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Monday 5 August 2019

Why Australians are idiots when it comes to travel insurance

Anyone who travels overseas without travel insurance is a complete raving lunatic. 

On an almost weekly basis we read of some poor unfortunate who has had an accident, riding a motorbike in Thailand, or being mugged in the US, and are unable to pay massive hospital bills. 

It is a truism that if you cannot afford travel insurance you cannot afford to go on vacation - but thousands still take risks and end up having to neg for assistance from their wheelchair or rehab facility. 

Research commissioned by ING reveals Australians are underestimating the potential costly pitfalls to be encountered  even at relaxing retreats.

A new tribe of ‘chillseekers’ is emerging with research revealing that “relaxation” is the number one factor for Aussies when deciding their next holiday, with more than three-quarters (78%) preferring a ‘chilled’ holiday over a ‘thrilling’ getaway. 

Australians have always been known for their adventurous spirits, but many are now opting for experiences that are “more relaxing” (62%), help them “digitally detoxify” (48%), and let them “invigorate their mind and body” (45%). 

For these chillseekers, almost a third (30%) believe they are safer on relaxing holidays. The most popular holiday types favoured by Aussies are beach vacations (42%), family catch-ups (36%) and river or ocean cruises (28%).

But relaxing on a sun lounge doesn’t exempt you from mishaps, with three quarters (or 9.1 million) travellers having suffered some form of issue while on holiday. 

The most common travel mishaps are cancelled or delayed flights (48%), food poisoning/illness (32%) and being conned out of money (20%). 

“Risky selfies” have been revealed to be a new potential danger, with almost one-fifth of those surveyed (18%) revealing they have taken risks to get the perfect holiday photo, such as ignoring warnings, standing on cliffs or posing with wild animals. 

Over half (53%) of Australian travellers surveyed expressed that they have found themselves out of pocket after encountering a problem or accident while on a holiday. Of those travellers, the average loss they estimated was $1,426. 

Despite this, Aussies are still willing to risk a trip without insurance, with over two-thirds (69%) of those who have experienced a mishap saying they rarely or never take out travel insurance. 

Reasons for dodging travel insurance include thinking it’s not necessary when travelling domestically (33%) and that not much can go wrong on a relaxing holiday (31%). 

Cathy Duncan, ING Head of Wealth, said: “Aussies are leading busier lives than ever, so it’s no wonder people are using their holidays as a time to relax, unwind and disconnect. “But unfortunately, the most common travel mishaps can happen no matter what type of vacation you choose – from lost luggage, to unexpected flight cancellations – meaning that to enjoy a relaxing holiday, it’s a good idea to get cover.” 

# This survey was commissioned by ING and conducted by YouGov Galaxy in July 2019. The sample comprised 1,001 Australians aged 18-69 years distributed throughout Australia. 

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