Ashes alone is enough reason to spend up to 26 hours on a plane, bound for the Motherland to sample England’s version of summer.

One important thing to consider when making your travel plans is to consider travel insurance, otherwise instead of your Ashes adventure, you could very well find yourself part of a series of disasters.

Travel insurance is not all things to all people, and as with all travel plans, you need to do some in-depth research to make sure your policy is clear about what you’re covered for. The reasons for taking out travel insurance are many and varied:

travel insurance

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/183598257/

• The first thing you’ll need to think about is illness or accident while overseas. Getting hit in the head with a cricket ball for example, could knock you for six, and without travel insurance it could mean over and out. The government travel website Smartraveller, wisely says ‘…regardless of how well prepared, healthy and fit you are – if you cannot afford travel insurance, you cannot afford to travel’.

• If you get robbed while on your trip, it could be more traumatic than a lost wicket for LBW!

• The loss or delay of luggage could be costly and inconvenient, particularly if your signed vintage baggy green was in your checked-in suitcase instead of your carry-on!

• There are many unforeseen situations when travelling, including flight delays or cancellations due to bad weather or safety issues, so travel insurance will help get you back in the air sooner, to make sure you don’t miss too much of the first innings.

There are countless insurance providers, many offering different types of travel insurance coverage, so even though it seems like stating the obvious, you really need to spend time looking around. The first place to start is online. There are plenty of comparison websites who will filter your information and requirements, and come up with policies tailored for you.

If you don’t have the time, you could pop into your local travel agent and ask for travel insurance advice, but be aware that many travel agencies are affiliated with certain insurers, so the advice you receive may not necessarily end up being your most affordable option.

Everyone knows someone who has travelled extensively, so often the most obvious thing to do is to ask them
which insurer they used, and if they had to make a claim, was it hassle-free and up to expectations?

Be wary of insurers penalising travellers over 60 years of age. Some insurers even charge much more for those with pre-existing, though not life-threatening medical conditions.

A little forethought before travelling will save a mountain of headaches when claiming on travel insurance; for example if you’re taking electronics, jewellery or expensive clothing with you (like that vintage, signed baggy green) make sure you keep a list of what it is, serial numbers if possible and even photographs on your person – and make a copy to leave somewhere safe at home. That way, if you lose your luggage, or are the unfortunate victim of a theft (not counting that mid-wicket dropped catch in the third over) you have all the necessary proof and documentation to speed up the claims process.

Forewarned is forearmed, and with airtight travel insurance, in the unlikely event that Australia doesn’t win the Ashes…at least you won’t be out for a duck!

Joanne Lemke is a final year creative writing student at UOW, who is looking to break into the corporate copywriting space once she graduates and hopefully go on to eventually some day write a book around her other passions, namely business and financial changes.

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