1. Zero Excess Is Best
What is an excess?
The excess is the amount of money you contribute towards your loss before the insurer pays the remaining amount. Excesses can vary from $0 – $500 and occasionally higher.
A large excess reduces the total cost or premium of the travel insurance policy. Although it’s tempting to save a few dollars by increasing the excess, by paying more premium for a policy with a zero or nil excess means that when making a legitimate claim no matter how small, you are never out of pocket for the claim.
2. Don’t get drunk or act recklessly
A friend of mine slipped over on a wet tile floor at a bachelor party in Bali and had major facial injuries requiring urgent and expensive medical attention. The insurer rejected the hefty medical claim because he was under the influence of alcohol at the time.
Any reckless behaviour such as taking drugs, consuming alcohol or irresponsible behaviour, like riding a motorbike without a helmet or speeding, can void or drastically reduce an insurance claim.
3. Get Rental Vehicle Excess if you can
Hire car companies do offer insurance cover for theft and damage of a rental vehicle. However, there’s often a huge excess ranging from $3K – $5K+ that needs to be paid.
Travel insurance provides an option to cover rental vehicle excess that covers the thousands of dollars out of pocket in the event of an accident. It’s absolutely worth paying the little extra to avoid any hire car surprises.
Be mindful that some travel insurance policies only cover international travel and not domestic car hire. The coverage can differ when travelling overseas compared to driving on home soil. Be aware that insurers set a maximum benefit for coverage, and most peak at $6K. There are options to cover a higher amount.
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