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Travel the right way – get covered
It’s that time of year. We’ve wound the clocks back, the days are getting shorter and they’re unfortunately getting colder too. It’s the time of year when Australians of all ages jet off to far away lands in search of the ‘endless summer’ – and could you blame them?
Probably not! However we will say that the incredible range of things we’ve seen go wrong with clients while travelling suggests that the old adage is true: if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.
Australians are increasingly accepting that message, with most of us unable to ignore the horror travel stories that grace our screens and papers regularly.
That’s what travel insurance is for – protection and peace of mind on your escape. Mind you, clicking on the first cheap policy you see is likely to leave you stranded if trouble occurs.
In the 2012/13 financial year more than 200,000 travel insurance claims were paid – but about 20,000 were rejected, usually due to a misunderstanding by the purchaser.
Now, nobody is suggesting you should read the product disclosure statement of every available policy, but we can help get you on the right track. This means making a basic consideration of your destination and the likely risks you’ll face as a starting point.
Are you planning on overnight stopovers? What about some skiing, skydiving or motorcycling? If you are, you’ll need to bolster your cover. Also remember that incidents taking place while under the influence of alcohol are unlikely to be covered – so especially don’t think of hopping on that motorbike after a few cold ones!
Not all insurers provide cover for epidemics in the areas you’re planning to travel to; and many won’t cover changes to plans due to a riot or civil unrest.
You need to keep up to date with world news and travel warnings about such current events, as most insurers won’t pay if a claim arises because you didn’t follow advice in the media or from government agencies. The Australian Government’s Smartraveller website is an invaluable resource in particular, so study up before you depart.
Don’t believe that the worst will never happen. Every year the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade handles more than 25,000 cases involving Australians in difficulty overseas. That includes 1200 hospitalisations, 900 deaths and 50 evacuations, which can all involve crippling costs.
For example, daily hospitalisation costs in southeast Asia can exceed $800 and the return of remains from Europe could set you back more than $10,000. If you’re travelling to the States, medical evacuation from the US can be as much as $300,000!
Without travel insurance you’ll be personally liable for these costs and there have been many tragic examples of family homes being sold off to return a loved one to Australia for treatment.
Remember – not all travel insurance policies are created equal, and the wrong policy can be almost as bad as none at all.
So consider the specifics of your trip and come and talk to us. We’re here to help you get it right, because you can’t afford to get it wrong.