New research from Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) shows Japan is now the seventh most popular destination among its Australian travellers, behind Indonesia, UK, Italy, Thailand, France and Singapore, and ahead of both the USA and New Zealand.
The total number of policies sold for travel to Japan in the year ending 31 October 2023 was up 44 per cent on the same time pre-pandemic.
While the allure of Japan captivates Australian visitors, SCTI CEO, Jo McCauley, reminds travellers that unforeseen challenges can arise during travel.
“Japan, like any destination, may present unexpected situations. The recent earthquake and airline incidents highlight the importance of ensuring adequate coverage for your journey. This way, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of Japan, without worrying about the unknown,” McCauley said.
SCTI has revealed the average cost of claims paid in the year ending 31 October 2023 was $1,245. The most common claims were for medical reasons (34%), followed by mislaid or delayed property and baggage (30%), and then unexpected changes to customers’ travel plans (19%).
In the same 12 months, Southern Cross paid out more than $220,000 in travel insurance claims to Australians travelling to Japan, with the most expensive being $18,000 when a customer was admitted to hospital with bacterial pneumonia. Other expensive claims include $17,000 to support a customer who slipped on ice, breaking their ankle which required hospitalisation and surgery, as well as a customer who sustained a back injury after being hit from behind by an out-of-control snowboarder whilst skiing in the slow zone and incurring a claim of more than $12,000 in expenses for repatriation to Australia and medical support.
“Japan is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding holidays during our summer but if you’re planning on hitting the slopes it’s important to remember to add ski cover to your insurance policy,” McCauley said. “We automatically include ski cover in our domestic and working overseas policies but you need to select it as an optional add-on to our international comprehensive policy.
“In addition, for your cover to be valid while skiing or snowboarding you must always wear a helmet and follow the rules and guidance set out in the commercial ski area’s notices or regulations. We won’t pay you for any claims if you are skiing or snowboarding off-piste, working in a professional capacity, for example as a guide or instructor, or taking part in any kind of race or competition.”
The approximate cost for a travel insurance policy for a two-week trip to Japan for two adults aged 40 and two children is $229.59 for International Comprehensive cover with Southern Cross Travel Insurance. To add skiing and snowboarding cover would be an additional $102.04.
(Featured Image: Travellers at Shinjuku crossing in Tokyo – Intrepid Travel)