Today I announce the release of a new initiative to aid Australian travellers in selecting travel insurance ahead of the peak Christmas travel period and start of the cruise season.

The CHOICE Guide to Travel Insurance was commissioned by the Australian Government in June this year.

Australians take huge financial and other risks if they travel overseas without insurance, or buy an inadequate policy. The latest data from the Understand Insurance 2014 survey undertaken by Qantum reveals that 19 per cent of Australians who travelled overseas in the past two years did so without insurance. 

The Australian Government will not meet expenses if travellers are uninsured, including expensive overseas hospital and medical evacuation. 

The Guide, available on the Smartraveller website, includes case studies detailing the financial hardship caused to travellers who did not have insurance or did not understand their policy exclusions, and lists examples of the costs they must bear if not properly insured. 

I encourage travellers to read the fine print of the policy to ensure they are covered for their destination; for their planned activities; or if they have pre-existing medical conditions.  For example, the Guide notes that those who do not have a motorbike licence may not be covered when riding a motorbike overseas. If injured while intoxicated, insurance policy exclusions may apply.

The quality of the advice and depth of the insights provided by CHOICE is first class.  It will assist travellers to better understand which activities are covered by their policy and any exemptions that are in place.

I urge all travellers - school leavers heading overseas for the first time, or more experienced travellers heading to new or familiar destinations – to register their travel details, subscribe to country-specific travel advice at Smartraveller and to read the Guide to ensure they have the most appropriate travel insurance.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
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