Aussies confused about travel policies


The Australian Consular State of Play report, issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has found that Thailand is the most dangerous country for Australian travellers.

In the last year, 203 Australian tourist deaths were recorded in Thailand, with the country also topping the list for consular cases (893), hospitalisations (195) and missing persons reports (74). The country is, however, not the most visited by travellers, with 529,000 visiting in the 2016/17 financial year, compared to the 1,316,000 who visited New Zealand and 1,053,000 who visited the US.

The report also found that Australian travellers were still misinformed about travel insurance. Eighty-seven per cent of travellers did not know which counties their policies covered, whilst 70 per cent were uncertain about claims for an incident in which alcohol or drug use was involved. A further 82 per cent were unsure about coverage of mental health conditions on their policies. Fortunately, according to the report, over 90 per cent of Australians buy travel insurance when going abroad. It reminds travellers however that: “Travellers without insurance, or with insurance that does not cover them for their activities or pre-existing conditions, could pay potentially very expensive costs for emergency treatment and medical evacuation. We cannot pay for a traveller’s medical or psychiatric services or medications.”