Saying I travel quite often is a bit of an understatement…
And because I'm always on the road (or in the air!) I have had to learn a few things about the “ins and outs” and the necessities for the wanderlust lifestyle.
It's an amazing life, that's for sure!
But it could also easily go wrong at any second, and it's important to prepared for the worst in case something unexpected does occur! So, I see Travel Insurance to be an absolute travel ESSENTIAL! And something to consider throughout all the dreaming, planning and organising stages.
Whether you're an avid teleporter, venture occasionally to far off places, or even if you've never travelled before and are thinking of taking your first trip, I am sure the concept of insurance has probably flitted through that magical mind of yours at some time ... I know it did for me. Originally my thoughts went something like this:
"I can't be bothered"
"I'm an optimist, I'm sure I won't even need it"
"I don't have time"
"It's only a short trip, why bother?"
"I can't afford it"
"I'd rather spend my money on exotic foods and buying gifts for my girlfriends"
And those thoughts are fair enough. We're human - we all do it haha! But in reality there are so many things in life which are out of our direct control. So when it comes to the unpredictable, (especially in regards to your health, safety and well being) I'll be the first to tell you how important it is to be covered by a good travel insurance to avoid potentially making a bad situation even worse!! No one plans to end up injured or sick. No one plans on losing their bags or getting mugged, but if you're travelling, then these are very real possibilities unfortunately.
And I don't know about you, but I would MUCH rather be safe than sorry!!
So of course I cover my toosh for all possibilities, wherever I decide to wander to! While not quite a travel insurance “guru”, I am in the perfect position to help you by highlighting the questions you need to ask yourself to understand what you do and don't want when finding a travel insurance to suit your travel needs! Because let’s be honest, it can be overwhelming even at the best of times! So having some ideas to help guide you to find what you’re looking for is always an easier option!Like rocking up to the shops and trying to find what aisle the quinoa is down, when it would be so much simpler if someone just told you. Yeah, that kind of help haha.I got your back, don’t fret ;) .
So here’s what I look for:
1. Type and Timing. What do you need the cover for? Is this a one off trip? Do you travel often or are planning on jetting off again in the near future? Would a single trip, multi trip or annual cover best suit your specific needs? How long will you be away for before returning to Australia? Are you needing individual cover, or looking for the whole family? Note: Read the fine print. Some travel insurance companies aren’t very clear about what countries they do and do not cover. And it is important you are well aware of exactly which continents or countries are included or excluded in your insurance. eg. I do a lot of travel, so I am covered with an individual’s annual international (including USA and Canada) travel insurance policy with extended trips up to 90 days. Meaning I can have my mind at rest knowing I am covered, wherever I plan on going over the next year!
2. Price. Obviously you don't want to be paying too much. Yes you want to be covered, but that shouldn't come at the expense of your car, your first born child and the blood of a unicorn… Am I right?
3. Are they Reputable? How did you hear about the Travel Insurance company? Are they well known? Have they been recognised for their work? Do they have a good track record?
4. What do you need the insurance for? What kinds of activities do you plan on doing? Are there higher risks associated with your kind of adventure style or are you maybe just a little spontaneous and likely to engage in things that probably aren’t the safest? If so, it’s probably best you find a cover that includes coverage for those more “extreme” activities.
5. What should your insurance cover? How valuable are the items you are carrying with you? Cameras, laptops, jewellery etc ?
6. Hire cars. Are you likely to hire a car overseas? Do you have your International licence? How will you be getting around your destination/s? Ensure you find a policy that includes the use of a hire car or add it in as an extra if you think that is a possibility.
Most policies will likely include hire car use, but it excludes coverage for things stolen from unlocked cars, or if the car was broken in to over night. You also need to be aware of WHO is driving the car. A third party driver is not likely to be covered for incidentals.
7. Keep your head screwed on. Travel Insurance covers you for most things. But you still need to use common sense and your intuition. If you feel that a place is unsafe, take extra precautions and ALWAYS WATCH YOUR STUFF. Unfortunately, travellers and tourists are often targeted by thieves and criminals because they know you are not familiar with the location, language, people, cultures etc. Which makes you the perfect target! Insurance is there to help in these kinds of situations, but it’d be a whole lot easier just to avoid it all together!
8. Other things to look for in a policy: medical and evacuation cover, changes to your journey, baggage and personal items, cash and travel documents, personal accident, personal liability, vehicle excess, hospitalisation etc.
9. Look for a good follow-up service or emergency contact process, just in case you do need to make a claim or respond to some unfortunate event. You want to know that you have access to worldwide emergency assistance 24/7.
Keeping all these things in mind, this time I chose Southern Cross Travel Insurance for my plan. I feel really comfortable and confident in my decision and can recommend the online sign-up process as one of the simplest and most transparent. The things I particularly looked for was their reputation and experience in the industry (30+ years so they must be doing something right). They’re also the 2015 winners of Mozo People’s Choice and Experts’ Choice awards, as well as the Canstar Outstanding Value award 2015. They don’t sell through any intermediaries meaning you aren’t paying any hidden additional agents’ commissions. Southern Cross Travel Insurance is both the distributor and provider meaning it underwrites its own policies and can assess each claim on a case by case basis. What this means in normal language is that if I need to make a claim, I am dealing directly with Southern Cross, and Southern Cross makes all the decisions, not a company (third party insurer) I have never heard of. They also offer online medical screening, meaning customers do not need to visit their doctor (hooray!) which was simply perfect for me and my busy life. I was able to complete the whole process at 11:30 at night from home. I had the easiest signing up process and you can even book last minute if your travel plans are as spontaneous as mine.
GREAT NEWS: Southern Cross have been in touch with me since, and they are thrilled to give me an offer for YOU! If you sign up for Travel Insurance anytime before June 1st you’ll get a 10% DISCOUNT if you use the code: SJANA10 Head to https://www.scti.com.au, select the right cover for you, type in the discount code and BOOM! You’re covered!
Meaning you can have your mind at ease, a little extra money in your travel budget and truly enjoy your next holiday without having to worry about the consequences (too much haha).
Hopefully this helped you a little bit, and I’ll see you somewhere around the world my globetrotter friends! Make sure you say “hello”!!
Love and Light,