Explore Travel Insurance

If your holiday is going to be the best trip abroad, it might require comprehensive cover so you can travel with confidence.

For all the things that will go right on your holiday (e.g. great food, incredible vistas, sightseeing), there are many other things that can go wrong, like food poisoning, bad weather or pickpocketing.

So, let’s look at the top level of protection for the worst-case scenarios – better known as comprehensive travel insurance.

Do I need comprehensive travel insurance?

When venturing overseas, everyone should consider having some form of travel cover. Comprehensive travel insurance covers you across a wider range of situations than other levels of cover. For example, a comprehensive travel insurance policy could reimburse you for expenses relating to medical and hospital expenses, cancellations, theft and more.

What does comprehensive travel insurance cover?

The most significant thing your comprehensive travel insurance will protect is your peace of mind, which can be in short supply when things go wrong in a foreign country. Luckily, with the right travel insurance, you won’t have to worry about surprise costs.

While comprehensive cover might include some benefits you think you may never need to claim on, this level of cover will generally have higher limits. Let’s take a look at some common benefits and inclusions of comprehensive travel insurance:

What’s covered?Details
Medical expensesIf you get injured or fall ill overseas, you might require medical assistance. Cover for overseas emergency transport, as well as both hospital expenses and general medical costs, is standard cover for many different travel insurance policies.
Stolen or lost belongingsYou can receive a payout up to the limits and sub-limits listed in your PDS for your luggage, personal effects, credit cards and cash if they were lost in transit or stolen. Keep in mind that if theft or damage occurs because you left your belongings unattended, your claim will likely be rejected.
Trip cancellations and delaysIf weather, flight cancellations or unexpected events prevent you from reaching your destination, the delay may be covered by travel policies. Fees resulting from having to cancel your trip may also be covered (e.g., a volcanic eruption halts all air travel to the area).
Surprise costs from extended staysMeals, accommodation and transport expenses; travel delays can be costly, but travel insurance can help pay for an extended stay.
Repatriation (i.e., return home)If you need to return to Australia (e.g. because of illness, injury or accidental death), your insurer may cover your repatriation costs. Travel insurance can also help pay for you to return home if you have a family emergency.
Personal liabilityYour insurer may provide personal liability cover if you cause loss or damages to property or bodily injury to a person. Legal expenses may also be covered in the event legal action is required.
Please note: Policies differ, which means that not all comprehensive policies may cover the above inclusions, nor will the claim limits listed above necessarily represent exactly what you will be able to claim. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of any policy before you buy for more information about your coverage’s inclusions, exclusions, additional extras, limits and sub-limits.

That’s just some of what a policy might cover as standard. However, you can pay a little bit more to add some optional extras and ensure your policy covers even more mishaps. Here are a few examples of optional extras your policy might offer:

  • Ski and snowboarding Most travel medical cover won’t cover accidents that happen on-piste unless you have this add-on. Ski and snowboarding cover can also protect you against damage or theft of your snow sports equipment, and potentially reimburse you if unforeseen events stop you from using your ski or lift passes and prepaid classes.
  • Cruise cover. This type of protection is often excluded from standard cover, but many providers will offer it as an optional extra This may include cover for medical evacuation, missed departures and cabin-confinement if you get sick.
  • Adventure sports. Many Australians love adventure. Whether you want to go bungee jumping or are just keen to explore the local hiking trails on your trip, some providers may offer adventure cover as an optional extra. The exact activities covered will vary depending on your provider and policy, so be sure to read the full details available in your policy’s PDS.
  • Rental car excess cover. Should you hire a car to travel around in and get involved in an accident, your provider may cover the cost of the excess the rental company may charge you.
  • Choose your own excess (or waive it entirely). By paying a higher premium, you may be able to choose your excess amount or waive it.
  • Motorcycle, scooter and moped Like adventure and winter sports, activities involving motorcycles, scooters and mopeds may not be automatically covered by your policy, but instead offered as an optional extra.
  • Increased item limits for personal items. If you’re travelling with valuable items (like phones and cameras), you can insure these for a higher amount than the rest of your luggage.
  • Hole-in-one cover. If your trip involves hitting the links, you might get lucky and hit a hole-in-one – meaning you owe the whole bar a round of drinks. However, if you choose the gold add-on, then your travel policy may actually cover this cost.

You may also have access to 24/7 medical and emergency assistance over the phone through your provider.

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Comprehensive travel insurance: Exclusions and what to watch out for

Here’s a rundown of some of the more common exclusions found in comprehensive travel insurance policies:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions (some providers may offer coverage for pre-existing conditions once declared and other providers may offer coverage as an optional extra).
  • Being under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
  • Travelling to a country after a travel alert or warning has been issued (you can find these warnings on the
  • Extreme, winter and adventure sports. As mentioned above, you could potentially cover your thrill-seeking activities through optional extras.
  • Acting illegally, recklessly or dangerously.

Frequently asked questions

How much does a comprehensive travel insurance policy cost?

You don’t need to break the bank to get comprehensive travel insurance. In fact, a single adult traveller could comprehensively cover their trip for less than $50*, while a family could potentially take out a comprehensive policy for less than $91**!

*Based on a quote for a single adult travelling to New Zealand for seven days in July 2022.

**Based on a quote for a family of two adults and two children travelling to New Zealand for seven days in July 2022.

What factors can affect the cost of a comprehensive travel insurance policy?

The cost of your policy can depend on a few factors that might affect the cost of your travel insurance.

  • Age. Unfortunately, as you get older, travel insurance gets more expensive. This is because senior travellers are more likely to need to claim for medical assistance while overseas.
  • Health conditions. If you have pre-existing medical conditions that you want cover for, you may have to pay an additional premium.
  • Destination. Depending on what country you plan to visit, your travel insurance may cost more depending on the risks. For example, the USA has incredibly high medical costs, so you’re premium may be higher in case your insurer has to pay for your medical bills.
  • Trip Length. The length of time you’re away can affect your cover, so you will usually pay more for longer trips.

What’s the difference between comprehensive travel insurance and basic travel insurance?

A comprehensive plan will always cover you to a greater extent than basic travel insurance. If you’re a budget traveller planning international travel, a basic medical-only policy is a popular choice as it generally covers all your medical expenses. But before just choosing the cheapest option, consider your individual circumstances.

There are three main reasons you might want to consider a comprehensive policy:

  1. Your destination and itinerary

If your destination is known for frequent travel delays, bad weather, natural disasters or higher crime rates, you may want the protection of a comprehensive policy. Preparing for the unexpected keeps you from paying hundreds or thousands out of pocket on re-booking flights and accommodation, replacing stolen belongings or wasting unused tickets.

  1. Cancellation cover

You never know when something might go wrong on a trip, so an important reason you might consider a comprehensive plan is if you want trip delay and cancellation cover. A basic policy may sometimes cover some expenses, but comprehensive cover will grant you greater claim limits. In addition, you can also be covered for property damage or loss, higher levels of medical assistance, personal liability and more.

  1. Higher claim limits

A comprehensive travel insurance policy will have higher claim limits with fewer conditions. This can be particularly helpful if you’re travelling with valuable items and need a higher limit for lost or stolen belongings. Or, if other unexpected additional expenses arise that you need compensation for.

Every travel insurance policy is different, so be sure to read the PDS to understand the extent of your cover.

How can I save money while still getting comprehensive cover?

While comprehensive travel insurance may be more expensive than a basic medical-only policy, you can still find good deals. If you don’t want to compromise on cover but don’t want to hurt your wallet either, consider:

  • Remaining loyal to your existing insurance providers. If you have home and contents, health or car insurance, you might get a discount by purchasing travel insurance from the same provider.
  • Buying with a credit card. Some credit cards come with free travel insurance and can be a simple and fast method of getting cover. However, you usually can’t browse different levels of cover; you also may not be able to include cover for pre-existing medical conditions or purchase additional extras. Keep in mind while you may not pay extra for this cover, the cost is included in your credit card fees. And, to activate the cover you may need to use the card to pay for flights and/or accommodation.
  • Comparing different plans and providers. Travel insurance providers will have different prices, policies and limits. A great way to save money is to compare different plans across multiple providers to find the one that meets your budget and policy needs. With our free comparison tool, you can view a range of policies to suit your circumstances in only minutes!

Adrian Taylor, Executive General Manager

Top comprehensive travel insurance tips from our travel expert, Adrian Taylor

  • Assess what travel insurance plan will best suit your needs. Consider potential medical expenses, travel delay and cancellation costs, loss or theft of luggage and rental vehicle excess cover. If you’re going to do any snow sports, adventures or even a cruise, you may want additional cover for those activities.
  • Your excess is your out-of-pocket expense when you make a claim. If you want to reduce the premium on your policy, consider paying a higher excess amount – but make sure it’s still manageable for your budget.
  • Declare pre-existing medical conditions as part of your travel insurance application. Not all medical conditions are covered, but if so, you may be able to purchase an optional extra to cover your condition.
  • Know the exclusions and limits of your policy before purchasing to avoid unpleasant surprises overseas. For example, if you leave your possessions unattended in public and they’re stolen, any theft claims may be rejected.
  • If you plan to travel more than once throughout the year, you may find greater value in purchasing an annual multi-trip policy; travel insurance that covers all your trips for an entire year (but be sure to check the maximum travel days that are covered, per trip).

Compare comprehensive travel insurance today!

Heading off on the trip of a lifetime soon and haven’t sorted your travel insurance? You can do that right here, right now through our travel insurance comparison service. All you need to do is enter a couple of details and we’ll show you a selection of comprehensive policies to compare and choose from. Simples!

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