Subject: Re: Travel Insurance
In response to Vanessa's comments: I'm concerned by those who say that if you can't afford insurance you can't afford to travel; I think everyone is free to measure risk differently.

When you don't insure, you are in effect self-insuring. That is you are saying, if an incident arises I will cover the cost myself and not make a claim. You may do this because you assess the risk differently to the insurance company and you feel the premiums are too high compared to the risk.

When you make the decision to self-insure you need to be sure you can cover the costs of the consequences. For lost or stolen goods, for example cameras, you may choose not to replace the camera right now as you can't cover the cost. No issue - the consequence affects no-one other than you.

When it comes to medical issues you often would not wish to make the choice of not doing anything. Given the very high costs of medical attention and evacuation many people get caught out. I understand Australian diplomatic missions often receive requests for assistance, loans, etc. Worse, people travel with the expectation that if something goes wrong the government will bail them out. Our government's message is - it will not cover uninsured travellers.

from the Australian Government's travel advice web site: ... we have known instances where families have been forced to sell off assets, including their superannuation or family homes, to bring loved ones back to Australia for treatment.

The good news only 0.6% of Australians travelling overseas encounter difficulty each year. If you are unlucky to be one of those 0.6%, the examples they gave of costs included $Aust 290,000 medical covered by insurance and $80,000 not covered. In the latter case the young man's family had to take out a 2nd mortgage on their house.

Last year one travelziner missed her step when in Paris, broke her leg, spent a week in hospital and was evacuated home with an attendant - she was insured. It ruined her holiday but she plans to travel again this year. It is sometimes the very small things like a missed step that lie between happiness and misery.

Self-insurance without being aware of the consequences or without having weighed up the risks does not come under the category of everyone is free to measure risk differently ! But after this thread I can't imagine any Travelziner is in that category any more :-)

Regards Anne Canberra, Australia