How does travel insurance work?

Although travel insurance can seem confusing, and understanding how the process works can take some getting used to, we’re here to help you navigate each part of the journey and show you how easy it can be to safeguard your adventures. From when to buy your policy, what to remember while on your holiday, and if you need to make a claim at the end of your trip, we’re here to support you. 


When to buy your insurance

It can be a good idea to purchase travel insurance as soon as you know your travel dates. This enables you to have cancellation and amendment cover for your trip if there are any unforeseen circumstances that mean you’re unable to travel. Having your travel insurance sorted early allows peace of mind while you prepare the rest of the details for your trip! 


How to get covered

Once your trip dates are confirmed, explore our guide on how to choose travel insurance, and take a look at our travel insurance policies to find the right policy and cover options for you. 

Once you have chosen your policy type, you’ll need to proceed to getting a quote. On the quote webpage, you’ll be prompted to add in your information, such as personal details, type of trip, your travel dates and destinations and the number of people travelling. You may also be required to fill in any information about pre-existing medical conditions or if you want to add any extra cover to your policy, such as high-value items or cover for skiing. 

If you’re happy with the price and coverage, you can make payment and complete the process online. Alternatively, most providers have phone lines so you can choose to purchase your policy over the phone if you wish. 

It’s important to read policy documents thoroughly and ensure you understand the coverage before purchasing a travel insurance policy. 

If you’re uncertain about what travel insurance policy could be right for you, or have any issues getting a quote, contact our team who are happy to help you understand your options. 


How travel insurance works when making a claim 

Knowing how and when to make a claim can be tricky to understand, but we’re here to help you through the process, to ensure that you’re confident about the claiming experience. 

If you’ve returned from your trip and ready to make a claim, here’s a few simplified steps of how to get started with the process. This can vary between provider, so be sure to check you’re following the correct process before you begin your claim submission. 

  1. Submit your claim details, including all receipts and supporting documents (like screenshots and pictures) to your insurance provider. This may be through a portal, via email, or an online form. Check on your insurance provider’s website about how they’d like to receive your claim. 
  2. Your claim will then be placed in a queue and your claim will be reviewed.
  3. Once your claim is assessed, your insurer will be in touch with you, notifying you of the outcome of your claim, or to let you know if any further documentation is required.
  4. If your claim is approved, your insurer will then process payment for the claim. 

Remember, if you find yourself in an emergency and need to contact your insurance provider, they should have an emergency assistance phone line. For SCTI, the Emergency Assistance phone number is +64 9 359 1600.


SCTI’s Top Tips on claiming 

Before you set off on your trip, it’s a good idea to make note (taking a picture is even better!) of any valuables that you’re taking on the trip. If you can, try to locate any receipts or anything else that could support proof of ownership in case you need evidence for making a claim. 

Another good thing to remember is to save any emails or text messages about transport changes or cancellations, in case you need these to support your claim. This could even be a quick snap of the flight schedule board, showing a delay or cancellation! 

If an item has been stolen while on your trip, be sure to file a local police report as soon as possible. Even if you’re not sure that it’ll help you to recover the stolen item, the report will help as evidence for your claim.


How much is travel insurance? 

The cost of travel insurance differs depending on a variety of factors, including your destination, how long your trip is, age of travellers on the policy, which excess you choose, and pre-existing medical conditions. Check out our range of policies and get a quote online with SCTI. If you’re travelling on a budget, check out our guide for saving money for your next trip


What is insurance excess? 

Travel insurance excess refers to the agreed amount to be paid if you need to make a claim on a policy. If an excess applies to a claim, that excess amount will be subtracted from the amount the travel insurer pays out for an approved claim. When choosing your travel insurance policy, you may have the option to choose your excess amount, or whether you have any excess at all. Your premium may be higher if you choose not to have an excess. 


What is cancellation cover? 

Cancellation cover is part of the policy that protects you for cancellation or amendments before and during your journey. This commonly includes cover for cancellation fees and prepaid travel costs in circumstances where your trip is cancelled or changed due to an unexpected event such as; illness, injury or natural disaster.  

If you have the option to choose the amount of cancellation cover, ensure you choose an amount that would sufficiently cover your costs for things such as flights, hotels, tours and activities if you had to cancel or change your journey.

Understanding how travel insurance works can be a confusing process, and our friendly team are here to answer any questions you have – from deciding on your policy, to what you need to do before your trip, and if you need to make a claim after your holiday. Find the ways you can contact us here.  




The content of this article is general and provided for information purposes only. Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) doesn’t guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness or currency of any article.

This article may contain hyperlinks to other websites owned or operated by third parties, or references to third party products or services. SCTI isn’t responsible for, and makes no recommendation about, the content or accuracy of any third party website, or for the suitability or performance of any product or service. The inclusion of a link in this article doesn’t imply that SCTI endorses the website or third party product/service.