Everything you need to know about travel insurance

Compare your options with us. Simples!

Compare travel insurance

Everything you need to know about travel insurance

Compare your options with us. Simples!

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, many Australians are travelling both locally and abroad. While it is wonderful that people are indulging in their wanderlust, holidays don’t always go according to plan. For that reason, it is important to shop around for travel insurance.

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance can cover various scenarios that may affect travellers, with policies covering events such as:

  • illness and injury;
  • emergency evacuation;
  • cancelled or delayed flights;
  • lost deposits on your accommodation; and
  • stolen or lost luggage.

When these things happen during your holiday, they can be expensive to fix. With the right travel insurance, your policy will help you recoup your losses during a difficult time.

Purchasing a policy can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on the aspects of your trip that are more important to you, such as where you want to stay and which sights you want to see.

Whether you intend to be away for an extended period or for just a few days, travel insurance should be strongly considered. You never know what might happen during your time away.

What does travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance is usually taken out to cover for unexpected events that may happen from the time you book your ticket, to the end of your holiday.

Illness & injury are potentially the most important area that travel insurance tends to cover. No matter where you are travelling to, getting sick or injured is sometimes an inevitability, and if you have an existing condition, there may be a greater risk.

With a travel policy, medical costs overseas can be covered, allowing you to avoid significant charges to your bank account, and in extreme cases, travel insurance can also cover expenses involved in emergency evacuation (i.e. if you have medical issues that require you to be airlifted out of the location).

In terms of flights and accommodation, travel cover can provide protection in the case of cancellation and delays. It can also provide a safeguard for your luggage against loss or theft, with some policies offering to cover your valuables up to $30,000 in total.

Along with the categories that travel insurance generally covers, numerous optional extras can be provided to protect travellers such as sports (skiing, scuba diving, etc.), rental car, and identity theft cover. To get an idea of what different policies offer, feel free to use Compare the Market’s travel insurance comparison service.

Please note that policies generally have caps on how much they cover for each scenario. Before taking out travel insurance, read the Product Disclosure Agreement to learn about the extent of your cover.

Types of travel insurance

Travel insurance can usually be purchased as a package or in specific plans. While package plans are generally recommended, other plans may also be suitable for your travel needs.

Type Description
Basic The bare essential coverage for people looking to travel. Typically has capped medical cover and has limited coverage in other key areas.
Mid-range Usually offers more categories than basic cover, which can include lost luggage and theft.
Comprehensive Generally the most extensive out of the three policy types. Typically purchased by people who want full coverage on their trip.

You might be surprised how little top cover may cost. Paying a slightly higher premium could allow you to have much broader cover in case the unexpected happens.

Along with what these policies cover, each type of travel insurance also has 24/7 worldwide assistance, so it is important to make sure you always have the number of your insurer in an accessible place.

traveler walking in bali

Common exclusions of travel insurance

While travel insurance packages do protect customers for numerous circumstances, there are some notable exclusions. Generally, a lot of exclusions are based around choice rather than necessity. For example, customers are unlikely to be covered if they decide they don’t want to travel, rather than being forced to remain home by circumstance (e.g. they fall sick).

It is important to follow the laws of the places we visit, not just as a common courtesy, but because reckless behaviour is another likely exclusion. This reckless behaviour can include disobeying road rules or any acts that may be considered unlawful. Along similar lines of acting reckless, damages as a result of disregarding government warnings may not be covered as well, so please make sure you take on board all governmental advice.

As a guide to what may be excluded from your policy, here are a few specific examples of exclusions:

Category Common Exclusions
Medical
  • Undisclosed pre-existing conditions.
  • If medical advice isn’t followed in a timely manner.
Flights/Accommodation Cancellation
  • Acts or threats of terrorism.
  • If you make a claim from another source (e.g. your airline refunds your tickets).
  • If the flight/accommodation company goes into bankruptcy.
Luggage
  • Items are damaged, stolen or lost while unattended in public.
  • Items that break down mechanically.
  • Items deemed fragile.
  • Damage to sporting equipment while being used.
  • General wear and tear.
  • Damage while being cleaned or repaired.
  • Bicycles.
  • Items that can be used for tender (cash, cheques, etc).

As a general rule, if it can be easily prevented, or if it wasn’t an accident on your part, chances are it won’t be covered.

Compare travel insurance

We know that travel insurance isn’t exciting – at least not compared to the rest of your amazing holiday – which is why Compare the Market wants to help. With our travel insurance comparison service, you can easily compare policies from many companies in just 30 seconds. Simples.

We do not compare all brands in the market.