Eight per cent of Australian adults travelled without travel insurance on their last overseas trip according to a survey commissioned by the Australian Government and the Insurance Council of Australia – that is 850,000 visits by Australians overseas without insurance.
The Australian Travel Insurance Behaviour survey also found many travellers wrongly believed the Australian Government would pay their medical bills or medical evacuation costs if required.
Australians should be fully prepared for overseas travel and take responsibility for individual travel decisions. This includes obtaining comprehensive insurance, being aware of insurance policy conditions and visiting Smartraveller to understand advice for destinations, including the laws of those countries.
In 2014 the Australian Government released the first ever Consular Strategy which guided the allocation of consular resources to where they are most needed. We are now seeking public contributions to the second Consular Strategy for the period of 2017 to 2019.
The Australian Government will also release the Consular State of Play 2015-16whichprovides a statistical snapshot of the numbers and types of cases our consular staff are managing.
State of Play outlines that in 2015-16, DFAT provided assistance to over 1,500 Australians who had been arrested overseas (up from 1,256 in the previous year) and to nearly 1,700 Australians hospitalised overseas (up from 1,453 in the previous year).
Designed for use by travel agents, the insurance industry, the media and the general public, the State of Play lays out the data we need to optimise our consular operations.