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HBF travel insurance

Five common travel insurance claims (and how to prevent them)

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Whether you're on holiday overseas or on a business trip within Australia, you never know when something unexpected might occur. Here are suggestions to help you try to avoid the five most common travel insurance claims.

1. Medical claims

People get sick when they’re away. They might eat the wrong food, fall over or have an accident. The best way to prevent falling ill when you’re travelling is by doing some research beforehand.

How you can minimise your risk.
  • Find out as much as you can about your destination. What diseases could you be exposed to? Can you drink the water? What food should you steer clear of? Simple things like this could save you discomfort and expense.
  • Get vaccinated before you head overseas. Check with your GP about the shots or boosters you need.
  • Organise to take a reasonable supply of necessary medications with you. You must leave these medications in their original packaging and you might need a letter from your doctor stating what the medications are for. The Medicare website has great advice about taking medication overseas.
Unfortunately, accidents happen. If you’re injured while you’re overseas you could be in for big medical bills, especially if you don’t have the right travel insurance. Before you leave, double check your insurance policy to see what you’re covered for.

It’s important to note that the HBF travel insurance policy does not cover pre-existing medical conditions unless the condition is applied for, approved, and the required premium paid, for extension of cover.

2. Lost, damaged, delayed or stolen luggage

There are very few things as frustrating as arriving at your destination without your luggage. A little organisation before you leave can reduce the chances of anything going missing.

How you can minimise your risk.

  • Check the condition of your bags before you leave. If they’re looking a bit worse for wear buy new ones made from a durable material.
  • Tag all your items and put your name and details on the inside and outside of each bag.
  • It may sound a little odd but take a picture of your bag with the camera on your phone just in case you need it later.
  • Make sure you have removed all other destination stickers from your luggage.
  • Avoid tight connections and late check-ins. Checking your bags in early will ensure they make the flight.
  • Head straight to the luggage carousel after you land. The less time your bags spend on the belt the better.
If you lose your luggage report it to airport authorities as soon as possible. They’ll supply you with a copy of the filed report to include with your insurance claim.

3. Lost or stolen money

One of the biggest concerns for travellers is keeping money and credit cards safe. The last place you’d want to be is in an unfamiliar country with no money, so keep your wits about you and plan ahead.
  • How you can minimise your risk.
  • Be alert and cautious at all times.
  • Never venture into areas that make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Securely fasten bags and purses.
  • Carry credit cards away from cash. If one gets stolen there’s a good chance you’ll still have the other.
  • Don’t carry all your credit cards with you.
  • Take a photocopy of your credit cards and travel documents with you in case they are stolen.

4. Cancelled flights

Unfortunately there’s not much you can do to stop your flight being cancelled, but you may be able to lessen the inconvenience.

How you can minimise your risk.
  • Contact the airline you’re flying with a few days before your departure date to see if there have been any changes.
  • On the day of your departure, call your airline before you leave for the airport to check that there hasn’t been any last minute cancellations.

5. Travel delay

Like cancelled flights, travel delay is usually something that’s out of your control. If you’re affected by a delayed departure remember to keep all receipts for expenses like meals and accommodation, as they can be used to support your claim.

How you can minimise your risk.
  • Fly early in the day (delays tend to get worse as the day goes on).
  • Fly midweek.
  • Check your flight schedule on the airline website.
  • Get to the airport early.
  • Obey any luggage restrictions especially for carry-on luggage.
  • Check the On Time Performance for the airline you’re booked with. The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE for short) have developed a great site where you can download a free monthly report showing the punctuality and reliability for all major Australian airlines. If the airline you’re thinking of booking with is consistently late - choose another one.

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