Before delving into this post I want to remind people that this is a personal blog. I am not paid to advertise products or services. The following advise regarding the necessity of travel insurance is therefore independent and a result of my own reasoning and experience. Travelling without travel insurance leaves you and your family open to severe health and financial hardship. This was demonstrated to me on a trip I took to the United States pre-motherhood. After a 40 hour journey I awoke with a swollen, painful calf. Diagnosing myself with a likely deep vein thrombosis I presented at the local emergency department. Believe me, I was an easy patient. Being a doctor allowed me to articulate what the problem was and to have it investigated promptly. I was in and out of the hospital in under four hours, a calf ultrasound having given me the all clear (albeit with a probable brief clot which had now dissolved). Given the brevity of my hospital visit I was stunned to receive a bill totaling $5000 for the presentation. Fortunately I had travel insurance and was not out of pocket. Every year uninsured Australians are not so fortunate. Common illnesses such as appendicitis (I had emergency surgery for appendicitis ten days before embarking on a family holiday to the USA earlier this year), if experienced overseas can leave families burdened with debt in the tens of thousands of dollars.
The Smarttraveller website recommends all Australian travellers cover themselves with comprehensive travel insurance. At a minimum ensure every member of your family is covered for the following:
- All medical expenses for injury or illness.
- The cost of medical evacuation.
- Theft of valuables.
- Damage to baggage.
- Cancellations or interruptions to flight plans.
Australia does have reciprocal health care agreements with some countries namely: Finland, Italy, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Under these agreements Australians may access urgent or emergency treatment overseas. These agreements are however not a substitute for health insurance. Medical evacuation home to Australia is not covered from any international destination. Do you take out travel insurance when you travel overseas? Why/Why not?Danielle, All rights Reserved. Written For: Bubs on the Move