To buy or not to buy?

9 10 2009

Travelling is one of the most common activities people engage in when they want a break from the routines of life or just a short escape with a loved one.

While most holidays are enjoyable and leaving you wanting for more, it isn’t always the case. In Rockhamptoner George Dobson’s case, his trip to Mussoorie, India ended with an unfortunate fall on a steep mountain track. This left him hospitalised and stranded in the country because he did not have travel insurance cover to pay for all his medical expenses and bring him back.

The issue of travel insurance has been a long standing one and industry workers say that about 15 to 20 percent of people do not buy travel insurance for trips 10 days or less. This number is made up largely by the number of Australians who go on those popular short interstate trips every year. We now go to the public and hear their personal opinion on travel insurance.

Unfortunately, travel accidents seem to be on the rise, with the recent earthquakes in Samoa and Indonesia also adding to the number of incidents affecting tourists and travellers. India itself has had a long history of travel accidents, but that doesn’t seem to deter the flocks of tourists who visit the exotic home to the famous Taj Mahal every year.

Travel insurance seems to be all the more necessary in lesser developed countries like these. Arti Mandhyan, an Indian from Mussoorie now living in Melbourne, highly recommends travel insurance to any traveller to the area. “In Melbourne, the roads are much better and the tourist friendly facilities are much. If you intend to go on a mountain hiking trip, its essential that you hire a guide.” she shares.

Recent traveller to India, Sarah Wong, says “the streets and roads are still very uneven and un-tourist friendly” and road signs and lighting are very poor which makes it hard to travel at night. While in India, she also lost her mobile phone so she counts herself lucky that she had insurance cover for it.

People thinking twice about buying travel insurance should now listen up as Travel advisor Madeleine Coyle from STA Travel Caulfield imparts further information about travel insurance.

George and his daughter Liz on her wedding day

George and his daughter Liz on her wedding day

Very unfortunately, George Dobson passed away last week on the 9th of October in India, just days before his scheduled flight back to Queensland. Further details and updates can be found on the website http://www.bringgeorgeback.com/ set up by George’s family to appeal to the public initally to raise funds to bring him back. They successfully managed to raise about $65,000 through generous donators. They have said that they will still honour the public’s generosity and pay for his medical bills in India and give the rest to a charity. A more detailed report on this can be found on The Age and The Brisbane Times website.

We’ll leave you with that, and Globetrekker’s advice is to always cover yourself with insurance regardless of the duration of the trip. It is always better to spend some money now then to spend a colossal bomb after that. Bon Voyage!

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