Lifestyle’s Travel Expert, Rosie Jacobs, takes a look at the wild side of travel, and shares her tips on how to cover your assets at the same time!
Ok, so there’s never actual way of ensuring you have a fantastic holiday… but there is a way of ensuring you don’t lose your life savings, or your leg in the event that the poop hits the propeller. And let’s face it, when you’re out of the country, in unfamiliar surrounds, doing things you may not ordinarily do… there’s a decent chance random things can happen!
Pay Attention to the Fine Print
There’s also something to be said for crossing your t’s and dotting you I’s before you head abroad – even for the most carefree traveller, in fact, especially for the most carefree traveller. The moment you get on that jet plane, you want to know that you can be as spontaneous and adventurous as you like, whilst knowing your back is covered.
There are, it turns out, a few clever ways of selecting your travel insurance, and let me tell you from personal experience, there are a few ways of overcoming the obstacles you may face.
When I was 34 weeks pregnant with my second child, my husband and I decided to take a quick trip to Mexico as a baby-moon before life became twice as hectic. All good and well, except for the fact we struggled to find any insurance company who would cover a heavily pregnant woman entering the United States (in transit to Cancun) since Americans believe foreign pregnant women are all entering the company in order to give birth to an American citizen. Crazy, I know!!
Eventually, after an evening of googling insurance companies across the globe, we did find one, in Holland. It wasn’t cheap, but it was a far safer alternative than having to foot the bill for the US hospital system which is upwards of tens of thousands of dollars per day.
You’ll be pleased to know the trip and the pregnancy both went smoothly and we made it home in time for an Aussie delivery!
I was also recently asked a valid question from a loyal Lifestyle viewer how to find travel insurance for a friend with a serious heart condition who’s bucket list involved a trip to the United States. They were struggling to find an insurance company willing to take that risk, until I suggested they contact the Mayo clinic in the States to ask who they use to insure their foreign travelling patients entering the country. Success!
But it’s not just the pregnant, heart-troubled, elderly or bungee-eager minority that really should cover their assets before heading abroad. If you’re taking your laptop with your lifetime of photos on it, if you’re taking the kids to Bali, if you’re simply taking a quick trip to New Zealand for the weekend… you should still get travel cover. As the experts say, if you can’t afford travel insurance, then you probably can’t afford to travel. The loss personal belongings, or the treatment of basic ailments are in fact the most common insurance claims made.
Did you know that you only have 24 hours in which to make a police report if you are robbed or lose a valuable while you’re away? And I bet you didn’t know that theft doesn’t apply if it’s an animal that stole it. Beware the monkeys in Ubud!!! Or, if its stolen cash, you’re not covered either.
It’s also interesting to note that insurance companies often claim you must pay more the older you get. Try telling that to my 70 year old mother who went bungee jumping in New Zealand a couple of years ago after her second hip replacement. Seriously! Now, assuming most travellers in their seventies aren’t as reckless as my dear mum, there’s no reason why you should have to pay more purely because of your age.
It’s also assumed by many travellers that they don’t need insurance if they are travelling to a destination they personally view as ‘safe’. The fact is, a majority of claims come from countries that are as politically and culturally stable as Australia. In other words, you still need your insurance regardless of whether you’re headed to the favelas of Rio De Janeiro or Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive. Misadventures can happen on any adventure!
The moral of the story… do your homework, don’t just buy the first policy you see, or the one that comes with your credit card, make sure you find the best fit for you and your trip, so that in the event that you do “trip up”, then it won’t cost you an arm and a leg… literally.