JUNE 2023 ISSUE
It’s often said that travel insurance should be one of the first things you pack for a holiday. For one Aussie traveller, this turned out to be a financial saviour.
HOLLY BISNETTE is not the type to shy away from adventure.
So, when planning a family trip to the U.S., a stint on the slopes was always on the cards for this Sydney mum.
After a week spent in New York sightseeing, Holly and her family headed to Connecticut for some family time and later, the local ski resorts.
“The kids and I were having a really great morning and I had just said to them, ‘I feel like I’m skiing the best I’ve ever skied’. And that was the kiss of death for me.”
Things quickly went downhill for Holly.
“I was coming around a corner and the tip of my ski hit a clumpy icy bit and I fell.”
In the immediate moments following her fall, Holly said she felt little pain and was rather in a state of shock.
“I knew that I couldn’t stand up. I was very, very cold. I felt calm as I thought help would come, but I was concerned it was a bad injury.”
As Holly’s daughter Lauren had been skiing just ahead of her, she was able to alert ski patrol who would organise a skidoo rescue off the mountain.
After being treated for shock at the ski patrol clinic, Holly’s ski boot was removed and her injuries assessed.
“I said ‘can’t you just cut it off’ [the boot] as I was so scared at how much it was going to hurt. But once it was off, they [the medics] said I would definitely need an ambulance – that’s when the pain really kicked in.”
After being taken to hospital, X-rays revealed that Holly had broken both her tibia and fibula (the calf and shinbone) and would require emergency surgery.
A common injury in skiers, a tibia/fibula break is said to be particularly painful and almost always requires surgical intervention.
Holly went into surgery to secure her broken bones with screws and a metal rod. Despite the procedure going to plan, her recovery was extensive. Her injury meant she was unable to fly home for another month.
“I wasn’t going to be permitted to fly unless my leg was elevated so my travel insurer arranged for me to fly business class. I was also using crutches, so my husband stayed with me for assistance.”
HOLLY BISNETTE and her injury
Despite her holiday setbacks, Holly acknowledges her relief in knowing she was covered by travel insurance.
Thankfully, the Bisnette’s 1Cover Travel Insurance policy (including snow sports coverage) covered Holly’s significant medical expenses which amounted to $100,000 along with their additional flight costs of $24,000.
“It’s the sort of stuff that could financially cripple people. I mean the ambulance alone was over $5,000. And the per night fee for the hospital was just ridiculous.
“Knowing that it would all be covered was a massive weight off our shoulders. After that experience I would say that you just can’t afford to travel without travel insurance.
“The peace of mind knowing that you are going to have help is so worth it.”
Natalie Smith, spokesperson for 1Cover Travel Insurance, says that venturing overseas without travel insurance is a risk you simply can’t afford. She adds that in terms of the cost of travel insurance, it’s a negligible price to pay considering the potential cost of an accident abroad.
“While travel insurance policies can vary in price depending on a range of factors like age and trip duration, the average cost of travel insurance per day is a fraction of the potential financial burden you may face without it.
“Paying a small premium for a policy is a wise investment, especially considering the potential costs of medical treatments or repatriation in case of emergencies.”
EXPERT JUDGES TO DECIDE LUXURY AWARDS
AN EXCITING new alliance has just been announced between Travetalk and Luxury Travel magazine.
We are proud to have been appointed the exclusive trade media partner for the Luxury Travel Gold List Awards, which are now open to enter, welcoming standout submissions from Australia, the Indo-Pacific and across the world.
Powered by Indesign Media Asia Pacific, the awards were established in 2005 and are back for 2023 with a new, refreshed focus that is more in line with the modern luxury travel movement.
This year’s streamlined categories recognise the most progressive experiences and destinations across air, land and sea, and celebrate leaders in luxury travel in Australia and all around the globe.
An esteemed panel of 32 judges has been assembled to evaluate the reader-voted and industry-verified awards program.
Well-known names among the panel include Fiona Dalton, General Manager AUS/NZ Virtuoso Australia, Anna Burgdorf, Global Brand and Marketing Director Luxury Travel Associates and Brett Jardine, Managing Director Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO).
“This group of luxury travel experts have devoted their careers to excellence in their specific fields and share a similar vision that aligns with our core editorial content pillars of authenticity, design and sustainability,” said Katrina Holden, Managing Editor of Luxury Travel.
“I’m looking forward to working with this stellar group of individuals throughout the awards process and am incredibly grateful for their time, expertise and input.”
GOING INTO BATTLE ON TRAVEL INSURANCE
THE DAYS of one-size-fits-all travel insurance may be over with the arrival in Australia of a new player.
Battleface are offering fully tailored, modular travel insurance policies based on individual needs which can be built into the general purchase path.
Already well established in the UK, Europe and North America, the company’s API-linked technology platform allows partners to customise travel insurance policies beyond standard inclusions such as $40,000 cancellation cover, $2.5m personal liability and unlimited medical cover.
On top of customisable plan options, battleface policies allow partners to tailor excess levels and benefit limits to suit their clients.
For example, a traveller heading to the ski slopes can maximise cover for damage and equipment on top of the already included unlimited medical cover while offloading cover for elements that won’t be needed on the same trip, such as surfing or water sports.
Battleface is now on the hunt for new partners in Australia and has already secured deals with travel tech start-up AWAI, shared economy insurer Mustard Underwriting and travel insurance company Wise & Silent, which has coupled its own products onto battlefield’s base.
“When travel insurance is unbundled into individual benefits, partners can build their own products on top of APIs with precise benefits driving higher conversion and overall customer satisfaction,” said Matt McLellan, battleface Managing Director Australia.
“By partnering with compatible brands across Australia we’re able to offer customers access to products based on their actual travel needs and itineraries.”
Regardless of the policy purchased, all battleface customers have access to the company’s 24/7 ‘Robin Assist’ medical, claims and customer service teams ready to assist with any emergency.
GRANTS AVAILABLE TO BOOST YOUR RECOVERY
GREAT NEWS for Australia’s travel wholesalers and tour operators with a new government grant now available.
The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO), in conjunction with the Australian Tourism Export (ATEC), helped secure the federal government funding.
The Reviving International Tourism Grant (RITG) program is designed to assist tourism exporters (inbound) and tour operators/wholesalers (outbound) to invest in the rebuilding and strengthening of international supply chains as leisure-based travel continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Federal Government has acknowledged CATO and ATEC members as key contributors to the future prosperity of the industry.
This has led to the prioritisation of the fulfillment of their $10 million pre-election commitment to support travel and tourism for this purpose.
“It is critical that our members are supported in reconnecting with international markets to ensure a vigorous return of international leisure travel to and from Australia, through specific business development and marketing activities”, said Brett Jardine, CATO Managing Director.
The RITG program will be delivered in two streams over financial years 22/23 and 23/24.
Eligible CATO and ATEC members will be able to apply for at least $10,000 in stream one, to support reconnection with international markets, and $2,000 in stream two to support incremental expansion of members’ digital uplift.
Applications for grants close on June 13.
WIN A MILLION REWARD POINTS
ACCOR PLUS has launched a new referral campaign with the chance to win one million reward points worth more than $30,000.
The promotion is running until June 30 for members of Accor Plus, the hotel chain’s subscription loyalty program.
Members who encourage their friends and family to join Accor Plus will earn 2,000 Reward points for every successful referral.
There is no limit to the number of referrals a member can make, and every successful referral earns an entry to a grand draw to win the million Reward points, which will be announced on July 19.
Members can then use these points to redeem free nights at participating Accor hotels, room upgrades and access exclusive experiences.
“The campaign is now live and the clock is ticking!” said Renae Trimble, CEO of Accor Plus.
“We encourage all our members to get onboard and take advantage of this great opportunity to share the ultimate travel, dining and lifestyle program with their family and friends.”
Referrals can be submitted through a dedicated landing page on accorplus.com, or via an Accor Plus Consultant or Member Services team member.