Why do I need travel insurance cover?

Planning a trip is a fun exercise for most of us, but the surge of excitement and optimism that comes during the early stages of planning a holiday can leave us blind to the reality that things can go wrong.

Staggeringly, a reported 30 per cent of Australians still don’t take out travel insurance cover when they go on holiday. Inexperienced travellers in particular may not fully grasp the necessity of travel insurance and deem it an unnecessary expense for ‘things that won’t happen’.

But the reality is that things do go wrong. Most people who’ve been overseas will have some kind of bad luck story to tell and many have had to make travel insurance claims.

Each year, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade deals with an estimated 20,000 cases of Australians in some kind of difficulty overseas, many of them hospitalised or in need of medical evacuation.

Though daily hospitalisation costs differ from place to place, they are substantial wherever you go. America tends to be the most expensive, with medical evacuation costing as much as $250,000. In Southeast Asia, just to be in hospital for a day will cost over $800. These are substantial sums for anyone, let alone backpackers on a shoestring budget.

Not only can these unfortunate events ruin holidays but, without suitable travel insurance cover, you will be left to foot the bill yourself. It isn’t worth wasting your savings or getting into substantial debt for the sake of saving a few hundred dollars on insurance before you start your trip.

Beyond health emergencies, travel insurance can cover a whole range of contingencies. This can include anything from luggage loss or damage, theft, and expenses caused by delays or cancellations. With so many variables and uncertain factors involved in overseas travel, it certainly pays to be covered. There’s no doubt it’s better to pay a few hundred dollars for insurance up-front and not have to make a travel insurance claim than to be caught in an emergency having to cover the entire cost yourself.

This is general advice only and does not take into account your individual needs, objectives or financial situation. Before you buy any policy, make sure you read the product disclosure statement.