Understanding The Important Of The Smart Traveller Website For Australians
You have travel insurance and you want to make sure that you are covered. There are a variety of situations that can arise when you are out there on your own. How do you know if you are covered or not? What happens if war breaks out, or there is a civil insurrection, who will decide?
Always Read Your Policy. Just because you bought cheap travel insurance does not mean that you are not covered in particular situation. More expensive insurance does not always mean that you are covered more. It is your policy that counts. It is always important to understand that you are buying a policy, and the details of that legal document and what that means. You should always ask your provider if you have any doubts about any situations. You need to understand how they will define those particular situations. When did a war actually start and how does that affect your insurance? Who will decide?
Governing bodies. If you have any doubts about your insurance company, there are a number of governing bodies in Australia from which to get more information. They include the Insurance Council of Australia, the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, and the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority. You can see it is all very complicated. You need to make sure you are choosing the right insurer. Look for a payout rating and always look for a time frame for payout. Waiting until you are home might not be an option.
Smart Traveller Advice. The Smart Traveller has a range of tough advice for getting and needing to be covered by travel insurance. It also provides some shocking and yet real case studies. Some situations can get out of control and end up costing many tens of thousands of dollars. Getting medically evacuated is a very expensive business. Remember the Embassy or Consulate often cannot help you and only give advice – and there is not always one in every country. Some of the statistics and stories about Australians getting into trouble every year are amazing. The site itself does not recommend any particular insurance company but gives advice on who and what to look for. It is important to note they make this bold statement: “Most policies do not cover cancellation as a result of the Government advising against travel to a particular destination or changing a travel advice”. In other words, the Government website does have a lot of impact on your insurance coverage, although not directly related. The details may be in your policy. This is why the site is so important. It also advises very clearly to understand non-coverage and exclusions.
No, Sorry, You Are Not Covered. This is what you might find out too late. Many policies have the same exclusions. It may not cover you for lost or stolen unattended cash or belongings. You may not be covered in situations of civil unrest and even war. These are all issues that the you have to find out for yourself.
Travel Alerts And Warnings. What the site does give you is a range of travel warnings and alerts for every country in the world. You can get these sent directly to you or you can check the site regularly. There are a number of threat levels. You should always consult the site and read and listen to the advice. It is also a good indication whether your policy will cover you or not. You should always register with the Embassy or Consulate when abroad, so they know where you are and how to contact you.
The trip of a lifetime can soon turn into the trip through hell. The world is a very unstable place and you may not know what is happening around you because of language and cultural differences. Take every precaution you can.