Approximately one in six Australians (16 per cent) were not covered by any form of travel insurance on their last overseas trip, according to research commissioned by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and the Australian government.
The research, conducted by Quantum Market Research, using a group of 1,000 Australian travellers, found that this worrying trend was particularly prevalent among younger travellers.
Additionally, more than half (60 per cent) of respondents aged 30 or under said that they would consider travelling overseas without insurance in the future.
Even among those respondents who did have travel insurance, only 19 per cent said that they had read the entirety of their product disclosure statement (PDS) before travelling, while many were overconfident about the coverage their policy afforded them.
Cost fears are pushing travellers away from coverage
A key driving force behind the lack of appropriate travel coverage is the perceived cost of purchasing a policy. A third (34 per cent) of travellers said that they would consider travelling without insurance to save money in response to the rising cost of travel.
Meanwhile, 15 per cent of recent travellers said that they went without coverage because they couldn’t afford it.
“These findings are concerning, as they suggest that a significant number of Australians are putting themselves at risk by travelling without considering potential health and safety risks or purchasing travel insurance,” said Andrew Hall, CEO of the ICA.
He added: “Things we take for granted in Australia, such as the public health system, are not free or even available to you once you leave the country. Personal responsibility plays a big part in your travel plans and it’s important to read the details of your policy, so you know you are covered.”
Travellers are spending approximately 40 per cent more on travel than they did in 2023, according to Yonder Travel Insurance. Higher spending can expose travellers to greater financial losses in the event of disruption – with uninsured travellers bearing the greatest risks.