Men are more likely than woman to try to cheat their insurer and they also have the least faith in their insurer doing the right thing.
A Southern Cross Travel Insurance survey of 1000 Australians has found 32% of men felt that with any type of insurance, it was acceptable either ‘all’ or ‘some of the time’ to inflate the amount claimed to cover a policy excess, and 15% of men felt it was ok to claim for pre-existing damage to an item that occurred prior to travelling.
By comparison, 23% of women felt it was ok to inflate a claim, while 8% thought it was ok to claim for pre-existing damage.
Men are also the most cynical about insurers. The survey found that 49% of men thought travel insurance companies either ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’ looked for excuses not to pay valid claims, compared to 37% of women.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance CEO Craig Morrison said “it’s disappointing that so many lacked faith in travel insurers”.
“Firstly, for an insurer to attempt to avoid paying a valid claim is ethically wrong, but secondly it breaches the legal contract the insurer has made with their customer. Customers should be assured that if the claim fits within the terms of the policy the insurer must pay out - there’s no question about it.”
“Secondly, the key obligation on the part of the insured is evidence. Without appropriate evidence of your loss we will struggle to be able to pay out your claim. When it comes to providing proof of a mishap, don’t delay.”
The core purpose of the survey was to find out if people really understood the claiming process. It found that 60% of those surveyed thought it was ok to claim the replacement cost, rather than the current value of a lost or damaged item.
"If you thought you were going to get a brand new laptop, rather than the current value of your five-year-old one, it’s natural you’re going to be disappointed in your policy.”
Morrison says the key principle underlying all travel insurance policies is “could this event or situation reasonably be considered unexpected? Travel insurance is there to cover the unexpected. If you leave your iPhone unattended on the beach while you take a swim, well it’s not unexpected that it could be stolen.”
“We strongly urge people to have a really good read of their policy before they purchase. If they have any questions, we ask them to get in touch."
Morrison says, key points to remember are never leave your personal belongings unattended, even for a moment, and, of course, ‘nothing good happens after midnight’.”