Are you voiding your travel cover?

While travel insurance is a must for any overseas holiday, there’s no point having it if you’re guilty of this simple oversight.

Unvaccinated travellers, such as those who forgo the measles injection, may risk voiding their insurance, say experts. Failure to vaccinate could lead to reduced or invalidated claims.

“Unvaccinated travellers are at very high risk of measles exposure and transmission,” said director Natalie Ball. “Additionally, those who fail to vaccinate could be out of pocket for any treatment they require overseas.

“The measles virus is extremely contagious and complications can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and even death,” she added. 

“Unvaccinated travellers face all manner of health risks along with thousands of dollars in medical fees, not to mention lost travel expenses. ”

In 2018, around 17,000 cases of measles were reported in the Philippines alone. A measles outbreak in the United States has hit a 25-year high. 

Around 100 Australians have been diagnosed with measles so far this year, with most of cases occurring as a result of travelling overseas or coming into contact with a foreign tourist. 

“Although vaccination rates are relatively high in Australia, it’s imperative for those with travel plans to consult with their doctor to ensure their immunisations are up to date,” says Ms Ball.

While most travel insurance policies would cover you for a bout of measles, says Zoom Travel Insurance marketing manager Kate Smith, the threat of an epidemic could affect your coverage.

“Travel insurance will generally cover you in the event that you contract measles before or during your trip. However, epidemics or pandemics are usually excluded from cover,” says Ms Smith. 

“Once a travel warning is out there and ‘known’, it would be too late to get cover for that event.” 

Have you been vaccinated? Have you ever made a travel insurance claim only to have it knocked back?

Related articles:
What travel insurance won’t cover

Avoiding travel insurance mistakes

Best travel insurance policies

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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