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Compare Australian Travel Insurance

Booking your next holiday overseas? Before you head off abroad, Mozo’s expert travel insurance comparisons can help you find some great value deals to make sure you’re covered in case anything goes wrong on your trip. Compare more than 250 travel insurance policies from 50 insurers to help you find travel insurance that matches your needs.

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Finding the best travel insurance today 

While travelling overseas is something many of us look forward to, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine. Losing your luggage, getting food poisoning, having to cancel your trip at the last minute - the list of unexpected bumps you could encounter along the way are endless. 

Equipping yourself with suitable travel insurance before you depart means you’ll have peace of mind that even if a mishap occurs, you won’t suffer a huge financial loss and you can get back on your feet a lot more quickly. 

But firstly… what is travel insurance? 

Travel insurance is a type of insurance that provides cover for any unfortunate events that may occur while you are travelling overseas, such as medical illness, flight delays, lost luggage or theft. If purchased well in advance, travel insurance can also cover you for trip cancellation costs.

What does travel insurance cover?

The golden rule with travel insurance is: there’s little point buying a policy that doesn’t suit your individual circumstances. So before anything else, it’s essential that you know what you could be covered for and then make an informed decision based on your needs and of course the best price. That way, you can make the most out of your policy. 

What are some key travel insurance benefits you should keep an eye on? Let’s take a look. 

Medical expenses: 

We’ve all heard the horror stories of travellers coming home from a holiday, only to find they’ve racked up a massive medical bill that they can’t pay off. Thankfully, most travel insurance policies provide generous medical care, with many of them actually offering unlimited cover. 

A lot of insurers also provide emergency assistance alongside medical cover, giving a range of support to customers who have fallen ill or injured themselves overseas. This includes benefits like: 

  • Access to a medical adviser
  • Medical transfer to the nearest hospital or repatriation back to Australia
  • Sending messages to family and employers
  • Supervised return of your children or grandchildren to Australia if you’re hospitalised

But an important thing to note is that most travel insurers have rules around which pre-existing medical conditions they cover and which they don’t. You can find a full list of conditions that are automatically covered on your insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

And if your condition isn’t listed, don’t panic - it could still be covered once you’ve disclosed it to your insurer, completed a medical assessment and paid any extra premiums that apply. 

However, some conditions aren’t covered at all, so be sure to check with your insurer about any exclusions. Medical care overseas can run into thousands of dollars if you are not insured and when compared with the insurance cost, it's really not a risk worth taking.

Luggage and personal belongings: 

Nothing dampens the start of a trip like landing in a foreign country only to find that your luggage has vanished. Thankfully, cover for lost luggage and personal effects can lend you a hand in those times of need, so that you’ll be able to - at the very least - replace the basics needed to complete your trip. 

You could be covered for belongings that a third party has stolen, lost or accidentally damaged. And depending on which travel insurance policy you go with, your baggage cover could be as high as $15,000 per traveller!

But do remember, you won't get anything in cases where you lose unattended baggage left in a public place or unmanned vehicles. In other words, if you’ve left your phone behind in a restaurant or forgotten to take your bag out of a taxi, your insurance won’t cover you.

Usually, insurers will require you to report any loss or theft to the appropriate authority, whether that’s the airline, hotel or police, within 24 hours of discovering that your belongings have gone missing. Don't forget to ask for a written report too, as you’ll need this later on when you file a claim.

Cancellation and delays: 

Life happens, and you could find yourself in a tough position of having to cancel your travel plans. Luckily, travel insurance could cover you for any lost deposits and cancellation fees, although the amount you’re compensated for depends on the policy. 

Top notch insurers, like the Mozo Experts Choice Award Exceptional Quality Travel Insurance winners, provide unlimited cancellation cover, although restrictions and extra conditions may apply in some circumstances (for instance, you may not be covered if your cancellation is due to a relative’s pre-existing medical condition). 

Just be mindful you’ll only be covered for situations that were ‘unforeseen’, or unexpected and out of your control. This includes instances where: 

  • You’ve missed your flight because of an accident on the way to the airport. Keep in mind you will need to get an official letter proving the accident occurred, and also provide evidence that there was no other way you could have boarded your plane on time.
  • Your flight has been cancelled because of severe weather or airline strikes. But if the cancellation was caused by a mechanical failure, repairs or overbooking, you’ll have sort out alternative arrangements with your airline rather than the insurer. 
  • An extreme event like a natural disaster or riot has taken place.
  • Your passport or other travel documents have been stolen. Just make sure you report the theft to the police and get a written report about the incident within 24 hours of its occurrence, as otherwise, your claim amount could be reduced or even rejected. 
  • You’ve become too unwell to travel because of an illness or injury - as long as this isn’t related to an undeclared pre-existing medical condition. You’ll need written documentation from a medical practitioner to prove that you’re unfit to continue your trip. 
  • A family member has fallen ill or passed away. However, you will need to be wary of any limitations, including those around age and pre-existing medical conditions - the exact details can be found in the insurer’s PDS. 

Keep in mind that if you can get your money back from the vendor - for instance, your airline or tour company - then your insurer might not accept your claim. But if the vendor only gives you a partial refund, your insurer will usually pay the difference.

Other common travel insurance benefits: 

Dental care: Most providers include emergency dental care, but you would need to take care of any ongoing treatment and costs once you are back in Australia.

Accidental death and injury: In the terrible circumstance that you become permanently disabled or die while you are travelling, you or your estate will receive money for repatriation or loss of income.

Personal liability: Unfortunately, accidents could happen not just to you, but also because of you. If you are legally responsible for causing someone else’s injury or damage to their property while you are travelling, you would need personal liability cover to help you pay for any costs.

Cash: Not all travel insurance policies cover cash, but some policies do cover about $100-$200. However, most clauses require you to have had the money on you at the time of theft.

Rental car excess: Most policies cover any rental car excess, so if you are renting a car on your trip, make sure you don't double up and pay the car rental company extra reduction insurance.

Airline and holiday insolvency: In the rare event that your prepaid holiday company (such as a hotel or airline) goes bust, an end supplier insolvency insurance would cover your prepaid expenses, including accommodation and plane tickets. 

How to choose the right travel insurance

Now that you’re across the different kinds of cover you could expect from travel insurance, you might be wondering how you should go about picking the right travel insurance for you. It might be tempting to go with the cheapest travel insurance you can find - we all love to save a few bucks here and there - but that could actually be a big mistake because you could end up paying for something that doesn't really cover your needs. 

Going through hundreds of travel insurance policies and reading the fine print is a tedious task, but to get you started, we’ve put together a quick overview of the basic types of travel insurance, to help you identify the one that aligns with your needs the most: 

Single vs multi-trip travel insurance

If your international travels are limited to one family holiday a year, then standard single trip travel insurance could be the way to go. 

But if you are one of those jetsetters who take off on holidays two or more times in a year, or if your work means you travel across the world frequently, you should consider annual multi-trip insurance that covers a number of trips. This means you won’t have to buy a new policy every time you travel, which helps you save both time and money. 

And in cases where you purchase multi-trip insurance for the entire family but also need to make individual trips during this period, you will still be covered under your multi-trip policy.

Once you’ve decided on the type of insurance for you, it’s time to start looking for a policy that suits you. But don’t worry, you won’t need to spend hours upon hours researching far and wide. Mozo's comprehensive travel insurance comparison tool makes your search easier, so that you can find the best travel insurance policy for your needs, with the ideal combination of features and price.

Simply plug in your travel details (destination, duration of travel, extra covers, etc.) to see quotes from top insurers and compare policies. Features you can compare include overseas emergency medical assistance cover, overseas emergency hospital expense cover, luggage & personal effects cover, cancellation fees and maximum excess.

What if I decide my policy isn’t the right one for me? 

As with any purchase you make in life, you might decide that the policy you thought was perfect isn’t so fitting after all. That’s okay - most insurers understand that this can happen and give their customers a cooling-off period, usually around 14 days. As long as you cancel your policy within this cooling-off period, you’ll be able to get back a full refund, provided that you haven’t started your trip yet.

So if you have started your trip, or it’s past the cooling off period, then chances are you won’t be able to get a refund on your policy.

Travel insurance reviews

Mozo publishes travel insurance reviews by real customers to give you the low down on things like claims process, value for money and customer service. Hearing about the personal experiences of people who have used a particular travel insurance provider can help you feel more comfortable about taking out the policy, or in some cases, steering clear of any lemons! Read how Australian travellers rate different insurers on various criteria such as medical claims, baggage loss and delays. You can browse the latest travel insurance reviews here or search reviews by insurer.

Written by: Katherine O'Chee, Mozo money writer

Other FAQs 

Why is travel insurance important? 

When you are travelling, some of the best memories come from the most unexpected moments. But sometimes, these very unpredictable moments can also land you in a financial pickle. Whether it's an unforeseen medical emergency, misplaced passports or lost baggage, it is always advisable to protect yourself from possible unfortunate circumstances. 

That’s why taking out travel insurance is always worthwhile - you could save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run if things do unfortunately go south while you’re overseas. 

So if you’re planning your next international trip, spend a few minutes with us at Mozo as we help you compare more than 250 policies to pick out the ideal travel insurance plan based on your travel details.

If I have health insurance, do I still need to take out travel insurance? 

That’s a loud and resounding yes! Medicare and private health insurance only applies as far as the borders of Australia, so the moment you go overseas, you’re no longer covered for any illnesses or injuries. 

In addition, travel insurance covers more than just emergency medical treatment. You could also receive cover for lost luggage, cancelled flights and medical evacuation or repatriation. 

That said, some health insurance policies could help with pre-travel costs like vaccinations. 

Australia also has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with 11 countries worldwide: Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK. So if you’re travelling to one of those countries, you will have access to some health services and subsidised medicines, although it won’t cover all health care needs and doesn’t replace the necessity of travel insurance. 

How late can I buy travel insurance? 

Don’t wait until you’re overseas! Add ‘travel insurance’ to your to-do list before you fly off. You should buy your policy as soon as you’ve made travel plans and paid for any flights and accommodation. You can buy insurance up to 12 months before your departure date. 

Although there are policies you can take out after you leave Australia, the rule of thumb is: the earlier you buy your policy, the better. Why? Firstly, you could benefit from having cancellation cover for a longer period of time. Secondly, you could be covered for any unexpected expenses before you even leave Australia; for instance, if an earthquake were to strike your destination after you took out a policy, you could receive compensation for cancellations and other costs. 

Another money-savvy move would be to buy travel insurance before your next birthday, as the older you are, the more expensive your premiums tend to be. This premium price is calculated according to your age when you buy your policy, not your age when you travel. 

Which countries should I take out travel insurance for? 

The short answer is: everywhere! No matter where you’re headed and how safe the country is, it’s always a good idea to take out travel insurance, as you never know what could go wrong on your trip. With the right policy under your belt, you’ll be prepared for any emergency, whether that’s a natural disaster, lost or stolen baggage, or medical treatment. 

Even if you’re travelling to popular tourist destinations like USA, Europe and Japan, you’ll need travel insurance to protect yourself from any unforeseen circumstances. 

Will a travel insurance policy cover my children or grandchildren? 

Depending on the policy, your children and grandchildren could be covered for free, although they would have to meet an eligibility criteria, including

  • an age limit (e.g. under 25 years old)
  • employment status (e.g. not working full-time) 
  • and other requirements (e.g. no pre-existing medical conditions). 

They’ll also have to be travelling with you for the duration of your trip and be listed on your Certificate of Insurance to receive free cover. 

If you don’t meet these criteria, you may like to look into a family travel insurance policy, or, if there’s just two of you, a duo policy.

Will my policy cover cancellation due to pregnancy?

That’s a tricky one. While most insurers won’t cover cancellations due to a typical pregnancy, you could receive cover if the cancellation is due to a complication caused by the pregnancy. For instance, you could be reimbursed if you’ve been forced to cancel your trip the day before departure because you’ve been hospitalised for severe dehydration after vomiting too much because of morning sickness. 

Can I extend my policy? 

You’re in luck! If you’re travelling and think you’ll be overseas for longer than expected, most travel insurers will let you extend your policy, provided that it’s a single-trip policy (not multi-trip) and it hasn’t expired yet. 

However, you will need to watch out for other terms and conditions - for instance, some insurers have a maximum age limit, so you’re over 60 or 70 years old, you may not be able to apply for a policy extension. 

Others things to keep in mind include: 

  • Most insurers will also only allow you to extend your policy once, so make sure you’ve carefully thought about exactly how much longer you’re staying abroad. 
  • Try to avoid making these changes last minute, as there could be a waiting period before your extension gets approved, or before cover becomes activated. 
  • If you, your travel companion or a family member suffered a medical condition, illness or injury in the first part of your travels, this condition will now be considered a pre-existing condition in the new (extended) period of insurance. 

What if you need to extend your policy because of reasons beyond your control? Say, your return to Australia is postponed due to a transport delay or another reason you can claim under your policy. No worries - in those cases, most insurers will extend your cover for free!

Are there any travel insurance tips or traps I should know? 

We cannot stress enough how important it is to read the fine print before you purchase a travel insurance policy. You must know exactly what your insurance covers and what it leaves out. Here are some tips on how to read between the lines and avoid those sneaky traps:

Know your destination: One of the key deciding factors for your choice of insurance would be your travel destination. For example, if you are going to the United States, you would need comprehensive medical cover, but for a place like New Zealand, medical limit would not be as crucial and there's no need for you to spend that extra money. Instead, you might be looking at a policy that covers adventure sports.

Check the excess: You should check if the policy requires you to pay an extra amount while making a claim. This would vary for different policies based on the claim type. For example, you might have to pay $1,000 excess for a medical claim but only $200 for a luggage delay.

Report pre-existing conditions: You must mention any pre-existing conditions that you might have to make sure you know exactly how much you are covered for in case of an emergency. Most travel insurance covers a number of pre-existing conditions such as asthma or high blood pressure and exclude others like cancer or cardiovascular diseases.

Read the inclusions and exclusions: This goes back to our mantra of ‘always reading the fine print’. While some policies might exclude certain circumstances like a pre-existing health condition, there could be other cases where you might not even realise that you are already paying for a service. For instance, your policy might be covering your car rental insurance, saving you that extra buck.

Report incidents promptly: In the event that any incident occurs, it’s good to inform your insurer as soon as you can to ensure they’re aware of the claim you are going to make. By doing so, you also give your insurer the opportunity to notify you of any specific paperwork or proof, such as receipts, doctor fees, police reports and cancellation emails, which you might need to submit when you register your claim.

Don't drive unlicensed vehicles: While you may be covered for accidents, you must remember that if you get hurt or damage a vehicle that you are not licensed to drive in a foreign country, your insurance won’t cover it. So if you’re in Bali and don’t have the licence to drive a scooter, don’t drive it!

Drink wisely: Now we’re not trying to be pedantic here, but your insurance company will not cover an injury incurred under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Say, even if you are covered for skiing, but if you hurt yourself while skiing and are found to have been under the influence of alcohol, your insurance provider could refuse to reimburse your claim.

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