Mathew Galea, Claims Team Leader

Or more importantly…why not? Two words…Cyclone Debbie! As a previous Flight Centre Travel Agent, whether it be friends, family or my fellow colleagues, I cannot stress the importance enough of domestic travel insurance. The aftermath of Ms C. Debbie has drawn in numerous phone calls and submitted claims. But what about those who didn’t buy travel insurance? Those who just thought they’d risk it as it was only a domestic trip and not an international one? Little did they know the value of protecting their holidays with domestic travel insurance.

Directly Affected

A friend and I had planned to head off to Hamilton Island for the Easter Break. Luckily, I had my Cover-More policy. However, my friend decided that she didn’t need insurance, saying “It’ll be fine, it’s not like we’re going overseas.” Travel insurance isn’t just for medical emergencies. Domestic policies have specific benefits for travelling within your home country. Having been affected by Cyclone Debbie, I submitted a claim for the amendment cost to re-arrange my flights later on in the year; luckily my accommodation was amended for no extra charge. But with no insurance, my friend suffered the financial loss of having to change a holiday that couldn’t be taken at the time.

Top Types of Domestic Claims

In 2016, Amendment or Cancellation costs were the most claimed benefit totalling over 60% of the total amount of domestic claims received that year. Trailing behind was Luggage and Travel Documents at 14%, Additional Expenses at 11% and Rental Car Insurance Excess at 9% for the most claimed benefits on domestic policies last year. After all, people do get into car accidents, natural disasters can occur and we’ve all lost or damaged at least three iPhones each, am I right? Domestic travel insurance is essential. These kinds of incidents don’t just happen overseas – they also happen here. Your flight from Brisbane to Sydney can get cancelled due to bad weather as easily as a flight from London to Barcelona would. 

Did you know?

Over a third of people who go on domestic holidays experience some sort of unforeseen circumstance that can leave them out of pocket if they’re without insurance. Here are just a few examples of real life customer stories of domestic claims:

  • A customer’s flight had been cancelled due to severe weather and they were forced to buy brand new flights. Additional Expenses: $5,500
  • A customer’s suitcase had gone missing with their chosen airline and the items were not recoverable. Luggage value: $2,500
  • A customer’s rental car was damaged due to a third party collision and the car was deemed a write-off. Rental Car Insurance Excess: $4,000

I know as an extensive traveller myself, when holidaying around Australia we can fall into the mindset of ‘it won’t happen to me’. There will always be people who risk not buying travel insurance with the hope that nothing will go wrong - but insurance is there to safeguard you in case it does. The advice to anyone who doesn’t take out travel insurance is, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel,” regardless of whether you’re travelling international or domestic.

 

Mat Galea is a Claims Team Leader who prides himself on his commitment to the customer, while also trying to build his brand within the company to reflect the core values of Cover-More. When Mat isn’t taking an escalation call or expediting a claim, he is trying to plan which Disneyland around the world he should be travelling to next.