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What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is designed to protect you against unexpected events, like flight delays, lost or stolen luggage and personal effects, and injury or illness during your journeys both domestic and overseas. Depending on the type of policy and its level of protection, you can be covered for a number of events that can bring your travel plans to a halt.

What does travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance protects you against financial loss arising from unforeseen scenarios. Examples of these include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Expenses arising from illness or injury (some policies cover pre-existing medical conditions)
  • Lost or stolen luggage or personal effects (e.g. laptop, suitcases)
  • Cancelled flights

Depending on where you’re travelling to and how much cover you need, you can choose from either a basic, mid-range, or more comprehensive level of cover.

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Types of travel insurance

Family

Family cover helps protect your loved ones all under the one policy. This type of cover usually features higher benefit limits due to the number of travellers on the one policy. Most insurers are able to cover up to three children travelling with two adults at no additional cost.

Long-term

Travelling for up to 12 months? A lot could happen while you’re away, including cancelled flights, surprise illnesses, or lost/stolen belongings. Cover for extended travel means you can be protected when you’re jumping between countries, for as long as you choose to remain overseas.

Group

You could be eligible for discounts if you’re travelling in a group of up to 25 people– even if you’re only travelling with three or four couples for the entire trip. On top of this, you can save time by taking out one policy, as opposed to individual policies.
 
As everyone will have the same level of cover, it’s vital everyone is across the policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) so you’re all aware of any cover limitations or exclusions.

Seniors

Many insurers cover Australians up to the age of 100, but some policies may impose maximum duration limits on your trip. Furthermore, older travellers may pay an increased excess for some medical-related claims.
 
If you have pre-existing medical conditions, you may only receive cover at a higher premium price. You must undergo a medical check-up with your GP and disclose any medical conditions before taking out cover. This means you may need to pay an additional premium to ensure you’re covered.

Students

Saving up for a trip can be hard, especially when you’re juggling study and work. That’s why travel insurance for students is vital, as it can protect the money you’ve poured into your adventures. Be aware, however, that you cannot take out travel insurance on yourself if you’re under 16 years of age.
 
If you’re organising travel insurance for a group of students who require the same level of cover, you can take out a group policy, which can be both cheaper and more convenient than individual policies.

Annual cover

Otherwise known as multi-trip, annual travel insurance is designed for those who travel often for business or leisure. Annual cover offers more value than single-trip policies and is more convenient than organising a new policy each time you travel. Most policies impose a maximum duration for each trip, which can be anywhere from 20 to 90 days. As such, you’ll be required to return home before your trip duration lapses to retain cover.
 
It’s important to note that if you’re travelling often for business, any work-related losses (i.e. damaged or stolen documents) won’t be covered; you’d need to take out a business pack add-on to cover these specific losses.

Cruise insurance

Travel cover is essential for any cruise trip, as it can cover you for a range of scenarios, including flight or cruise cancellations and, depending on your policy, certain activities, like jet-skiing, snorkelling, or even cover if you’re confined to your cabin.
 
Cover for illness or injury is particularly vital as if you’re onboard and need to go to a hospital, evacuations by helicopter or an unscheduled port stop could result in a major blow to your finances. Most cruise lines advise their passengers to take out travel insurance that covers medical expenses, as if you board any foreign cruise boat docked in Australia, even if it’s travelling domestically, you may have to pay for medical expenses out-of-pocket.
 
You may need to take out cruise cover as an extra feature on your policy or as separate cover; be aware that some travel policies may not automatically provide cover for cruises.

Ski insurance

Ski insurance provides an additional level of cover if you’re skiing and snowboarding on and off-piste during your next trip. Some policies don’t automatically cover winter sports, so it’s important you select it as an add-on option to your policy (if this option is available), or as an individual policy before you hit the slopes.
 
Some top-line ski benefits can include (but aren’t limited to) 24/7 access to emergency medical assistance while overseas, ski hire cover, and ski equipment cover. When using our comparison tool, you can customise your search to match your trip-type, and only compare products that cover skiing and other snow sports.

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Why you need travel insurance

Travel insurance pays a benefit for a wide range of unplanned incidents; including trip cancellations, loss of personal belonging, and illness or accident expenses.

Travel cover exclusions

‘Common exclusions’ are events that your travel insurance policy doesn’t cover you for, such as acting illegally, or suffering injuries while being under the influence of alcohol.

Glossary

Some policies may contain confusing terminology. Our glossary will assist you in cutting through any jargon, and may help you gain a better grasp of your policy.

Claiming on travel cover

No matter how well-prepared you are for your trip, you need to know how you can claim on your travel insurance policy.

Frequently asked questions

Is travel insurance worth it?

We believe so, as travel cover provides peace of mind for a range of scenarios, including injury or illness, when you’re travelling both in Australia and abroad.

When travelling internationally, you aren’t always afforded the same health care services and cover as you are in Australia. Moreover, you can’t always access these services without suffering a major blow to your budget. This means if you were to fall ill or become injured overseas, you could be hit with major out-of-pocket costs.

On top of this, there’s a chance your belongings could be stolen or damaged during your travels as well. Could you afford to replace your laptop or camera equipment? How about the contents of a lost suitcase? Depending on your level of cover and your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), your insurer can compensate you for the loss of, or damage to, your belongings while you’re travelling both domestically and internationally.

Furthermore, if your flight is delayed or cancelled and you don’t have travel insurance, you could be left to cover the costs of a new flight or alternative arrangements. Don’t forget that a cancelled flight can have major repercussions for your travel; perhaps you’ll miss your connecting flight or a pre-paid event, like a concert.

As travel insurers cover a number of specified events, why not enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re protected when you need it most?

How much is travel insurance?

The cost of your travel insurance depends on a range of factors, including:

  • Your destination
  • Your age and the age of other travellers
  • The number of travellers on your policy
  • Any pre-existing health conditions of all travellers
  • Whether or not you’re partaking in adventure sports
  • The length of travel
  • The level of cover you’ve taken out (i.e. basic, mid-range, or comprehensive).

On top of this, the cost of your policy will greatly depend on which insurer you go through. As each policy is unique to the traveller, it’s important you compare insurance from a range of providers to ensure you’re getting great value for your cover.

What is excess?

Excess refers to the amount you’ll pay if you ever claim on your policy. This amount is agreed upon when you first take out cover. When you make a claim, you’ll pay this amount, and your insurer will pay the rest of your costs (e.g. any medical bills, refunded airline tickets) up to your benefit limit.

Does travel insurance cover medical expenses?

Yes – injuries or illnesses are some of the most important reasons to get travel insurance. Depending on the type of policy you take out, your travel insurance can cover your medical expenses.

If you have any known pre-existing medical conditions, you may receive cover up to a limit – provided you disclose this to your insurer before you take out your policy. Some policies will only cover certain pre-existing conditions, while others may not provide cover at all. As such, it’s crucial you speak to your insurer and check the policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

Also, keep in mind that you may be required to undergo a medical assessment before you take out cover.

How does pregnancy affect your travel insurance?

Certain factors, like how far you are in your pregnancy or if your doctor advised you against travel, can affect your travel insurance. It’s important you talk to your insurer and check your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to be aware of any exclusions or limitations in cover.

Does travel insurance cover lost items?

Yes, your travel insurance may cover certain misplaced items, depending on your type of cover.

Insurers may not compensate lost belongings if you are negligent (i.e. you left your belongings unattended), you don’t report the theft to the authorities, or if certain valuables – like your computer or jewellery – are placed in your check-in luggage.

In order to claim, you must be able to prove the value and your ownership of the items. You’ll also be restricted to only claiming up to your policy’s benefit limit.

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