You know what’s fun? Swim up bars, hikes up volcanoes at sunrise and all day beach hangs. You know what’s not fun? Finishing your holiday early because you ate dirt on a scooter in Bali and now you’re covered in plaster, having just had a metal rod surgically inserted in your whichever broken limb, asking any and everyone you know to spot you $12K so you can pop on back home for Christmas. Really puts a dampener on the silly season, doesn’t it?
In a study released by Understand Insurance and smarttraveller.gov.au yesterday, it turns out that could be a reality for about 1 in 7 18 to 29-year-olds who went overseas without travel insurance on their last trip.
Yep, 1 in 7. That’s significant. The research uncovers the attitudes of young Australians towards travel insurance. And, let’s just say, it’s not great news. You can see many more of these stats here.
So, with schoolies and summer livin’ upon us, what are some actual useful bits of information to help you decide whether or not to pack some travel insurance on your next trip? The answer is these 3 we’re about to dish out now.
- If you’re drunk or on drugs, you’re probs not covered.
Hey, nice work. Go yourself. You bought travel insurance before leaving on your trip and you’re basking in the smug glory of really nailing this being an adult thing. Turns out, it doesn’t really mean you’re free to follow your every travel whim.
If you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs (also let’s talk about that drug use stuff later, hey) and something bad happens, then it’s highly unlikely you’re covered by your insurance. Which seems kind of annoying if you want to have an afternoon Bintang or three but, hey, them’s the brakes.
- The Government is not obliged to bring you home
Contrary to popular belief, the Australian Government won’t bail you out and arrange for you to get home in a medical emergency (like, actually a popular belief — 52% of young Australians think this is true).
If you’re adult enough to head off on your own holiday, then let’s just assume you’re adult enough to have a plan B if things don’t go as expected. And that plan B should defs involve some travel insurance as a start.
- What actually is covered
Yeah, look, not everything. If you’re off on a skiing or snowboarding holiday, then double check your insurance policy to see if that’s covered. Usually you have to pay a bit extra for it. Also worth noting that if you’re skiing/boarding in an out of bounds area (or off-piste as the locals (possibly) like to say) then you’re straight up just not covered.
But there are also some handy to know things that are covered too. Stolen electronics? Probs covered. Lost wallet and passport? Usually covered, plus some cash to tide you over. Missed connection due to illness? Yes, yes, yes. It’s worth noting here the research found more than a third of young people had experienced an event while away that could have been covered by travel insurance.
So, while it’s admittedly very boring, it’s very important to actually read what’s covered in your travel insurance before you buy it/leave on your trip. And if you need to know more or have specific questions, just ring the insurance provider and ask them to talk you through it. They’re the ones selling the product, they should know it best.
You can also research potential insurers through comparison websites, but, again, read the fine print once you’ve narrowed them down. Also if you have private health insurance you may be able to get additional travel insurance that way.
In the words of one Understand Insurance spokesperson, “Most travellers don’t realise that in a worst-case scenario, travel insurance can mean the difference between financial oblivion and financial recovery.” Bleak, but true.