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Belinda and Michelle are two besties who’ve decided to hit Bali and Thailand for a ‘Girlcation’. This fictional account is based on many of our traveller’s experiences overseas – no one traveller has been as unlucky as these girls! We’ve combined their experiences into one story to illustrate the kinds of events that travel insurance may be able to help with while you’re overseas.
Belinda and her best friend Michelle were planning a Girl-Cation to Bali and Thailand – and once they’d sorted their tickets and accommodation, were wondering about whether to purchase travel insurance
Belinda and Michelle flew into Denpasar, and, as young women in their 30s, were looking forward to experiencing the food, culture and exciting adventures Bali and Thailand had to offer.
Unfortunately, the first leg of their trip hit a bump when they landed in Ngurah Rai International Airport but their bags didn’t.
Frustrated, but prepared, Belinda immediately spoke to the airline carrier at the airport to report her lost, or hopefully just delayed, baggage. She knew she had to report it as soon as possible, get a carrier report and keep a record of all emails and conversations in case she needed to make a claim with her travel insurer. Fast forward 20 hours to the next morning and the girls’ bags did eventually arrive.
Belinda had been able to buy herself a toothbrush, hairbrush and some clean underwear and pyjamas which were all within her benefit limit. She was able to submit a claim online straight away once the delay was more than 10 hours, for the costs of the unexpected expenses, knowing that these were all within her benefit limit and not one of the exclusions under the Emergency luggage section of her plan. Unfortunately for Michelle, the unbudgeted expense of replacing toiletries and pyjamas came out of her cocktail and souvenir budget for the day.
However, the girls were determined the trip should continue.
They began with a hike up the active volcano Mount Batur to see the sunrise. Unfortunately, on the way up, in the pre-dawn darkness, Michelle was knocked over the edge of the hiking trail by a stray dog and slid a hundred metres down the side of the mountain. She was unable to walk and had to be stretchered back down the mountain by local guides. Once at the bottom, there was a delay before she was seen by a doctor as they didn’t know where to go. Eventually they took a taxi to a hospital where she was treated by an emergency doctor.
If Michelle had followed Belinda’s advice and bought travel insurance with Travel Insurance Direct, she would have had more options available to her. She might have been able to call TID’s 24/7 Emergency assistance team for advice. They could have helped get her in touch with medical assistance, and if needed help organise evacuation down the mountain, and she could have claimed for the evacuation and medical assistance costs incurred at the emergency room.
Once her ankle had been treated and with the doctor’s advice that she would be fine to continue travelling, Michelle and Belinda continued on.
Due to Michelle being less mobile, the girls decided to hire a car to make getting around a little easier. Since Belinda was the only one able to drive the car (and the only one with a valid driver’s licence, since Michelle had accidentally let hers expire just months earlier), it was hired in her name.
Disaster struck while they were visiting the Tirta Gangga Water Palace and their locked car was stolen from the secure car park. Luckily, the ever-cautious and sensible Belinda had also taken out comprehensive motor vehicle insurance with the car rental company, as well as purchasing the TID Comprehensive travel insurance, which meant she was able to claim the entire excess that she was being charged by the car rental company. The car was replaced the next day and the girls were able to continue their ill-fated trip.
As the Indonesian portion of the adventure came to a close, Michelle and Belinda prepared to head to Thailand, booking into a Bangkok hotel overnight before heading to the stunning Phi Phi island. On arrival at the hotel Michelle and Belinda were told that it was closed for cleaning following a confirmed case of coronavirus.
Belinda was able to book into another hotel. She was able to make a claim online for the cost of the hotel with Travel Insurance Direct with cover under the Coronavirus Travel Costs section of the plan. She attached to her claim written confirmation of the closure from the hotel to support it. The uninsured Michelle was not so fortunate and had to settle for sleeping on the floor of Belinda’s hotel room, with her holiday budget already blown to smithereens.
One of the final highlights of the trip was to be a guided kayak tour through the Tham Lod cave in Pang Mapha. Michelle and Belinda were taking a boat to the launch point and had paid tour and transportation costs before they left Australia. However, in a turn of events completely in keeping with the series of disasters that the holiday was fast becoming, the girls were told the day before the tour that it was being cancelled due to lack of bookings, and they would only be able to refund 50% of their outlaid costs. The capacity was eight people, and the family of six pulled out due to one of them being diagnosed with coronavirus. The tour could not go ahead.
After speaking to the travel provider about a refund, Belinda and Michelle were not able to get more than the 50% refund offered, as the travel provider said they had also lost money on the booking. Belinda obtained written confirmation they’d only refund 50% to her, and put in a claim online on the spot for the remaining 50% she was out of pocket. for the tour and transportation. In her claim she made sure she added written proof of the 50% refund from the travel provider. Unfortunately for Michelle, who was not insured, she lost 50% of her tour and transportation costs.
On her way back to Australia, Belinda asked Michelle if she’d get travel insurance next time and her best friend responded with, “Next time? Belinda, you’re bad luck! I’m going with my sister Jolene next time!”.
Buying travel insurance could be the difference between an amazing trip and an awful one. When you buy travel insurance, you’re protecting yourself from the financial risks and potential costs if something goes wrong on your trip.
It may be worthwhile for any holiday you take, even if you’re just going away for a weekend. We offer four different types of insurance plans, which you may find suitable depending on your travel style including comprehensive, budget, domestic and annual for frequent flyers.
This is a brief summary of cover only and does not include the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions. Read the PDS before purchasing.