Okay, not my favourite topic and certainly not as sexy as ‘worldwide trends in sustainability’ but, arguably just as important to any traveller. Yes, you got it, today’s blog post is all about travel insurance. So, can it be sustainable? The answer is: Of course! Sustainable travel insurance is now a thing!
Very quickly for the layman. What is travel insurance? It’s coverage for emergencies that occur while you’re away from home that might happen to you or your belongings, as well as accidents where you need to fly back home in a hurry. Coverage can be for both international and domestic trips.
Domestic you say? YES!
It’s just as important to secure insurance for travel within your own country as it is abroad. While we have a great health care system here in Australia (and private health insurance can cover many things like ambulance), it won’t cover for things like unexpected flight and accommodation cancellations, lost baggage or car hire excess. Let’s not even think about how much helicopter evacuation in remote areas might cost as well. And! Fans of cruising need to know that even if you remain in Australian waters, the moment you leave the port – you’re no longer covered for hospital expenses by Medicare!
I have to quickly interject here to say that I feel very comfortable talking about travel insurance because I’ve used them heaps – and – I’ve lodged claims with them heaps-er!! And also because [spoiler alert]: I have always had my claims approved!
Now! Let’s talk prices.
As you’re probably already aware, travel insurance prices are defined by a few things. Starting with the destinations you’re visiting, the length of time spent abroad, your age and pre-existing medical conditions. As well as the activities you intend on doing while abroad like skiing, cycling, hiking, these are sometimes covered, sometimes not. There is ALWAYS fine print to explore, no matter the activity. But I won’t go into that because: snooze.
When to buy?
If you’re like me, you’ll usually leave this to the last minute. Which is a huge risk. As soon as you’ve booked your flights/package/tour, the next thing you should be paying for is travel insurance. Having it early means that if the trip is cancelled or delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, you’ll be covered for any prepaid expenses. I’ve worked in the travel industry long enough to see travellers lose big time on their deposits when not buying insurance soon enough.
So, who do you go with? And how do you choose?
For me, unlimited medical is of the utmost importance. The second thing I look for is dental, followed by luggage and then repatriation cover.
The four most common insurers I’ve come across and used myself after working in travel are Covermore, SureSave, World Nomads and ‘My credit card’. Which isn’t a new company name, it’s a standard cover that comes complimentary with most credit cards in Australia (I’m sure they will probably rethink this now!).
Often, these complementary policies cover fewer situations, have a higher excess on claims, exclude certain countries (e.g.: Cuba) and they DON’T APPLY FOR DOMESTIC TRAVEL (sorry for yelling) but, Moo got stung for this when we were in Perth back in 2018. Thankfully my insurance covered him for the mess of a car accident he had.
Don’t forget, there are certain countries that refuse entry to travellers without travel insurance. It’s always worth looking into if you are a fly by the seat of your pants kind of vagabond.
On the flip side, the following countries have reciprocal healthcare agreements when Australians visit: Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Don’t forget to check the smartraveller website for an up-to-date advisory on destinations that are ‘safe to travel’. Here is the current (depressing) list.
So at this point you are probably thinking; “Where is the sustainability factor?” and with that I present to you, a sustainable travel insurance company:
Huddle are B-Corp certified, which means they are a business with a force for good. They’re 1% for the planet members therefore 1% of their profits go towards helping the planet. They’re based online (which means they’re paper-free) and they’re powered by the community they cover. Things to know about Huddle:
- The age limit is 79.
- There are two types of cover (basic and comprehensive)
- They’re sustainable! “Huddle is known for its philanthropy and environmental awareness. Huddle supports the fight against climate change via carbon reduction projects as well as Local Huddle, which supports programs such as Meals on Wheels and surf clubs.”
- Kids under 21 are insured for free! “Huddle covers dependant children free of charge when travelling with an insured parent, grandparent or guardian.”
- You can claim instantly 24/7
<<< Just for the record >>> I’m not trying to sell this by any means (gross) I’m merely sharing with you that there are sustainable travel insurance providers out there. Together we should support businesses who are doing good! Well, at least when we can travel again.
Until then xo
Ps: All the travel series posts can be found here.