Ambulance cover

Average customer rating: 4.3/5
Written by Joshua Malin
Reviewed by Steven Spicer
Updated March 06, 2024

Ambulance cover explained

Ambulance cover explained by Dr Ginni Mansberg.
Dr. Ginni Mansberg

Why take out ambulance cover?

There are a few reasons why someone may want to take out ambulance cover, but one of the most common reasons is that they live in a state where it’s required. Other reasons include:

  • If you live in a state where you can get cover through a subscription or private health insurance, you may pay less with a health fund.
  • Not all states have a reciprocal ambulance agreement. This means you may need cover for ambulance services while travelling interstate.
  • Many hospital cover policies include some ambulance cover at little to no additional cost, so if you’re looking for hospital cover, you may as well consider a policy with an ambulance component, as you never know when you’ll need it.

Choosing ambulance cover

If you live in a state where you need ambulance cover or you’d prefer cover through a health fund, here are a few things to consider while you browse:

  • Many ambulance cover policies come with limitations or exclusions that you’ll want to understand before signing up. For example, you may only be covered for emergency transport.
  • Some ambulance services won’t treat you at the scene if it’s not necessary, which may affect the cover you want.
  • One of the convenient ways to find an ambulance cover policy that works for you is to compare your options online. With our free comparison tool, you can compare policies with an ambulance cover component side-by-side.

Expert tips for choosing the right ambulance cover

Our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer, has some great tips on how to choose the right ambulance cover for you.

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

You could save money by taking out ambulance cover

Instead of purchasing an ambulance subscription, you could potentially save money in the long run by including ambulance cover in your private health insurance policy. Keep in mind that this depends on what level of coverage you need, as it can vary between health funds. Many policies only cover you in the event of an emergency, while others may cover you more comprehensively (e.g. inter-hospital transport or non-emergency services). If you’re looking at a more comprehensive ambulance cover than what’s included in your health insurance policy, it may be worth taking out a separate subscription.

Ambulance cover has minimal waiting periods

For those seeking the peace of mind of having coverage immediately, it’s good to know that many health funds provide ambulance cover with minimal waiting periods. Depending on the health fund, this period may be as little as one day, or no time at all. Prior to signing up, it’s essential to check the fund’s policy brochure for more details on waiting periods.

Ambulance cover protects you from high-cost ambulance services

The main benefit of having ambulance cover is that it insures you against the potentially high costs of ambulance services. According to the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2022, there were more than 4 million ambulance service responses attending to patients in need across Australia during the 2021 financial year.1 That’s a lot of people relying on this crucial service and, in many instances, being exposed to the associated charges and fees.

How ambulance cover works

What is ambulance cover?

Ambulance cover for pensioners and concession cardholders

Ambulance cover by state and territory

Ambulance cover in New South Wales (NSW)

Ambulance cover in Victoria (VIC)

Ambulance cover in Queensland (QLD)

Ambulance cover in South Australia (SA)

Ambulance cover in Western Australia (WA)

Ambulance cover in Tasmania (TAS)

Ambulance cover in the Northern Territory (NT)

Ambulance cover in the ACT

More information

What if you don’t have ambulance cover?

What types of ambulance cover are available?

Is it worth having ambulance cover?

Meet our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

As the Executive General Manager of Health, Life and Energy, Steven Spicer is a strong believer in the benefits of private cover and knows just how valuable the peace of mind that comes with cover can be. He is passionate about demystifying the health insurance industry and advocates for the benefits of comparison when it comes to saving money on your premiums.

Want to know more about ambulance cover?

1 Australian Government: Productivity Commission – Report on Government Services 2022: part E, Section 11, Ambulance services. Published February 2022.
2 – Ambulance. Accessed February 2023.
3 NSW Government: NSW Ambulance – Accounts & Fees. Accessed February 2023.
4 Victoria State Government: Department of Health – Ambulance fees. Accessed February 2023.
5 Victoria State Government: Department of Health – Ambulance cover. Accessed February 2023.
6 Queensland Government – Interstate ambulance treatment and transport information for Queensland residents. Accessed February 2023.
7 SA Ambulance Service – Ambulance fees. Accessed February 2023.
8 SA Ambulance Service – Ambulance cover. Accessed February 2023.
9 St John WA, Metro and Country ambulance service. Accessed February 2023.
10 Tasmania Government: Department of Health – Ambulance Tasmania: Fees and Accounts. Accessed February 2023.
11 Northern Territory Government – Ambulance services. Accessed February 2023.
12 ACT Government: ACT Emergency Services Agency – Fees and charges. Accessed February 2023.
13 St John Ambulance Australia (NT) Inc. (St John NT) – Ambulance cover: Transport charges. Accessed February 2023.
14 St John WA – Metro Ambulance Fees. Accessed February 2023.