Opting out of travel insurance costly for baby boomers

Image: Flickr / lifeinsurance89441

Could failing to get travel insurance be costing baby boomers more than they bargained for? Joanna Letner reports.

Australian baby boomers are redefining the scope of the travel industry. But while introducing this new and unexplored territory of travel, are they getting the insurance they need?  Joanna Letner finds out.

Transcript

REPORTER: With such a huge spike in the travelling trends of 48 – 66 year olds in Australia, many insurance companies will be raking in the profits.

Baby-boomers this year are returning to their roots and choosing to travel before retirement age, as many do not see retirement on the horizon anyway.

We all know luxury travel isn’t a priority for the majority of Australian Baby-boomers. And while they’re still young, adventure holidays appear to be the more appealing choice of the two.

“Australians over the age of 50 are keen to get out there and see the world, and have a good time while doing it,” says Grant Taylor, Executive Manager of Apia, “While they are keen to explore the world, and Australia, they are absolutely conscious of the cost of travelling. More than 60% say they are interested in a driving holiday, for example, compared to only 37% interested in a luxury holiday.”

Being the sandwich generation between elderly parents and money-grubbing children cheaper travel is a priority for many Australian Baby Boomers.

But with cheaper travel comes higher risk especially for those looking to get an extra kick out of their holiday.

Travel agent Candice Quast always recommends travel insurance to her baby boomer clients, however not all are particularly responsive.

CANDICE QUAST: Well when people in the age bracket 48 to 66 years old come in to book a holiday they rarely think they need travel insurance because of past experience and just basically the belief they don’t need it, especially for brief vacations.

REPORTER: In most cases the coverage has either too many extras or not enough. And tailoring for specific needs comes with many additional costs and fees.

Decent travel insurance is easily overlooked but crucial for a safe holiday.

One baby boomer, Claudia Lemos, recently went on a 2-week holiday to Thailand with her husband and a few friends. Due to the short duration of their trip she decided to skip getting travel insurance.

CLAUDIA LEMOS: We decided to go to Bangkok first and because it was a short holiday, it was only 10 days, we never thought something big would happen.

REPORTER: However within two days of landing in Bangkok and jumping on a motorcycle for quick, easy and fun transport, Mrs Lemos suffered a hand injury that for all she knew could’ve been a fracture.

CLAUDIA LEMOS: When we got to Thailand, Pathom, I had a little accident with a motorbike and I wish I had insurance because we didn’t trust the public health care in Thailand so it would be a lot better if we had insurance.

REPORTER: Claudia’s husband, Jorge Lemos, displays a rather different attitude towards travel insurance.

JORGE LEMOS: “If you’re doing the normal stuff like riding a bike in the city or going to the beach and nightclubs why do you need insurance. I feel like I don’t need insurance for that.”

REPORTER: While the process of getting travel insurance can be mind numbing, with Baby-Boomers being so daring it shouldn’t be skipped.

Grant Taylor commented that: “Older Aussies are an adventurous bunch. Simply turning 50, 60 or 70 doesn’t necessarily mean they are relegated to pottering in the garden or doing needlepoint. They have the time for a long trip, and backpacking presents an affordable alternative to a long-term trip, so it’s no wonder we see one in 10 wanting to give it a go.”

After all, who wants to sit and look at the Great-Barrier Reef from the shore? No, baby-Boomers are looking to get in and among the coral, especially overseas as is dictated by the 68% of Baby Boomers who want to travel overseas.

For most baby-boomers, travel insurance isn’t more then a few dollars above the young adults cost and at least the most basic policy should be obtained for boomers going abroad, especially since, “Boomers are already the most travelled generation in history. They’re active, identify with being young at heart rather than with being Golden Agers, are inclined to adventure, and have a continued desire to learn” according to BabyBoomersTravelling.com.

This is Joanna Letner for Baby Zoomers Magazine.

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