Gravity a major stumbling block for Aussie travellers

Kelly Emmerton

Wednesday 23 March 2016

New research from Southern Cross Travel Insurance has shown that while 7% of Aussie travellers suffered an injury, and 22% fell ill while overseas, many still jetted off without adequate travel insurance cover, proving that Aussies have no fear of hazards like gastro, gravel rash, or gravity.

Gravity a major stumbling block for Aussie travellers

Accidental injury appeared to be a big hurdle for Aussie holidaymakers, who were unprepared for the major stumbling block posed by gravity, with 39% of those injured admitting to falling over and hurting themselves.

Presenting the second greatest danger to intrepid Aussie travellers - after basic physics - was extreme sports, with 21% being hurt in skiing, mountain bike riding and climbing accidents. After that came watersports like diving, kayaking, rafting and sailing, where 16% met their match.

Craig Morrison, CEO for Southern Cross Travel Insurance, said “Although the vast majority of mishaps are not serious, a significant amount need medical treatment. Bills can add up quickly and Aussies are at risk of running into hot water if travelling uninsured.”

In fact, over two thirds (69%) of injuries required medical attention and 14% of travellers eschewed travel insurance in favour of the traditional Aussie defence of a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude. This is despite the fact that a week of travel insurance cover for Thailand, where 18% of injuries occurred, can be as low as $24.90 and for Bali, hosting 12% of injuries, just $19*.

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Illness was another hazard of leaving sunburnt shores. Of the Aussie travellers who fell ill, 19% were in the US - which, incidentally, boasts some of the highest medical bills in the world - and 14% were in both Bali and Thailand respectively.

While colds and flus were the most prevalent, having 37% of travellers sniffling their way to the departure gate, it seems a diet of meat pies and tomato sauce has done little to prepare the Aussie stomach for more exotic fare, with gastro (33%) and food poisoning (24%) not far behind.

9% also suffered allergic reactions whilst travelling, while 4% were bitten by animals. The data was inconclusive as to whether the latter incidents involved a Steve Irwin impression.

More than half of travellers needed medical attention for an illness, although 18% were without travel insurance and instead chose to laugh in the face of gastro. However, with some US medical bills reaching as high as $450,000 and a week long travel insurance policy starting around $37.90*, it’s hard to see why.

Are you heading overseas? Don’t let gravity get the best of you - head over to our travel insurance search tool and find yourself a travel insurance policy.

*All travel insurance prices based on a 25 year old, single traveller taking out a medical only policy using Mozo’s travel insurance comparison tool.

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