Australian Government releases ‘Travel insurance buying guide’

CHOICE-produced 20 page guide

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Click the cover to view the guide

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has produced a new online e-guide on behalf of the Australian Government to explain the advantages of taking out travel insurance.

The 20-page ‘Travel insurance buying guide’ was commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and provides a concise overview on the many reasons to take out a policy, and debunks the theory that the Australian Government will pay an Australian traveller’s medical bills while they are abroad.

“If you’re leaving Australia, travel insurance is just as essential as your passport,” CHOICE said.

“Much as you’d like to think they’ve got your back, the government can only help so much in an emergency. If you end up injured or sick while overseas, you’ll be footing the hospital bill and the cost of flying home. In some cases, the costs for you or your family could be hundreds of thousands of dollars,” the advocacy group said.

Topics covered in the guide include: the reasons to get travel insurance, how to take out a policy, how to save money, policy fine-print and some of the ‘catches’ to be aware of. Contents also explain what is included on credit card travel insurance and the procedures necessary to make a complaint.

“Not all travel insurance policies are the same, and the wrong policy can be almost as bad as none at all,” the guide warns.

The e-guide indicates which countries Australia has reciprocal healthcare agreements with, providing subsidised treatment for essential services for those who have Medicare. There is also information on car hire, cruises, sports and activities, multiple case studies, coverage for babymooning and mental health, as well as insolvency.

“Only a few insurers will cover you for the insolvency of a travel provider, and that includes hotels, airlines and other transport companies that might go broke overnight (remember Ansett?),” the CHOICE guide says.

Download a copy of the guide here.

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