Buying Travel Insurance

The Ins and Outs of Buying Travel Insurance - It used to be that a passport, credit card, travel insurance, and a relaxed attitude were the only true holiday essentials.

But now, electronics and other valuables are traveling staples, from iPads to professional-quality digital camera. Not to mention the scores of honeymooners heading abroad with a small fortune on their fingers.

With the value of our personal belongings heading upwards, it’s even more important to ensure your travel insurance coverage is sufficient for the value of the items you plan to travel with.

Tough economic times meant theft was an unfortunate fact of life. Southern Cross Travel Insurance CEO Craig Morrison says his best advice for travelers is to simply leave valuables at home. However, if that’s not an option, he has the following tips:

Before you go:

Check your policy to ensure coverage is adequate for the value of the item you plan to take away. Coverage for specified high-value items can be included under policies for an extra premium payment.

Ensure you have adequate proof of ownership in the event you need to claim. If not an original receipt, this could be something like a listing under a home and contents policy. Check with your insurer to see what they will accept.

While away:

Make use of your hotel safe, and only carry essential items and a small amount of cash when out sightseeing.
Flights: When flying, place valuables in carry-on luggage (not check-in).

Closely guard or secure your items at all times. Some policies don't provide coverage for items left unattended in a public place, in a vehicle overnight, in unlocked premises or an unlocked vehicle.

Notify the authorities. If theft of an item does occur, many policies request that authorities are notified within 24 hours of the discovery of the theft and an official report obtained. The original of this report must be kept for the insurance claim.