They say if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. But as one frustrated member recently learned, not all policies are created equally. This member’s travel insurance provider refused to pay for lost flights and accommodation after an overseas relative passed away.
This member had to cancel their pre-booked trip to Adelaide in order to attend the family member’s funeral in the UK at short notice. This member thought that their travel insurance would cover the cost of the lost flights and accommodation. But their provider, Budget Direct, rejected the claim because the family member died outside of Australia.
Coverage for costs relating to the passing of a relative does vary by policy. Many insurance providers, including Travel Insurance Direct, Covermore and American Express, would have provided coverage in this case. However, many providers will only cover costs incurred due to the death of relatives up to a certain age. Some providers also require pre-existing medical conditions of relatives to be declared.
Our member accepts that this exclusion is in the terms & conditions of their Budget Direct policy, and that this is a case of “buyer beware”. They hope to use the experience to warn others of the importance of reading the terms & conditions of travel insurance policies.
While Budget Direct refused to entertain this claim, Qantas and American Express proved much more compassionate. Qantas generously agreed to refund the full cost of the flights and Amex said they would pay for the accommodation.
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