When confronted with the idea of getting travel insurance for a domestic holiday, have you thought, “Why would I need insurance when I’m travelling in Australia?”
It’s because the unexpected can disrupt travel plans no matter where you go. How would you fare if your camera was stolen on your beach holiday to the Gold Coast? Would you dread missing a State of Origin decider due to a delayed or cancelled flight? Travel insurance can cover you in these instances.
Let’s take a deeper dive into how domestic travel insurance can help you.
It may be easy to overlook at times, but travel insurance for holidays in Australia is important to consider. If your plans are disrupted by lost or stolen luggage, cancelled flights or damage to rental vehicles, travel insurance can be a great safety net to ensure your holiday stays on track.
Like travel insurance for overseas destinations, your domestic travel insurance policy should include cover for your baggage, flight cancellations and rental car excesses. You may also be reimbursed for meals and any personal items you might need if your journey is delayed for an extended period.
Whether it’s during transit or after you’ve arrived at your destination, losing your belongings is a common fear. In particular, losing your credit card while you’re travelling can be a major inconvenience. That said, travel insurance can ease the financial burden of having to replace any lost or damaged items.
Australia is a reasonably safe place to travel around. However, any holiday where you’re exploring new surroundings may lead you to unexpected places. In these instances, it’s at least comforting to know that your belongings may be covered if they’re stolen.
Most Australian airlines are reliable when it comes to delays and cancellations, though the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc on domestic flight timetables. If a border closes again, this can lead to cancellations and delays. If COVID-19 leads to cancellation or delays, travel insurance typically won’t cover it.
If your flight is cancelled or delayed due to COVID-19, you can discuss options around rescheduling or being reimbursed.
Other travel delays can be covered as normal.
Before COVID, According to the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, an average 78.4% of flights arrived on time in 2019, while over 79.9% of departures left airports on schedule.1
Your travel insurance policy could potentially reimburse you for cancellation fees or lost deposits (depending on the policy you hold) if circumstances were out of your control.
For example, if you book concert tickets in another city, but your flight is cancelled and you have to pay additional money to fly on another airline to get to the concert on time, your travel insurance policy could pay out a lump sum of cash to make up for the loss.
When you hire a car, you’ll generally have to take out insurance from the rental company in case your vehicle is damaged. It is wise to do so as you’ll be driving on unfamiliar roads in a car you’ve never used. While it’s worth noting that if an accident happens, you may owe an excess to the rental car company.
Travel insurance can pay for car rental excess, which means you have one less thing to worry about during an already stressful time. Keep in mind this may come as an optional extra that you pay a little more for on your travel insurance.
Domestic travel insurance won’t cover any doctor or hospital expenses. However, if you have a Medicare card, you’ll have access to subsidised healthcare all over Australia. As such, you don’t have to worry too much about medical expenses when travelling domestically.
That said, Australian residents (except those who live in Queensland or Tasmania who have ambulance trips covered by their state governments) who don’t have ambulance cover may find themselves out of pocket in emergencies where they may have to call an ambulance.
Standard domestic travel insurance policies generally don’t include cruise cover as a standard feature. However, it may be added as an extra for travellers specifically looking to go on a cruise holiday. This addition could be crucial, as Medicare and hospital insurance won’t cover medical expenses for any injuries or accidents sustained while on board a ship, and this applies to cruises within Australian waters, not just international waters. Additionally, having cruise cover will ensure that any claims for cancellation fees for delayed or cancelled cruises can be assessed.
Retirement can be a great time to go on that Australian road trip, and seniors under 99 years of age can still be covered by travel insurance. While there may be reduced limits for Australians over 70, senior travellers can still have the peace of mind knowing some expenses such as delayed flights, lost luggage and activity cancellations may be covered.
Every travel insurance policy has instances where you may not be covered. Common exclusions for domestic travel insurance policies are:
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. Airline On Time Performance, 2019 Calendar Year Report.