Instant Payout Travel Insurance Has Landed in Australia, But Is It Really That Easy?


Most of us have experienced standing at the baggage carousel eagerly awaiting our luggage, only to realise everyone else on your plane has disappeared, belongings in tow, 30 minutes ago.

Now, you have to go to the service counter, fill out paperwork, and wait a few days for the airline to deliver the bag. Even then, it’s a battle with your travel insurance provider to pay for the few days of clothing you need while your bag is in transit. You have no bag and are out $100 for new clothes, toiletries, and other necessities.

Sound familiar? Nearly eight bags in every 1,000 were lost, delayed or damaged in 2022, which doesn’t sound like anything to sweat over until you become part of the eight. Even then, travel mishaps happen all the time, from delayed or cancelled flights to medical emergencies. Having travel insurance is not a luxury but a necessity.

There’s a saying if you can afford to travel, you can afford travel insurance. However, when that travel mishap does occur, dealing with travel insurance providers, claiming costs or sometimes just needing assistance can be daunting and frustrating.

Enter PassportCard, Australia’s first instant payout travel insurance provider. PassportCard first landed on Aussie shores in 2018 but went into hibernation due to the pandemic. Now it’s back, and we sat down with PassportCard CEO Peter Klemt to find out what instant payout travel insurance is and if it really will make our lives easier when it comes to travel.

What Is PassportCard?

PassportCard is your go-to travel insurance for all kinds of trips, whether you’re exploring your own country or jet-setting internationally. It’s part of the PassportCard Group, a company with a solid track record in travel insurance since 2014.

What’s cool about PassportCard is that it’s the only one in the world offering real-time payments through a rechargeable debit card.

“We give you a pre-paid debit card with your policy, and if you have a medical issue overseas, your luggage is delayed, or cash is stolen, we use our algorithm to predict the cost of the claim anywhere—whether it’s a dentist in Denmark, or lost luggage in Lisbon— and we load the money on the card …. within minutes,” said Klemt.

According to Klemt, the company has a database that has been built over 15 years, which includes the claims history and cost of claims in 150 countries around the world. Using this data, they are able to design an algorithm that can predict the cost of a specific claim in any given territory.

“We’ve worked hard to make travel insurance quick, simple and hassle-free – the way it should be,” said Klemt.


How Does PassportCard Work?

PassportCard simplifies travel insurance by providing a prepaid debit card upon purchase. When travellers face emergencies like medical issues, delayed luggage, or theft, they can call PassportCard’s 24/7 assistance team for quick processing and approval of claims, often within minutes.

“We cover all the usual things you would expect from a travel insurance provider—broad, comprehensive cover, 24/7 support that never sleeps and a range of leisure activities covered as standard,” said Klemt.

This eliminates the need to pay expenses upfront. Once approved, the funds are instantly added to the PassportCard, allowing travellers to settle medical bills, make essential purchases, or withdraw cash from ATMs without the typical wait for reimbursement, making insurance hassle-free and instant.

“It’s travel insurance on tap.”

What If I Lose My PassportCard While Travelling?

According to Klemt, the insurance policy is valid even without the PassportCard.  ”If a customer loses their card before travelling, they can call us, and we will issue a new PassportCard,” he said. “If they are already travelling and need to make a claim, we will work with the customer to find a solution.”

Related: I’ve Scored Free Flights and Travel Insurance—and Now I’m Sharing My Secrets

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