About 70 percent of Guangzhou people who bought package tours did not buy travel insurance because they didn't know they had to or didn't want to pay high premiums, the Guangzhou Daily reported Monday.
Some people who did not buy travel insurance thought the travel agencies had paid the insurance premium for them, which was included in the travel contracts, the newspaper said.
Actually, the insurance bought by the travel agencies is to insure the agencies if they cause any loss to visitors' lives and property, while damages or losses caused by natural factors or visitors themselves were not covered, according to relative regulations.
A source from a Guangzhou travel agency said two visitors ignored tour guides' warning and died of typhoon in Australia when swimming. The decedents' relatives did not receive any compensation because the two hadn't bought travel insurance, said the source.
Tourists were also reluctant to buy insurance because of high premiums.
The outbound travel insurance premium is about 100 yuan (US$12.08) for 300,000 yuan coverage, while the domestic tour premium is 40-60 yuan for 100,000 yuan coverage.
"The high costs make most visitors reluctant to buy travel risk insurance and they think as long as they do not take part in those extreme sports and activities, they will have no risks in traveling," said the source.
The newspaper said most Guangzhou people did not know anything about the travel insurance and this may have been taken advantage of by some travel agencies. "In order to attract visitors, some travel agencies boast that they will pay the insurance premium, which is an ambiguous word in the contracts," said the source.
(Shenzhen Daily August 9, 2005)