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Nationwide travel insurance campaign

November 18, 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today launched a nationwide $2.6 million campaign to remind Australians of the health and financial risks of travelling overseas while uninsured.

The Minister was accompanied by Ms Erin Langworthy, a young Australian who fell 360 feet into a river in Zambia in 2011 after her bungee cord broke.

Ms Langworthy’s insurance ensured treatment in a high-quality hospital and saved around $50,000 in medical bills.

“Australian embassies and consulates assist more than 14000 Australian families in distress each year,” Senator Carr said.

“Regrettably this includes many hospitalisations, accidents and illnesses on the road.

“Australians without travel insurance can be risking poor local hospital care and high medical bills if they are sick or injured while overseas.

“The message of this campaign is to take care overseas and take out insurance before you leave.”

The $2.6 m Smartraveller campaign commences tonight with electronic advertisements and postcards featuring Erin Langworthy.

The campaign would also include:

• a Smartraveller iPhone App offering location-aware travel advice and the ability to register travel plans without an internet connection;
• a new Facebook page – – providing a chance to share views with other travellers on how to travel more safely; and
• a ‘Travel Tales’ competition offering travel vouchers in return for safety-related travel stories, photos or videos.

  1. ridgiedidge permalink
    November 18, 2012 7:19 pm

    I agree it’s essential to have travel insurance to cover medical costs. Why then are insurance companies allowed to reject insurance for people with pre-existing conditions. I could not get medical cover from any company for my trip to Japan and Scandinavia several years ago.

  2. Ralf Kluin permalink
    November 19, 2012 2:22 pm

    Reminding Australians about securing their health, property and legal needs by purchasing insurance online or through agents etc is a good idea. However, as one examines the risks covered, the exceptions and exclusions printed on the proposals and policies offered in the insurance market can at times be worrying somewhat difficult for some people. I know the old saying, “buyer beware” , is often used by some people as they console people who’ve failed to make a genuine claim due to a loss. And some people do not insure at all because they are uninsurable for many reasons, mainly health reasons. It is in this context that some survey about overseas travellers, detailing the category of risk factors involved, complementing travel advice, about which your department issues advice; as well as the clarity of insurance contracts on offer; in my opinion , may be worth examining in greater detail, and making such findings known to the public.

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