Accidents and mishaps happen when you are least expecting them to, and as most of them are out of our control having travel insurance that covers you for your travels is very important. Travel insurance can be complex and is often very confusing so before you sign on any dotted line ensure you read the policy and understand what you are covered for. And don’t forget, travel insurance is just that, insurance that covers you while you are on holiday. Therefore, if you are going on a working holiday confirm the policy you are considering covers you for a working holiday. 


What should your travel insurance cover you for

Cancellation fees and lost deposits incurred by unforeseen circumstances which require you to cancel your trip.
Overseas medical, dental and emergency expenses. Minimum of $100,000 coverage. Very important if you get sick or injured and are in need of serious medical attention.
Emergency flight home if required. This should mean to your home country. Be careful when taking out insurance in a country other than your own because the emergency flight home might only be within that country and not your home country. For example, if you take out travel insurance in London for a trip to Europe and something happens in Europe, your insurance will only cover you being repatriated (returned) to the country you took out the insurance, ie. UK. 
Missed connections.
Hijack and kidnap.
Loss, theft or damage to your luggage.
Travel delay.
Accidental death.
Loss of income.
Personal liability.
Legal costs.
Electronic goods.
Working holidays – some travel insurance policies don’t cover you if you start to work, therefore ensure your policy does.


Things you should check your travel insurance includes

  • Is there a 24-hour telephone number obtainable from anywhere in the world in case you need assistance?
  • Can the policy be extended for longer than 12 months if you decide to stay longer overseas?
  • Are pre-existing medical conditions covered?
  • What happens if you are injured and need to be flown home?
  • Are goods you purchase covered?
  • Will it cover personal items stolen from the hire car or accommodation?
  • Can you make a claim while overseas or do you have to wait until you return home?
  • Are you covered for participation in specific activities like whitewater rafting, sailing, winter sports, parachuting, mountaineering, etc. If you’re booked to go skiing, does your insurance cover you for piste closure when there isn’t enough snow?
  • Will expensive items like phones, cameras, video equipment, computers, etc., be covered as these aren’t usually covered in general policies.


Get a few travel insurance quotes

It is wise to shop around for travel insurance so get yourself a number of quotes. I have always taken out travel insurance and have taken it out with various organisations, usually the one my travel agent would recommend however, nowadays I often use WorldNomads. They offer comprehensive insurance at great prices.


  • About the Author

    Sharyn McCullum has travelled most of her life thanks to her dad who worked at Sydney Airport. When in her 20’s, she bid her family farewell and left Australia on her own for a working holiday in the UK. She stayed for 4 years and her time there inspired her travel guide Live Work and Play in London and the UK and this blog. She currently calls Melbourne home.


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