Travel insurance is a necessity for anybody travelling overseas.
For the most part, overseas travel is very safe. However, accidents and emergencies do happen.
As well as protecting you against the more obvious culprits that could upset your travel plans, such as property loss, theft and medical emergencies, a good travel insurance policy provides a range of benefits that ensure your trip is worry-free and enjoyable.
Here you’ll find out why you need travel insurance, how to get it, and important information on how to choose the right policy.
When you’re ready to purchase travel insurance, our list of Australian travel insurance providers will get you started. You’ll also find other helpful travel insurance links at the bottom of this page.
As that old slogan for Amex credit cards said: Don’t leave home without it.
This short video from the team at the ABC’s The Checkout is a great introduction to travel insurance and why you need it.
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance protects you against the loss and theft of property and personal injury when you are travelling overseas.
Beyond the more obvious risks of travel, this type of insurance also protects you against other potential perils that could affect your holiday plans and enjoyment, such trip cancellation or interruption, baggage delay and personal liability.
Why do I need travel insurance?
Even if for no other reason, travel insurance is essential to cover the cost of overseas medical expenses if you are involved in and accident or get sick.
In most cases, you’ll need to pay for any medical treatment you receive overseas personally. The government or your regular private health insurance won’t cover these expenses.
Be warned. The costs of overseas medical treatment can be huge, particularly in places like the USA. The Insurance Council of Australia recommends having unlimited medical cover for trips to the United States, Japan and Europe.
How does it work?
Typically, travellers purchase travel insurance for the length of a particular trip. The cost of the insurance is based on the length of the trip and the destination(s) visited. See how much does it cost? below.
However, for frequent travellers (business people for example) and long-term travellers, many providers offer an annual travel insurance policy option.
How do I get travel insurance?
You can purchase travel insurance in a variety of ways, including through online providers, your travel agent or tour company, banks, airlines and even supermarkets.
Many credit cards also include travel insurance as part of the annual fee, but be sure to check your credit card inclusions and policy details carefully.
How much does it cost?
The cost of a travel insurance policy is based on several factors, including:
- The length of the trip
- The destination(s) visited
- The type of cover required
- The age of the traveller(s)
- Any pre-existing medical conditions
This is why the cost of travel insurance varies widely. It’s important to consider your policy options carefully.
How do I choose the right policy?
With so many providers, policies and options, you have to shop around. As a rule of thumb, get at least three quotes from a variety of sources to compare prices and features.
Like with any insurance policy, you need to understand exactly what’s included and what’s not. Most providers will have a simplified comparison chart on their website or in their brochure. This should clearly show what you’re covered for and for how much. Like this:
Use these charts to find the differences between policies, and then choose the right one for you.
Important: Make sure the policy covers any particular sports or activities that you plan to do overseas, such as outdoor and adventures sports, and any specialist of expensive equipment you plan to take with you, such as camera gear.
You can find out more about what to consider when choosing a policy at the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website: Insurance tips. See link below.
Helpful travel insurance links
|Smart Traveller website
(Official Australian Government information
site for travellers)
|Understand Insurance (a website from the Insurance Council of Australia)||http://understandinsurance.com.au/types-of-insurance/travel-insurance|
|MoneySmart (a website from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission)||https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/insurance/travel-insurance|
|Travel Insurance Providers in Australia|
|Travel Safety: The Essential Guide|
|Travel Health: The Essential Guide|
|Travel Money: The Essential Guide for Australian Travellers|
|Travel Money Providers in Australia|