Australians embarking overseas are reminded to make sure they’re taking out proper travel insurance after a new report found over a million people are skipping out on appropriate cover.
While the Survey of Australian Travel Insurance Behaviour (2017) report found 90 per cent of people do in fact take out travel insurance, the 10 per cent who don’t accounts for 1,039,700 of the 10,039,700 trips taken across 2016-2017.
According to the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Consular State Of Play 2016-2017 report, Australians also have a number of “significant misunderstandings” about travel insurance coverage, with 87 per cent of travellers uncertain about what countries their travel insurance covered.
“Some insurers cover travel to Bali under their Asia Pacific policy, but not the rest of Indonesia – insurance may not cover countries if there is a travel warning,” wrote officials.
The survey found 87 per cent of travellers were unsure if they were covered while riding a motorcycle overseas., 82 per cent were uncertain about coverage of mental health conditions (many don’t) and 70 per cent of travellers were uncertain on claims involving alcohol and drug related incidents.
Officials recommend sorting out comprehensive travel insurance as one of the first tasks on a traveller’s pre-departure check-list – and advise consular assistance may be limited.
“When purchasing travel insurance, it is important to ensure that the insurance will cover all the places to be visited; all the activities planned, and any pre-existing medical conditions and current medical treatments,” they added.
“Travellers without insurance, or with insurance that does not cover them for their activities or pre-existing conditions, could pay potentially very expensive costs for emergency treatment and medical evacuation.
“We cannot pay for a traveller’s medical or psychiatric services or medications.”
DFAT has teamed up with Choice to provide two simple travel insurance guides, which can be found on the Smart Traveller website.