Travelling with more than one person 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:
- It can be cheaper. If everyone in your party looks out for one another, there’s less risk of having to make an insurance claim. As such, insurers may offer competitive rates to insure entire parties.
- 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.
- Identical levels of cover. Everyone gets the same level of protection, which means everyone knows what activities they can and can’t take part in.
- 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 timely manner.
Do we need group travel insurance?
Whether an individual policy or one for the whole group, we believe that every traveller should consider travel insurance, no matter where or why they’re going. Travelling can be unpredictable, and travel insurance for groups ensures all members of your party are covered.
With a group travel insurance policy, your whole squad will have equal coverage for various scenarios. Depending on the policy you choose, these include cancellations or delays, illness and injury, stolen luggage or even if someone loses their passport overseas.
What should a group travel insurance policy include?
Travel insurance can vary between insurers, so it’s important to track down suitable travel insurance for groups that works for all travellers in your party. Luckily, many types of policies typically cover what’s most important, like:
|Group cover benefits||Details|
|Cancellations and delays||Trip cancellations 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. Cancellations and delays can cover costs incurred if part, or all, of your trip is cancelled, such as lost deposits.|
|Medical assistance ||While the Australian Government does have a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with New Zealand and several European countries, that doesn’t mean your medical expenses are fully covered overseas. If you have travel insurance and you’re hospitalised, fall ill or get injured, you should be able to claim back on your medical treatment and hospital bills.|
|Emergency assistance||Most group travel policies provide emergency phone-based assistance for when things go wrong. Finding a suitable doctor, nearest hospital or dentist can be difficult when you are travelling without this assistance. If you need urgent care, most group travel policies cover emergency transportation such as an ambulance, airlift via helicopter and repatriation costs.|
|Lost or stolen luggage ||The theft or loss of your belongings can ruin a trip. With suitable insurance, though, you can claim back on such an incident and continue enjoying your holiday again with the rest of the party.|
|Personal liability ||When you injure someone or damage their property, you may face legal expenses as a result. Luckily, group travel insurance policies may cover personal liability costs for everyone in your group.|
|Rental vehicle excess ||If 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, your policy may cover this excess.|
|Remember to always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before purchasing travel insurance for groups to understand how your cover works and what you are and aren’t covered for.|
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). For example, policies may not cover adventure sports like mountain biking or rock climbing (unless you opt to have this added to your cover). Of course, exclusions like these vary between policies and insurance providers.
Here are some other standard exclusions to be mindful of:
- 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),your insurer may not compensate you again.
- Pregnancy. Your insurance provider may only cover you up to certain week limit (usually 23-30 weeks). You also may not receive cover if you are having more than one child, you’ve been advised against travelling by your doctor or you’ve experienced complications with your pregnancy.
- Pre-existing medical conditions. Even though many insurers now cover some medical conditions, not all will be covered; always declare your conditions when taking out a policy. You may be able to purchase additional cover as an optional extra, but always read the PDS to understand what is and isn’t covered under your policy.
Before purchasing a policy, you should always read the PDS for inclusions, exclusions, terms and conditions.
Who should consider group travel insurance?
Here are some types of travellers who might consider this type of cover:
- Students travelling for a class trip
- Professionals embarking on a business trip
- Members of a wedding party travelling overseas
- Groups of friends 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 with children may not need a group travel insurance policy, as most family travel insurance policies cover two adults and any number of dependent children who are travelling together.
Can groups still get annual cover?
When it comes to travel insurance for groups, you can choose between a single trip or an annual multi-trip policy, depending on what suits the needs of the group.
If your group is only planning on taking one trip during the year (e.g. a school group taking an excursion to Thailand), then a single trip policy is usually the best option.
However, if you and your companions are planning to take multiple trips in a single year, an annual multi-trip policy may save you money and hassle as well as giving you peace of mind. For example, if you and your work colleagues need to take frequent business trips to New Zealand, an annual group travel insurance plan may come in handy so you don’t have to organise insurance each time you go (but be sure to check the maximum travel days that are covered, per trip).
Top group travel insurance tips from our travel expert, Stephen Zeller
- Group policies are great for travellers with identical itineraries, and as a result, insurers may offer cheaper rates for these policies. However, any members of a travelling group who have a different itinerary to the main party may need to purchase separate cover.
- Purchase your comprehensive travel insurance as soon as you pay any deposit for accommodation, activities or travel arrangements. By doing so, any cancellation fees are covered if you need to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances before you even get going.
- Consider the cover you need for medical treatment or hospital fees, cancellation fees, luggage and rental vehicle excess. Depending on what policy best suits your holiday needs, you may want to consider adding cover for cruise or ski holidays as well, since standard insurance doesn’t cover these activities.
- If you want to lessen your premium, consider selecting a higher excess. The excess is the amount of money you pay upfront when making a claim, so remember to choose an excess amount that’s manageable for your budget.
- Plan ahead in case of theft or lost baggage by making copies of your passport and other important documents. Consider keeping a spare copy with you separate from the original and leaving an additional copy with family or friends back home in
Let us help you find travel insurance
While Compare the Market doesn’t currently compare group travel insurance policies, if you’re interested in what a travel insurance policy covers and how much it would cost, try our travel insurance quote comparison service. We compare a range of policies from a variety of insurers.
Within minutes and without hassle, you’ll be able to compare policies, their features and more in one location. The best part is our service is free to use!
And if you need a different type of travel insurance, we can help with that too. After all, it pays to compare!