According to new research, Australian tourists rank travel insurance at the bottom of the list when it comes to travel ‘must-haves’ – well below toiletries, clothing, money and credit cards.
Money topped the list at 37 per cent, then clothing (24 per cent), followed by toiletries (15 per cent) and a credit card (12 per cent). Of the 1,000 people polled by Galaxy, just 10 per cent considered travel insurance an essential.
Allianz Global Assistance’s chief marketing manager Damien Arthur said that the findings were worrying. “When you compare the cost of replacing an AU$2 toothbrush to the cost of having to cover an $85,000 medical repatriation from the US, it’s not in the same ballpark,” he said. “I think there needs to be a bit more prioritisation in people’s minds.”
According to new research, Australian tourists rank travel insurance at the bottom of the list when it comes to travel ‘must-haves’ – well below toiletries, clothing, money and credit cards. The survey also revealed that more than half of the respondents (51 per cent) admitted that they didn’t bother to take out travel insurance on their last overseas trip. “Issues such as delayed flights, lost luggage, medical treatment or repatriation could have a huge impact your holiday, with the costs for each varying drastically from country to country if you’re not covered. In reality, travel insurance is the one essential item you can’t live without,” Arthur said.
Australians tend to be more risk conscious when going to the US or on other long-haul trips, and more relaxed when going to Indonesia or New Zealand, with whom Australian has a reciprocal health agreement. “Going to the US is a big trip for people so they are more inclined to take out insurance,” said Arthur. “On the other hand, New Zealand is considered a ‘low-risk’ destination because of the reciprocal health agreement with Australia but people forget about things like cancellations and lost luggage.”
Figures from AGA showed an average cost of treatment for a broken leg in the US to be $18,000 to $35,000 and repatriation back to Australia to be around $85,000. Compared to the cost of a travel insurance policy, these figures are considerably higher, making the purchase of travel insurance a no-brainer.
“In 2015, the average price of a travel insurance policy was $114.75,” said Arthur. “This is an extremely small price to pay when you consider the consequences of being caught in an unfortunate situation without cover.” Greater awareness in Australian travellers of the importance of travel insurance is the key, he concluded.