Explore Travel Insurance

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.

Do I need domestic travel insurance?

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.

What should my domestic travel insurance policy include?

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.

kangaroo on the beach

What can domestic travel insurance cover?

Lost or damaged belongings

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.

N.B. Your policy may not cover unattended items that are lost or damaged. Remember to always check your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to know exactly what you’re covered for, what is excluded and other important information about your policy.

Theft

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.

Cancellation fees / the cost of delays

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.

view of Sydney Harbour at night

Car rental excess

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.

Medical expenses

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.

a white 4WD crossing the Outback

Cruise

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.

Domestic travel insurance for seniors

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.

Domestic travel insurance exclusions

Every travel insurance policy has instances where you may not be covered. Common exclusions for domestic travel insurance policies are:

  • cases where you’re already compensated. If your flight or other booked activities have been delayed or cancelled, travel insurance may cover any costs incurred. However, this won’t be the case if the airline or activity provider has already reimbursed you.
  • unlicensed operation of vehicles. When operating any vehicle, always make sure you have the license required. Otherwise, any accidents you may have might not be covered by your travel insurance policy.
  • scuba diving without a licensed instructor. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the world, and it’s an essential sight for any bucket list. To explore the iconic landmark safely, always do so under the supervision of a licensed professional.
  • injuries from activities not covered by your policy. There are specific activities you might need to disclose with your travel insurance provider. For example, if you’re looking to carve the slopes at Perisher, you’ll probably need snow sports cover included in your policy.

Find out more about travel insurance exclusions by checking out our common travel exclusions guide. Remember to always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of your policy to know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for.

Top domestic travel tips

a family walking along the beach

  1. Pack essentials in your carry-on bag

Whether you’re travelling from Melbourne to Hobart or Brisbane to Perth, always ensure you have what you need in your carry-on, particularly if it’s medication. After all, cancellations and delays could leave you somewhere longer than expected.

If you need to carry medication on your flight, make sure that it’s in the original packaging and you have a note from your doctor clearly explaining what it is and your dosage requirements.

  1. Be wary of time zones and daylight savings

While it might not seem like much, it should be considered when making your holiday plans. After all, booking a flight at 8 am in Sydney during summer would be equivalent to booking it at 5 am in Perth!

  1. Don’t carry restricted items while travelling interstate

Like travelling overseas, there are restrictions on what you can take with you when travelling domestically. Items such as plants, fruits, vegetables and animal products can carry biosecurity risks including weeds, pests and diseases. To avoid getting fines from Australian Interstate Quarantine for taking prohibited items across borders, dispose these items before travelling.

  1. Research road rules

Even if the differences are subtle, it’s important to acknowledge road rules for every state you visit. For example, if you’re travelling to eastern states, you might have to pay tolls on certain motorways, while states like Queensland have limitations on using horns.

For more information, read our guide on how road rules differ across Australia.

  1. Follow all warning signs

Australia has many places to swim, but some areas may be off limits. Whether it’s a sign warning you about crocodiles or one about staying between the flags at the beach, it’s best not to take any risks. Along with the potential dangers, disregarding these warnings could also void your travel insurance.

Compare domestic travel insurance

Looking for a policy to cover your next domestic holiday? We can help!

You can find great-value deals in just minutes with our free travel insurance comparison service. Instead of going to multiple websites, we can show you prices from several reputable partners on one page. We don’t mark up prices, meaning you’ll pay the same price with us as you would be going directly to the provider.

So, why not see if we can help cover your next journey?

Setting your sights on a trip overseas? We look at international travel cover for different countries too!

Sources

Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. Airline On Time Performance, 2019 Calendar Year Report.

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