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Covering your entire family under one travel insurance policy can help to keep your loved ones protected from the unexpected while on holiday. Family travel insurance policies function identically to single policies but usually have higher cover limits due to the number of travellers they cover.

With a family travel insurance policy in place, you can enjoy your family holiday with peace of mind knowing you may be covered for any number of events and situations.

Do I need family travel insurance?

There’s nothing like taking the kids on a family holiday to explore new horizons and re-connect with each other. However, things can quickly 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 or your luggage could get lost in transit on your way to New Zealand. Another driver could even dent your rental car as you cruise around your destination.

Family travel insurance gives you the peace of mind that everyone on the trip is covered if things don’t go as planned. That means you, your partner and dependent children are covered under the same travel insurance policy.

Plus, taking out a family travel insurance policy is often cheaper than buying a separate policy for each person travelling.

How much does family travel insurance 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.

Most travel insurance policies will cover dependent children at no extra cost if they’re under the age limit (typically 21 years of age), named on your policy and don’t have full time employment. These conditions usually apply to both international and domestic travel insurance. Some insurers also extend the definition of kids to dependent children under 25 years of age who live with you and don’t work full time.

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

An exception to this rule is when a minor is travelling alone for part of the journey. In this case, they’ll most likely need to be covered by their own policy.

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

family canoeing on holiday

Which situations should my policy cover?

Your level of cover should depend on what you’re getting up to on your trip! From comprehensive cover for families to policies that just cover overseas medical expenses, there are choices out there 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 in place, you’ll need to pay the medical bills yourself if anyone in your family falls ill or is injured during the trip. Medical assistance and treatments overseas can be very expensive (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 that has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia, since these agreements are often limited to just emergency treatment and may not even cover the full cost.

As such, travel insurance is crucial in 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

There’s nothing worse than arriving at your dream destination, only to realise someone’s snatched your luggage before you’ve even left the airport. With the right insurance in place, this doesn’t have to be a big issue; just claim on your policy and get some money back. Just make sure you report the incident to your insurer, the airline and local police within 24 hours.

However, if you left your belongings unattended, chances are you won’t be covered.

Cancellations and delays

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

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

family packing luggage for an overseas holiday covered by family travel insurance

Frequently asked questions

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 some 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 a multi-trip or annual travel insurance policy for your family if you plan on travelling multiple times throughout a year. A multi-trip policy can cover any number of journeys within a 12-month period.

What about group travel insurance?

Group policies are ideal when more than two adults are travelling together (with or without children). Many insurers cater for groups of up to 25 people travelling together.

Not only can group policies be well-priced, but you could also save time by buying just one policy to cover all travellers.

However, when children are travelling in the group, remember that a family travel insurance policy 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 will 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. Find out more about travel insurance and pregnancy.

Not pregnant and not looking for family cover? Find more cover options by looking for travel insurance by type.

What can family travel insurance cover?

Your family travel insurance policy should offer comparable protection to a standard travel insurance plan. Depending on which type of policy you choose, family travel insurance policy 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 (e.g. mountain biking, bungee jumping). Keep in mind that any extras you add to your policy may cost 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.

Family travel insurance: Policy 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)
  • Travelling against government advice (refer to DFAT’s 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.

What travel vaccinations to get for your family

Depending on which destinations you’re travelling to, your family could be exposed to infectious diseases that are (generally) preventable by immunisation. According to the Department of Health, the following vaccinations may be recommended for you and your children before you head overseas:

  • Combined hepatitis A/B vaccine
  • Cholera vaccine
  • Meningococcal vaccine
  • Typhoid vaccine
  • Tuberculosis vaccine (BCG)
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Yellow fever vaccine
  • Japanese encephalitis vaccine
  • Influenza vaccine
  • Coronavirus vaccine1

There are also certain vaccines needed for different countries, which is why you should visit a travel health clinic or your general practitioner for advice at least six weeks before you depart from Australia.2

Stephen Zeller, General Manager

Tips from our travel insurance expert, Stephen Zeller

  1. Choose the right destination for your family. If you’re going on your firstfamily trip, maybe you’d like to go somewhere closer to home and avoid long-haul flights? Ask the kids what they’d like to do and ensure each family member has an experience to look forward to.
  2. Subscribe to travel warnings. You can subscribe to Smartraveller to receive free travel advice, alerts and the latest updates on the part of the world you’re travelling to. This is important since many insurers won’t cover travel to countries with certain warnings in place.
  3. Before you head off on yourfamily trip, make sure everyone in your clan is up to date with their travel immunisations, routine childhood vaccinations and boosters.
  4. Arrange your own in-flight entertainment. While plenty of airlines have some entertainment to enjoy, bringing other forms of entertainment like stickers, colouring books, Legos and puzzles gives your children more variety to choose from.

Compare family travel insurance 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 (the amount payable to your insurer when you make a claim) so that you can find a family travel insurance policy without any hassle.

Sources

1 Immunisation for travel. Department of Health, Australian Government. 2019.
2 Smartraveller.gov.au – Vaccinations and preventative health. Accessed November 2021.

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