Common travel insurance confusions

Posted Date: 18 April 2016
Travel complaints

All sorts of things can happen on your holiday, from missed flights to medical problems. We’ve seen plenty of interesting claims over the past 30 years and as you can imagine, not every claim is straightforward. We take a look at some of the more bizarre claims out there to help clear up some of the confusion about what your insurance can cover.

Couples RETREAT!

Going on holiday is a great time for couples to relax and get back to the simple pleasure of being with the one they love. However, it doesn’t always work out that way.

A relationship can be tested by many travel stresses, such as when things go wrong or even just navigating your way around a foreign country. Hearing those words, “it’s not you, it’s me” can definitely ruin a holiday.

We’ve had requests to cover early flights home, or even upgrades to separate accommodation. Unfortunately, couples who can’t stand to spend any more time together will need to cover their own costs.

In some extreme cases, things can become awkward when someone finds their suitcase floating in a swimming pool! Willful acts of damage aren’t covered by our policy, so keep an eye on your stuff if things get heated. Prevention is the key, though, and the best idea to keep the holiday happiness going is to avoid testing situations whenever you can.

Allow plenty of extra time for things like airport transfers and checking in or out of your hotel and, most importantly, plan for some “me time” if you need it. With a bit of luck and clever planning, love will prevail.

If it’s your first romantic getaway together, it might be a good idea to pick a long weekend rather than a week-long holiday. That way you can test the waters to see if you’re compatible travel buddies before committing to a big trip away.

Family feud

Weddings are all about celebrating that special day and having lots of fun, but with plenty of champagne flowing, the big night out can quickly turn into a big blow out!

We’ve heard it all… guests interrupting speeches, damaging hotel rooms, dancing on tables, even fist fights. Sometimes it’s all too much to bear the next day and guests just want to get out of there, ASAP.

Unfortunately, if excessive alcohol or fighting is involved, your insurance can’t help you. You can avoid finding yourself in a sticky situation by drinking water throughout the day to keep you hydrated, and making the most of a three course meal to line your stomach for all the festivities. You’ll also feel better for it the next day!

Gone in 60 seconds

Visiting a friend overseas is a great excuse for a trip! You can catch up with old friends and enjoy the added bonus of checking out a new place. Sometimes you can even borrow their car and explore the destination by yourself.

However, driving overseas brings new challenges that can be too much for some. If the GPS device says turn left but the road sign says no entry, choose carefully. We’ve heard of holiday drivers “arriving at their destination” by driving down flights of stairs, or ending up in ditches and lakes!

If you’re going to drive a private car, remember that your travel insurance doesn’t cover you for this, so it pays to check with the owner what you’re covered for under their car insurance policy. 

However, if you’re a named driver of a car, which is rented from a licensed rental hire company, we provide cover for the excess you’re charged in the event of an unexpected accident.

Life’s too short to wear boring clothes

“It’s London, New York, Paris darling, I MUST look great!”

Picking what to take on holiday can be tough and the weather can get in the way of showing off the latest summer fashion.

We sometimes get claims for the cost of buying winter coats when a cold snap hits or for swim gear that was accidently left at home. We have even been asked to cover the cost of clothing that was bought especially for a trip that ended up being cancelled.

As much as we feel your pain, we can’t cover any of the above, but we can cover lost or stolen clothing. It’s also worth doing a bit of research so that you can pack a range of clothing to cover the conditions you will encounter on your trip.

Nip and tuck

“Medical tourism” is becoming more popular and some people are choosing to go overseas to have cosmetic surgery or dental procedures.

This is mostly due to the significant cost savings that can be found in some developing countries. Whether you’re thinking of getting a little spruce up or you need something serious, medical tourism isn’t covered under our TravelCare policy.

However, going on a medical holiday doesn’t void your policy. We can still cover other aspects of your journey, such as lost luggage or flight delays, but you won’t be covered for anything related to your medical procedure.

Why does it always rain on me?

Ahh, the islands… warm sunny days spent lounging at the beach or relaxing by the resort pool –paradise!

Booking in the low season can save you a heap but you’ll need to be prepared for less than ideal conditions. Sometimes it’s not quite as idyllic as expected and you have to settle for seven days of wind and rain. It may be warm tropical rain, but it’s rain just the same.

We have received requests to cover loss of enjoyment due to poor weather, or the cost of doing extra activities to cure the boredom.

Travel insurance is for the unexpected and unfortunately bad weather on any trip has to be expected. For example, what we can cover you for is cancellations due to an unexpected weather event, like a cyclone. We can also cover you if you’re stuck overseas for longer than expected due to unexpected extreme weather conditions. 

Cabin fever

POSH, it’s the the only way to travel! Cruise life can be great, an exciting new port to explore every morning and the busy nights enjoying the onboard entertainment. But even that deluxe balcony cabin can end up feeling like a cage if the weather goes south and the ship can’t make port.

Bad weather can cause a cruise operator to skip some or all of the promised stopovers. We’ve had claims from travellers who have missed out on visiting their planned destinations, through to loss of enjoyment because of cancellations of evening shows, and even closure of the ship’s pool.

If you feel like you have missed out on something, we recommend turning to your cruise operator in the first instance to seek compensation.

The one that got away

Some say that any day fishing is a good day. So for a keen fisherman, a fishing holiday must be the ultimate vacation! 

Unfortunately, some anglers have had the misfortune of booking a fishing charter that’s not quite up to scratch and “boat issues” have resulted in a week of fishing becoming just a few days.

As disappointing as that is, it’s really an issue that the charter would need to address. If you book an activity that doesn’t deliver what you were promised, you need to speak to the operator for compensation.

What we can cover is your sports gear if it is damaged or stolen. Or if the weather is really bad and you’re delayed getting to your fishing spot, we can cover missed flights and extra nights’ accommodation.

Out of Africa

So you’re living the dream and your intrepid journey is going well. You’re on the bus to catch your connecting flight when out of nowhere you hear a loud bang, you see a cloud of smoke and you find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Best case scenario, you can get another bus and still make your flight. Worst case…you could be stuck for hours, miss your connecting flight, struggle to find an alternative flight or even miss your next pre-booked tour.

We’ve had claims for all of the above scenarios, however the good news is, we can help with reimbursing you for the cost of missed flights or your missed tours.

Finally, remember it’s important to purchase travel insurance as soon as you pay any deposits for flights, accommodation or tours. That way you’ll be covered if there are any delays or cancellations before you start your journey. 

From the team at Southern Cross Travel Insurance, have a safe and wonderful trip.

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