Down Under Travel Insurance
DON'T GET THIS INSURANCE IF YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO BE COVERED!!
I looked at dozens of travel insurance plans before deciding to purchase cover from Down Under Travel Insurance.
One of the key features I was looking for was obviously cover for a stolen bike but, alas, it seems there are no companies that will cover theft of, or damage to, a bike.
So that really left us with cover for medical (the main thing that every insurance covers) and theft/loss/damage to our gear. We're not booking tours, flights etc so that cancellation clause was not important in choosing our cover.
I whittled it down to two main plans that were basic for budget travellers like us, (the other one being World Nomads cover) and decided on Down Under because it covered you for more stolen cash and electrical items. It also had an up front excess waiver fee that we liked.
In China Sam had some health scares... I called the insurance company before we went to the hospital and they confirmed a hospital in the area that they approved of and said we'd need a full medical report from a doctor if we wanted to make a claim.
After two weeks of numerous trips to the hospital, tests, drugs... we couldn't get a medical report because there was a serious language barrier. All the test results and receipts were in Chinese... we ended up deciding not to go ahead with a claim because it was too much hassle and the cost was fairly minimal (less than AU$300). The small amount of money would have been absorbed by the translation costs! (which they charge to you)
Also in China, our bike speedos/odometers were stolen off both bikes but again the language barrier prevented us from being able to make a report about it to the train company involved... so again, no claim.
Then in France our wallet was stolen. With 500 euros in it. We immediately reported it to the police in the nearest town 8km away... and went through the difficult process of making an international call to the insurance company, printing off the forms they sent, finding a bank statement to prove we had made a withdrawal of cash recently, scanning all the forms and emailing them back. When you're doing a cycling tour and you've got no money (cause your wallet was stolen) this is all VERY hard!!
Then they didn't follow up with us. I emailed numerous times to ask what was happening, but got no reply. I reminded them that I was travelling, and if they sent a letter to my address it wouldn't reach me for another 4 months. Still nothing. Then my mother-in-law said yes, there was a letter at home, and the insurance company had tried to call but she told them to email me.
Still no email days later so I emailed again. Eventually, I was told that due to the wording of my claim it was 'outside of their cover' and they 'couldn't' help me. I hadn't made it clear that the wallet was 'on my person' at the time and therefore I wasn't covered.
My advice - if you want travel insurance that actually covers you... go somewhere else!!