Australia Day antics abroad: Aussies urged to play it safe or risk travel insurance misery

Tom Watson

Friday 20 January 2017

As Australia Day festivities across the world kick off today with the annual Australia Day Gala in New York, Aussies celebrating abroad have been warned to keep their celebrations in check to avoid unwanted travel insurance problems.

Australia Day antics abroad: Aussies urged to play it safe or risk travel insurance misery. 

From fines to hospital visits, or even jail time, Aussies partying a little too hard on Australia Day could end up compromising their travel insurance said Claudio Saita, Deputy CEO and Executive Director in Australia for Tokio Marine, underwriters for World2Cover travel insurance.

“Breaking the law of the country you’re in can invalidate your insurance, leaving a potentially serious financial shortfall should anything go wrong.” 

“For example, a night in intensive care in Canada can cost upwards of $5,000, and the popular destination of Bali costing over $800 a night,” he said.

With the Mozo database revealing travel insurance for as little as $48.15, including unlimited hospital expenses, for a 30 year old staying in Canada over the Australia Day period for two weeks, $5,000 could be a big price to pay for a party-related misadventure.

Travellers tempted to celebrate in typical Australian fashion may also be in for a shock to their wallets, with big fines in store for letting off fireworks in Ireland ($14,000) or saving a spot on the beach in some parts of Italy ($284).

Revellers could even face potential jail time, with ‘obscene’ acts or songs punishable with three months in jail in Malaysia, while throwing a beef snag on the barbecue in some parts of India (where cow slaughter is illegal) could land a ten year sentence.

“When travelling overseas, our national day can feel far more important to nomadic Aussies than it would at home, where they may simply mark the day with a barbecue while listening to Triple J’s Hottest 100,” said Saita. 

“This can see celebrations escalate but it’s important to remember that ‘shoey’ shots and other antics that may be tolerable at home can land you in major trouble and out of pocket.”

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