Travel Insurance FAQs

Answers when you need them

Have a question about travel cover for your next domestic or international holiday? Relax; Sergei is on the case!

Travel Insurance Frequently Asked Questions


Can I get travel insurance when pregnant?

Yes, you can get travel insurance when pregnant to cover medical expenses for issues related to a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy. That said, most travel insurers will have restrictions or exclusions in their policies, and may only cover single child pregnancies and only up to a certain number of weeks, which varies between insurance providers.

However, there are still some reasons that you may not be able to get travel insurance while pregnant.

For example, depending on your policy, you may not be covered if:

  • It’s an assisted reproductive pregnancy (e.g. IVF), though some providers may offer to cover these for an additional premium.
  • You try to claim expenses for the actual childbirth or health care of the newborn while you’re travelling.
  • There are complications with the pregnancy at the time of booking your trip or purchasing travel insurance.
  • You try to claim on pregnancy complications after the maximum number of weeks permitted in your policy.
  • Your doctor has advised you not to travel.
  • You’re planning to travel after the maximum weeks of pregnancy stated on your policy (usually beyond the third trimester).
  • You have a pre-existing condition or have had previous pregnancy complications.

Once you have travel insurance, you may be covered for trip cancellations and other expenses due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. However, any issues must be confirmed by a qualified medical practitioner. It’s highly recommended you check your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or call up your insurer to determine an adequate level of cover when pregnant. Find out more about how pregnancy affects your travel insurance.

When is it too late to buy travel insurance?

It’s too late to buy travel insurance for incidents that have already happened, such as if you’ve already been injured, suffered a loss or mishap, after a flight is cancelled or after a natural disaster has already struck.

With many insurers, it may also be too late to buy travel insurance once you depart Australia. Some may allow you to take out cover when you’re already overseas, but you may be subject to a waiting period and more exclusions.

It’s a good idea to purchase appropriate travel insurance well in advance should you wish be covered for cancellations and delays, as well as other things that may affect your trip. Check your policy’s PDS to understand your cover and any exclusions.

What should I look for when buying travel insurance?

You should look for travel insurance that offers a breadth of cover suitable to your circumstances while keeping an eye out for policy limits, sub-limits and exclusions that may affect your ability to claim.

Some features you can look for include:

  • Medical cover. Claiming on medical expenses and accommodation is a major reason people buy travel insurance, as falling ill or sustaining an injury overseas without appropriate cover can be expensive.
  • Cancellation and delay cover. In case you can’t travel, or your flights are disrupted, cancellation cover can go a long way to recuperating your losses. You may also be covered for changing flights or temporary accommodation if needed.
  • Luggage and personal effects cover. If baggage handlers damage your luggage, or if your luggage or personal items are stolen, you’ll need a suitable level of cover for the worth of your personal items (policy limits may apply here).
  • Appropriate cover for your destination. Getting adequate cover depends on your needs and where you’re going. For example, if you’re heading to the snow, make sure your policy covers you for skiing and snowboarding. Or if you’re departing on a cruise, take out cruise travel insurance.

Always ensure you read your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) thoroughly, so you understand exactly what you’re covered for and are aware of any exclusions.

How long does it take to get travel insurance?

It only takes minutes to complete a travel insurance quote through our comparison service. You can usually get travel insurance instantaneously and be ready to go, provided there are no special requirements like pre-existing conditions that need to be approved by the insurer. You could even get travel insurance on your way to the airport, although it might suit you to get it earlier so you can be covered for cancellations and delays.

Although it doesn’t take long to acquire travel insurance, make sure you take the time to understand your level of coverage by reading your PDS. It will list all exclusions, how much your excess is and how much you’re covered for. It’s important to make sure the product you choose provides the cover you need for your personal circumstances.

Can I have two travel insurance policies?

Yes, you can have two separate travel insurance policies, although you can’t claim twice for the same incident on those two policies. This means you won’t be in a better position than if you had one suitable level of cover.

It’s worth noting that if you already have travel insurance through your credit card, bank account or some other type of insurance, this cover may be limited. Furthermore, if you do take out another policy at the same time to have a broader level of cover and make a claim through this separate travel insurer, the costs of the claim may be divided between the insurer and your credit card’s travel insurance.

Rather than pay for two policies, why not compare travel insurance policies from a range of providers to find one policy that gives you all the cover you need?

Can I buy travel insurance after I’ve departed on my trip?

Most travel insurance providers require travellers to purchase insurance prior to leaving Australia, but you can get travel insurance when you are already overseas. However, not all providers will offer it, or there may be exclusions.

When looking to buy travel insurance after your trip has begun, you’ll want to find cover that’s listed as ‘already overseas’ or ‘already abroad’. Most of these travel insurance policies will have a time excess or exclusion period, particularly for medical-related losses. For example, there may be an exclusion period where you won’t be covered if you have an accident within 48 or 72 hours after you’ve taken out the cover, or you may also need to pay a higher excess if you’ve taken out travel insurance from another country.

While you may be able to find travel insurance when you’re abroad, it’s recommended you compare travel insurance well in advance of landing in your destination. This way, you can be covered for cancellations and delays before you leave, and much more while you’re overseas.


When does travel insurance start?

If your travel insurance policy covers cancellations, cover will start from the day your insurer approves your cover, which is why it’s useful to purchase travel insurance as soon as you make a deposit or pre-book accommodation. That way you may be covered if you need to cancel your trip before it even starts due to unforeseen circumstances outside of your control (e.g. falling ill). However, it won’t cover missing your flight, changing your mind or cancelled flights if you were already refunded by your airline.

Your travel insurance usually starts to cover you more comprehensively from when you’ve departed Australia. However, if you’re catching a cab to the airport and it crashes, you may be covered for any damage to your items, and cancelling and re-booking another flight.

Check your Product Disclose Statement (PDS) for further details on what you’re covered for and when your travel insurance begins.

Is travel insurance worth it for domestic trips?

Yes, travel insurance can be worthwhile for domestic trips. Even though domestic flights aren’t as long, and trips around Australia don’t seem as risky, domestic travel insurance can still be an affordable precaution to have.

Depending on your policy, domestic travel insurance can cover or reimburse you if:

  • Your luggage is lost or damaged in transit
  • Your luggage or personal items are damaged, lost or stolen in the city or town you’re travelling to
  • Your flight is cancelled or delayed, which can affect your accommodation and any pre-booked events
  • You’ve had an accident in your hire car and need to pay an excess on your rental vehicle insurance (comprehensive travel insurance may cover this cost or it can be purchased as an extra).

Learn more about domestic travel insurance for peace of mind on your next trip within Australia.

Should I get travel insurance for a cruise?

It’s a smart idea to always get travel insurance when going on a cruise holiday. Generally, travel insurance for a cruise can provide cover or reimbursement for some of the costs associated with the following situations:

  • You can’t go on the cruise and need to cancel, or have to pull out of any planned on-cruise activities due to sickness or injury
  • You get sick or injured on board and need medical attention
  • Your luggage gets stolen on board, or you accidentally drop something like your bag, phone or wallet into the ocean
  • You hurt yourself during an activity like jet-skiing or snorkelling (depending on your policy, you may need to have purchased the adventure activities extra to be covered).

However, exclusions apply to any policy, so remember to read the PDS to know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for.

It’s also important to remember that even if you’re going on a domestic cruise in Australian waters, you need an international travel insurance policy. This is because most foreign cruising boats don’t accept Medicare as there may be an international doctor on board that isn’t covered by Medicare, and medical costs aren’t covered by domestic travel insurance.

Learn more about cruise travel insurance for your next sea adventure.

Why is travel insurance important?

Travel insurance is important for your peace of mind while you’re on holiday or travelling. Depending on what type of policy you take out, it can cover you for:

  1. Emergency medical assistance and expenses. This can save you from potential financial ruin, especially if you have an injury or health scare in a country like the USA, where overnight hospital costs are particularly expensive.
  2. Cancellation fees and additional expenses. If your flights are cancelled (e.g. due to bad weather), it can cause a flow-on effect with your planned accommodation, transport and any other events you have booked in advance.
  3. Personal liability. If you accidentally cause the injury or death of another person on your trip, or inadvertently damage someone else’s property, your travel insurance can cover your personal liability costs (up to a limit).
  4. Loss, theft or damage of luggage. It’s bad enough having your luggage stolen or damaged on holiday, let alone having to replace those items without having any cover. Travel insurance makes sure this process is as painless as possible by covering some of the costs.

Comprehensive travel insurance can also cover you for a range of other things that might occur on your trip.

What is comprehensive travel insurance?

A comprehensive travel insurance policy is the top tier level of cover an insurer offers. You may find that comprehensive policies have similar inclusions to a standard policy but with higher claim limits and sub-limits. While a basic level of cover might only include medical and personal liability cover, a comprehensive policy can also include coverage for:

  • Cancellations. If an unforeseen event causes you to need to cancel your trip partway through or before it even begins.
  • Additional expenses. Emergency accommodation if you become stranded somewhere.
  • Luggage and personal effects. Replacement or repair costs if they’re mishandled, damaged, lost or stolen - as long as you didn’t believe your belongings unattended in public.

Comprehensive travel insurance policies may also include cover for:

Accidental deathAlternative transport expensesTravel delay expenses
Delayed luggage at the airportDental expenses (if there’s an accident)Travel documents, credit cards and traveller's cheques
Hospital cash allowanceLoss of incomePermanent disability
Theft of cashRental vehicle excess coverResumption of journey

While not all comprehensive policies will cover the situations mentioned above, these policies typically provide a broader level of cover. Check your PDS to see what benefits are included in your policy, or compare comprehensive travel insurance for peace of mind on your next trip.

What is a travel insurance excess?

An excess is the amount of money you may have to pay if you need to claim on your travel insurance policy. Your excess is typically deducted from the settlement amount (i.e. what you're paid following a successful claim).

So if a loss occurs (e.g. damaged luggage, cancelled flight), you will typically only need to contribute the cost of your excess and your travel insurance policy will cover the rest – provided the loss is covered and doesn’t go over your claim limits. However, if you lose something and the value is less than your policy excess, the claim won’t be paid.

You can choose a higher travel insurance excess to lower your premium; however, this means you will contribute more to any loss in the form of a higher excess when you want to make a claim. You may also have the option of the alternative, where you pay higher premiums for lower excess.

Refer to your travel insurance policy’s PDS or Certificate of Insurance issued by the insurer to determine how much your excess is. Keep in mind the excess amount when comparing travel insurance for your next holiday.

Is it illegal to travel without travel insurance?

Although not recommended, it generally isn’t illegal to travel without travel insurance, but some destinations won’t allow you entry unless you have medical cover. Certain tours or trips over a specific number of days to particular countries may also mandate having a travel insurance policy.

When visiting a country that requires you have travel insurance to enter, it’s important to keep those documents handy, especially at airport customs. You can check the conditions of entry on websites like Smartraveller and foreign embassies.

While not always mandatory, it’s always a good idea to purchase travel insurance. For example, if you’re going on cruises – even domestic ones – you will need international travel insurance for medical cover if you become injured or sick on your cruise, as Medicare won’t cover you.

Does my credit card cover travel insurance?

Some credit cards will include basic travel insurance cover as a complimentary extra, but not all do. If your credit card does include travel insurance, the cover might be limited and not as comprehensive as a standalone travel insurance policy.

You may find there are exclusions and restrictions to your credit card’s travel insurance policy. For example, it may restrict cancellation cover, exclude death cover or not insure trips for longer than a particular duration. Credit card travel insurance also typically doesn’t cover pre-existing medical conditions or offer additional coverage for winters sports or adventure activities.

Also, you may need to use your credit card to pay for part or all of your trip or flights in order to activate your travel insurance cover; even then, it might only cover you for the parts you paid for on your credit card.

It’s important you check your credit card’s PDS to make sure you’re covered for everything you need (e.g. baggage loss or theft, medical expenses, cancelled flights). If you aren’t, compare standalone travel insurance policies to ensure you’re more comprehensively covered.

Does travel insurance for families cover individuals?

Yes, travel insurance for families does include cover for individuals. Just because it’s a family travel insurance policy doesn’t mean you’re only covered for claims relating to the whole family! Such policies work similarly to singles policies but will usually have higher claim limits to cover more travellers.

For example, if one member of the family gets sick or injured, has something stolen or loses their bag while travelling, they may be covered under the family policy. Also, if your kids are under 21 and don’t work full time, your insurer could cover them under your policy at no extra cost (some insurers extend this to dependents up to 25 years of age).

Most travel insurance policies cover families up to nine children (under 21 or 25) travelling with two adults at no extra cost. Depending on your insurer, adult policyholders can be covered under a family policy even if they travel alone for part of the journey.

It’s important to check the terms and conditions of cover and any exclusions that may apply, which can be found in the PDS.

What assistance will the consular officials provide?

If you need advice or assistance while overseas, the Australian Consular Services may be able to help. Consular officials are available for assistance 24/7, and some ways they may be able to help include:

  • Replacing travel documents or passports (for a fee)
  • Providing information on nearby medical or mental health support
  • Offering support and advice if you’re a victim to a crime, have been arrested or a family member overseas is injured, missing or has passed away
  • Contacting your family or close friends on your behalf to let them know of your circumstances.

However, consular assistance is not a suitable substitute for travel insurance. The Australian Government will not cover any medical treatment, emergency repatriation back to Australia, trip interruptions, lost luggage or personal liability costs, but you may be covered for these expenses by a comprehensive travel insurance policy.

Managing your policy

Can I cancel travel insurance?

Yes, you can cancel your travel insurance at any time; however, depending on when you cancel, you may not be fully reimbursed. There’s normally a 14-day cooling-off period after you purchased your travel insurance, where you can cancel and get a full refund as long as your trip or policy hasn’t begun.

It’s difficult to get full reimbursement after that cooling-off period or after your trip has already commenced, especially if your policy has cancellation cover. However, depending on your insurer and the reason you’ve cancelled your travel insurance (e.g. due to sickness), you may still get a partial reimbursement after the 14 days.

Refer to your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for information regarding cancellation cover. If you do want to cancel your travel insurance, contact your insurer as soon as possible.

How do I claim travel insurance?

If you want to claim on your travel insurance, you should first submit a report to the proper authorities within 24 hours of the incident occurring. To validate your travel insurance claim, you may need to provide medical receipts, bank statements or reports from the airport, police or other relevant authorities.

The next thing you should do is contact your insurer. It’s recommended you get in touch as soon as possible and tell them about the incident. They can guide you on what you’ll need for your claim and direct you to medical facilities or local embassies if needed. Your Certificate of Insurance will include a contact number, hours of operation and details on how to make a claim, so it’s useful to keep this on hand.

Lastly, you’ll need to submit your claim, which can be done either while you’re on your trip or when you get back home, but be aware that insurers may mandate a time frame within which you can claim. This will involve submitting any relevant reports or documentation online or by post, fax, or email.

Keep in mind that you may need to pay an excess when making a travel insurance claim (the amount will differ per policy). Your claim shouldn’t take long to process, but that will depend on how complicated it is and what is stipulated on your PDS. After you’ve submitted your claim, your insurer should contact you periodically to keep you updated on its progress.

Learn more about how to claim on your travel insurance.

Pre-existing conditions

Which is the best travel insurance to buy for pre-existing medical conditions?

Policies may cover some pre-existing medical conditions, provided the condition is stable, hasn’t necessitated medical attention or hospital treatment in the last one or two years and won’t require you to have any planned treatment or surgery in the future.

After you apply, your insurer must assess and approve your cover for overseas emergency medical and hospital services relating to your condition. For some pre-existing medical conditions, this cover may require paying an additional premium or adherence to additional terms and conditions, while serious or terminal illnesses may be excluded altogether.

Cover varies between insurers, so always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before purchasing to understand exactly what cover is offered. Read more about travel insurance for pre-existing conditions, including the types of medical conditions that generally are (or aren’t) covered.

Can I get travel insurance with terminal cancer?

Yes, you can still get travel insurance if you have terminal cancer, but the ability to claim for losses related to your condition may be limited or excluded entirely, particularly if claims for medical assistance are directly connected to your terminal cancer. However, you can still get cover for unrelated issues, such as loss of luggage or trip disruptions that result in additional expenses.

As always, it’s best to refer to your PDS for more information. Read more about travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions.

Can I get travel insurance with a heart condition?

Yes, you can get travel insurance if you have a heart condition. However, travel insurance that covers pre-existing conditions (like heart conditions) may attract more expensive premiums and there may be specific limits, restrictions or other terms and conditions. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you will need to declare you condition to your insurer who will assess your circumstances and decide what cover is available to you.

If your insurer agrees to cover your pre-existing condition, your policy should cover overseas emergency medical expenses related to your condition, on top your other policy inclusions (e.g. cancellations, luggage loss). However, you may still have limited or conditional travel cover for adventure activities like sky diving and snorkelling.

A heart condition may be considered a travel insurance exclusion if your insurer doesn’t know about it. For example, if you neglect to tell them about the condition or try to hide it, you won’t be able to claim on medical expenses if you fall ill and they find out about your medical history.

Find out more about how pre-existing medical conditions affect travel insurance.

Can I get cover for mental health conditions?

Depending on your condition and your insurer, it is possible to get cover for mental health conditions. Mental health is considered a pre-existing condition, and you must disclose these to your insurer when applying for travel insurance.

Many insurers will consider providing cover for mental health conditions; however, your individual circumstances will determine whether they can approve coverage for any conditions you may have. If your pre-existing mental health conditions cannot be covered, your travel insurance policy will still cover you for unexpected medical expenses unrelated to your conditions.

If you need cover for your mental health conditions, be sure to talk to your insurer or read your policy’s PDS before purchasing to understand what cover is available to you.

What's covered?

Does travel insurance cover scuba diving?

Yes, depending on your policy, you can be covered for scuba diving on your holiday.

While not common, some travel comprehensive travel insurance policies may cover expenses related to scuba diving automatically. Other insurers may instead offer an adventure sports optional extra, which will increase your premium but also cover you for sports like scuba diving, water skiing, snorkelling, jet-skiing and more.

Like most travel insurance policies, there may be restrictions or exclusions that could stop you from claiming. For example, most cover for scuba diving will be restricted to depths no greater than 30 metres, or that you can’t go scuba diving without a proper licence. In order to be covered, insurers may require that the diving policyholder holds an open water diving license that is recognised in Australia or that they dive with a licensed instructor.

Also, you may not be covered for scuba diving or any other adventure sports if you have a pre-existing condition; it’s best to check this with your insurer.

If you’re planning an active holiday, make sure you compare adventure travel insurance policies and check your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to make sure you’re covered for any claims regarding scuba diving.

Does travel insurance cover missed connecting flights?

Some travel insurance policies may cover missed connecting flights if it’s due to a specific event found on the policy (e.g. a natural disaster). This feature is usually only found in comprehensive policies, which can have limited cover for travel delay expenses, costs of resuming your journey and delayed luggage, as well as cover for cancellation fees. It will not cover you if your own negligence caused you to miss your flight, or if your airline has already rescheduled your flight, covered unexpected accommodation costs or otherwise reimbursed you.

If your policy does cover you for missing a connecting flight, it may also cover the flow-on effects, such as the costs of a new flight, necessary temporary accommodation or sometimes even the cost of missing an event that you were travelling for.

Does travel insurance cover medical expenses?

Yes, travel insurance does cover medical expenses if you fall ill or are injured on your trip overseas. Depending on your level of cover, you can be financially protected against overseas emergency medical assistance, hospital expenses, medical treatment and emergency evacuation and repatriation back to Australia.

This is crucial cover while you travel, but you should be mindful of a few things:

  • Exclusions. Travel insurance policies may list exclusions that prevent you from claiming. For example, treatment for self-harm and attempted suicide, stays in a private room or any non-immediate, non-medically necessary treatments may not be covered.
  • Pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition, you may not be covered for losses related to that condition. If you disclose your health status to your insurer before you get covered, they may still cover you, but it may cost an additional premium.
  • Domestic cover. Travel insurance policies cover your medical expenses while overseas, but they won’t within Australia, as Medicare and private health insurance cover this.

Overseas medical expenses can be costly without travel insurance (especially hospital accommodation in certain countries like the USA), which is why it’s best to read your policy’s PDS to make sure you’re covered for the unexpected.

Can travel insurance cover death abroad?

Yes, travel insurance can cover death abroad, but this will depend on the policy and manner of death. A comprehensive policy may cover the costs to bring the deceased back home, as well as (potentially) flying a family member over to bring the deceased home. If the death is accidental, any associated costs (up to a certain limit) can be covered by a comprehensive travel insurance policy.

Travel insurance may not cover death abroad if the insured person has terminal cancer or another pre-existing condition and dies from an ‘anticipated event’. Also, travel insurance will usually have exclusions for alcohol or drug-related deaths.

No matter how safe your trip might be, you never know what could happen, which is why it’s important to get travel insurance that covers you in most scenarios.

Be sure to check the policy’s PDS for more information on how death abroad is covered.

Can travel insurance cover rental vehicle excess?

Yes, travel insurance policies can cover rental vehicle excess (i.e. the amount owed to the rental company if your vehicle is damaged or stolen). This feature is usually only found as standard in comprehensive policies; however, some insurers might only offer it as an optional extra for an additional cost. Keep in mind, this cover is only for rental cars, and doesn’t include cover for any two-wheeled vehicles such as motorbikes, scooters or mopeds.

You’ll have to pay the rental car company excess upfront, and then submit a claim to your travel insurer. Some policies will specify a limited amount that you’re covered for and if the excess exceeds this limit, you’ll have to pay the rest yourself.

Furthermore, some insurers will not cover your excess if you’re in breach of your rental agreement. For example, if you:

  • Disobeyed the law or the road rules
  • Drove under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Used the incorrect fuel type in the rental car
  • Drove in prohibited areas or at prohibited times.

Check your PDS to make sure you’re covered for car hire excess and to see how much you’re covered for.

Can travel insurance cover cancellations?

Yes, if you take out travel insurance around the time of booking your trip or well before you take off, it may cover cancellation and travel delays.

However, this will largely depend on the type of policy you have. For example, basic travel insurance policies usually won’t cover cancellations or travel delays. On the other hand, comprehensive travel insurance policies can cover cancellation costs if your flight is cancelled or you’re no longer able to travel (due to unforeseen circumstances like illness).

Comprehensive policies may also cover you for cutting your trip short and cancelling it altogether. For example, this can happen if you need to return home because an immediate or close family member (under a certain age) is sick or has passed away unexpectedly. Comprehensive policies may also have limited cover for flow-on expenses of cancellation or delay, such as alternative transport expenses, delayed luggage allowance (e.g. when your luggage is delayed and you have to buy replacement clothing), costs of resuming your journey and travel delay expenses.

Also, if your trip is cancelled due to a natural disaster, your policy will need to list ‘natural disasters’ as an inclusion to cover any cancellation or delay expenses. Check your PDS to make sure there are no exclusions for cancellations and to identify the limits of your cover if your flight or trip gets unexpectedly cancelled.

Are natural disasters covered by travel insurance?

Yes, you may be covered for expenses that you might incur as a result of unforeseen natural disasters, as long as you had purchased your travel insurance policy before the event occurred and it covers natural disasters. Natural disasters you may be covered for include floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, landslides, tsunamis or wildfires. Your policy may financially protect you against medical expenses, cancellations and travel delays that are a result of a natural disaster.

You must purchase your travel insurance policy before the natural disaster occurred, as once event has already started, insurers might place an embargo for that region or country until the natural disaster is over.

Check your PDS to make sure natural disasters aren’t an exclusion on your policy. Coverage for some natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions and avalanches, may require purchasing additional cover. Above all, make sure you compare travel insurance and find a policy that covers natural disasters before you go.

What is annual multi-trip travel insurance?

Annual multi-trip travel insurance (also known as annual cover) can cover you for every trip you make within a 12-month period, up to a maximum number of days per trip. Depending on your policy, it can cover you for cancellations, overseas medical costs, theft, loss or damage of luggage or possessions, personal liability and more. Just be mindful that cover may be limited for some of the above benefits.

If you’re regularly travelling around Australia, you can purchase a domestic multi-trip policy. However, your cover will be subject to you being a minimum distance from your home, and it won’t cover medical or hospital expenses already covered by Medicare.

If you’re making multiple overseas trips throughout the year, you can buy an international multi-trip policy. However, if you’re travelling to specific countries, you’ll need to make sure you’re covered for those regions in your policy.

Multi-trip policies will also have a maximum length of cover per trip (usually 20-90 days). This means your policy won’t cover you for any losses incurred while travelling if your trip exceeds the maximum trip length listed on your policy’s PDS.

What does travel insurance not cover?

If you want to find out what your travel insurance does not cover, it’s best to read your PDS or contact your insurer. However, there are some common travel insurance exclusions which are usually not covered or will invalidate any claims, including:

  • If you purchase a policy and try to claim after a loss has occurred
  • If you act recklessly, illegally, engage in a high-risk activity and suffer a loss as a result
  • If your luggage is stolen because you left it unattended in public
  • Some pre-existing conditions won’t be covered at all or need approval by your insurer to have coverage
  • If you’re injured while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (even if the incident wasn’t your fault)
  • If you were already adequately compensated by a third party (e.g. tour operator, airline)
  • If you travel to a country with an active ’Do Not Travel’ warning
  • If your claim results from an incident in war, invasion or a revolution, or your travel plans were affected by a terrorist attack (you may still be able to claim medical expenses for a terrorist attack)
  • If you didn’t have the valid licence to drive a particular vehicle
  • If you went scuba diving without a licence or without someone who is properly licensed
  • If you weren’t wearing appropriate headgear (e.g. helmet when riding a scooter) at the time of your accident
  • If your hotel/tour/cruise operator goes broke
  • If you get injured in extreme sports or winter sports and didn’t purchase adventure travel insurance or ski insurance
  • If you get sick because you didn’t get the proper vaccines before leaving Australia
  • If you didn’t report a theft to the proper authorities (local policies, airline, hotel and insurer) within a particular timeframe – usually 24 hours after the incident.

What can travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance coverage can vary depending on your level of cover and your insurer. You can see what travel insurance generally covers in the table below.

What’s covered by travel insurance?Basic policyComprehensive (‘top level’) policy
Overseas emergency medical assistance and hospital expensesYes (usually unlimited)Yes (usually unlimited)
Personal liabilityYes (limited)Yes (higher limit than basic)
Luggage and personal effects which are lost, stolen or damagedAvailable on select policies (limited)Yes (higher limit than basic)
Emergency dental expensesAvailable on select policies (limited)Available on select policies (limited)
Additional expensesAvailable on select policies (limited)Yes (higher limit than basic)
Cancellation and amendment fees/cutting your trip shortNoYes (usually unlimited)
Accidental deathNoAvailable on select policies (limited)
Alternative transportNoAvailable on select policies (limited)
Delayed luggage allowanceNoAvailable on select policies (limited)
Hospital cash allowanceNoAvailable on select policies (limited)
Loss of incomeNoAvailable on select policies (limited)
Permanent disabilityNoAvailable on select policies (limited)
Pet careNoAvailable on select policies (limited)
Rental vehicle excessNoAvailable on select policies (limited)
Resumption of journeyNoAvailable on select policies (limited)
Theft of cashNoAvailable on select policies (limited)
Travel delay expensesNoAvailable on select policies (limited)
Travel documents, credit cards and traveller’s chequesNoAvailable on select policies (limited)
What’s covered by travel insurance?Basic policyComprehensive (‘top level’) policy

It’s best to check your PDS to determine exactly what you are and aren’t covered for.

Does travel insurance cover COVID-19?

Yes, it is possible to get coverage for COVID-19 (coronavirus) related losses; however, not all insurers offer this cover. COVID-19 cover can financially protect you against medical fees, trip cancellations and additional expenses that occur as a result of you being diagnosed with COVID-19.

COVID-19 cover, when offered, is typically only included in comprehensive travel insurance policies, so when comparing travel insurance, be sure to check the PDS of a policy before purchasing to make sure you’re getting the coverage you need. For more information, check out our COVID-19 FAQ page.

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