SCTI reports surge in Aussie interest for Japan trips

Most common claims revealed

SCTI reports surge in Aussie interest for Japan trips


By Roxanne Libatique

Japan has solidified its standing as a compelling destination for Australians, securing the seventh spot in popularity among Southern Cross Travel Insurance’s (SCTI) customers.

Following closely behind Indonesia, the UK, Italy, Thailand, France, and Singapore, Japan outshone the USA and New Zealand, marking a noteworthy ascent in popularity with a 44% surge in policies sold for travel to Japan in the year ending October 31, 2023, compared to pre-COVID-19 pandemic.

Risks when travelling overseas

SCTI CEO Jo McCauley (pictured) emphasised the potential for unforeseen challenges during travel.

“Japan, like any destination, may present unexpected situations. The recent earthquake and airline incidents highlight the importance of ensuring adequate coverage for your journey. This way, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of Japan, without worrying about the unknown,” she said.

Travel insurance claims

The data from SCTI revealed that the average cost of claims paid in the year ending October 31, 2023, was $1,245. Medical reasons took the lead, accounting for 34% of the most common claims, followed by mislaid or delayed property and baggage at 30%, and unexpected changes to customers’ travel plans at 19%.

Over the same 12-month span, SCTI disbursed over $220,000 in travel insurance claims for Australians exploring Japan. Standout claims included $18,000 for hospitalisation due to bacterial pneumonia, $17,000 for a customer with a broken ankle after slipping on ice, and over $12,000 for a back injury sustained in a skiing incident.

McCauley emphasised Japan’s popularity for skiing and snowboarding holidays during the Australian summer, urging travellers to include ski cover in their insurance policies.

“We automatically include ski cover in our domestic and working overseas policies, but you need to select it as an optional add-on to our international comprehensive policy,” she said. “In addition, for your cover to be valid while skiing or snowboarding, you must always wear a helmet and follow the rules and guidance set out in the commercial ski area’s notices or regulations. We won’t pay you for any claims if you are skiing or snowboarding off-piste, working in a professional capacity, for example as a guide or instructor, or taking part in any kind of race or competition.”

In other news, SCTI recently revealed that domestic travel claims cost more than international ones.

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