Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, most of us know travel insurance is essential. But many people don’t know there are things you can do that will make a big difference for your bottom line, not to mention your wellbeing. Here are my top ten:
Consider a multi-trip or annual policy
If you’re a frequent traveller, you might find you can get a better price by purchasing an annual or multi-trip policy rather than individual policies for each trip.
Some travel insurance companies also allow you to add-on optional cover for an accompanying partner and children, which can work out cheaper than purchasing an additional family policy.
Find out if stopovers are included
Keep an eye out for travel insurance policies that will cover you for stopovers in a higher cost destination at no additional cost.
For example, if you’re flying from Australia to Germany with a 48-hour stopover in Dubai, you would want the stopover included under a European policy. This saves you having to pay the extra cost of a Worldwide policy for your trip, which is what you’d usually need to travel in the UAE.
If an incident occurred during a stopover that wasn’t covered by your policy or region, you’d have no cover for any expenses incurred there.
Check what’s already covered under your home insurance
You can usually add extra cover for high value items like designer goods, musical instruments and hearing aids on your travel insurance policy. However, if you’re travelling domestically within Australia, you might find these items are already covered by your home and contents insurance for use outside the home.
Before you buy a travel insurance policy, check with your existing insurer to avoid unnecessarily doubling up. Otherwise, consider leaving expensive items safely at home when you travel.
Add-on rental vehicle excess insurance
If you’re hiring a car overseas or within Australia, some travel insurance providers can also save you money on the rental vehicle excess.
Rental Vehicle Excess Insurance may be included automatically or offered as an optional add-on for an additional fee with your premium. Even so, it’s usually much cheaper than the daily fee the rental company will charge you to lower the excess, and can potentially save you thousands if there’s any damage to the rental vehicle.
Use comparison websites
Take advantage of comparison websites such as comparethemarket.com.au, comparetravelinsurance.com.au and finder.com.au. These websites don’t compare all insurance providers, but provide a quick overview of policies offered by different companies on one page, and can help you narrow down your options.
Filter your search results with the benefits that are most important to you and then sort by lowest price first to find the best deal. Just remember that it’s important to compare the policy exclusions and benefits, not just the price!
Go straight to the source
Even if you use a comparison website, or have your flights or travel plans arranged by an agent, it’s usually much cheaper to buy a policy directly from a specialised travel insurance company.
Travel agents, cruise lines, airlines and tour companies add on commission or booking fees that you can avoid by purchasing a policy online or over the phone yourself. finder.com.au has found that purchasing a policy directly from the insurer can be up to half the price!
Avoid paying for unnecessary extras
Many travel insurance companies automatically include cover for activities such as skiing, snowboarding or cruising – even if you’re not doing any of these things.
In this example, to save on your premium, opt for a travel insurer who offers cruise and snow sports cover as optional add-ons. That way you’ll only be paying the extra premium for these activities if you plan to do actually them.
Be prepared for any potential claims
A little preparation before you travel can save a lot of hassle if you do need to make any claims.
If you’re taking a laptop, tablet, camera or any other valuables, make a copy of the purchase receipts or take photos of the items and serial numbers as proof of ownership.
Also make sure you get a police report as soon as practical if your luggage is stolen, and hold onto receipts or doctor’s reports if you need to make a medical claim.
Generally speaking, the more documentation you can provide, the better!
Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)
It may seem like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how often travellers make claims for things which they have absolutely no cover for.
Take the time to familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions listed in the company’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), and don’t forget to check the ‘General Exclusions’ section. It lists exclusions that apply to every policy.
Knowing what you are and aren’t covered for before you travel can save you the disappointment of submitting a claim only to have it declined.
Sign up for newsletters and follow social media
If you’re happy with a company’s product and service, consider signing up to their mailing list and following them on social media.
In this digital age, most companies promote special offers in their newsletters and social media channels. Sign up or follow them on Facebook or Twitter so you’ll never miss a sale.
About the author
Dean Van Es is the founder and CEO of Fast Cover, whose mission is to make buying travel insurance fast and simple. Dean is an entrepreneur who is tireless in his commitment to making travel insurance a true community good by using technology and creative new approaches to transform the experience.
See also: Fast Cover Travel Insurance lands Hollard deal: “It’ll help us accelerate,” says founder