Italy sure does have a lot to offer travellers! You could stumble across a nice café nestled in a lovely town on the outskirts of Florence or take in the sunshine at the San Fruttuoso beach, barely budging an inch until you need to get back on the plane.
Then, travel north to Venice and be dazzled by the canal city’s architecture. Venture west from there to Lake Garda, an impossibly pretty region you may remember from the James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. Make your way down to Rome or Pompeii to gaze upon thousands of years of history, and then head on over to the Amalfi Coast, where charming coastal communities await.
If you’re planning to pack all this and more into your Italian getaway, let us explain why considering purchasing travel insurance for your trip to Italy is a smart move.
Do I need travel insurance for Italy?
Whether you feel you need travel insurance depends on your individual circumstances, needs and budget. However, travel insurance can help provide a safety net in cases of stolen luggage, delayed flights, trip cancellations or medical emergencies. Any of these scenarios could potentially cost thousands of dollars, which would all come out of your own pocket if you didn’t have travel insurance.
Why not avoid these additional expenses and use that money instead for fine Italian food and wine?
Travel insurance policies provide varying levels of cover, so it’s important to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). When you compare with us, you can read the policies’ PDS online before you select a policy.
Italy travel insurance: What should be included?
When travelling anywhere around the world, it’s a good idea to have travel insurance to cover hospital and medical bills, medications and also emergency repatriations if needed. ). The level of cover you have these situations will depend on the insurance policy you take out, so if you plan to take on any risky adventures or have pre-existing medical conditions, make sure to check the exclusions, restrictions and sub-limits of your policy before purchasing. Other scenarios you should consider may include lost and stolen baggage, along with flight delays and cancellations.
Common risks in Italy that travel insurance may cover
Travel delays and cancellations
You can’t control everything that happens on your trip. Maybe your plane from Milan to Bologna gets delayed by weather conditions and you miss your food tasting tour, incurring a cancellation fee. However, travel insurance cover may alleviate these kinds of costs, depending on the type of policy you have.
So even if a travel delay keeps you from using your Vatican tour tickets or taking a bike tour around Tuscany, you can still have peace of mind on your travels, knowing you will be able to make claims and limit any out of pocket expenses.
You’ll require an international driver’s permit (IDP) to drive on Italian roads, but it’s worth it – you’ll see some of the finest landscapes Italy has to offer while driving. Your insurance policy will insist you obey the law at all times, so, it’s important to be mindful to:
- Drive on the right side of the road
- Not drink and drive
- Wear a helmet on motorbikes
- Use headlights on main roads outside urban areas, even during the day.2
Travel insurance can also cover your rental vehicle excess if you crash your rental vehicle.
When touring Italy (particularly any famous tourist attractions such as the Colosseum or the Leaning Tower of Pisa), keep an eye on your surroundings and your valuables close. Here are just a few ways you can be ‘relieved’ of your belongings in Italy:
- Credit card skimming
- Bag snatching
- Fake tickets for attractions.
As a precaution, lock your doors as you drive, keep money and passports well concealed and don’t take any unnecessary risks. However, it’s comforting to know that travel insurance could help cover the cost of stolen goods. It also looks after lost luggage expenses, although exclusions apply if your belongings are left unattended or if you don’t take steps to protect your possessions.
Australia and Italy share a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA), which allows you to seek public medical treatment while in Italy and several other European nations.1 However, if you require medical evacuation or prescription medication, you may have to cover these costs yourself, as the RHCA only covers certain treatments.
For surprise expenses like these, a travel insurance plan can be useful. A comprehensive travel insurance policy can cover things like medical evacuations, repatriation back to Australian soil, medications, hospital treatment and other out-of-pocket private hospital expenses.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, you may not be able to get medical coverage for these in some policies. Always disclose your medical conditions to your insurer, otherwise they may reject your claim if you incur medical expenses as a result of your condition while overseas. Check your policy’s PDS for the specifics of your coverage.
As for vaccinations, you probably won’t need any specific immunisations to enter Italy. Measles diagnoses have increased, though, so consider getting the vaccine or checking if you’re up to date on your current vaccinations.3 For up-to-date information or to get a second opinion on your own personal medical circumstances, consult your local GP before you depart.
Italy is known for its volcanoes, and there are multiple active volcanoes, including:
- Mount Vesuvius near Naples
- Mount Etna in Sicily
- Mount Stromboli and Mount Vulcano in the islands off the north coast of Sicily.
Erupting volcanoes and ash clouds can cause flight cancellations and other booking problems for travellers. Luckily for those with volcanic ash cloud cover, it’s possible to avoid expensive disruptions and receive a reimbursement for your holiday.
Travel insurance may also cover natural disasters. If you purchase travel insurance before the natural disaster becomes a known event, your insurer could cover your expenses.
Activities to get cover for
- Touring France and Italy on bicycles is the dream of any cyclist. However, accidents are common, since Italian roads can be precarious due to their age and are usually teeming with other drivers.
- Mountain hiking. Italy is bordered by Switzerland and Austria, which means it’s heaven for mountaineers, hikers, explorers and skiers.
- Water activities. Italy sits across from such natural beauties as Montenegro and Croatia. In between is the Adriatic Sea, perfect for all manner of water activities, depending on where you are along the coast. Whether it’s water skiing, sailing or simply floating, make sure you take the proper precautions.
Trekking, climbing, water sports and other adventurous activities may be excluded from some travel insurance policies, or only covered as optional extras that will cost more to include in your travel insurance. Also, be sure medical cover is included when you buy travel insurance if you plan on undertaking potentially risky adventures.
Travel insurance for Italy: Exclusions to watch out for.
Generally speaking, travel insurance won’t cover you in instances where:
- You’ve acted carelessly or unlawfully.
- Luggage is stolen when unattended.
- The claim is based on a pre-existing condition that is not covered by your policy.
- Your injury happened while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- You weren’t wearing a helmet while on a scooter or motorcycle.
For a more detailed list of travel insurance exclusions, visit our travel insurance FAQs. To make sure you have cover for what’s important to you, read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
What you should know before arriving in Italy