Travel Insurance is not Compulsory, but it is Essential

For most people travelling overseas is a fantastic experience, a rite of passage or a well-deserved reward for working hard. Unfortunately there are some instances in which outings have not gone to plan and travellers are involved in accidents that result in injuries, hospitalisation or even death. Each year, Australian Consular Offices handle over 25,000 cases involving Australians in difficulty overseas including 1,200 hospitalisations, 900 deaths and 50 evacuations for medical purposes.

In these instances, where individuals are not covered by travel insurance, such personal misfortunes are exacerbated with long-term financial burdens. Hospitalisation, medical evacuations and the return of a deceased’s remains to their home country can be very expensive. Where travellers are not covered by insurance they are themselves responsible for covering any incurred medical and associated expenses. In some cases, unfortunate individuals and families have been forced to sell off assets including their houses, in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their loved ones.

Kinds of travel insurance include coverage for trip cancellation/interruption, medical insurance, baggage loss/delay, flight delay/cancellation and travel document protection. Whether you vacation overseas all the time, sporadically or are planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip, travel insurance is essential. The cost of travel insurance is dependent on the form of coverrequired, the age of the policy holder, travel destination, how long you intend to stay and any pre-existing medical conditions. It is very important to purchase the best form of travel insurance to suit your particular requirements and it is imperative that you fully explain any factors that may influence your insurance otherwise you may not be covered in the event of illness or injury.

Like other insurance policies there are the standard general exclusions on most types of travel insurance and these can include acts of civil unrest, self-inflicted injury, loss/theft of unattended baggage, loss/theft of cash and pre-existing medical conditions. Some insurance policies may be invalidated in which injuries are sustained as a result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol or being part of “dangerous or extreme activity” such as surfing, snowboarding, rock climbing, parachuting and underwater activities involving the use of artificial breathing apparatus so travellers should read the fine print of their policy to ensure their insurance is correct for them.

The consequences of not purchasing travel insurance far outweigh the costs associated with taking out a policy. The common consensus is that is you can’t afford travel insurance then you can’t afford to travel. It is also imperative that you are insured for the entire period you will be abroad and not allow your cover to expire before you return home.

If you’re looking for affordable travel insurance for peace of mind on your next holiday, TravelOnline in partnership with QBE Insurance will keep you safe and sound. TravelOnline and QBE are Australian travel insurance specialists.

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