Explore Travel Insurance

You always want your kids to be safe when they travel, but there are going to be times when you aren’t able to accompany them on their trips across the seas. So, what is the process of insuring a child who travels on their own?

Insuring minors for their trip

When it comes to taking out a travel insurance policy for your child, there are a few different options:

  • if your child is over 18, you’ll likely be able to find an insurer that can cover them as an adult;
  • if they’re under 18 and travelling by themselves, you will still need to cover them with their own travel insurance policy; and
  • if they’re under 18 and a dependent of one or more adults travelling with them,, many insurers will likely cover them at no additional cost under your (or the other adult’s) insurance policy.

What is a dependent?

There are a variety of ways that insurers define dependents.  Some will allow dependents over 18 to be covered under the adult’s policy.  You should always check the definition that is provided by your chosen insurer.

So, one way or another, they’re going to be covered under an adult policy. The only real difference is if you’re travelling with multiple children; in this situation, most insurers will cover multiple dependent children under the adult’s policy.

Are there any differences between travel insurance for children and adults?

There are no differences between travel insurance for a child or an adult. Since your child is being insured by their own cover, you can expect them to be covered to the same extent as you are when you travel. For full details on their coverage, read through their Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before taking out a policy, or speak directly to the insurer.

Group travel insurance for school groups, tours and sports teams

If you’re responsible for organising a group that’s travelling (whether it’s a group of children under 18 or adults), you can typically cover everyone under one policy, similarly to how travel insurers can cover an adult and their children in one policy. A group policy can be especially helpful if you’re travelling as a tour group, school trip, business trip or sporting club. Learn more about group travel insurance here.

Are there any restrictions on children flying alone?

 a girl colouring-in while flying on a plane

Absolutely! Airlines have different rules for kids travelling unaccompanied, but those rules often remain consistent across different carriers.

  • children must travel with identification (e.g. a passport, birth certificate);
  • many airlines consider children aged over 5 fit to travel alone. Not all airlines apply the unaccompanied minor status to children aged 12 to 17. Anyone older than 12 may be considered ‘an adult’ passenger;
  • airlines will have different requirements for booking an unaccompanied minor. For example, you’ll need to outline who’s picking up your child from the airport. Legally, the airline won’t be able to hand over your child to anyone besides the documented person, so make sure they travel with their own ID and some ID or details on who is picking them up from the airport;
  • there may be restrictions on how many unaccompanied minors can book flights on their own, due to the logistics of the airline caring for them throughout the journey;
  • you cannot book your child on a flight with an overnight stopover;
  • your child won’t be allowed to fly if they require medication and cannot self-administer that medication; and
  • you might have to pay extra for child-minding services and unaccompanied minor tickets, especially ones booked at the airport. However, you may be able to avoid some additional costs by booking in advance.

However, as mentioned, children over the age of 12 can usually book as an adult, and travel under the same guidelines and restrictions that the rest of us must adhere to.

Always check with your airline prior to making any bookings to ensure your situation if met by their conditions.

What happens if something goes wrong?

The nightmare of every parent; what would happen if something goes wrong on your child’s journey? The flight could be delayed or cancelled due to bad weather. Once they’re overseas, they could become injured or lose their belongings. This isn’t to say these things will happen; however, it’s important to be prepared for these scenarios.

It may be prudent to have a copy of the insurance policy for your child to take with them in case something goes wrong so they can present it to an authority figure. You could also send it to the trusted adult who is meeting your child at the airport too so they can help sort anything that goes wrong on your child’s trip from their end.

Many travel insurance companies will have 24/7 global assistance on hand to help in case something goes wrong. The phone numbers for these 24/7 assistance services are designed to be reached from anywhere in the globe.

What should my child’s travel insurance include?

two brothers sitting in a suitcase

What you should include in your child’s travel insurance policy will be determined by what their journey will include. If they’re just flying from point A to point B in Australia, you may wish to include cover for delayed and cancelled flights. Should your child be spending some time overseas, you may want to get a policy which covers medical expenses if they’re injured, or one that also covers lost or stolen belongings as well as medical costs.

In the event something does go wrong, contact your insurance provider for assistance.

What if my child has a pre-existing medical condition?

Some insurers may cover several pre-existing medical conditions automatically. However, others won’t. As such, it’s important that you reach out to your insurer to tell them about your child’s pre-existing conditions before you purchase your policy. Your insurer may be able to cover these conditions at an added cost.

If you don’t tell your insurer and you need to make a claim related to your child’s condition, your insurer may reject your claim.

Compare travel insurance for the whole family with ease

Travelling is an exciting experience, but it can also be a bit nerve-wracking, especially if your child is travelling alone. Thankfully, a suitable level of cover can provide peace of mind that everyone is covered for a range of scenarios, should the unexpected happen.

You can compare travel insurance for free in minutes with our comparison service. Our tools make it easy for you to compare features and costs from policies available on our service.

Don’t settle for the first policy you may find; find out why it pays to compare travel insurance today!

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