Travel Insurance Tips

Interesting Tips

Key Points

  • Travel insurance is a priority when considering travel.
  • The travel insurance market is highly competitive and consumers have a range of coverage options.
  • It is important to purchase cover that appropriately suits your individual circumstances and travel plans.
  • Policies may contain some exclusions (for example, adventure sports), you should carefully read the policy before purchasing cover to ensure that it meets your individual needs.


Travel insurance covers the policyholder for insurable events that may occur or on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.  

Travellers without travel insurance can find themselves in significant financial difficulty in the event that they or a family member falls ill whilst travelling abroad. In addition to this the common occurrences of theft and/or loss of personal belongings can also cause a great inconvenience and undue hardship when travelling.

The cost of travel insurance is based on the type of cover requested, the age of the insured, length of stay and any pre-existing medical conditions. It is important to obtain the right type of travel insurance to suit your individual requirements.

When choosing a travel insurance policy you should:

  • Always read the product disclosure statement prior to purchasing your travel insurance. Travel insurance policies are competitive so it may pay to shop around to find a policy that suits your individual requirements.
  • Ensure that you understand exactly what your travel insurance covers, as travel insurance cover is not unlimited.
  • Speak to your insurer to clarify any policy issues that may cause any confusion.
  • Read the policy carefully to make sure you are aware of any excess and where it may apply.
  • Ensure that any medical cover is adequate for possible expenses in the country you are going to visit. In regions such as the United States, Europe, Africa and some parts of Asia medical costs can be very expensive.
  • Ensure you declare any pre-existing medical conditions you may have.

Personal Belongings

Generally, cover for luggage and personal belongings will be limited. It is important to know the total amount of cover along with any per-item limit that may apply to any expensive items you may wish to cover, such as cameras, laptops and/or jewellery.

Credit card insurance

Some financial institutions provide travel insurance as part of their credit card service to their customers. It is important to read your credit card provider’s policy terms and conditions carefully to determine the extent of the coverage provided by this policy and whether certain eligibility requirements need to be met.


Like most insurance policies there are standard general exclusions on most type of travel insurance policies. These can include acts of civil unrest, self-inflicted injury, loss/theft of unattended baggage, loss/theft of cash and pre-existing medical conditions.

Dangerous Activities

Travel insurance policies may exclude cover for dangerous or extreme activities, such as Ice Hockey, Quad Biking exceeding 250cc, Rock Climbing, Skiing off-piste, Snowboarding off-piste, Team sports played in competitive contests, etc. Most extreme activities require an additional premium. It is also important to note that most dangerous activities may be classified as general exclusions in most policies.

Prior to Travelling

It is important to review any special travel advisories issued at prior to booking your trip or travelling. Most policies do not cover cancellation as a result of a government prohibiting travel to a particular destination or changes to a travel advice.

Client Protection

  • Policy Holder Protection Rules

    Rules which protect short term insurance buyers became law in 2004. The rules form part of the Short-Term Insurance Act, Section 55.

    As the name states the rules are there to protect policy holders and they are applicable to all types of short-term insurance such as car insurance and travel insurance. The aim of the rules are to ensure that policies are based on sound insurance principles and practices and that the interest of all parties such as the insurance company and the insured person are protected – with particular emphasis on the protection of the insured public.

    Some of provisions are:
    • Policy holders must receive written proof of any insurance contract entered into.
    • You must receive full details of the available complaints procedure including the contact details of the ombudsman.
    • If any claim you made on your insurance is rejected the insurer must give you written notice of the reasons.
    • The insurers may not demand that you undertake a polygraph or lie detector test.

    Please note this list does not contain all the protection rules.

  • FAIS Code of Conduct

    On 1 October 2004, the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act came into force. This Act has been established for YOU, the client of the financial advisor. It is for your protection.

  • General Provisions

    A provider [financial advisor] must at all times render financial services honestly, fairly, with due skill, care and diligence, and in the interests of clients and the integrity of the financial services industry.