This cover is great for light travellers who don’t travel far from the hotel. It’s normally the most affordable and includes the most basic features of travel insurance.
However, there are usually limits, conditions and excess payments that vary depending on the provider. Basic policies typically include cover for:
Mid-level cover is great for travellers who are a bit more adventurous.
It has a wider range of cover than basic policies but may still have certain limits, conditions or excess payments. Standard policies can include cover for:
High-level cover suits people who want peace of mind from being covered for a wide variety of unexpected events, and adventurers who need the additional protection just in case.
Perhaps you just want the peace of mind of not worrying about a wide variety of unexpected events. Or maybe you’re a bit of an adventurer and need the additional protection just in case.
Coverage will vary between providers, and there may still be certain conditions, limits and excess payments. Comprehensive cover can generally include:
It costs more but adding some optional extras to your travel insurance can provide additional coverage, typically for different kinds of trips.
N.B. the specifics of exactly what’s covered will differ between policies and providers. You can check the PDS for details on a specific policy.
The cost of travel insurance will vary between providers and is based on a number of factors, including your:
Generally, travel insurance premiums aren’t too much of an expense in the grand scheme of things. Paying these prices may be a little easier on the bank account than paying up-front for hospital fees when overseas, or expenses for recovering lost, damaged or stolen luggage.
Over 50s generally have nothing to worry about when it comes to getting covered, as travel insurers generally cater to anyone in this age bracket. However, it can cost more for Aussies to get covered the older they get, as they represent a greater risk for insurers (or if they have a particular pre-existing medical condition to cover).
It’s common for older travellers to be away from home for longer and take more of their possessions with them, adding to the chance of suffering a loss and impacting the size of an insurance claim.
Taking out cover for your pre-existing medical condition may cost a bit extra, but it can help cover you for most, if not all, medical expenses resulting from your condition.
Although some pre-existing medical conditions are usually automatically covered by travel insurance (like diabetes or high blood pressure), more serious conditions like some forms of cancer or mental illnesses might require assessment and possibly an additional premium to be fully covered. Insurers may not provide cover for the most serious medical conditions.
It’s important to check with your insurance provider if your condition is covered, and apply for a policy with pre-existing condition cover if you need it.
Travel insurance exclusions are typically the same regardless of your age. While specific details and exclusions might differ, most travel insurance won’t cover claims if they involve the following:
There are age limits on travel insurance, though this differs between providers. For example, some travel insurers will cover travellers up to the age of 75, while others may provide cover for those in their 80s or even 90s.
If you’re over 50, your age can affect what kinds of travel insurance you may be eligible for. As an example, some providers may not sell annual multi-trip policies if you’re over a certain age, but they can offer single trip cover.
Likewise, optional extras can be limited to customers of a certain age. The exact ages will differ between providers and the types of policy, but insurance providers may not offer ski-trip or adventure cover add-ons based on your age.
Not many travel insurance providers will offer you the option of purchasing cover when you’re already at your overseas destination. Some might offer this if you have forgotten, but this cover may come with extra costs, waiting periods and more limits.
It’s recommended that you purchase travel insurance right after you book your tickets and well before you pack your bags. Making sure you take out travel insurance as soon as possible can save you a whole lot of money and stress in the long run.
When you go on a cruise, it’s important to remember that once the ship leaves the dock, you’re generally not covered by Medicare or your private health insurance.
This is why getting a travel insurance policy which is tailored for cruising is essential for covering your medical expenses on board if necessary or even for cruise cancellations.
Cruises aren’t automatically covered under most policies. You’ll generally need to take out cruise cover as an optional extra on your policy, which may cost a little extra.
1 Consular State of Play 2018-19. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government. 2019.
2 3401.0 Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia Table 8: Short-term Movement, Residents Returning – Selected Destinations: Seasonally adjusted. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Government. 2020.
3 Costs for Hospital Stays in the United States, 2012. Healthcare Cost and Utilisation Project, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Department of Healthcare and Human Services, United States Government. 2014