The Importance of Travel Insurance When Traveling Overseas

The Importance of Travel Insurance When Traveling Overseas
The Importance of Travel Insurance When Traveling Overseas

An Increasing Number of Holidaymakers Are Skipping Travel Insurance

Many holidaymakers are choosing to forgo travel insurance in order to save money or due to oversight, leaving them vulnerable to massive medical bills in case of emergencies.

A recent survey revealed that one in six travelers did not have travel insurance, and 60% of Australians under 30 would consider traveling without cover.

Some countries, such as the United States, are particularly expensive should you require emergency medical treatment.Credit: Istock

A survey conducted by the Insurance Council of Australia and the Smartraveller website revealed that even among those with travel insurance, many did not thoroughly read their policy documents.

Only one in five insured travelers claimed to have read every detail of their product disclosure statement before traveling. The survey also found that 15% of recent travelers without insurance cited affordability as the reason.

Importance of Travel Insurance

“Travel insurance is as important as your passport – it can provide valuable protection in the event of an unexpected event, such as a medical emergency, lost luggage, or flight cancellation,” says Andrew Hall, CEO of the Insurance Council of Australia.

These findings are concerning as they suggest that a significant number of Australians are putting themselves at risk by traveling without considering potential health and safety risks or purchasing travel insurance.

Some people mistakenly believe that the Australian embassy will ensure they receive medical treatment overseas and that the Australian government will cover their expenses. However, this is not the case.

Another survey commissioned by comparison site Finder revealed that people were either skipping travel insurance or modifying their coverage to reduce costs.


The Dangers of Skipping Travel Insurance

Some individuals lie or omit information on their insurance applications to reduce premiums, which may result in lack of coverage. Others simply opt for the cheapest available insurance.

Angus Kidman, travel insurance expert at Finder, warns against cutting corners with travel insurance as it can have serious consequences. He emphasizes that if you can’t afford insurance, you shouldn’t be traveling in the first place.

Australia has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with Italy and several other countries.

Australia has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with Italy and several other countries.Credit: iStock

“Skimping on travel insurance is a really dangerous trend; an overseas emergency can trash your finances if you don’t have adequate cover,” warns Kidman. He advises comparing multiple travel insurance policies to find the coverage you need at an affordable rate.

Reciprocal Healthcare Agreements and Other Considerations

Australia has reciprocal healthcare agreements with several countries, including Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. However, it is still important to have travel insurance as it covers fees for treatment and medication and provides coverage for urgent care that cannot wait until you return home.

Choice, a consumer group, emphasizes that travel insurance is a must when leaving Australia. They also highlight that insurers may exclude coverage if the accident or misadventure occurs while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Additionally, some pre-existing medical conditions may require separate coverage approval from the insurer.


Travel insurance is essential for protecting yourself from unexpected events while traveling. Skipping travel insurance or opting for inadequate coverage can have serious financial consequences. It is important to carefully read policy documents and compare multiple insurance policies to find the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

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