29th May, 2014

Unrest in Thailand highlights the value of comprehensive travel insurance

Recent unrest in Thailand has highlighted the importance of travel insurance for Australian tourists.

With martial law cemented across the country in the face of ongoing political violence, the risks for Australians travelling to and from Thailand have increased considerably.

It is unclear how many Australians are currently in Thailand, although 5,000 Australians are registered with the Australian government’s Smart Traveller Service.

The Smart Traveller Service has also advised citizens to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Thailand and to avoid four provinces in the country’s south. Travellers currently in Thailand have been advised to avoid any demonstrations or rallies and to respect the 10 pm curfew.

Travel Insurance essential for travel to volatile destinations

While travel insurance will often exclude coups, it is still possible to claim for any costs that fit within your insurance policy, according to Rob Whelan, CEO of the Insurance Council of Australia.

“Though travel insurance will usually not cover you for claims arising from military insurrection, including any restrictions to your activities, travellers remain covered for normal travel-related claims,” Mr Whelan said. “Australians should monitor local media to avoid disruptions and trouble.”

This means that things like medical care cover are still valid, so long as the medical treatment is not directly related to the government coup.

Mr Whelan’s advice was to make sure you understand the exclusions within your insurance policy.

“Review your policy disclosure statement to check its inclusions and exclusions, and contact your travel insurer if you have questions,” Mr Whelan said.

For more information on how you can protect yourself overseas, make sure you contact a travel insurance broker. They will be able to advise you on the potential risks you might face when travelling. Being prepared will ensure that you don’t get caught out overseas when your situation changes without warning.

Author: Murray Bruce