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Every policy is a bit different, no matter which insurer you're looking at you need to read the policy to make sure that you're covered for all the things that you need to be. Some policies don't cover you for things such as

1. Reckless activities and or behaviour

Certain things might be considered reckless by an insurance company such as excessive drinking or recreational drugs. By participating in certain behaviours there is a certain chance that your insurance company will will not cover the risk. This means that if you’re doing something that is illegal or has a very high chance that you will get yourself into trouble, you could find yourself without coverage.

2. High risk sports and activities

Some activities are not covered by all insurance policies and it's important to make sure that what you plan on doing will be covered. Activities that certain insurance policies may find risky include rock climbing, skiing, bungee jumping, parachuting, kite surfing, scuba diving and more. Checking what you’re insured for can help to understand your risks

3. Terrorism, or war civil unrest

Should check to see if there's travel warnings in the countries that you want travelling because most insurance companies will not cover claims made relating to terrorism, civil unrest or war if there are travel warnings advising you not to travel to the country.

4. Leaving your belongings unattended or in an unsafe place

Policies will have expectations about how you secure your valuables. Policies will require that things are kept in a safe place, but different policies may describe safe places a little bit differently. Some policies might require you to store certain things in the hotel safe and some policies may offer a lower level of protection in the cases where that valuables are stored in a locked vehicle.

5. Travelling while you were pregnant

Currently, no Australian insurance policy will cover the full term of a pregnancy while travelling. Many insurance companies will cover the first 26 weeks of pregnancy, some up to 30 weeks but beyond that you are unlikely to be covered (check your policy). It's also important to remember that not all pregnancies have the same level of risk, and so not all insurance companies will provide insurance to you if you are in what they would consider a pregnancy that is too risky. Pregnancies conceived through IVF, having twins or experiencing complications prior to the policy being issued are all among things you need to carefully investigate.

6. Pre-existing medical conditions

Each policy has a PDS (a product disclosure statement), these will go over the types of pre-existing medical conditions that they will and won't cover and in most cases did you to become requires that you tell your insurer about this pre-existing condition. If you have a pre-existing medical condition and don't tell your insurance company they may refuse to pay some or all of the claims that you make. It is most common that if you have a pre-existing medical condition, the insurance company may well exclude claims that arise from that particular condition.

So for your next trip, make sure that you have read the product disclosure statement the your insurance so that you know what you are covered for. The cost of health care overseas can be extremely high so knowing what you can and can't be covered for could save you a fortune.

Written by Luke Duggan — November 20, 2014

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