Heading off to a last-minute Europe trip for the summer? Before you get too excited for lazing on the beach in Greece, drinking your weight in beer in Germany and taking carb loading to the extreme in Italy, read this.
Over 1.6 million Australians choose to travel overseas in July and August, the peak European Summer season. It comes as no surprise that this is the busiest time of year for travel claims; with many Aussies booking last minute European getaways before the cold winter months end.
In 2015 and 2016 alone, Allianz Global Assistance received over 5000 claims from Aussies in these peak rainy months.
Two things Aussies are excellent at is losing their luggage and getting hurt overseas – with both of these claims top of the list.
Over $1.6 million was paid in medical claims to Aussies who travelled to some of the top Euro-trip destinations, with these countries being the top locations of medical claims in 2015 and 2016, between July and August:
- Greece (330 claims)
- United Kingdom (277 claims)
- France (270 claims)
- Italy (255 claims)
- Germany (247 claims)
- Spain (174 claims)
Allianz Repatriation Nurse Rebecca Goodchap warned that Aussies without travel insurance would (literally) pay the consequences if they were to suffer a medical mishap overseas.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve received over 1,500 medical claims from Australian travellers across the most popular European destinations.
“Countries such as France and Germany have fantastic medical services if something does go wrong, however they are extremely pricey and without travel insurance you could be out of pocket,” she said.
Top tips for travellers to popular European destinations
Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance reminds last minute sun seekers to be mindful of the smaller dangers whilst overseas, as well as the more confronting threats with these quick tips:
- Germany’s medical facilities are among the best in the world. However, it’s likely that hospitals will require upfront payment or proof of travel insurance before providing any treatment. Before leaving, travellers should print out a copy of their travel insurance policy and carry it at all times.
- In Italy, tourists often end up in hospital due to simple things like heatstroke. Travellers should be encouraged to follow the same sun rules you would at home– stay hydrated and slip slop slap.
- Petty crime is common, especially in big cities. In Spain, 70 per cent of paid claims for belongings were due to theft.
- A secure, zipped bag carried close to or in front of the body is recommended and could make all the difference.
- Travellers should ignore beggars on the street in France. Often, they are working with an accomplice who will try to pickpocket when approached to make a donation.
- There are plenty of transport facilities in the UK, but travellers should take care when using escalators, the tube, hopping on and off busses and walking on cobbled streets. Small injuries can ruin your trip as much as big injuries can.
- Greece is known for beautiful water and sailing activities. However, travellers should be aware that most beaches don’t have lifeguards or first aid facilities. Make sure to swim where the locals are swimming and be careful with the current.
- A lot of Australians travelling to Europe make the most of seeing multiple cities. If travelling from country to country, it is recommended to plan and check for cancelled or delayed transport connections. If transport is cancelled, it’s important travellers contact their travel insurance provider as soon as possible to find out what they’re covered for.