Why add on travel insurance needs reform

Travel insurance contracts are complex legal documents that often run to more than 50 pages. An insurance company will cram this contract (known in the industry as a product disclosure statement, or PDS) with opaque legal jargon that makes comparing policies difficult for most people.

As the name suggests, ‘add-on’ travel insurance products are always tacked on to the end of a purchase, when you’re eager to finish buying – and therefore lock in – your flight or holiday. But we believe that travel insurance is too essential to be subject to these kinds of marketing ploys, as the current pandemic starkly highlights.

People need time to read and review the PDS. It covers critical terms and conditions about coverage, exclusions, and pre-existing medical conditions, including the type of healthcare support you’ll be entitled to during a pandemic. Airlines give you no time to consider any of this.

What are your thoughts about ‘add on’ travel insurance?


I never ever take the ’ add on’ insurance with any other travel purchase whether that be a flight or a tour. For a start it is generally more expensive than elsewhere and of course as pointed out you really can’t read the small print. And read the small print you must. Filure to do so may well find the policy wanting just when you need it most.

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Like all PDS documents, they are too long and full of gobbly gook, all designed to protect the insurer, and screw the insured. Wouldn’t it be better, if the insurer was made, by law to produce a document on one page, and spare us reading pages and pages of rubbish. In 1972, Leyland Australia, brought out a motor vehicle warranty, which was all of 88 words. Compare that to the car warranties of the other manufacturers. Essentially, the warranty said … If anything goes wrong with the purchase during the first 12 months of ownership, Leyland will fix it for free. Now, thats a PDS to be proud of.


PS, I was talking about travel insurance in general.

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The PDS needs to be written in plain English not Legalese so you don’t need a high court judge to explain what you are and aren’t covered for


Hi @dieseldon61

Hopefully a broad section of the community agrees.

A positive response assumes you have nothing against high court judges and the need to keep the legal profession employed. Just a desire to ease their work load. Hopefully they also agree?

Plain English and insurance in general.

How would you explain what an “Act of God” is in a way that is neither secular nor potentially offensive to the beliefs of others? Best not to call it that in the first instance!

In respect of household and property insurance I was informed ‘if it is not excluded it is included’. That was despite plain English in the inclusions and exclusions (mostly). No ‘Acts of God‘ in the policy PDS. There are apparently voids, if you know what to ask. Something a good lawyer might know the answer to, fee dependant.

Is Travel Insurance any different?
The policies we have most recently referred to for travel, RACQ, Allianz, Amex CC Included, have all been in plain English - sort of. It’s the cross referencing and frequent qualifications that torture the mind. More so with pre-existing Medical conditions and age restrictions. We now refer to the Choice reviews before purchasing.


This is the issue voids that need a lawyer to help decipher just plain English we cover a,b,c we don’t cover x,y,z and the limitations depending on country and out of pocket expenses either it’s insurance or it’s a limited cover note. It’s as bad as excess on your policy excess should claims based not if after 5 years you make a claim the whole industry needs a thorough review.

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