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This avoidable last-minute travel mistake is costing Aussies thousands in the long run

The old adage about best-laid plans coming undone is true if coverage is not part of your pre-holiday checklist. Many Aussies are leaving travel insurance to the last minute, meaning holiday plans could be at risk and even costlier if cancelled.

The old adage about best-laid plans coming undone is true if coverage is not part of your pre-holiday checklist. Many Aussies are leaving travel insurance to the last minute, meaning holiday plans could be at risk and even costlier if cancelled.

Recent 1Cover data found more than a quarter of Aussies (28%) take out a policy just three days before departure, while nine per cent purchase cover on the day.

Another 40 per cent of Australians secure coverage in less than a week before going on holiday. Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) data shows that one in six Aussies (16%) are travelling overseas without any travel insurance coverage at all.

This trend shows many Aussies see travel insurance as an afterthought instead of incorporating coverage into their upfront holiday costs.

Purchasing a policy at the last minute after booking airfares and accommodation can leave holidaymakers at risk if they need to cancel their trip due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness or family emergencies.

Travel insurance
That tumble could be costly if you don’t have the right cover. Image: Shutterstock

Likewise, travel providers may not be obligated to refund any prepaid costs due to cancellation, leaving travellers out of pocket.

1Cover’s Natalie Smith said Aussie travellers should allow time to compare travel insurance policies to get the best deal instead of rushing their decision or choosing cover based on costs.

“As travel costs rise, Aussies scrimping on their travel insurance policies should carefully consider the value of comprehensive cover when headed overseas.”

“Comparing policies is a smart option when seeking savings. However, picking a policy purely based on price can be costlier in the long run as coverage may not be sufficient for your needs.

“While travel insurance costs have risen, the price of a medical emergency abroad can surpass those costs by more than 10 times,” she said.

Read our expert tips on how to save on travel insurance here.