What You Need To Know About Travel Insurance

14 August 2014

Snowboarding, skiing and scooter-ing are just a few of the most common accidents that can result in hefty medical bills and hit your back pocket without the proper insurance coverage. Across the board at Cover-More, medical expenses are the most common and most expensive travel-related insurance claims.

More than 40% of Cover-More’s travel insurance claims in Bali alone are for medical care such as gastroenteritis, ear, nose and throat conditions, respiratory infections, trauma (injuries) and cardiac conditions. For younger travellers in Bali, the most expensive claims in 2013 were for two motor scooter accidents and a surfing accident.

 Travel carefree with the right insurance

I spoke with Zac Brookes of Cover-More who was quick to reiterate the importance of travel insurance. “In Bali we often have to bring customers home for treatment of their illness or injury. A medivac from Bali to Australia typically costs around $40,000,” said Mr Brookes.

Snowboarding, skiing and motorised scooters aside, travellers can still face any number of scenarios where they require urgent medical attention. In the past year alone, two of Cover-More’s US medical cases cost close to $1million (an Aussie diagnosed with a kidney condition was hospitalised for a month, while another was hospitalised for a month with a bowel obstruction).

On the other end of the scale, a visit to an ER department in a New York hospital just for a minor cut needing stitches could see you with a bill for $7,000! All of these scenarios represent the fundamental reason why all Aussie travellers shouldn’t leave the country without quality travel insurance.

Look for a policy with comprehensive medical coverage

Comprehensive medical cover is the single most valuable aspect of any travel insurance policy. The right policy will provide cover for your valuable items if they are lost or stolen, cover you for the type of activities you want to do on your travels, reimburse you for out of pocket expenses if travel plans are unexpectedly cancelled or changed, and provide expert and comprehensive medical assistance cover if you are ill or injured overseas.

The level and quality of medical care available around the world can vary greatly. Travellers need travel insurance to not only cover the cost of overseas medical care, but also to ensure they get the standard of treatment they are used to in Australia.

Straight from the horse's mouth

Still not convinced? One of our own consultants from Flight Centre at Eltham, Ivana De Colle, shared the story of her very own medical emergency, which could have really set her back financially if not for her trusty travel insurance policy.

“On my way down after trekking to Mt Everest Base Camp, I slipped on ice and badly tore my hamstring. I was in too much pain to finish the journey so the only option was a helicopter evac – at a cost of around US$3,200.

Thankfully, I was fully covered and remembered my emergency assist card was in my backpack. So I contacted the local Sydney office and they made all the arrangements for the helicopter, had an ambulance ready for me in Kathmandu and then rang me that night in hospital to check if I had arrived safely.”

Things to consider before your next holiday....

  • Purchase your travel insurance as soon as you book your travel. This way you might also be covered if you have to cancel or postpone your trip.
  • Be up front about your intended holiday plans with your travel insurance provider and travel agent. If you know you’ll be skiing, riding a motorised scooter or participating in an adventurous activity, make sure your policy covers you for these activities.
  • Many medical conditions are covered by travel insurance policies, so don't panic if you have a pre-existing condition. Just let your travel consultant know so they can help you apply for the right cover.

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For more information on travel insurance with Cover-More, visit our website, see your Flight Centre consultant in store, or phone 1800 877 528.
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Kellie Carty

If you're a travel writer, journalist, reporter or freelance travel writer, with a media enquiry relating to Flight Centre, please don't hesitate to send me an email. I'd be happy to help with any travel-related questions or put you in touch with the right people. You can reach me at media@flightcentre.com.au