New research debunks the myth that Aussies love their overseas travel more than local travel, with new data revealing more than half of us prefer to holiday domestically. Worryingly, however, we also have a “she’ll be right” attitude to covering ourselves for potential risks along the way.
The insights come from a new survey of an independent panel of 1,000 Australians by leading travel insurance comparison servicecomparethemarket.com.au, in which 59% of respondents said they preferred to holiday in Australia rather than overseas. In addition, Austrade’s research recorded a 4% increase in domestic travel compared with only a 1% increase in international travel in 2015.[i]
At the same time, Australians seem to be unaware of the financial risks they could face if things go wrong while travelling, with only 24% of respondents 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,” saidcomparethemarket.com.au spokesperson Abigail Koch.
“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, which is why it’s so important to take out travel insurance. 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,” said Abigail.
Further confusing the issue, 27% of the survey respondents 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.
The most popular reasons for taking out travel insurance among respondents 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,” said Abigail.
“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. A tailored policy is often the safest option and a wide range can be easily and quickly compared using services like comparethemarket.com.au,” said Abigail.
Comparethemarket.com.au’s tips for getting the most out of your domestic travel insurance
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Other benefits might include: accidental death compensation, personal liability coverage and cover for damaged hired goods such as skiing equipment or surfboards.