With International Nurses Day fast approaching this Friday 12th May, Allianz Travel Insurance has revealed that the nurses who support their customers have seen an 80 percent increase in travel repatriations.
Last year, these nurses were responsible for 150 repatriations, ensuring the safe arrival home of many Australians. However, despite an increase in travellers needing assistance more than ever, research shows an alarming number of Australians still treat travel insurance as a last-minute purchase, with 39 percent of customers purchasing travel insurance in the last week before departure and 19 percent of customers purchasing the day before or on the day of departure.
Senior Nurse, Rebecca Goodchap, has been a repatriation nurse for just over nine years working on repatriations for Allianz Travel Insurance. She comments: “Data shows that for many consumers, travel insurance is an afterthought and is often booked as late as the day before departure. In some cases, travellers choose not to purchase it at all, running the gauntlet and leaving themselves open to potentially disastrous consequences.
“Our nurses play a vital role in ensuring the safe repatriation of Aussie travellers. Injury and illness whilst travelling can affect anyone, of any age, anywhere in the world. The most common reason for repatriation in 2016 was for multi-trauma. This is where a person has multiple injuries, for example several fractures, lacerations or internal injuries. These are usually the result of motor vehicle or bike accidents and in some cases, adventure travel activities, such as ski related injuries.
“Medical treatment and repatriation can have a huge impact on your holiday and finances if you’re not covered, with the costs for each varying drastically from country to country. In reality, travel insurance is the one essential item you can’t leave home without.”
In 2016, the top destinations travelled to by nurses working on repatriations for Allianz Travel Insurance include:
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
Rebecca Goodchap concludes: “When I decided to become a nurse, I never imagined my career would take me to all corners of the globe so regularly. The role of a repatriation nurse is demanding, but incredibly rewarding. The job requires you to provide the best care for patients going through some of the most stressful experiences of their lives. These patients are, not only confronting a terrifying health scare, they’re also trying to adapt to foreign environments – in many cases, where they don’t understand the language or what’s going on around them.
“Travel insurance policies vary, but can start from as little as $140, depending on the duration of the trip, where you’re travelling to, age and if you opt for any extras. This is an extremely small price to pay when you consider the consequences of being caught in an unfortunate situation without cover. As an example, a repatriation air ambulance from Europe to Australia can cost up to $230,000.
“I would encourage all travellers to carefully consider their coverage needs before they travel and ensure they purchase the correct level of cover or policy depending on the type of activities they wish to engage in. If travellers are unclear on the level of cover, always call customer service and read the Product Disclosure Statement.”
For more information on Allianz Travel Insurance please visit https://www.allianz.com.au/travel-insurance/
Source: Allianz Global Assistance Data. Allianz Global Assistance, a part of the global Allianz Group, administers all emergency assistance services for Allianz Travel Insurance and under a number of other products
 Source: Allianz Travel Customer Insights – December 2016