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Covering your entire family under one travel insurance policy can help protect your loved ones from the unexpected while on holiday. With travel insurance for families in place, you can enjoy your family holiday with peace of mind knowing you may be covered for any number of events and situations.

Travel insurance tips for families

Catriona Rowntree's top travel insurance tips for families.

What is travel insurance for families?

While ‘family travel insurance’ isn’t an individual product, you can still get travel insurance for families that covers you, your partner and your dependent children under the same policy. This type of travel insurance typically has higher cover limits due to the number of travellers it covers.

Most travel insurance policies will cover dependent children at no extra cost if they’re under a certain age limit (typically 21 to 25 years of age), named on your policy, are financially dependent on you and not in full time employment. These conditions usually apply to both international and domestic travel insurance.

Be sure to check the full details in your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to understand the inclusions, sub-limits and exclusions of your level of cover.

Do I need travel insurance for families?

If you’re taking the kids on a family holiday, there’s always a chance that things can take an unexpected turn. One of the kids could break a bone on a water slide in Bali and need to go to the hospital, your luggage could get lost in transit on your way to New Zealand, or another driver could dent your rental car.

Travel insurance for families gives you the peace of mind that everyone on the trip is covered if things don’t go as planned. Plus, taking out travel insurance for families is often cheaper than buying a separate policy for each person travelling.

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How much does travel insurance for families cost?

The cost of your family’s travel insurance is affected by factors including (but not limited to):

  • The level of cover you choose
  • The number of travellers on your policy
  • Where you’re travelling
  • Your trip’s duration
  • The activities on your itinerary.

As travel insurance automatically covers dependent children under their parent’s policy, the cost rarely differs between those who travel with or without children, though be mindful of age limits.

However, if a minor is travelling alone they’ll need to be covered by their own single policy.

Just as you should shop around when buying flights, it’s important to do the same when purchasing travel insurance. Thanks to our free service, you can compare a range of travel insurance policies in one place.

Which situations should my policy cover?

From comprehensive cover for families to policies that just cover overseas medical expenses, there are different levels of cover for any kind of trip.

To help ensure your travels run smoothly, it’s a good idea to have cover for the following.

Medical expenses

Without proper cover, you’ll need to pay the medical bills yourself if anyone in your family falls ill or is injured during the trip. Medical treatment overseas can be costly (particularly in countries like the USA), not to mention the cost of a medical evacuation or repatriation.

Including medical cover in your travel insurance is a good idea, even when you’re visiting a country with a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia. These agreements are often limited to emergency treatment only and may not cover the full cost of your medical expenses.

Travel insurance can be crucial when it comes to providing cover when you’re sick or injured, so you aren’t left with major out-of-pocket expenses. Be sure to thoroughly check your policy’s PDS to know exactly what you’re covered for before purchasing.

Theft or loss of belongings

With the right insurance in place, if your belongings are stolen, lost or damaged, you can claim on your policy and you may be reimbursed for the value of your lost luggage. This includes your valuables, cash, credit cards and travel documents. Just make sure you report the incident to your insurer, the airline and local police within 24 hours. However, if you leave your belongings unattended in public, you won’t be covered.

Your policy will also have limits and sub-limits, so read the PDS to understand how much you can claim.

Cancellations and delays

Postponed flights and missed tours are common. However, in many cases, you can be compensated for this misfortune by ensuring your travel insurance policy covers lost deposits and cancellations if you aren’t compensated by your airline, or accommodation or event booking provider.

Travel insurance for families: Exclusions and what to watch out for

Travel insurance policies come with common exclusions, including things like:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions (though some insurers do offer cover for certain pre-existing conditions)
  • Lost, damaged or stolen belongings that were left unattended
  • Claims due to unlawful or reckless behaviour, intoxication or drug use
  • Unapproved high-risk sports or activities (e.g. snowboarding without snow sports cover)
  • Travelling against government advice (refer to the Smartraveller site for travel warnings)
  • Acts of war, terrorism or civil unrest.

Cover for certain pre-existing medical conditions and high-risk sports or activities can be added to most travel insurance policies at an extra cost. Before purchasing any policy, ensure you read and understand all exclusions on the PDS.

Family on ski holiday with family travel insurance

Frequently asked questions

What can travel insurance for families cover?

Travel insurance for families should offer comparable protection to a standard travel insurance plan. Depending on which type of policy you choose and your cover options, travel insurance for families can include:

You may also be able to extend your cover by adding optional extras to your policy. These extras can include things like snow and winter sports, cruise cover and adventure activities. Any extras you add to your policy may involve an additional premium.

All cover is subject to the limits of your policy (i.e. terms, conditions and any exclusions), which are outlined in your PDS. Carefully read this document before purchasing travel insurance.

Does travel insurance for families cover individuals?

Travel insurance for families will cover each person in the policy as individuals, but if you’re travelling alone, even if it’s only for a portion of the trip, then you will typically need to consider a single travel insurance policy.

Does travel insurance cover the illness or injury of a family member?

Yes, for international trips, your travel insurer will cover unforeseen illnesses or injuries that affect family members listed under your policy. If the illness is related to a pre-existing condition, your insurer must have already agreed to cover the condition for claims to be accepted.

Does travel insurance for families cover cancellations?

Travel insurance for families can cover cancellations or pay a benefit if a family member becomes ill or injured and you need to cancel before departure or partway through your trip, provided the illness is unforeseen or a pre-existing condition covered by your policy.

It can also cover situations like if your flights are cancelled and not rescheduled by your airline provider, or if a natural disaster unexpectedly impacts your destination and you need to be reimbursed for pre-booked accommodation, tours and flights.

Can the Australian Government help my family members if we run into trouble?

If you or your family members experience trouble overseas, you may be able to get assistance from an Australian embassy or consulate. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) can assist by:

  • Providing replacement passports (for a fee)
  • Providing support and general advice after a crime or legal incident
  • Contacting family or friends via an authorised representative.

However, there are many things that DFAT won’t be able to assist you with, and they don’t provide a financial safety net in the way that international travel insurance cover can.

What are my options if my family travels several times a year?

You can get value from an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy for your family if you plan on travelling more than three times throughout the year. A multi-trip policy can cover any number of journeys within a 12-month period up to the maximum trip duration listed in your policy, and can sometimes be cheaper than buying multiple single trip policies.

What about group travel insurance?

Group policies can be suitable when more than two adults are travelling together (with or without children). Many insurers cater for groups of up to 25 people travelling together. Group policies may be well-priced and save time by buying just one policy to cover all travellers.

However, when children travel in a group, travel insurance for families may be a cheaper option because dependent children are usually covered for free up to varying ages (depending on your insurer). Additionally, not all insurers offer group travel insurance policies.

Learn more about group travel insurance.

What if I’m pregnant?

Getting travel insurance when you’re pregnant is slightly different from taking out a family policy. Before you do anything, speak to your doctor about your travel plans and see if you’re able to go.

Typically, first and second trimester pregnancies are safe for travel (provided you don’t experience any complications) and can be covered. Unfortunately, you may struggle to get travel insurance in your third trimester. You also won’t be covered for childbirth and newborn expenses. Find out more about travel insurance and pregnancy.

Stephen Zeller, General Manager

Tips for families from our travel insurance expert, Stephen Zeller

  • When you take out travel insurance for families, your dependent children are covered under the same policy at no extra cost. The age limit for dependents varies between insurers.
  • Consider the cover you need for medical expenses, cancellation fees, luggage and also to cover any rental vehicle excess. Depending on your itinerary, you may need extra cover for adventure activities, ski holidays or cruise trips.
  • Comprehensive cover will generally have higher claim limits than standard travel insurance policies. For example, many dependents might mean many electronics, so you might want to consider higher levels of cover for theft or damage to belongings.
  • Before you head off on your family trip, make sure everyone in your clan is up to date with their travel immunisations, routine childhood vaccinations and boosters.
  • Bring your own in-flight entertainment. While plenty of airlines offer seatback video, bringing other forms of entertainment like stickers and puzzles gives your kids more options for passing the time.

Compare travel insurance for families to find a great deal

Looking for travel insurance that will protect everyone in the family?

Our free travel insurance comparison service helps you compare a range of policies in minutes, based on your preferred level of cover. You can also easily weigh up policy features, premiums and excess amounts for travel insurance policies for families. Simples!

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