Before I arrived to London I travelled Europe for 6 weeks. As I was travelling I of course took out travel insurance. But travelling on a one-way ticket and moving to the other side of the world meant not all insurance was going to work.
Here’s what I learnt about travel insurance to help you when deciding what is right for you.
1. Travel insurance on a one-way ticket
I cannot stress enough to read the Product Disclosure Statement on any insurance you’re looking at.
A huge shocker when I was investigating insurance for my European holiday was that they would only cover me if I had a return ticket back to Australia – which when moving to the UK after my European Summer I didn’t have.
After a lot of research, I found Travel Insurance Direct who did cover me on a one-way flight. I chose to only get cover for my 6 week holiday, as at the time it seemed silly to get travel insurance when I would be settled in the UK and not travelling.
I’ve known people who signed up for the travel insurance for the full year they were settled in the UK so they could travel as and when they pleased; my research showed that travel insurance from UK providers was cheaper than in Australia.
Also, if you are thinking of taking out a travel insurance policy while living in the UK, check the PDS. Is travelling to and from work considered ‘travelling’? Are they going to cover your laptop if it went missing from your loungeroom? And with the NHS do you need medical cover? Of course I can’t tell you what’s right and wrong for you, but these questions helped me realise that travel insurance while being settled in the UK wasn’t necessary.
And in all instances read the PDS to make sure if any insurance is right for you.
2. Living in the UK and travelling
You’ve been living in the UK for a few months and you want to travel, because obvs. Because I only took out travel insurance for the 6 weeks I was travelling Europe, when I was settled in the UK I didn’t have travel insurance for a weekend away, which did turn into a hassle.
When looking into travel insurance a lot would only cover me once I’d been based in the UK for 3 to 6 months. In the end I found some super obscure travel insurance provider who would cover me, they were super cheap, but as I didn’t put a claim in I can’t tell you if they’re a good insurer.
With what I now know, I would take out travel insurance from the day I left Australia to three months into living the United Kingdom so I would be covered for any travelling.
3. Is that really covered?
Even more shocking than finding out I wasn’t covered on a one-way flight, was finding out just how much your insurance won’t cover. We all think that insurance will cover us for everything in all circumstances, but once you drill down into that PDS you soon learn there are some caveats to be aware of.
One such caveat was around my valuables such as laptops and cameras. When reading my PDS I found that these had to be locked away in a vessel (i.e. a locker, not just a locked suitcase) which had to have been broken into with a police report backing me up to submit a claim.
When you think about it this does make sense, but if you aren’t aware of it you might leave your laptop on your hostel bed or your phone in the bar and think that you’ll be covered.
Also another surprising fact about insurance, if you have any alcohol your claim will not go through. A friend of mine had her alcoholic drink spiked in Vegas. She was taken to the hospital at quite high costs (ambulance, American medical system) only to be told that her insurance would not cover any of it as she had been drinking alcohol at the time of incident.
So the moral of the story? Read the PDS!