Review: Covermore travel insurance

Even during COVID-19, Covermore continues to sell domestic and international travel insurance: and, earn 3 Velocity Points per $1.

By Chris Chamberlin, September 28 2020
Covermore travel insurance
Notes
The Good
  • Smartraveller's "do not travel" warnings don't invalidate cover
  • You can still buy a new policy, and travel overseas (with gov't permission)
The Bad
  • No cover for airline insolvency, or for any claims relating to COVID-19
X-Factor
  • Collect 3 Velocity Points per $1 spent on your policy

Introduction

As one of the few insurers continuing to sell travel insurance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Covermore could have you covered on your next domestic or international trip.

With no exclusion based on "do not travel" government warnings, Covermore is also one of a small list of insurers who'll cover travellers able to venture overseas under a government-granted exemption.

As an added extra, your journey begins with three Velocity Points per $1 spent on your policy – and of course, you can double-dip on points by purchasing your cover using a points-earning credit card.

Covermore travel insurance plans

Offering two types of travel insurance – domestic and international – and two levels of cover within each choice, Covermore's range of plans may suit a variety of travellers.

In addition to single-trip policies, annual multi-trip plans are available as well: offering the same inclusions as the higher-tier single trip policies, but across a number of journeys throughout the year.

Premium International Travel Insurance

Covermore's 'Premium' travel insurance plan is the insurer's most comprehensive policy, with unlimited overseas medical cover, insurance against travel delays, and more.

These policies are sold as single-trip plans as well as annual multi-trip insurance. 

Medical Only International Travel Insurance

When you simply want cover against a potentially galactic medical bill overseas, Covermore's Medical Only cover may be all you need.

There's no cover for much else, except personal liability, so those looking for more well-rounded cover could be more satisfied with the higher-level Premium plan.

Domestic Travel Insurance

For journeys within Australia, Covermore's standard domestic travel insurance plan can cover a single trip or 12 months of domestic-only travels.

As you'd expect of a domestic policy, there's no 'overseas medical cover' – or indeed, any cover while abroad – but common expenses like travel delays, lost luggage, rental car insurance excess and more can be covered within Australia.

Domestic Cancellation Travel Insurance

On single trip policies only, Covermore's Domestic Cancellation Travel Insurance covers just that: cancellation of your journey.

The amount insured depends upon the level of cover chosen, but outside cancellation costs, there's zero cover for anything else, not even personal liability, as is an added bonus in the 'Medical Only International Travel Insurance' plan.

What does Covermore travel insurance cover?

As you can see above, exactly what's covered under each travel insurance plan can vary significantly, even if the policy price only differs slightly.

Beyond the basics, extras like snow sports cover can be purchased at an additional charge: covering activities like skiing and snowboarding.

Of course, always refer to Covermore's Product Disclosure Statement for the full details of the insurer's cover, as well as important conditions, limits and exclusions as may apply.

Covermore medical cover

If you need to make a medical claim as a result of an injury or illness during your travels, here's what Covermore may pay out on eligible claims.

Medical claims

Premium International

Medical Only International

Domestic

Domestic Cancellation

Medical expenses overseas, including hospital admission

Unlimited

Unlimited

Not applicable

Not applicable

Out of pocket expenses in overseas hospitals

$6,000

No cover

Not applicable

Not applicable

Total permanent disability (e.g. loss of sight or limb) or death

$25,000

No cover

$10,000

No cover

As above, it's worth noting that while Covermore's 'Medical Only International' plan does include cover for unlimited eligible medical expenses overseas, that cover doesn't extend to extras such as out-of-pocket costs while in an overseas hospital, which is covered by the higher-tier Premium International plan.

Domestic plans, as expected, don't provide cover on overseas trips. Across all policy types, claim sub limits may also apply.

Covermore delay, cancellation and inconvenience cover

If your journey is disrupted (except due to COVID-19 and other published exclusions), Covermore pay cover out-of-pocket expenses up to the following policy limits.

Inconvenience and cancellation

Premium International

Medical Only International

Domestic

Domestic Cancellation

Travel delay

 After 6 hours, $200 per completed 24 hours, up to $2,000 total

No cover

After 6 hours, $150 per completed 24 hours, up to $750 total

No cover

Trip cancelled due to unforeseen events outside your control

 Chosen limit

No cover

$10,000

Chosen limit

Alternative transport expenses to get to an eligible special event

$5,000

No cover

$2,000

No cover

Hijacking

$1,000 per 24 hours, up to $5,000 total

No cover

No cover

No cover

While on the plus side, Covermore's insurance against travel delays kicks in after six hours (versus eight or even 12 hours with some other insurers), claims are limited to additional accommodation expenses only, and don't cover meals, transport or telephone charges.

It's also worth highlighting that trip cancellation cover isn't 'cancel for any reason' cover: this is for unforseen cancellations due to external factors only: not if you choose to cancel your trip, or if you're unable to fly because of border restrictions, etc.

When completing a quote on the Covermore website, travellers can select an appropriate level of cancellation cover for them – which means there's no 'default' to compare here. Of course, the cover amount chosen will affect the policy price.

Covermore luggage and property cover

Lost your luggage – either at the airport, or elsewhere on your travels? Here are Covermore's limits on property claims. 

Property

Premium International

Medical Only International

Domestic

Domestic Cancellation

Loss, theft, accidental damage to luggage and personal effects

$15,000

No cover

$3,000

No cover

Essential expenses when your luggage is delayed by more than 24 hours

$375 after 24 hours, or $750 total after 72 hours

No cover

No cover

No cover

Note, cover for expenses after a luggage delay isn't provided if the bag is delayed on your final flight home, or on domestic-only policies.

Claim limits may also apply per item, particularly for small and valuable belongings such as jewellery and technology.

Covermore liability cover

While these types of claims are rarer than others, if you are held liable for a covered event on your travels – or have an accident in a rental car – Covermore may insure you up to the limits below.

Legal

Premium International

Medical Only International

Domestic

Domestic Cancellation

Personal liability, such as for injuries or property damage you may cause

$2.5 million

$2.5 million

$200,000

No cover

Rental vehicle insurance excess, if your hire car is damaged or stolen

$6,000

No cover

$4,000

No cover

As we regularly remind, 'excess' cover relating to hire cars covers exactly that: an amount you may need to pay towards the excess on a claim made with another insurer, such as under a default policy issued through the car hire provider.

It does not, however, directly cover costs relating to the damage or theft of a hire car, if the rental was not protected by another such insurance policy, on which an excess was payable.

That intricacy is particularly relevant if hiring a car in the United States, where you're often 'covered' by another policy (with no excess to pay), or you're not covered at all. In either case, as there'd be no 'excess' to pay, there'd be no cover.

If in doubt, do check with the insurer regarding your circumstances, and with your car hire provider to determine whether your rental is covered under an overarching insurance policy, to which an excess would be payable in the event of a claim.

Covermore insurance for unexpected travel

If you must return home earlier than planned, Covermore may insure you against those added expenses, and even pay to get you back where you were if you're in a position to continue your trip, subject to the limits below (and the policy terms).

Additional travel

Premium International

Medical Only International

Domestic

Domestic Cancellation

Cutting your trip short, such as if you're too unwell to finish your journey

Chosen limit

No cover

$10,000

Chosen limit

Resuming your trip after returning home, within the original period of cover

$3,000

No cover

No cover

No cover

For those holding a Covermore Premium International plan, 'resumption of journey' claims may be possible provided that your period of insurance was 23 days or more – this rules out returning flights for many 'single trip' policyholders.

As well, the 'period of insurance' of the policy must be less than 50% complete at the time of the injury or issue that required you to return home early: which also rules out those with annual multi-trip policies when travelling in the second half of the coverage period.

Other conditions also apply, and while the amount of coverage applicable to returning home early is often determined when the policy is purchased, cover for resumption of journey is capped at $3,000, and is only offered on that highest-tiered International Premium plan.

Covermore cover for snow sports

Planning to go skiing, snowboarding or participating in other types of snow sports on your journey? These activities are usually not covered by default, and instead require the traveller to purchase snow sports cover as an add-on to their regular policy.

Snow sports, via add-on

Premium International

Medical Only International

Domestic

Domestic Cancellation

Piste closure

$1,000

No cover

$1,000

No cover

Skiing pre-paid costs, if unable to ski due to illness or injury

Chosen limit

No cover

$10,000

No cover

Hire costs for ski gear after accidental damage, theft, loss or delay

$500

No cover

$250

No cover

Loss, theft or accidental damage to ski gear

$15,000

No cover

$3,000

No cover

Avalanche delays arrival or departure from a ski resort by 12+ hours

$2,000

No cover

$750

No cover

Pro-rata value cover for a lost or stolen lift pass

$1,000

No cover

$500

No cover

If you opt not to purchase Covermore's snow sports add-on but you choose to engage snow sports anyway, be mindful that other aspects of your policy – such as overseas medical cover – may not cover you for claims relating to snow sports.

Covermore claim excess

Most types of claims are subject to an excess.

By default, Covermore's excess amount is $250 per claim, although this can be lowered to $100 or even $0 at the time a policy is purchased, in return for a higher premium amount up front.

Of course, some claims may also be subject to caps, limits and exclusions, as outlined in the policy documents.

Covermore key exclusions

With travel insurance, it's standard for insurers to impose a list of exclusions on cover: and with Covermore, one of those exclusions is travel provider insolvency (such as airline bankruptcy).

This means if you book flights with an airline and they go out of business, you may not be covered under Covermore's policy – although if you booked your flights using a credit card, you may still be eligible to lodge a 'chargeback' claim with your card issuer.

However, while many insurers refuse cover or claims based on the Australian Government's "do not travel" warnings issued via Smartraveller, Covermore has no such exclusion.

Covermore confirms that for those Australians who are granted a government exemption to travel overseas, those "do not travel" warnings "would not be a condition that would invalidate the policy."

Covermore coronavirus cover

While Covermore continues to sell travel insurance – including for international journeys for those eligible – claims relating to COVID-19 in any way are not covered.

That includes claims for medical costs if you catch the coronavirus on your travels, as well as other related claims including government restrictions that prevent you from travelling, such as a new border closure.

You're also not covered for any quarantine costs – or indeed, if you miss a flight or need to change your plans because you've been quarantined, either with COVID-19 or as a health prevention measure against the spread of COVID-19.

In other words, if you travel and the airline loses your luggage, you'll likely be covered if your policy provides this: but if your claim relates to COVID-19, or any other epidemic or pandemic, you're unlikely to be covered.

Covermore: the verdict

As one of few providers continuing to sell travel insurance in the current climate – albeit with claims relating to COVID-19 excluded – Covermore is definitely worth considering if you're in a position to travel.

That's especially true given that an Australian Government "do not travel" warning doesn't automatically cause claims to be denied.

However, with a standard excess of $250 and policy prices often similar to those offered by insurers with excess amounts of $200 or below, you may be slightly more out-of-pocket at claim time versus your other options.

Of course, that's only true if the other insurer will indeed insure you: which could still give Covermore the upper hand, and with 3 Velocity Points earned per $1 spent, they're the cherry on top.

Also read: Travel Insurance Direct (TID) travel insurance review


The above is intended as a general guide only, drawn from information published by the insurer as available at the time of writing. Insurance policies can change over time. Executive Traveller makes no guarantee to the validity of any claim, or that the information published here remains up-to-date.

Conditions, exclusions, limits and policy terms and conditions apply to all travel insurance products, and may differ between policy types, plans and add-ons. Refer to the relevant policy documents for more specific information about the coverage available, and to determine whether a product adequately meets your needs. All questions regarding insurance policies and products must be directed to the insurer, and cannot be answered here or elsewhere by Executive Traveller staff.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 504

I strongly suggest people do there research before using any insurance company.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

03 Sep 2014

Total posts 8

I have used Covermore for over 25 years. The last 6 years in my retirement I have had one year multiple travel policies end on end virtually continuously. They so easily have answered the phones and taken my money. Now I need to make a claim and they are virtually impossible to contact by phone or chat. 

I will never use them again. I’m disgusted and disappointed in their service. In this world crisis other companies, car insurance and internet providers, even the tax department have helped and given some relief. Covermore just kept all the money and hide behind fine print.

They are a pack of unsympathetic greedy thieves. Look at all the reviews,,, they stink.

Thanks for nothing and I and many others will preach about the crappy business ethics. When planes fly again and they will, covermore will be so on the nose no one will use them. I have learnt my lesson with so called travel insurance. 

Goodbye forever. Never again. I should have just travelled without insurance and banked the money. I would have thousands and thousands of dollars saved. Covermore were just a waist of my time and money.

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

19 Mar 2016

Total posts 35

Hey, Stevo.

Snap, multiple policies over a decade plus, most multi trip and the one time I needed to make a claim, no response from emails, chats etc.  Once they sent the required forms to be completed by my doctor at my cost they approved the claim within minutes.  On enquiry I was puzzled how they approved it within 2 minutes of me sending the multipage form in... the response "we dont read it but take it as an indication that your claim is legitimate as you had it filled in".  

Never again.  But for every bad story i am sure that others would have a great experience.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

24 Jan 2013

Total posts 15

Same here.  Paid $2500 for Covermore insurance in May 2019 for travel in May 2020.  Of course there was no reference to Covid then so I was not to know they would hide behind the word Pandemic.  So I did not get to travel but they got my money and refuse to refund any of it.  Bunch of scheming lying sharks.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Covermore travel insurance