Concerning number of Australians ditch travel insurance due to rising cost – survey

Here are some tips for young and older Australians…

Concerning number of Australians ditch travel insurance due to rising cost – survey


By Roxanne Libatique

Many Australians have opted out of travel insurance due to the rising cost, according to Compare Travel Insurance’s latest survey.

The survey found that 36% of Australians will not buy travel insurance due to its increased cost, while 26% will only buy the cheapest policy wherever possible. An additional 19% felt they “didn’t need it,” while 12% dismissed it as it “wouldn’t cover their pre-existing illness.”

Compare Travel Insurance noted that the cost of cover has increased by over 35% on average since COVID-19 started. However, Natalie Ball, director of Compare Travel Insurance, said opting out of travel insurance could lead to more significant costs.

“Travellers opting out of travel insurance are putting themselves in an extremely vulnerable position. Even if the price of a policy has increased post pandemic, the cost of overseas medical bills or trip cancellations can far outweigh the cost of a policy, particularly in today’s travel climate. It’s important to consider those risks before even contemplating a holiday,” Ball said. “Ambulance costs alone can cost more than $5k. A stay in a US hospital can result in bills amounting to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is not a sum most people can begin to contemplate while on holidays. It is vital that all travellers put their health and safety first.”

Insurance for young and older Australians

Young Australian travellers are least likely to take out travel insurance, especially when faced with increased travel costs – with DFAT revealing that one in 10 travellers under 30 reject the idea of insurance regardless of their destination. Moreover, a concerning number of travellers believe that the government will help them if they experience a medical emergency, which is not the case.

The rising cost of travel insurance has also left older travellers unprotected – with Compare Travel Insurance’s quote comparison on June 27, 2023, revealing that insuring a week’s holiday to Bali would cost a 64-year-old $49, but an 85-year-old in perfect health would have to pay over 10 times more for their cover ($505).

“The increase to already high premiums has made travel insurance increasingly unaffordable for older travellers, particularly if they have pre-existing conditions to declare,” Ball said.

Tips for travellers

Compare Travel Insurance said travellers could save money by choosing their cover wisely.

“Compare policies carefully to ensure you’re covered for any unexpected incidents that may arise and consider where you may be able to scrimp. For instance, you may be able to reduce your luggage cover if you are already insured through your home and contents insurance, or through your credit card,” Ball said.

Meanwhile, older travellers should compare policies to get the best deal or seek out a specialist seniors’ insurer.

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