Key PointsA majority of Australians aren’t taking out insurance before they travel. The most common reason given for not getting travel insurance was that it’s too expensive.Government service Smartraveller says, “If you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford to travel.”
Travel is returning to pre-pandemic levels.
But despite being a nation of jet-setters, new data shows most Australians don’t take out travel insurance before they leave.
A nationally representative survey of 1,056 people conducted in November by comparison website Finder revealed 59 per cent of Australians – equivalent to almost 12 million people – have gone on a trip without getting insured.
Four in 10 of those surveyed said their reason for not taking out travel insurance was that it was too expensive.
Fourteen per cent said they hadn’t taken out travel insurance because they don’t know what it covers, 13 per cent believed nothing bad would happen to them on their trip, and 8 per cent said it was too complicated to organise.
A majority of Australians aren’t taking out travel insurance. Source: SBS News
Almost a third (32 per cent) of those surveyed said they always got travel insurance, with a further nine per cent saying they were covered by their credit card.
Gary Ross Hunter, insurance expert at Finder, said as travel picked back up, so did “the potential for travel mishaps”.
“It’s easy to think nothing’s going to happen to you, but that mindset can land you in a world of financial stress should something go wrong,” he said.
“A medical mishap on holiday, especially when overseas, can end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars without the proper cover.”
Millennials (49 per cent) and Gen Z (41 per cent) were the most likely to forgo travel insurance due to the cost, while almost half (48 per cent) of baby boomers said they always took it out.
Source: SBS News
Hunter said the cost of travel insurance was “a small price to pay for peace of mind”.
“As with most things, there are watch-outs when it comes to travel insurance,” he said.
“If you’re planning on doing anything that’ll spike your adrenaline, like skiing or skydiving, for example, there’s a good chance you’ll need to add an extra inclusion on your policy.
“Travel insurance is super customisable so it pays to shop around for a policy that best suits your needs.”
The average cost of travel insurance for Australians is $235.37, according to Finder research from September.
It noted policy cost would vary based on the traveller’s age, destination, length of trip, and any pre-existing medical conditions.
What is the Australian government’s advice?
The federal government’s Smartraveller website states that for Australians going overseas, travel insurance was “as important as your passport”.
“We expect all Australians travelling overseas to take out appropriate insurance for their trip,” it said.
“If you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford to travel.”
The government is limited in
, Smartraveller warned.
“You must take personal responsibility for your situation when you travel,” it said.
“Consular services are not your ‘backup plan’ if things go wrong and you need money.”
A recent report from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade detailed
— whether it was because they’d lost their passport, woken up in hospital, or been caught up in a natural disaster.
Tourist destinations in Southeast Asia were the most common places in which Australians got seriously ill or required hospital treatment, with Thailand the most deadly.
Those travelling to Brazil were most likely to have their possessions stolen, followed by Italy, the Philippines, Vietnam, and South Africa.
The places where Australians were most in need of emergency passports because theirs had been lost or stolen were the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, and Spain.
Smartraveller’s advice for choosing the right insurance policy:
Consider where you’re goingDecide how long you’re going forThink about what you’ll do thereThink about your age and healthWork out how much your valuables are worthShop around and choose what’s right for you
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