Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield brings good news about travel insurance and some interesting holiday options, as he takes a look at another week in Travel
You only really find out how good your travel insurance is when it is tested . . . when you need help from the insurance company. Unless, of course, you read and understand every word of the fine print. And who does that?
It’s not surprising that most of us don’t as there’s generally a fair bit of gobbledygook.
But Allianz has this week been recognised for taking a stand against that.
It has been given what a spokesperson claims is an “industry-first accreditation for plain-language travel insurance”. That is the travel insurance industry’s first Gold Certified Trustmark for plain language.
Allianz Partners executive head of travel Damien Arthur, pictured left, says simplifying its product disclosure statement is part of the company’s move to make things easier for customers and enhance their confidence in the transparency of their insurance policy.
Allianz has also doubled its “luggage and personal effects delay expenses” benefit from $500 to $1000 for its single-benefit Comprehensive Plan, and from $1000 to $2000 for its family-benefit Comprehensive Plan.
A company spokesperson says it has also made the benefits accessible sooner, for a luggage delay of 10 hours rather than 12 hours, with no excess payable on these benefits.
The company has identified having insurance cover for luggage delays as one of the top three reasons for buying travel insurance. And Damien says that has increased over the last 12 months.
The spokesperson says: “The average claim cost experienced by Allianz for luggage delay has been increasing each year from $400 pre-COVID to approximately $550 post-COVID.” allianz.com.au/travel-insurance
END OF AN ERA
After 25 years of organising Global Gypsies tours and training courses, Jan Barrie and Jeremy Perks announced this week that they are retiring. They have been good friends of these pages — and of our readers and the community of WA. They have helped so many people to get safely on the road, and have led them to special places in WA and overseas. I bumped into them once in the Pilbara, where they were running an Indigenous training course. Lots of us will be wishing them well for the days ahead. They say: “As of December 31, we will be shutting down our engines, lowering our tyre pressure, storing away our tent and putting our feet up. We’ve run our last tour, delivered our last training course and taken our final bow on the tourism stage.”
They plan to spend time at their little bush cabin in Nannup and visit some new Aussie destinations in their trusty LandCruiser “Gypsy”, which already has more than 550,000km on the clock.
HOPPING IN TO HELP
Reader Annette Birch noticed our story last week on National Kangaroo Day, and adds that she has recently become a wildlife carer, affiliated with Marsupial Mammas and Pappas in Toodyay. Her first animal charges are two orphaned western grey joeys. Annette says: “They are the most sweetest little poppets to look after and it is most gratifying that I can make a difference to their survival. They certainly are an amazing species, but there is also a very tragic side when a young joey becomes separated from its mother through trauma.”
SEEDS OF CHANGE
On Bruny Island, off Tasmania and pictured above, James Wood, manager of Tasmania’s Seed Conservation Centre, is leading a seed collection walk on the Labillardiere Track. Guests will collect rare and precious seeds and search for the euphrasia fragosa and rare orchid species. The walk with Tasmanian Walking Company is in partnership with the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.
The chips are down for Tasmania’s Big Potato, which was toppled by big winds on October 16. Kenny the Kennebec, in the town of Sassafras, was named for a white potato variety and built decades ago by Premier Jeremy Rockcliff’s family.
Reader David Broughton noticed my story on Crocs shoes last week. One of the unstated points was that the world’s ugliest shoe should come with a warning. David’s picture at the top of the page shows that Crocs do, indeed, come with a warning in Broome.
I like attention to detail, but this surprised even me. I am flying to India and back with Singapore Airlines soon, and this week received notification of a flight change. On the flight home, I was originally due to land in Singapore at 6.05am; now it’s 6am.
AND MORE ON DETAIL
And, on a personal note, in applying for the eVisa for India, I had to answer this question: “Countries visited in last 10 years”. As you can imagine, it took some time.
But there’s a tip here, too. Keep and file all your documents after a trip. The application also asks for the traveller’s last Indian visa number. (Yeah, of course I’ve got mine.)
Australia’s rugby union team didn’t go well with 15 players in the Rugby World Cup in France . . . maybe they will go better with seven in Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific this week announced packages for the Hong Kong Sevens, which celebrates its 30th anniversary with the tournament on April 5-7, 2024. There’s a “flight plus event” package, with a three-day pass to the rugby, and also a “flight, event ticket, hotel” package.
WOMEN IN ART
The National Museum of Women in the Arts in the US reopened last week after a two-year renovation. It’s the world’s first major museum dedicated solely to championing women artists. The building has been transformed and has powerful exhibits lined up. It is at 1250 New York Avenue, Washington, DC.
ITALY WITH CONNIE
Connie White is the daughter of Sicilian migrants, and grew up immersed in the rich traditions of southern Italy. She says: “Over time, I have come to appreciate and cherish the region’s food, people, culture and history. Many of my close friends are also from Calabrese families, which has further deepened my connection to and love for Southern Italy. I am truly passionate about all that this region has to offer.”
And she is leading a 16-day, small group tour of Puglia and Calabria from April 22 to May 7, 2024. It includes time in Sassi, Trullo, Ostuni and Calabria, staying in four-star accommodation, and is from $6995 per person twin share.
Call 0418 915 823 or email connie@connie whitetravel.com.au