While there’s no doubt travel insurance is a necessary purchase for your travels, you should make sure the policy you take out is appropriate for your needs, budget and travels. When shopping around, consider looking for a policy that covers the type of traveller you are and what you’re doing on your trip
How to choose a travel insurance plan
Choosing which type of travel insurance is best for you will depend on your circumstances. Some considerations include:
Before deciding to buy travel insurance, read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to understand the extent of your cover and any limitations, exclusions or conditions you might want to be aware of.
Levels of cover
Most travel insurance providers offer three levels of cover:
- Basic/medical-only. Medical-only travel insurance covers emergency medical treatment while overseas, without the other benefits typically included in a travel insurance policy. Read more about Reciprocal Health Care Agreements and travel insurance for medical only.
- Standard. These policies will typically have medical cover, along with a wider range of benefits including cancellation, loss of luggage and more.
- Comprehensive. Top tier policies will include all the benefits of the lower levels of cover, but with higher benefit limits. They may also have more inclusions, such as COVID-19 cover.
What are the different types of travel insurance?
There are several different travel insurance types to choose from that may provide peace of mind while on your trip. When shopping around, consider looking for a policy that covers who you are and what you’re doing on your trip.
Firstly, depending on how often you travel, you can choose between:
Depending on where you plan on travelling, you’ll need either:
- Domestic travel insurance, which covers trips around Australia but doesn’t include medical cover or domestic cruises.
- International travel insurance, which covers any trips you take overseas.
If you’re travelling with others, there are the following options:
If you and your partner are travelling together, you may be eligible for a couples travel policy. This can cover both of you under a single policy. It’s typically also available for any two travel companions who share an itinerary.
When travelling with family members, you have more belongings to insure, more people that could fall ill and more unforeseen situations you can’t pre-empt. Travel insurance for families may cover your whole family under one policy.
Travelling in a group? With this type of insurance, everyone can be covered for the same activities and events, both before and after you depart, with travel insurance for groups.
You may want to add additional cover to your policy depending on what activities are on your itinerary. Many activities are not included under standard policies; however, you can purchase extras to cover you for those scenarios. Common add-ons include:
Not all activities will be covered by your policy automatically. In this case, you may be able to purchase an adventure pack add-on to still be covered. You can find the list of automatically covered activities in your policy’s PDS.
If you’re hitting the slopes on your holiday, consider ski insurance. This optional extra can cover things like winter sports, piste closures, ski equipment hire and medical treatment. If you injure yourself on-piste without ski cover, your medical costs won’t be covered.
Domestic and international cruises can be covered by travel insurance, though you’ll typically have to purchase additional cover. See how you can be financially protected at sea and beyond with travel insurance for cruises.
If you’re planning on renting a car to drive around on holiday, be sure your policy covers your rental car excess fee in the event of an accident. If it isn’t automatically covered, you can usually still purchase it as an add-on to your policy.
If you’re overseas and driving on foreign roads on a motorcycle, scooter, moped or Vespa, you should consider getting covered with travel insurance for motorcycles. This will help provide medical cover if you’re in an accident while driving.
Top tips on choosing the right type of travel insurance from our travel expert, Stephen Zeller
- Be sure to pick travel insurance that fits your itinerary. If you plan on skiing or driving around in a rental vehicle without the right cover, you will have to pay out of pocket if something goes wrong.
- If you’re not travelling alone, a couples or family policy may have more value than purchasing multiple individual policies. As a bonus, most travel insurers will allow dependent children to travel at no extra cost.
- Choosing the right level of cover is important. While medical-only cover may suit short, simple trips, a comprehensive policy can offer you cancellation cover, medical cover and more.
Compare travel insurance policies
Once you have an idea of what type of travel insurance you need, you can compare policies with our free online comparison tool. You can compare insurers, levels of cover and travel insurance benefits all in one place and in just minutes. Simples!