Aussie Travellers Face Huge Bills Without Insurance

Australian travellers risk significant financial losses by not purchasing travel insurance, with recent claims highlighting staggering costs from unexpected incidents abroad. Experts warn that forgoing travel insurance to save money could prove to be a costly mistake.

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Aussie Travellers Face Huge Bills Without Insurance

Aussie Travellers Face Huge Bills Without Insurance

Australian travellers are risking significant financial losses by not purchasing travel insurance, with recent claims highlighting the staggering costs that can arise from unexpected incidents abroad. From a family, son, getting $120,000 hot tub accident in the United States to a $160,000 hip fracture in Fiji, these horror stories underscore the importance of having comprehensive travel insurance coverage.

Why this matters: The financial consequences of not having travel insurance can have a ripple effect on the entire family, causing long-term financial strain and emotional distress. Moreover, the lack of awareness about the importance of travel insurance can lead to a largersocietal issue, where individuals are left vulnerable to unexpected medical and travel-related expenses.

Despite the potential for substantial financial burdens, a concerning number of Australians are opting to forgo travel insurance as a cost-saving measure. According to recent data, 2.4 million Australians said they won't purchase travel insurance in an effort to save money. However, experts warn that this decision could prove to be a costly mistake.

The average cost of an International Medical Only policy sold to Australian customers by Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) in 2023 was $266.61, while the average claim cost was $2,478.82. These figures demonstrate that the cost of travel insurance is relatively small compared to the potential expenses that can arise from accidents or medical emergencies while travelling.

Real-life examples further emphasize the financial risks associated with travelling uninsured. In addition to the hot tub accident and hip fracture incidents, other costly claims include a $79,500 bill for a traveller who broke their sacrum in a surfing accident, requiring surgery and a business class flight upgrade back to Australia. Moped and e-scooter accidents have also resulted in claims of $73,000 and $69,000, respectively.

Even seemingly minor incidents can lead to significant expenses. "While slip and fall accidents might seem inconsequential at first glance, they can lead to hefty medical bills, especially in foreign countries where healthcare costs can be exorbitant," said an SCTI spokesperson. Lost baggage and trip cancellations are also common sources of expensive claims, with one traveller facing a $7,000 bill after having to cancel their trip due to their father suffering a stroke.

SCTI CEO Jo McCauley emphasized the importance of travel insurance, stating, "Many Australian travellers underestimate the potential costs associated with common travel mishaps. From minor medical incidents to lost luggage, the expenses can quickly add up, leaving travellers in a precarious financial situation." She added, "Investing in travel insurance is a simple yet crucial step in safeguarding against these unforeseen expenses."

The cost of travel insurance varies depending on the level of coverage and destination. For a one-week trip to Fiji for two adults aged 40 and two children, the approximate cost for International Comprehensive cover with SCTI is $134.79, while Medical Only cover for the same trip would be around $80.64. These prices are a small fraction of the potential costs that uninsured travellers could face in the event of an accident or emergency.

As international travel continues to rebound in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for Australian travellers to prioritize travel insurance. The financial protection and peace of mind provided by comprehensive coverage far outweigh the relatively small upfront cost. By securing travel insurance, Australians can embark on their journeys with confidence, knowing that they are safeguarded against the unexpected.

Key Takeaways

  • Australian travellers risk significant financial losses without travel insurance.
  • 2.4 million Australians forgo travel insurance to save money, despite potential costs.
  • Average travel insurance cost: $266.61; average claim cost: $2,478.82.
  • Real-life claims include $120,000 hot tub accident and $160,000 hip fracture.
  • Investing in travel insurance safeguards against unforeseen expenses.