WHY TRAVEL INSURANCE IS VITAL
THE RECENT DEATHS OF TWO QUEENSLANDERS OVERSEAS HAVE THE MOURNING FAMILIES URGING TRAVELLERS TO GET INSURANCE.
For those travellers who think they do not need travel insurance, here is reason enough to think again.
Builder Rex Tickell, 55, from Yandina on the Sunshine Coast, died from food poisoning in Thailand on 2 July. In such an unfortunate event, luckily the family had taken out travel insurance. While he leaves behind a wife and three children, the costs to return his body home to Australia were covered by his travel insurance.
Tickell’s death comes a month after Sunshine Coast woman Madison Rice, 21, was killed in Scotland after being struck by a car while on a working holiday in the UK. Rice did not have travel insurance.
Her stepfather Alix Welsh wants to raise awareness about the need for having travel insurance, as reported by the ABC.
“The family had discussed the issue with Ms Rice, but the duration of her trip meant she actually was not eligible, she did not have a return date or even a return ticket to get home. The plan was that she would work and travel until she and her boyfriend were ready to come home. Even with an end date, I’m not sure if you can get travel insurance for a working holiday over 12 months.”
Whether it be a short domestic trip or a big international adventure, there is always the risk that things can go wrong.
For those travellers still considering if it is worth it to take out travel insurance, here are the myths of Travel Insurance debunked.
It will never happen to me
You are pretty clued in and street wise, so know when travelling to look after your belongings, travel safe and be aware of your surroundings. Sure, that is a great way to be. However, unfortunately, unforeseen weather, flight delays, illness, injury or other catastrophes can very quickly and easily derail the best of travel plans. This can often lead to hefty unexpected bills, normally payable up front. And let’s face it, you would rather keep your money for the fun stuff while travelling. Don’t think it will never happen to you because good old Murphy’s Law – if it can happen, it will happen.
It is impossible to claim unless something catastrophic happens anyway
As long as you are aware of your terms and conditions, you will know exactly what you are covered for. There are cheaper insurance policies that offer less coverage. So make sure you take out a policy that gives you adequate coverage. I was surprised to find after claiming for the Bangkok riots incident, my dog’s extra days kennel fees were also claimable.
Medical costs abroad are cheaper anyway. If I need any treatment, I’ll be able to pay for it
Straight out I will say it’s the old adage of “you pay for what you get”, which especially applies in third world countries. The last thing you want is to pay a cheap price for medical attention on a simple cut, where the conditions are not the same as in Australia, and within days you are being evacuated home when the wound festers and turns into a full-blown blood infection.
I will buy travel insurance just before I leave, not when booking my travel
Remember you are covered from the moment you purchase your travel insurance. These days most people book their travel well in advance to get the best deals. That leaves a lot of time between purchasing the travel and actually leaving. If you take out your travel insurance at the same time you book travel, you are covered from that moment forward, and if anything unforeseen happens that stops you from taking your trip, you are covered. If you wait until the last moment before leaving you run the risk of being hit with large cancellation / change fees.
At a relatively minimal cost to you, travel insurance can not only give you piece of mind, but will give you a leg to stand on in a multitude of sketchy situations. Like packing your passport, it should just be part and parcel of the preparations you undergo when travelling. It’s always better to spend the money on travel insurance that you don’t use than to waste thousands due to lack of proper preparation.
Here are some fast facts for travel insurance:
19 percent of travellers in the previous two years didn’t take out insurance
18-29 year olds were twice as likely to think it was acceptable to travel without insurance
23 percent of men travelled without insurance compared with 16 percent of women
23 percent of Australians didn’t know what was covered in their travel insurance policy
33 percent of travellers did not read their policy in detail
44 percent did not consider exclusions in the policy
9 percent of travellers understood than an overseas incident could result in a lifetime of debt
SOURCE: Quantum for Understand Insurance (2014)