Travel insurance delays could prove costly during school holidays – 1Cover

Data highlights a worrying trend

Travel insurance delays could prove costly during school holidays – 1Cover


By Roxanne Libatique

As school holidays progress across Australia, industry experts are raising concerns over a widespread issue among travellers: procrastination in purchasing travel insurance.

Recent figures released by 1Cover revealed an increasing trend where a significant number of Australians are obtaining their travel insurance just before their trips commence.

Notably, 28% of travellers secure a policy merely three days prior to departure, and nearly 40% acquire their insurance less than a week in advance. Remarkably, 9% wait to buy insurance on their departure day.

Consequences of last-minute travel insurance purchases

Natalie Smith, a spokesperson for 1Cover, highlighted the risks associated with last-minute insurance purchases.

“Our data reaffirms what we have known for some time: too many Aussies are buying travel insurance at the last minute,” she said.

According to Smith, this delay exposes travellers to potential financial losses, particularly if they need to cancel their trip unexpectedly due to illness or family emergencies. Without prior coverage, travellers may struggle to reclaim prepaid costs from airlines or travel agencies.

Smith emphasised the advantages of securing travel insurance early.

“Purchasing a travel insurance policy immediately after booking your airfares and accommodation can offer coverage in case you need to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances. Conversely, travel providers are usually unlikely to refund your prepaid costs if they are not obligated to do so,” she said.

Evaluating travel insurance: a cost-benefit perspective

Smith cautioned travellers against selecting policies based solely on price, particularly in a climate of rising travel expenses.

“As travel costs rise, Aussies scrimping on their travel insurance policies should carefully consider the value of comprehensive cover when headed overseas,” she said. “Comparing policies is a smart option when seeking savings. However, picking a policy purely based on price can be costlier in the long run. If you experience a medical emergency or cancellation on holiday, opting for a cheap policy may not adequately cover your expenses. Pay close attention to your policy details as coverage may not be sufficient for your needs.”

Smith also warned against forgoing travel insurance altogether, which reflects concerning data revealing Australians are ditching insurance amid the -of-living surge.

“We cannot stress enough the importance of travel insurance. While travel insurance costs have risen, the price of a medical emergency abroad can surpass those costs by more than 10 times. Never assume it won’t happen to you,” she said.

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