There is one subject that has a tendency to put people to sleep when raised as a discussion item at a cocktail or dinner party and that is insurance. It’s a little unfair, as insurance is such an important topic
particularly when you need to claim, but as a general topic of discussion, it is likely to make you nod off.
That is of course until you read the General Insurance Code Governance Committee (GICGC) Landmark Report. You can click the link below to read it, and for the travel industry I can save you the pain of the
87 pages and draw your attention directly to pages 33 and 34.
There are some incredibly interesting facts revealed in this report which to most travel agents and the broader travel industry would be something that we have not really ever known before. A couple of the stats that made me read this are: 5.7 million travel insurance policies were issued in 2016/17; coverage was provided to some 10 million people; and travel insurance makes up some 14% of all retail insurance policies sold. Note the data comes from 17 providers who contribute to the GICGC.
What this is saying is that travel insurance is big business and primarily this is because in part so many Australians are travelling and the awareness of travel insurance has increased so much over the years.
The report also explores the issue of travel insurance cover provided by credit cards and made an important note that ASIC has reviewed 17 credit card brands that include some kind of travel insurance when activated by a travel purchase with the credit card. What was found is that there remains confusion with consumers over what they are and are not covered for and how the insurance is actually activated.
The report indicates that these credit card companies have agreed to improve the communications of these features to card holders. One really critical point in this travel insurance cover via credit cards is that
the credit card company is in fact the insured party - not the traveller, who is only a beneficiary of the cover.
What this all points to is that consumers really do need to be more conscious of what insurance cover they have, what they are covered for and how they in fact get the cover. So the next time someone says “my
credit card will cover me for travel insurance,” I think the question that should be asked is – “are you sure?”
As a final note, and I do recommend everyone in the travel industry takes a read of this report, the main reason a claim was declined (5,409 to be precise according to the report) is for the consumer being “not
covered”, “a policy exclusion or condition” or “no policy cover in place”. AFTA continues to work with the Federal Government via the Smartraveller campaign to push the message – if you can’t afford travel
insurance, you can’t afford to travel. I guess the next phase to that should be – with the “right” travel insurance in place.