Things to consider
Travel insurance is cover for medical expenses, cancellation or loss of belongings etc whilst travelling overseas or cover within Australia excluding cover for medical cover which is generally covered by Medicare or your private health insurer. If something happens to you on a trip and you don't have insurance it could end up costing you and your family hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cost of things like overseas medical treatment or medical transportation back to Australia can easily exceed $100,000, especially in countries like the USA where medical costs can be exorbitant.
The following are some important facts about how travel insurance policies work:
1. Pre existing health conditions
Different insurers have different levels of cover for any pre-existing medical conditions you may have. The product disclosure statement (PDS) of travel insurance providers will specify what they do and don't cover.
2. Conditions of places you are travelling to
Many insurers exclude certain countries from coverage altogether. These are usually high-conflict areas, however some insurers may also restrict coverage of countries based on the ongoing travel advice by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The insurer's PDS will include details of what type of countries/regions may be excluded. A list of countries with official Australian government travel warnings can be found on Smart Traveller.
3. Reporting stolen goods
Some insurers will have a window within which you have to report something stolen in order to lodge a claim. Official documents such as police reports are often required by the insurer. Generally you should make a police report or advise the hotel or cruise ship within 24 hours of any theft or loss. The travel insurance providers PDS will have details of their requirements.