As teenagers return home from schoolies celebrations, along with some blurry memories and broken hearts, one in three of them will be bringing home significant bills, a recent survey has revealed.
According to a study conducted by InsureandGo, 36 percent of Aussies reported experiencing mishaps on their Schoolies trip: theft, lost luggage or belongings, and travel delays or cancellations.
A similar 37 percent reported the same things happening to someone they knew or travelled with.
And here’s the kicker, over half (59 percent) did not purchase travel insurance.
It was, however, worse in the past, as 87 percent of those who would have experienced the first years of schoolies reported not having travel insurance, while for 18-24 year olds, it was 63 percent.
“Any type of holiday warrants travel insurance, especially a Schoolies trip, where most Schoolies-goers are teenagers who are travelling without their family or a family member for the first time,” Jonathan Etkind, spokesperson at InsureandGo, said.
“Even so, our data shows that young Aussies are failing to take this precautionary measure to safeguard their holiday and it seems they are still largely unaware of the benefits for domestic travel insurance.
“Not only is Schoolies fraught with risks, but most young school-leavers simply can’t afford a holiday to go wrong. When they consider the cost of a trip cancellation or lost or stolen belongings affecting their holiday, travel insurance – even for domestic trips – is a wise investment. For overseas Schoolies trips, travel insurance is a necessary cover for unexpected medical expenses.
InsureandGo’s 6 tips to avoid costly mishaps while on Schoolies:
1. GOLDEN RULE: ACCOMPANY YOUR BELONGINGS AT ALL TIMES
As long as you carry your belongings with you, or they are locked in a safe at your accommodation, you will be reimbursed by your policy for items that are lost, stolen, or damaged during your trip. However, any luggage left unattended or unsecured in a public place will nullify a travel insurance claim. This applies to any personal belongings that you accidentally left in your hotel room, after you checked out.
2. AVOID BRINGING HIGH-VALUE ITEMS
If you need to carry high-value items on your person, make sure you purchase a travel insurance policy that covers them. Valuable items such as phones, laptops and jewellery are often excluded from standard or basic travel insurance policies, or their cover is capped.
3. GET SUPPORTING EVIDENCE IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT
Travel insurance can cover you for any flights missed through no fault of your own, providing you have supporting evidence. The same applies if a road accident stopped you from making your flight. In this case, you will need to be able to prove to your insurer that there was no alternative way to get to the airport.
4. KNOW WHAT STEPS TO TAKE WHEN YOUR FLIGHT GETS DELAYED OR CANCELLED
Travel insurance can cover you for delayed or cancelled flights – providing you have a letter from the airline stating the reason for the disruption. With more than 80,000 Aussies expected to have travelled Australia-wide for Schoolies this year, there’s every reason to be prepared for possible delays.
5. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Whether your Schoolies trip is in Australia or overseas, always keep a watchful eye on your belongings – especially in tourist hotspots. As a tourist, it is easy to be swept away by excitement and forget about your environs, which can make you a target of theft.
6. PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE - EVEN FOR DOMESTIC TRIPS
Even though school-leavers are increasingly looking at travel insurance for overseas holidays as a must-have, many are still largely unaware of the benefits of domestic cover. One of the major benefits is that it will ensure that your baggage and belongings are covered for any travel delays, losses or thefts. It would also be of assistance if an injury or illness forces you to cancel, or cut-short, your trip.
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