However, Claudio Saita, Deputy CEO and Executive Director in Australia for Tokio Marine, underwriters for award-winning World2Cover travel insurance, warns the price of these antics can be far more than a red face.
“A helicopter rescue from the top of a mountain in Australia will cost $12,500 on average, and it can be upwards of $2,500 per hour if you’re being rescued from Mt. Everest in Nepal.1 America is particularly known for high medical bills, with a hospital bed costing up to $21,500 2 a night.
“In extreme cases a trip to the ER abroad can literally bankrupt you if you don’t have the right cover. For example, one of our customers was evacuated from Mongolia to the nearest medical facility to the tune of almost $150,000 – it would have cost around $300,000 had they required an evacuation back to Australia.”
So before you hop the ‘do not enter’ sign, the team at World2Cover has provided some insights into the true cost of silliness, and tips on the best ways to stay out of financial trouble.
- Offending the locals – It’s no secret that lawyers can be expensive, and Aussies who break the law while abroad can be left to foot the bill of all legal costs. For example, gambling in Indonesia is strictly prohibited, and a prison visit and application to the Supreme Court in Bali can cost over $3,600.3
- Not wearing a helmet – This is a big no-no and will normally invalidate your cover. Falling off a moped in Thailand could cost up to $3,000 for one night in intensive care and $460 on top of that in repairs.4
- Skiing off-piste – According to reports from World2Cover and INTAC, Australians are the most prolific rule breakers on the ski slopes of Japan, and the most likely to need accident assistance as a result, with 89 per cent of search and rescue efforts spent on Aussies. While costs vary between resorts, recovery efforts can be billed at more than $1,100 per hour.
- Leaving your luggage unattended – Given the average handbag contains sunglasses, a smartphone, make-up, and more, its value can be around $1,500, and that’s not including the bag itself. Add to that your passport, currency and other holiday items, and you can see why it’s often a prime target for thieves. However, if your bag is left unattended, your insurance may be invalidated. This includesleaving your bag with strangers at the beach, in the luggage compartment when you leave a plane, in a car when you’ve gone inside, and under the table while you dance at a club.
- Cruising for a bruising – Even if you are only going on a cruise with Aussie ports you will need to purchase an international policy to ensure you have the medical and evacuation coverage you require. Domestic policies, generally, do not include any medical expenses or evacuation costs which can cost in excess of $20,000 for an air ambulance.5
- Adventure exclusions – Holidays can often bring out the thrill seeker in us, yet there are often exclusions or conditions for riskier activities such as scuba diving and jet skiing. The Verzasca Dam in Ticino, Switzerland, is the location of the world’s third highest bungee jump but if you have to go to hospital for any reason in this country and don’t have adequate cover for your treatment, you may be asked to pay a deposit of over $13,000. 6