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Travelling with more than one adult for your upcoming trip? The good news is you can usually cover everyone under one group travel insurance policy. Up to 25 travellers can enjoy the same benefits that they’d receive from a singles policy, with a few extra advantages:

  1. It can be cheaper. If everyone looks out for one another, there’s less risk of having to make an insurance claim. As such, insurers offer competitive rates to insure entire parties.
  2. Less paperwork. The paperwork required to get everyone insured is cut down considerably with group policies. One person can make all the arrangements for the whole group.
  3. An identical level of cover.Everyone gets the same level of protection, which means everyone knows what activities they can and cannot take part in.
  4. Easy access to each other’s policy details. Should someone be unable to communicate with you (perhaps they’re in hospital), you can access their policy details in a more timely manner.

Do we need group travel insurance?

We believe that every traveller needs travel insurance, no matter where or why you’re going. Travelling on your own can be unpredictable enough – add in two, three or ten other people and the potential for chaos is increased.

With a group travel insurance policy, you can ensure that your whole squad has equal coverage should one person fall ill, another gets injured, and one more loses their passport.

What should a group travel insurance policy include?

It’s important to track down group travel cover that works for all travellers in your group. Luckily, these types of policies typically cover what’s most important. Here are some things you should consider including:

Group cover benefitsDetails
Cancellations and delaysCancellations and delays can happen at any time, anywhere. So, it makes sense for the whole group to protect themselves against this risk. This is especially important if you’re all travelling from different locations on a strict itinerary.
Emergency transportationIn 2017, a Smartraveller survey revealed that 30% of respondents wrongly believed our government pays for citizens to get home in medical emergencies overseas. Luckily, most group travel policies cover ambulance, airlift via helicopter, and repatriation costs.
Lost or stolen luggageLost luggage and/or personal effects can ruin a trip. With the right insurance, you can claim back money on such an incident, and start enjoying your holiday again with the rest of the party.
Medical expensesIf you’re hospitalised, fall ill or get injured, you should be able to claim back on your medical expenses. This is important, as the Australian government does not pay for overseas medical treatment or medication costs.
Emergency assistanceMost group travel policies provide emergency phone-based assistance for one or all members of the group.  Finding a suitable doctor or the nearest hospital or dentist can be difficult when you are travelling without this assistance.
Personal liabilityWhen you injure someone or damage their property, you may be liable for reparation costs. Luckily, group travel insurance policies can cover these costs.
Rental vehicle excessIf a vehicle you hire is damaged or stolen while in your possession, you’ll have to pay your hire car company’s excess. If you have travel insurance though, this excess may be covered by your policy.

Group travel insurance: exclusions to watch out for

While your insurance does protect you in many situations, be mindful that it won’t cover everything (or everyone). If you’re injured while participating in an activity that’s not covered by your policy, you won’t be able to make a claim for any injury costs.

For example, policies may not cover adventure sports like mountain biking or rock climbing.

Here are three more common exclusions:

  • Intoxication. If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you were injured, you might find your claim rejected.
  • Unattended luggage. Your insurer might not cover the loss of your baggage or belongings if they were stolen while left unattended.
  • Third-party compensation. If a third party has already compensated you – perhaps your airline has refunded you for your cancelled or delayed flight – then your insurer may not compensate you again.

Additionally, certain individuals may struggle to get insured for their trip under a group policy:

  • Pregnant women
  • Older travellers (aged 60+)
  • Those with a pre-existing medical condition

Some insurers cover the above travellers through optional extras but may charge higher premiums or require the customer to provide a medical certificate.

You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for inclusions, exclusions, terms and conditions before purchasing a policy.

Camel caravan going through the sand dunes in the Sahara Desert. Morocco, Africa

Who should consider group travel insurance?

Here are the types of travellers who should consider this type of cover:

  • Students travelling for a class trip
  • Professionals travelling on a business trip
  • Members of a wedding party travelling overseas
  • Groups of friends & family holidaying together

Basically, if you’re travelling in a group of three or more adults, and plan to follow the same itinerary, it’s worth taking a closer look at this product.

Families may not need a group travel insurance policy as most family travel insurance policies cover two adults and any dependent children who are travelling together.

Top travel tips for groups

1. Work out who pays for what in advance

To avoid confusion and arguments while on your trip, perhaps get together before you all head off and work out who will pay for what. For example, who will pay for meals, train or bus tickets, etc.?

2. Keep the contact details of each other’s families

Should something happen to a mate on your trip, you may need to contact that person’s family. In case they can’t tell you their family’s contact details, it might be a good idea to collate this information early and store it in your phone before you go.

3. Take advantage of group discounts

You may find that many places, like hotels or attractions, offer discounted prices for groups. When booking, enquire whether these discounts are available. It could save you all some money!

4. Register your trip with Smartraveller

Just as taking out travel insurance is an essential step in organising your trip, so is registering it with Smartraveller. By registering your details and itinerary, you can ensure that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) can contact you or your family in an emergency, like a natural disaster. You can even register your group travel plans through Smartraveller.

How to compare and buy group travel policies

If you’re thinking of travelling with a larger group, make sure you consider this type of cover early. It’s an easy way for you to make sure that:

  • one policy covers everyone;
  • you can save as much money as possible before taking off; and
  • you can cover all members of the group quickly and simply under one policy.

Only one person needs to organise all the policies. They just need to know everyone’s full name, date of birth, and any pre-existing medical conditions. Once this person has applied for a policy, they’ll receive one certificate of insurance for the entire group.

If you’re interested in seeing what this kind of policy covers, and how much it would cost, try our travel insurance comparison service. We’ve made it easy to compare and buy group travel policies without fuss.

Do you need a different type of travel insurance? We can help with that too.

Sources:

Australian Government: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Registering a group. Published on Smartraveller.gov.au. Sourced April 2019.

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