Do you really need travel insurance?

Do you really need travel insurance?

Lost luggage, flight delays, overbooked hotels, these are some of the common inconveniences that travellers face. Travel insurance can cover these, but is it worth the expense? After all, you can buy new clothes wherever you are and arrange alternative transport and accommodation, and not be too much out of pocket. It would be annoying, certainly, but not financially disastrous to deal with such situations.

However, the single biggest reason for getting travel insurance is medical cover. If you've ever been overseas and required medical aid, you'll know just how valuable travel insurance is. Without it, you are personally liable for covering medical expenses - and the cost could be exorbitant depending on your situation.

No one wants to fall sick or require hospitalisation while they're holidaying, but it happens. Accidents and illnesses are often unavoidable, so having the right level of travel insurance can give you peace of mind and ease financial burdens.

Each year, the Australian government handles over 20,000 cases involving Australians in difficulty overseas, including those requiring hospitalisation or evacuation. However, they will not pay medical expenses incurred overseas, and neither will Medicare.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the cost of medical evacuations from the United States regularly range from $75,000 to $95,000 and sometimes up to $300,000. In Southeast Asia, a favourite destination for Australians, daily hospitalisation costs can exceed $800. Medical evacuations from Bali have exceeded $60,000. Imagine having to pay these bills out of your own pocket.

The government's view is that travel insurance is as essential as your passport. They have dealt with cases where families have been forced to sell assets, including superannuation or family homes, so that they could bring loved ones back to Australia.

Given this risk, it makes sense to buy travel insurance and get yourself covered for the duration of your trip. With Australia Post's affordable travel insurance policies, you'll have cover for a wide range of possibilities plus have access to a 24-hour emergency assistance team.