Avoid a trip to hell

Ac­ci­dents can hap­pen any­where – but they can be much more costly while you are away, writes

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

JET­SET­TERS about to set off dur­ing the school hol­i­days or book­ing their end- of- year get­aways are be­ing urged to put travel in­sur­ance at the top of their list of pri­or­i­ties.

While sign­ing up to cover can of­ten be for­got­ten, it re­mains pop­u­lar for those head­ing abroad, fig­ures from fi­nan­cial com­par­i­son web­site iS­elect have shown.

One in five peo­ple never bother to take out travel in­sur­ance, while for those go­ing in­ter­na­tional, about one in two ( 46 per cent) opt for in­sur­ance.

Over­all, the re­search found 37 per cent spo­rad­i­cally took out travel in­sur­ance or never both­ered at all – no mat­ter where they were go­ing.

Ex­perts have warned jet­set­ters they could be skat­ing on thin ice by fail­ing to prop­erly pro­tect them­selves be­fore they leave home.

IS­elect spokes­woman Laura Crow­den urged hol­i­day­mak­ers to think twice be­fore tak­ing their next get­away or be pre­pared for the worst if some­thing does go wrong.

“Even though we travel with

So­phie Elsworth

the best in­ten­tions of stay­ing out of trou­ble and pro­tect­ing our be­long­ings, the re­al­ity is mishaps do hap­pen,’’ she said.

“Ac­ci­dents such as lost lug­gage, dam­aged cam­eras and rental cars are all too com­mon oc­cur­rences for peo­ple trav­el­ling do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally.”

While Ms Crow­den said ac­ci­dents do hap­pen lo­cally, Aus­tralians are cov­ered by Medi­care or their in­surer de­pend­ing on their pol­icy, but this is not so once they leave Aus­tralian shores.

“In­ter­na­tion­ally the fi­nan­cial con­se­quences can be even more se­vere, with in­di­vid­u­als be­ing 100 per cent li­able for med­i­cal fees in for­eign coun­tries – which can run into the tens of thou­sands of dol­lars,’’ she said.

In­surer CGU’s spokes­woman Natalie Pen­nisi warns that “tak­ing out travel in­sur­ance is as im­por­tant as book­ing your hol­i­day.

“We rec­om­mend that you con­sider pur­chas­ing a pol­icy well be­fore your de­par­ture date – par­tic­u­larly once you have con­firmed your travel ar­range­ments and pre­paid for travel ex­penses,’’ she said. “Travel in­sur­ance is there to help cover the costs of un­ex­pected events while trav­el­ling.” This may in­clude can­celling your hol­i­day, med­i­cal ex­penses due to an in­jury or ill­ness or hav­ing your pos­ses­sions lost, dam­aged or stolen while away.

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