When it comes to travelling, we love to make the most of our big trip and make sure we have plenty of stories to tell when we come back (mostly good stories!) However, are we prepared for the rocky times ahead when we travel?
According to our independent survey, asking 1,200 Aussies about their domestic travelling habits, 3 in 4 people amazingly don’t get domestic travel insurance before going on their trip. Before jetting off, it may be time to start thinking about your domestic travel cover and the benefits this could have when faced with unexpected circumstances.
Lost luggage, cancellations, missed flights, losing passport and wallet, food poisoning, getting injured; these are just some of the many unfortunate events that could happen to you while away. With nearly a quarter of Australians taking a holiday three to five times a year (according to our survey) and 60% of people travelling domestically, it’s concerning the number of Australians who aren’t covered!
What the survey says about our travelling
This new research debunks the myth that Aussies love their overseas travel more than local travel. Worryingly, however, we also have a “she’ll be right” attitude to covering ourselves for potential risks along the way. Austrade’s research recorded a 4% increase in domestic travel compared with only a 1% increase in international travel in 2015. So it seems we prefer to take interstate adventures and stick to local travelling!
At the same time though, Australians seem to be unaware of the financial risks they could face if things go wrong while travelling, with only 24% of people taking out domestic travel insurance at all. When travelling domestically, there is a tendency to believe that you’re protected by your existing insurance policies. But is this really the case?
CTP and car insurance can cover your vehicle and home and contents insurance can cover loss or theft of property. However, comprehensive coverage isn’t always guaranteed! For example, many home and contents policies don’t cover personal items taken outside of the home, such as mobile phones and luggage, unless you have specifically selected it as an optional extra. Keeping an eye on your valuables has never been more important when travelling.
Further confusing the issue, 27% of Aussies believed that the complimentary travel insurance offered by credit cards will automatically cover them in case of misfortune. However, many credit card travel insurance policies don’t cover domestic travel insurance at all. Now you know!
The most popular reasons for taking out travel insurance among Aussies are covering lost or damaged luggage (60%), flight cancellations or delays (57%), and theft of personal belongings (57%). Yet if these incidents happen on Australian soil then they aren’t typically covered by your credit card travel insurance, so be wary.
With only 49% of respondents claiming to read the terms and conditions of their travel insurance in full and 27% believing that their credit card automatically covers them, there is a huge amount of misinformation guiding people’s decisions on travel insurance , and in particular, with domestic travel insurance. It is vital that you do your research before travelling to ensure your coverage meets your needs.
If you need a little more information, we’ve compiled some handy tips on how to get the most out of your domestic travel insurance so your Australian adventure won’t be ruined by any holiday mishaps!
Tips for getting the most out of your domestic travel insurance
1. If you are taking a flight. Any flight cancellations or delays, and associated costs may not be covered by any existing policies you might already have. In rare instances, a refund may be available via your credit card provider if the tickets were purchased with the credit card.
Travel insurance (internationally or domestically) can sometimes cover you for minor and major cancellations. It could also cover you if you need to cut your trip short to return home in the event of a family emergency such as a severe, unexpected illness or death within your immediate family. Travel insurance can sometimes cover cancellations and delays due to a natural disaster such as a volcanic eruption, earthquake or tsunami. Always check the Product Disclosure Statement to completely understand the inclusions, exclusions and limits of your travel cover.
2. If you are staying in a hotel. Hotel booking cancellations may not be refunded unless you have the right insurance. Similar to flights, a refund might be available if the accommodation was purchased with a credit card.
3. If you are travelling with expensive or cherished items. While your home and contents insurance may cover these items (it’s often an optional extra), typically your possessions aren’t covered against damage, theft or loss when travelling domestically.
4. If you are carrying a large amount of cash. Whether it’s lost or stolen, your cash typically won’t be covered on holiday unless you have purchased a tailored domestic travel insurance policy.
5. If you are renting a car. Should you have an accident in your hire car, it’s good to know that some travel insurance policies will cover your excess. This could help you save hundreds of dollars, especially if you chose not to take out the excess reduction product offered when you first hired the vehicle.
6. If you are going on a cruise. Medicare cover is only guaranteed to be available where a cruise is travelling directly between Australian ports (no international stops) and if it is a Medicare-eligible doctor who treats your condition. Ensure you check with the cruise operator before deciding on whether or not to get covered.
7. Other benefits might include: accidental death compensation, personal liability coverage and cover for damaged hired goods such as skiing equipment or surfboards.
So consider getting covered domestically before jetting off on your Australian adventure. Pack your bags, grab the passport and get insured – don’t let unexpected circumstances ruin your trip!