Aussie travellers three times more likely to suffer from injuries and illnesses
- 63% of all travel insurance claims by Aussies are medical related
- Injuries and illnesses make up 73% of all claims for travel in America
- 23% of claims are for trip cancellations and delays 8% of claims are luggage related
New data reveals that Aussie travellers are three times more likely to experience injuries and illnesses overseas – with incidences highest in America – rather than lost or stolen luggage or trip cancellations.
The findings come from one of the world’s largest online travel insurers, InsureandGo (insureandgo.com.au), which insures an average of 1.6 million travellers globally every year.
InsureandGo claims data reveals that since July 2016, two in three (63%) travel insurance claims made by Australian travellers across the world have been for medical services. The incidences would have included emergency medical, surgery, hospital treatment, ambulance, and repatriation costs. This compares to just 23 per cent of claims made by Australians for trip cancellations and delays, and 8 per cent of claims made for lost, stolen or damaged luggage.
Surprisingly, Aussies travelling to the Americas – USA, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America – are more likely to suffer from injuries and illnesses than in any other destination. InsureandGo’s data reveals that medical claims made up 73 per cent of all claims from here. The destination with the second-largest proportion of medical claims is Asia, at 66 per cent of all travel claims in the region.
While it’s more common for Aussies to claim on international holidays, domestic claims account for a smaller percentage. InsureandGo’s data reveals that a significant minority of Australian travellers don’t understand that medical claims cannot be made for medical costs domestically, as Medicare and private health insurance will cover many of the costs. In the period analysed, 17 per cent of Aussie travellers made medical claims for domestic travel.
Raphael Bandeira, Managing Director at InsureandGo, says: “The American countries could rank higher for medical claims due to the fact that the US has some of the highest medical costs in the world. This is worrying for those who find themselves needing medical attention.
“We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance when travelling to any destination, particularly the US. A trip to the doctor, even for minor illnesses, can cost you hundreds of dollars – and payment is often upfront if you don’t have health cover. While you may be saving a few dollars in the short term, it’s not worth the financial risk that can occur to anyone at any time.”
InsureandGo’s medical services benefit covers claims for emergency dental, ambulance and hospital fees, travel back to Australia if medically necessary, extra accommodation, and expenses for a friend or family member to stay with the traveller and travel home with them. Travel insurance policies from InsureandGo start from just $27.
InsureandGo tips for staying safe when travelling
1.Make others aware of your travels
It’s always a good idea to share your travel plans with family or friends so they can contact you in case of emergencies. Print or send them a copy of your itinerary and include contact details of your accommodation to enable them to get in touch.
2.Get the required immunisation
As some destinations require immunisations, it’s important to do your research and be aware of the illnesses you may come in contact with. Mosquito-borne illnesses such as the Zika virus and yellow fever can be serious, so ensure you also pack the appropriate insect repellent.
3.Limit your belongings
Leave your expensive belongings at home while travelling, or if you need to take it, keep items locked away in your hotel safe. You should only carry a limited number of credit cards and cash on you to avoid theft and potentially harmful physical attacks.
4.Avoid drinking tap water
Stick to bottled water when travelling to countries with low purification standards, even when brushing your teeth. Try to avoid tap water and ice, and hygiene levels aren’t up to standards in many countries.
5.Get the right travel cover
Travel insurance from InsureandGo is from as little as$27, and an InsureandGo policies will automatically provide cover for 90 sports and leisure activities, as well as unlimited medical and hospital treatment.