The most common reason that people take out travel insurance is to protect their luggage from theft or the airlines losing it. What people often overlook is the necessity of having a travel insurance policy that comprehensively covers them for medical emergencies.
Smartraveller.gov.au gives some examples of costs: hospitalisation in South East Asia can exceed $800 per day; return of remains from europe can cost $10,000; medical evacuations from the USA can cost up to $300,000 and from nearby Bali has exceeded $60,000.
Those numbers should hurt because if you had to pay them without holiday insurance you may end up financially crippled. Luckily it is fairly easy to take out a good insurance plan that covers your overseas medical expenses. In Australia it is mandatory for travel insurance companies to provide you with a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) prior to purchase. A PDS outlines what the policy covers including what their will pay for certain incidents and any if there are any particular terms and conditions attached. If you are suffering a pre-existing medical condition then make sure you are still eligible.
Since all the major Australian travel insurance companies operate online sales it is very easy to compare the cover. Some of the main companies are: 1 Cover, AAMI, Allianz, Columbus Direct, Insure4Less, iTrek, Travel Insurance Direct and World Nomads. You can find them and more through your favorite search engine.
Once you are at their website just look for the PDS. It will usually be on the quote and product pages. Open it up and don’t be alarmed at how confusing it can look, just scroll to the large table with the dollar values in it. Make sure the sections labeled Medical Expenses or Medical Evacuation or similar are unlimited or in the millions. Other useful cover is for lost or stolen luggage, cancellation, delays, cash, credit cards, liability, and dental.
Get a quote for the ones that meet this criteria. Choose the company offering the lowest premium that you trust. Reading online reviews can be very helpful at this stage. Best of luck with your travels and hopefully nothing goes wrong.