And the importance of cancellation cover

Travel agents have been lauded by a major travel insurance company for the role they play in keeping Australians more protected overseas.

A recent study by leading travel assistance and insurance provider SureSave, revealed four in ten (41%) respondents booked their last trip abroad through an agent (in person, over the phone or online) – and nearly all (91%) of those who did said their agent explained the benefit of buying insurance at the same time as booking their travel, which is a vital part of the planning process.

And the advice appears to be paying off too, with the survey showing that one in three (32%) Australians booked their insurance policy on the same day they purchased their travel, while another one in three (32%) booked their policy within the following seven days. Only three in ten (30%) waited more than a week to lock in their insurance.

“Agents are clearly very aware of the crucial role that they play, ensuring that travellers are adequately covered and educated on the policy options that best suits their needs, which is very positive to hear directly from Australian travellers,” SureSave head of agency sales Matt Endycott said.

“Many customers don’t realise the major advantages of purchasing travel insurance at the first stage of the travel booking process, however it could be hugely beneficial as it can end up saving thousands of dollars.

“For example, if they need to unexpectedly cancel a luxury holiday, many of the prepaid costs for the trip may be non-refundable.”

Lesser known scenarios that could be covered by some of SureSave’s plans (that include cancellation) include:

–    If a policy holder is made redundant from a permanent job before their trip starts

–    If a policy holder has their pre-approved leave cancelled before the trip

–    If a policy holder’s companion or someone at home becomes sick, injured or dies

–    If a policy holder’s home in Australia is severely damaged by a natural disaster or fire

–    If a policy holder’s travel services provider goes bust

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