A new report states that travel agents are selling insurance at a higher cost, but what’s the price of buying insurance without being properly informed?

KarryOn_insurance_625Travellers are often urged to take out travel insurance before embarking on their holidays, however a recent report is promoting the purchase of insurance through online avenues in an effort to save money.

It is a case of ‘you get what you pay for’ with travel insurance, and therefore it is vital to check the coverage of an insurance policy to make sure it fits the traveller’s needs and destination. There are cheaper online policies on the market, however some can leave travellers high and dry when it comes to a claim.

Travel agents are trained in selling travel insurance, having to undergo a series of modules by the insurance company to ensure competence in selling the product. Therefore when travellers purchase a policy through a travel agent, they can rest assure they are getting a product that is suited to their needs.

Travellers who purchase their insurance online are solely responsible for reading all the terms and conditions and fine print, and let’s face it, it can be rather confusing.

Suresave Travel Insurance have released a check-list for agents to ensure their clients are receiving the correct insurance policy to cover them. The checklist states “before considering travel insurance from credit cards or other complimentary offerings there’s a few things you should consider.”

Questions include:

  • How much of the travel arrangements must be paid for on your credit card?
  • Do you have to pay the merchant fees or surcharges associated with a credit card transaction?
  • Does it cover you from the date of trip purchase and include cancellation?
  • Are the benefits comprehensive and suitable to your needs?
  • Is there cover for pre-existing medical conditions?
  • Is every family member covered?
  • Are there any age restrictions for over 65s?
  • If you deviate from your itinerary while away will you be covered?
  • Do you have a 24 hour emergency assistance number to call in Australia?
  • Will you have a policy number prior to departure?
  • Are existing medical conditions for family members who are both travelling or at home covered?

These are questions that are sometimes hard to find for travellers looking at online policies, and if they cannot be answered, the question arises “is the travel insurance coverage enough?”

While online policies may appear cheaper initially, it could end up costing more from lack of understanding on the policy.

The report comes from finance site Mozo who has researched the best travel insurance options, and gives the message to don’t take the add-on cover from your airline or travel agent, or you could get ripped off and suggested instead, shop around and compare quotes.

Do you think purchasing travel insurance online is a risk?