How Does Travel Insurance Work?

Travel insurance is a must have for traveling the world and keeping peace of mind. This applies whether you are traveling for fun or taking a business trip to another area. The benefits of travel insurance include more than just peace of mind, however.

Having travel insurance can save you money on a range of costs in case your trip is interrupted. In the absence of insurance, you could be out of pocket for travel tickets purchased and other expenses that you had prepaid.

Below, find out how travel insurance works, and what it benefits are for the individual traveler.

Types of Travel Insurance

If it’s your first time buying travel insurance, you may be confused at the variety of offers from travel insurance companies. The numerous types of insurance products for travelers is partly responsible for the complexity.

Travel insurance comes in the following broad categories:

  • Trip cancellation – Covers the interruption and cancellation of your trip.
  • Medical and evacuation – Will pay medical costs such as for sudden illness and evacuation to a treatment center
  • Baggage – Covers lost or stolen baggage

You can also buy hybrid insurance plans that cover all aspects of your trip.

Buying Travel Insurance

Before buying travel insurance, you need to determine the right type of insurance for your needs.

If you are traveling close to home, chances are you won’t need medical and evacuation cover. However, if you are traveling to a far off country and engaging in high-risk activities such as sports, injury insurance cover, for example, might be in order.

Once you decide on the right type of travel insurance, check with the major travel insurance providers for your state. Compare multiple providers to make a well-informed selection.

Understanding the Benefits Included in a Plan

When you buy a travel insurance plan, make sure to educate yourself on all the included benefits. This will make sure you know what is available and can make use of the benefit if need arises.

Typical benefits to check out include trip cancellation, lost baggage, and medical assistance. For each benefit offered in your plan, make sure you understand what amount the benefit will provide. Trip cancellation benefits, for example, may cover all or part of your ticket and hotel expenses.

How Travel Insurance Claims Work

When you go on your trip, make sure to bring with you your travel insurance policy credentials. This includes your policy number and any other proof that you are actively enrolled in the policy.

Alert your travel insurance company immediately if the need arises to file a claim. This might be in the form of lost baggage, a cancelled trip, or medical events.

Collect any receipts and documentation that will be necessary to support the claim. This includes, for example, a police report in case of stolen baggage.

Once you submit the claim forms with documentation, the insurer will assess your claim. Check with them after a reasonable time for progress on your claim.

Costs and Fees Associated with Travel Insurance

Costs for insuring your trip depend on the total trip cost. This is true, for example, for vacation packages that cover all your travel expenses such as on a cruise. The travel insurance company might charge anywhere from 5% to 10% of the total trip cost in insurance fees.

Optional add ons such as “cancel for any reason” will cost extra. You may save some money by selecting a higher deductible for your travel insurance plan. Be careful with this, however, as you could end up paying more out of pocket if something goes wrong on your trip.

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How Much Is Travel Insurance?

best aussie travel insurance

Going on a dream vacation sounds like paradise, but sometimes, life happens and your plans just don’t work out. Purchasing travel insurance can give you some peace of mind and guard against the unexpected. Travel insurance plans work differently than other forms of insurance . They also have distinct, and often confusing, pricing models. Let’s clear the air about travel insurance policies before you take to the air.

What Does Travel Insurance Really Cover?

Travel insurance coverage varies from one carrier to the next. The most popular type of insurance that travelers purchase in North America is Cancellation & Interruption protection. This covers the non-refundable costs of your trip if you can’t travel due to unforeseen circumstances such as an illness or financial issues of your travel carrier. This plan also covers you if you (and your family, if applicable) would happen to fall ill during your trip and have to return home. You can purchase insurance to cover other aspects of your trip as well, such as protecting against potential flight issues and lost or damaged baggage.

What is the Average Cost for Travel Insurance?

The peace of mind afforded to travelers does come at a cost. The price is dependent on which insurance provider you choose for coverage and how much coverage you desire. If you choose a comprehensive policy, you will generally spend between four and eight percent of the total trip price. This means if your dream getaway costs $8,000, you can expect to pay between $320 and $640 to insure it.

Is Travel Insurance Worth Getting?

Many consumers are unaware that they may already have some hidden insurance benefits. Many credit cards offer coverage for lost luggage. Some even have insurance benefits for trip cancellation (up to a pre-determined limit). Check with your credit card issuer to see what benefits they have for travelers . Also, be sure to know what your health insurance already covers. If it provides you with benefits when traveling out of the country, there would be no need to double up and spend the money on additional coverage through a travel insurance policy.

Why Should You Purchase Travel Insurance?

Having peace of mind while traveling is worth the price for many commuters. Protecting your financial investment in your trip and that warding against unforeseen events are just a couple of the reasons why travelers choose to insure their trips. When the unexpected occurs, it’s better to be prepared with trip insurance.

How Can You Get Travel Insurance?

The best way to get the insurance you desire is to shop around. You may be offered insurance automatically when you book your flight online. Some companies, like Expedia, that offer vacation bundles, will also insure parts of your vacation or the whole package . This may not be the most cost-effective option for you, and it’s always wise to stop by or call a travel agent and see what he or she is able to offer you. There are also plenty of websites that offer free price quotes from several different insurers, all based on your customized needs.

If you can’t bear the thought of your best laid plans falling apart, you can always fly by the seat of your pants with some last minute travel .


best aussie travel insurance

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Please Note - If you are cruising around Australia you need to select Pacific. With Regions, variances can apply for Bali, Indonesia, Japan and Middle East. You are not required to enter stop-over countries if your stop-over is less than 48 hours.

If you don’t know where you’re traveling to within the next 12 months, choose Worldwide to ensure you’re covered no matter where you go. If you’re travelling to multiple countries choose the region that you are visiting that is furthest away (excluding stopovers less than 48 hours). In most cases you will be covered for the closer regions as well. For example, if you choose Europe, you will also be covered in the Middle East, Asia and Pacific.

Worldwide means anywhere in the world

Americas means USA, Canada, South America, Latin America, Hawaii and the Caribbean

Europe means all European countries, including UK

Middle East refers to the area from Syria to Yemen; Egypt to Iran

Asia generally means Asia and the Indian subcontinent. For some insurers this excludes Japan*

Pacific means the South West Pacific, Australia and Indonesia/Bali*. Select Pacific for domestic cruises in New Zealand waters

New Zealand means domestic travel within New Zealand only

*Note: Variances apply for Bali, Indonesia, Japan and Middle East. Check that your destination is covered once directed to your chosen insurer’s site.

Best Travel Insurance

If you're looking for the best travel insurance options, you've come to the right place.  There are loads of comparison sites out there, but what sets us apart is that we know travel insurance better than anyone else.  Travel insurance is all we do, and we do it well.  It’s what we live and breathe. But, enough about us, let's talk about you. Choose the best travel insurance | Compare the best travel policies | What does travel insurance cover? | Tips for high quality | Best travel cover FAQs | Reviews

how do I Choose  the best travel insurance?

So how do you get the best travel insurance for your trip? This is not as simply answered as you may think! When it comes to travel insurance, finding the best travel insurance for your holiday requires you to think about the type of trip you are going on and the level of cover you need. It's about matching your needs and budget to the various travel insurance policies in the market and weighing up the options.

The following tips will guide travellers to find the best  travel insurance  for their next adventure:

1. Determine the type and level of cover you need

There are different levels of cover available to suit all needs and budgets. Holidaymakers should look at the cover available and work out what they need cover for and what they don’t. There is no point paying top dollar for luggage cover, if you're only travelling with a backpack and fresh undies.  The best travel insurance is one that covers you for your particular trip. Whether that's a once in a lifetime trip around-the-world or a  domestic  weekend break.  There's no need to pay more for cover than your trip requires.

Overseas medical cover is considered the most essential component of travel insurance. Medical expenses can be eye-watering when the government isn't fitting the bill, but thankfully, medical cover is standard in most basic travel insurance policies.  A basic policy will usually include overseas medical expenses and personal liability, which keeps you covered should you become ill or injured, or cause harm to anyone else whilst overseas. Comprehensive policies will include additional cover for things like trip cancellation, family emergency and accidental death. If you have pre-paid flights, tours or accommodation where you have outlaid significant cash upfront, a comprehensive policy that includes cancellation cover is a wise choice as you'll be protected for any prepaid holiday expenses should something unforeseen stop you from taking your trip. A mid-range or  comprehensive policy will also provide cover for your personal belongings.  If you're travelling with electronic devices such as laptops, cameras or smartphones, check out the 'per item' limits and add  high-value items where appropriate.

2. Compare, compare, compare

Comparing policies is a great way to find the right travel insurance for your needs. All insurers offer different benefits and pricing, so once you’ve identified what level of cover you need, the next step is to start comparing policies to bag yourself a bargain. Reading up on real customer experiences is also a great way to see which insurers travellers recommend. Unsurprisingly, our  travel insurance reviews  often reveal a different tale to testimonials featured on the insurers’ site.

3. Cheapest is not always the best

One of the biggest mistakes travellers make is purchasing a policy based on the  cheapest price . Selecting the cheapest might seem like a bargain, but it might mean you're missing out on some valuable cover. The key is to get the right level of cover at the best price.

4. Not all policies are created equal

When shopping around for travel insurance in Australia, you may notice that many different brands are underwritten by one of a few big insurers, such as Allianz Australia Insurance Limited, Chubb Insurance Australia Limited, Great Lakes, Lloyds of London, QBE Insurance Limited and others. Whilst they look similar at first glance, they will almost certainly not be the same. Each insurer negotiates a product policy and chooses what to include or exclude. So think about your trip and planned activities that you need cover for and pay attention to general exclusions.

5. Get the best bang for your buck

With so many travel insurers in the market, how do you really know who covers more than the other? The ideal policy is one that provides you with the cover you need, at the right price.  Some insurers definitely do cover more than others, but why pay for cover that you don't need!? Luckily, we've done the hard work for you. If you want to know who offers the best cover for expensive items, or who has the best single item limit - see  who really covers more  in our handy guide.  Alternatively, if you're looking to compare travel insurance quotes fast, then use our quoting engine to compare travel insurance quotes now.

6. Read the print - small or not

Whilst it can be extremely boring, the fine print in any policy needs to be read and understood. Understanding the insurance exclusions and loopholes will help you to avoid or at least understand when you're placing yourself in a situation that your insurer will not cover.  

which is the best  travel insurance for COVID COVER?

high quality travel insurance

Compare the best travel Insurance


Please note, the table above shows the listed insurer's most comprehensive policy - international trips only The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any particular personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal objectives, needs and circumstances.  Cover levels could change at any time.



24/7 Medical assistance

Yikes, your mozzie bite has got infected and your lower leg has started going green...what to do!? Go to a hospital and all your bills will be covered by travel insurance – that’s what! Travel insurance covers your medical expenses for injury or illness including hospital stays, surgery, dental, prescription drugs and doctor visits. 

cancellation cover

Cancellation cover

Sometimes trips just don't go to plan! An accident before your holiday puts a spanner in the works, or a natural disaster puts a dampener on your dream location. Cancellation benefits cover the cost of rearranging or cancelling your trip due to a range of unforeseen circumstances.


Lost or damaged luggage

It's a real pain in the ar*e when your stuff is lost, stolen or doesn't show up. At least if disasters happen on your holiday your policy will replace or reimburse you for your baggage and personal items if they disappear or are damaged.

No hidden fees

Travel delays

You’re flights delayed, your train is late… but that doesn’t mean you should be out of pocket. If your transport is postponed due to an unforeseen reason, your out-of-pocket accommodation, meals, and transport costs would be covered until you get back on track.

family emergency

Family emergency

Going on holiday should be oh so much fun! But there can be apprehension when leaving loved ones behind. Have peace of mind knowing that if any family emergencies happen while you’re away you’re covered to get home and be by their side.

personal liability

Personal liability

A lawsuit would put a downer on your holiday. Relax as you're covered in the event that you are found to be legally liable for accidental injury or damage you may have caused to another person or their property whilst on your trip.  

How do I choose  high-quality travel insurance?

Travel insurance  faqs, which is the best travel insurance in australia.

The cover that is best suited to your trip depends entirely on you and your circumstances. If you're a backpacker on a strict budget, you might want a no-frills medical-only policy, while if you've paid a lot in deposits or if you have pre-existing health conditions, a more comprehensive policy might work for you. Create a quote to start comparing prices and features.

How do I choose the right travel insurance?

There are over a hundred different travel insurers in Australia, so we forgive you for feeling a little frazzled about your cover. A good way to wittle down your options is to read some reviews to find out what past customers are saying about their experiences. Then once you have a few brands in mind, compare some policies and see which ones give you the best bang for your buck.

Does travel insurance have age limits?

Some policies have no age restrictions at all, others limit certain products (such as annual multi-trips ) to those under 65 years. Generally speaking however you can find a comprehensive policy no matter your age, you just might have to pay a little extra for the privilege in your vintage years.

Why should I buy compare travel insurance?

Comparing prices and features online makes it easier to find the policy that's right for you and your circumstances. With , the price you see is the price direct from the insurer. We compare heaps of policies for all types of travellers from some of Australia’s most reputable travel insurers. We compare 25+ insurance brands including 1Cover , Amex , Budget Direct , Insure and Go , Virgin Money , Zoom & more!

Reviews for the best travel insurance

Contributor Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith

Having travelled to over 40 countries, studied tourism management and worked as a flight attendant for over three years, Natalie knows more than a thing or two about travel! She’s an adventure-lover, whose favourite trips have been trekking Machu Picchu and volunteering in an animal shelter in the Amazon. Qualified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and specialising in travel insurance for the last five years, she in passionate about helping travellers get the most out of their holiday.

 handy  tips to help you find cover

adventure activities travel insurance

What activities are covered?

Are you a self-confessed adrenaline junkie? If you’re planning on doing some risky activities on your trip make sure you know if they’re covered, as not all of them are!


Pre-existing medical conditions

Having pre-existing medical conditions doesn't mean you can't get cover or that it has to be expensive. It simply means that you need to dig a little deeper when doing your research.



Compare comprehensive travel insurance for holidays travelling overseas. Get unlimited medical cover, unlimited cancellation, over $15,000 luggage and more.

Our Travel Insurance Comparision Helps You

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Your privacy is important to us. is Australia’s leading comparison site solely focused on travel insurance.

Our comparison is a free service that allows users to compare quotes in a few simple steps based on limited personal criteria. Comparisons supplied are not a recommendation or opinion about the suitability of a policy for a user. Comparisons are default ranked according to price and users have the ability to sort by popular cover levels. Whilst we compare a vast range of policies, we do not compare all providers in the market. This site compares the following brands: 1Cover, AllClear, Budget Direct, Downunder, Fast Cover Travel Insurance, Insure4Less, InsureandGo, iTrek, Simply Travel Insurance, Ski-Insurance, Travel Insurance Saver, Travel Insuranz, Wise Traveller, Zoom Travel Insurance . The directors and shareholders are common with companies i-Trek Pty Ltd, Zoom Travel Insurance and 1Cover Pty Ltd including it’s subsidiary brand Ski-insurance. CoverDirect takes all reasonable care when preparing this information but does not warrant its accuracy. Pricing information is supplied by the providers who participate on this site and should be verified with the insurer before you purchase. This site links users to the website of the provider to verify quotes and access the relevant PDS to understand what is, and is not, covered by a policy prior to purchase.

CoverDirect Pty Ltd owns and operates this website under AFS Licence 383590.  Located at Level 12, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia.

For further information view our FSG and Terms of Use . Contact us by calling 1300 659 411.

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  • Travel Insurance

The journalists on the editorial team at Forbes Advisor Australia base their research and opinions on objective, independent information-gathering.

When covering investment and personal finance stories, we aim to inform our readers rather than recommend specific financial product or asset classes. While we may highlight certain positives of a financial product or asset class, there is no guarantee that readers will benefit from the product or investment approach and may, in fact, make a loss if they acquire the product or adopt the approach.

To the extent any recommendations or statements of opinion or fact made in a story may constitute financial advice, they constitute general information and not personal financial advice in any form. As such, any recommendations or statements do not take into account the financial circumstances, investment objectives, tax implications, or any specific requirements of readers.

Readers of our stories should not act on any recommendation without first taking appropriate steps to verify the information in the stories consulting their independent financial adviser in order to ascertain whether the recommendation (if any) is appropriate, having regard to their investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. Providing access to our stories should not be construed as investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any security or product, or to engage in or refrain from engaging in any transaction by Forbes Advisor Australia. In comparing various financial products and services, we are unable to compare every provider in the market so our rankings do not constitute a comprehensive review of a particular sector. While we do go to great lengths to ensure our ranking criteria matches the concerns of consumers, we cannot guarantee that every relevant feature of a financial product will be reviewed. We make every effort to provide accurate and up-to-date information. However, Forbes Advisor Australia cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of this website. Forbes Advisor Australia accepts no responsibility to update any person regarding any inaccuracy, omission or change in information in our stories or any other information made available to a person, nor any obligation to furnish the person with any further information.

Our Pick Of The Best Comprehensive Travel Insurance Providers In Australia

Published: Sep 14, 2023, 4:00pm

Travel has well and truly resumed across the world, with Australians eager to cross our re-opened border and head to other destinations.

In fact, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) shows that travel activity in December 2022 was at the same level as February 2019, before lockdowns and Covid restrictions, and has continued at this pace for much of the year.

Furthermore, a recent survey by industry safety provider Airservices Australia highlights the importance Australians place on travel: one-third of respondents said that flying was critical to their sense of wellbeing. CEO of Airservices Australia Jason Harfield noted that: “The lockdowns appear to have reignited a passion for travel, with 35% of respondents expecting to fly more for holiday and leisure than they did pre-pandemic. Fewer than 5% of the population expect to fly less.”

Key to peace of mind when resuming travel is adequate insurance, and it’s also paramount to find an insurance provider who will cover not only Covid-19 related claims, such as being diagnosed with Covid-19 while travelling or cancellations and delays due to Covid-19, but all of the other potential mishaps that could go wrong while overseas—whether it be missing a connecting flight, falling ill, event cancellation, theft or luggage going missing.

To help Australians find the best option suitable for their needs, Forbes Advisor combed through the leading players to determine our pick of the best comprehensive travel insurance providers for those looking to travel overseas in 2023 and beyond.

Note: the below list represents a selection of our top category picks, as chosen by Forbes Advisor Australia’s editors and journalists. The information provided is purely factual and is not intended to imply any recommendation, opinion, or advice about a financial product. Not every product or provider in the marketplace has been reviewed, and the list below is not intended to be exhaustive nor replace your own research or independent financial advice. For more information on how Forbes Advisor ranks and reviews products, including how we identified our top category picks, read the methodology selection below.

Related: How to Find the Best Travel Insurance for you

Our Pick of the Best Comprehensive Travel Insurance Providers 2023

  • Travel Insurance Direct (Comprehensive)
  • Allianz (Comprehensive)
  • Bupa Travel Insurance (Comprehensive)
  • InsureandGo (Comprehensive)
  • insure4less (Comprehensive)
  • Cover-More Travel Insurance (Comprehensive)
  • 1Cover (Comprehensive)
  • Fast Cover (Comprehensive)
  • Qantas Travel Insurance (Comprehensive)
  • Australia Post (Comprehensive)

What Methodology Did We Use?

Covid-19 travel rules and restrictions, what if i have a pre-existing medical condition, types of travel insurance policies, what about seniors, frequently asked questions (faqs).

  • Best Seniors Travel Insurance
  • Best Domestic Travel Insurance
  • Best Cruise Travel Insurance
  • Travel Insurance Cost
  • Pregnancy Travel Insurance Guide
  • Travel Insurance And Covid: Are You Covered?
  • Travel Insurance For Bali
  • Travel Insurance For Fiji
  • Travel Insurance For The USA
  • Travel Insurance For Thailand
  • Travel Insurance For New Zealand
  • Cover-More Travel Insurance Review
  • Travel Insurance Saver Review
  • Allianz Travel Insurance Review
  • 1Cover CTravel Insurance Review
  • Australia Post Travel Insurance Review
  • Aussietravelcover Travel Insurance Review

Featured Partners

Cover-More Travel Insurance

On Cover-more’s secure website

Medical cover

Unlimited, with a $2000 limit to dental


Yes, amount chosen by customer

Southern Cross Travel Insurance

best aussie travel insurance

Medical Cover

Unlimited, with a $2000 limit on dental

$2,500 with option to increase to unlimited

Travel Insurance Direct (Comprehensive)

Unlimited, with a $1000 limit to dental

Despite the WHO declaring the pandemic over, Covid continues to interrupt our travel plans, and compared with other policies, Travel Insurance Direct offers very thorough Covid-19 cover, including both medical expenses and trip cancellations. Furthermore, some 43 medical conditions are automatically covered, however, additional conditions are not considered.

Where the policy really stands out is in its coverage of a broad range of 93 activities, with travellers able to add on extra coverage for certain higher-risk activities, such as snow sports. Plus, there are more than 2,500 reviews of the policy on Product Review, with an average of 4.2 stars.

  • 93 sports and activities are automatically covered
  • Lost luggage coverage up to $12,000, with the ability to increase item limits
  • Online discounts are only available for multiple policies or group policies
  • Certain pre-existing medical conditions cannot be covered

Yes, overseas medical expenses related to Covid-19 are included in the unlimited medical cover, as well as additional travel expenses up to $2,500.

Cancellations due to Covid-19 are covered for you and travelling party.

Allianz (Comprehensive)

Unlimited, including dental

$2,000 is included, with the option to increase at a higher premium

Allianz has a generous medical policy, and unlike many competitors, includes unlimited coverage for both hospital and dental. The top-tier policy also covers pre-existing medical conditions, however, assessments are required and conditions need to be met. Some 38 activities are included and listed in the PDS, and there is no age limit to coverage.

There’s also the option to increase certain limits (luggage, cancellations, etc) for higher levels of coverage depending on the individual traveller’s needs.

  • All ages are covered
  • Dental is included in unlimited medical expenses
  • Personal liability cover does not include additional activity packs, such as snow.
  • No cover for missed connecting flights

Yes, Covid-19 is covered under medical expenses.

Cancellations due to Covid-19 are covered if the cancellation is due to a government-enforced border closure or due to the policy holder having to complete a quarantine due to Covid-19. As this is less of an issue these days, this policy feature is likely to be less important to travellers.

Bupa Travel Insurance (Comprehensive)

Bupa travel insurance is underwritten by Allianz, and its comprehensive travel insurance policy is almost identical to Allianz’s branded offering.

Along with unlimited medical, hospital and dental cover, Bupa offers 24/7 emergency assistance with Australian-based doctors and nurses available. As with Allianz, credit card fraud is covered up to $5,000 and lost luggage tops out at $10,000 (sub-limits apply). It’s worth noting, however, that Bupa scores slightly lower on Product Review—an average of 3.9 stars compared to Allianz’s 4.

  • 15% discount for Bupa health insurance policy holders
  • All pre-existing conditions need to be assessed to determine if they will be covered
  • Reviews state lengthy waits for claim payments

Cancellations due to Covid-19 are covered if the cancellation is due to a government-enforced border closure or due to the policy holder having to complete a quarantine. As this is less of an issue these days, this policy feature may not be as important to travellers.

InsureandGo (Comprehensive)

Unlimited, with a $500 limit to dental

InsureandGo is an ideal choice for families, with 90 activities included and the option to add additional extras, such as snow cover. Children are covered up to the age of 18 if they are travelling with parents or grandparents, and the maximum age for a policy-holder is 100 years old—although if you’re heading on a cruise the maximum age is 79.

Lost luggage is covered up to $15,000—sub limits apply—and there is unlimited cancellation cover.

The company’s comprehensive offering, known as Gold, was rated an average of 4 stars from more than 6,000 reviews.

  • Regular discounts with promo codes on Facebook page
  • Coverage up to 100 years
  • No credit card fraud coverage
  • Dental tops out at $500

Yes, overseas medical expenses related to Covid-19 are covered, as are cancellations for the policy holder and their travelling companions

insure4less (Comprehensive)

Yes, up to $7500 per person

Insure4less offers policyholders coverage for a wide range of activities—more than 120 are listed in PDS—while additional, high-risk sports can also be added. The comprehensive policy, known as Excel Plus, covers medical expenses of Covid-19, along with any additional expenses required for you to return early to Australia if necessary.

It also covers lost luggage up to $5,000 (sub limits apply), cancellations up to $7,500 per person, connecting flights up to $1,000 and personal liability up to $7.5 million—the latter of which is at the higher end of what is generally offered. Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions are subject to the completion of an online medical questionnaire.

Read more:  insure4less Review: Pros and Cons

  • More than 100 activities are included in the policy, with the option to add on additional cover for other high-risk activities such as snow cover for snowboarding and skiing
  • Unlimited medical
  • Luggage only covered up to $5,000

Mostly. Overseas medical expenses related to covid-19 are covered, as well as additional expenses for you to return early due to Covid if necessary. However, cancellations due to Covid are not covered.

Cover-More Travel Insurance (Comprehensive)

Cover-More’s travel insurance not only covers Covid-19 medical expenses overseas, but also provides $2,500 for additional related expenses. Lost luggage is also covered up to $15,000, as are dependent children up to 21 provided they are financially dependent and not in full-time employment.

Travellers up to 99 years of age can travel on the Cover-More policy, however senior travellers must meet certain criteria.

Despite these stand-out features, what prevented us from giving Cover-More a higher score was its negative reviews: it scored an average of 3.3 stars out of almost 3,000 reviews on Product Review. (Forbes Advisor pays little attention to reviews when there are fewer than 100, and always takes into account that reviews tend to skew negative).

  • Pregnancy is automatically covered for single-child pregnancy
  • $3,000 for connecting flights
  • Senior travellers need to meet acceptance criteria
  • No online discounts

Mostly. Covid-19 related medical expenses are covered, with additional expenses up to $2,500.

There is up to $5,000 for cancellations related to Covid-19, but only on the Comprehensive Plus policy.

1Cover (Comprehensive)

Unlimited, but dependent on conditions

From more than 4500 reviews on Product Review, 1Cover has received an average rating of 4.3 stars by consumers.

The comprehensive policy covers more than 100 sports and activities, and includes the option to add additional packs for high-risk activities. The rest of the policy can also be personalised, allowing policyholders to add or increase cover to suit the traveller’s habits

Credit card fraud is covered up to $5,000, as is disruption of journey when the delay is for more than six hours.

  • Flexibility to add and increase cover to suit individual travellers
  • Pregnancy cover up to week 24 of the pregnancy
  • Travellers over the age of 80 incur a $3,000 excess
  • Dental limited to $1,000.

Partially. Medical expenses for Covid-19 are covered, but cancellations are not.

Unlimited, with a $1,000 limit to dental

Unlimited, but cancellation fees capped at $1,500 via travel agent

FastCover offers unlimited cover for both medical expenses and cancellations, however, it does require certain conditions to be met and has limits on specific claims. Some 43 conditions are covered provided the traveller meets the criteria.

While the policy offers good Covid-19 coverage, including listing Covid-19 as a medical expense and including it as a reason for cancellation, dental is capped at $1,000. Furthermore, lower coverage applies to travellers over the age of 80 and if you booked through a travel agent, cancellation cover tops out at $1,500.

Read more:   Fast Cover Review: Features, Pros and Cons

  • Discounts available for more than one person
  • 43 pre-existing conditions are automatically covered
  • Some limitations on flight cancellation cover
  • Lower coverage amounts for senior travellers

Yes, overseas medical expenses due to Covid-19 are covered, as are cancellations for those named on the insurance certificate.

Qantas Travel Insurance (Comprehensive)

Qantas Comprehensive Travel Insurance offers unlimited medical expenses, including coverage for Covid-19 diagnoses. It also automatically covers 43 pre-existing medical conditions (pending certain criteria), but requires a medical assessment, in the form of an online form, for any conditions not listed.

There is unlimited cover for cancellations and missed connections, as well as coverage for emergency dental for acute pain of up to $2,500.  Note: the standard comprehensive policy is for those aged up to 69; there is a seperate policy for 70+ years.

Related: Our pick of the best travel insurance for seniors .

  • Lost luggage covered up to $15,000
  • Good Covid-19 cover
  • Some poor reviews albeit from a small number (257)
  • Fraudulent credit card activity is not covered

Yes, overseas medical expenses includes if you are diagnosed with Covid-19. Cancellations due to a positive Covid-19 diagnosis are also covered, as well as ‘reasonable’ additional expenses (such as if you are required to quarantine).

Australia Post (Comprehensive)

Australia Post’s Comprehensive Travel Insurance offers coverage for credit card fraud of up to $5,000, lost luggage insurance up to $12,000 (sub-limits apply on certain items) and no age limit on policies. There is unlimited emergency medical, which we would expect for a comprehensive policy, with a $2,000 limit for dental, which is also pretty good. There is no cover specifically for missed connections but there is cover for travel delay up to $2,000

However, cruises of more than two nights will not be covered and need to be added as an additional pack to the policy.

  • No age limit
  • Cover for travel delays pending certain conditions
  • Need to purchase an additional cruise pack if going on a cruise of longer than two nights
  • Only 15 activities included, with additional packs required to be purchased for snow sports and motorcycling

Partially. Covid-19 related medical expenses and additional expenses are are covered, but an additional excess applies. Cancellations due to Covid-19 are not covered, and there is no cover for claims arising from Covid-19 while travelling on a cruise.

To find our list of the top travel insurance providers, we performed an in-depth analysis of more than 30 of the most popular local travel insurance providers. This included an evaluation of their current product ratings online and reviews from previous customers; a comparison of necessary offerings; and in-depth research into their individual product disclosure statements (PDS).

Through the analysis, the following coverage offerings and conditions were compared:

  • Underwriter: an underwriter is the company which evaluates an applicant’s claim for approval and payment, and therefore should always be a reputable company;
  • The average product review rating: found via Australia’s independent consumer review site, Product Review, where policyholders rate their experience with the specific travel provider;
  • Conditions of age: including whether there is a maximum age cut-off to take out the policy, or whether children up to a certain age can be included with the main policy holder;
  • Coverage of personal liability, credit card fraud, car hire excess and lost luggage: including any additional fees, conditions, and value limits;
  • Medical cover, including dental, pregnancy and Covid-19: specifying what is included in the medical cover, any excess limits for dental, what weeks of pregnancy are covered (if any), and whether Covid-19 is included as a medical claim;
  • Whether cancellations, delays or connecting flights were covered: including whether cancellations due to COVID-19 are claimable and any conditions with travel delay coverage or connecting flights;
  • The inclusion of pre-existing medical conditions: from how many pre-existing medical conditions are included to whether there are conditions that need to be met, and any medication conditions that are automatically excluded;
  • The inclusion of sports and activities: how many sports and activities were included in the policy; any sports and activities that are not covered; the availability of additional packages to cover certain sports and activities (such as winter sports or cruises);
  • Emergency assistance and customer service: the availability of assistance and the level of customer service provided to a policyholder; and
  • Discounts: whether there were any online discounts available from the provider.

In all, there were 19 different variables we compared and considered to find the overall ranking of each comprehensive travel insurance provider. Rankings were then made between 1-5, with the leading providers–all ranked 3 and above–included in the best-of list.

You will note that we did not evaluate policies on the metric of price: this is because the cost of travel insurance is highly dependent on the circumstances, health, age and destination of the person travelling.

A Note on Star Rankings

You will note that we have included a star rating next to each product or provider. This rating was determined by the editorial team once all of the data points above were considered, and the pros and cons of each product attribute was reviewed. The star rating is solely the view of Forbes Advisor editorial staff. Commercial partners or advertisers have no bearing on the star rating or their inclusion on this list. Star ratings are only one factor to be considered, and Forbes Advisor encourages you to seek independent advice from an authorised financial adviser in relation to your own financial circumstances and investments before you decide to choose a particular financial product or service.

The rules surrounding travel are ever-changing as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. At the time of writing, you do not need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test to meet Australia’s travel requirements, nor do you need proof of a Covid-19 vaccination to travel to and from Australia.

Masks are also no longer necessary on international flights. However, as per the Australian government’s health and aged care department, Australians are still encouraged to consider wearing a mask to reduce potential risk.

The rules and regulations surrounding Covid-19 travel overseas vary by country and region. Before you travel, be sure to check your destination country’s local public health orders for Covid-19 vaccination requirements, and to see if there are any isolation or quarantine orders to abide by upon your arrival.

You can check the government’s Smartraveller Destination guide to find the latest updates for your destination, along with the Australian government’s advice for travelling to that destination.

The advice levels are: exercise normal safety precautions; exercise a high degree of caution; reconsider your need to travel; and do not travel. Smartraveller explains the level of advice in attribution to each destination and the reason for such, which could include terrorist threats, high levels of violent crime, security risks and/or health measures.

If you have, or have had, a medical condition, you may need to ensure your travel insurance has specialist coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. The same applies if you are recovering from serious injury.

Most Australian travel insurance providers do include a wide range of pre-existing medical conditions in their policies, such as cancer, heart problems, respiratory ailments, Crohn’s disease and diabetes. They can also include more common complaints such as asthma and hay-fever, as well as Covid-19.

For pre-existing medical conditions that aren’t automatically included, you may need to purchase extra coverage. To find out whether your condition is listed on the policy, you will need to read the travel insurance provider’s product disclosure statement. If your condition is not automatically included, it may still be covered upon meeting certain conditions or by undertaking a medical assessment.

Some conditions may never be covered by some providers and are excluded, even pending a medical assessment. Most often, these are pre-existing medical conditions that are the result of alcohol or drug dependency.

When comparing travel insurance providers, you’ll see many different policy types and therefore need to consider which best suits your needs. These policy types include:

  • Single cover: cover for an individual traveller
  • Family cover
  • Single trip: providing cover for one trip, for a specific destination over a fixed time
  • Annual multi-trip: designed for those planning to take more than two holidays or business trips a year to multiple destinations.
  • Worldwide: allowing you to travel to destinations across the globe, however certain high-risk areas or those that are expensive for medical cover may not be included

There are often ‘packs’ or ‘additional extras’ that can be added on to these standard policy types, to include specific activities or travel types. This includes cruise coverage, designed to provide cover for the activities and risks associated with cruise holidays; winter sports packs, designed to provide cover if you plan to take part in high-risk activities, such as skiing and snowboarding; or backpacker coverage, which covers individuals on longer trips overseas that may span numerous countries.

Those over 55 years old need to ensure the travel provider and insurance policy they choose includes their age. Some policies have a maximum age cut off, while others do not. Meanwhile, some policies may include all ages, but incur a higher premium for those aged over specific cut offs.

Seniors should also consider the level of cover provided for medical and hospital expenses. While accidents and illnesses can happen at any age, it is a fact of life that seniors are more susceptible.

When taking out an insurance policy–at any age–it is essential that you read the insurance provider’s PDS and ask to clarify any questions that you have, so that you can ensure you are covered in the way you expect to be if a claim does arise. You can read more in our pick of the best travel insurance for seniors.

Data Research:  Mia Dunn

What does most travel insurance cover?

When searching for travel insurance, it’s important to find a policy that suits your individual needs. Ideally a travel insurance policy will include medical cover, lost luggage cover, and other emergencies or accidents that may occur while you are overseas.

Insurance providers may have different limits or higher excess required for certain coverage, so it’s essential that you read the product disclosure statement before taking out a policy.

Which is the best travel insurance for over 70s?

Travel insurances often have a maximum age that they are willing to cover, largely due to the high-risk of elderly individuals. These cut-off ages vary by policy provider, and through our analysis, we found the providers that offered travel insurance for over 70s that was also highly regarded in other factors were Australia Post, Allianz, and InsureandGo.

Which is the best travel insurance for COVID-19?

According to our analysis, the best Australian travel insurance with COVID-19 cover is Cover-More’s Comprehensive Travel Insurance Plan. The policy covers COVID-19- related medical expenses as included in its unlimited medical expenses cover, additional expenses up to $2500, and up to $5000 for cancellations related to COVID-19. Of course, this is a guide only, and we did not analyse all of the providers on the market, so you may find another Covid policy that is better suited to your needs.

Who is the best company for travel insurance?

It’s important to remember that rather than one travel insurance company being better than the other, you need to find the perfect match for you: if you’re over 65, then you will want a company that caters to seniors, if you are an adrenaline junky then you will want a company that offers generous activity coverage. In our analysis the following companies scored above-average ratings:

Is it worth buying travel insurance at the moment?

It’s always worth buying travel insurance, even if you don’t intend on undertaking any extreme sports or risky activities. Travel insurance will protect you if your flight is delayed or cancelled, you experience a medical emergency overseas or you lose your belongings. With so many providers on the market these days, competition is fierce so you can find reasonably priced travel insurance for as little as $2 a day in some cases.

What doesn't travel insurance cover?

Each policy is different so make sure that you read the product disclosure statement to determine whether you’re covered for Covid-related incidents or delays. As a general rule, however, you won’t be covered for mental health emergencies overseas or for incidents that occur when you are under the influence of drugs or heavy intoxication.

Sophie Venz is an experienced editor and features reporter, and has previously worked in the small business and start-up reporting space. Previously the Associate Editor of SmartCompany site, Sophie has worked closely with finance experts and columnists around Australia and internationally. Sophie grew up on the Gold Coast and now lives in Melbourne.

Australia's Best Travel Insurance for November 2023

Funky arm carrying a suitcase with the Mozo Experts Choice logo in the bottom.

Whether you’re planning a resort holiday in Fiji, voyaging on a cruise , or hopping on a plane to Europe , it’s important to consider packing travel insurance . But how could you go about finding the best policy? What features and perks could your holiday need, and which providers stand out for amazing coverage? 

That’s where the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance Awards come in, hot off the baggage claim for 2023. 

Every year, Mozo’s expert judges compare dozens of travel insurance providers to see which ones fly above and beyond in terms of quality and value. Providers offering the best coverage take home a Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance^ win. 

“Finding a policy may be a bit daunting, especially when policy features and costs can change depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing,” says Mozo Experts Choice Awards, Judge Peter Marshall. 

“We wanted to examine everything across a range of holidays, head-to-head, to help Australians find the best value cover, and award those providers offering the best travel insurance in 2023.”

So without further ado, here are the winners crowned this year, along with some of the latest deals for this month highlighted by our editor's – and some expert tips on how you could find the best policy for your trip.

Jump to our top picks

Freely - international travel insurance, southern cross travel insurance - international comprehensive family, fast cover - comprehensive policy, travel insurance company of the year - world2cover, travel insurance saver - bare essentials, cover-more - international comprehensive+, australia post - comprehensive travel insurance, flight centre - international plus single trip, racv - comprehensive travel insurance, editor’s picks: top travel insurance policies for november 2023.

  • Customisable, flexible coverage through the Freely app
  • 10% off with a Mozo exclusive discount

Editor’s Pick: For those looking for sheer convenience, it’s hard to beat Freely’s all-in-one travel app. Customise this flexible policy by adding or taking away extras and coverage as you need it to suit your holiday. Friends suddenly invite you whitewater rafting? Add adventure sports cover (with conditions). Optional extras include gadgets, snow sports, cruise, motorcycle cover, and more. For a limited time, you could also nab 10% off your policy with the Promo Code “MOZO10” (T&Cs).

  • Unlimited medical and evacuation cover (T&Cs)
  • Optional extras for snow sports and motorcycle cover (T&Cs)

Editor’s Pick: Whether travelling alone or with your family, this single-trip comprehensive insurance policy aims to please with some great standard features. Unlimited medical and evacuation cover headline the policy, and you have the option to increase cancellation to unlimited (though this will add to your premium). Travelling solo overseas for less than two days? Southern Cross claims your premium could cost less than a meal. Unfortunately, pre-existing conditions aren’t automatically included, but you can apply to have them added with a medical assessment for an additional premium (with conditions).

  • Generous and flexible optional extras
  • 43 pre-existing conditions automatically included (T&Cs)

Editor’s Pick: Looking for a solid all-rounder with amazing medical and COVID-19 benefits? Fast Cover’s comprehensive travel insurance policy makes a compelling option. Customers can select their cover based on region, activities, trip duration, and a host of optional extras like cruise, motorcycle, adventure, and rental vehicle excess insurance to tailor their plans for their holiday needs. The comprehensive policy includes unlimited medical and cancellation cover, with unlimited medical cover if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 and a 5,000 limit for cancellation fees if you contract the virus and need to pull out of a leg of your journey. Keep in mind sub-limits, exclusions, and conditions apply, so make sure to read the PDS before signing up.

Expert recommendations: Mozo Experts Choice Award-winning best travel insurance policies

Tower of blue suitcases against a pink background.

Each year, the Mozo Experts Choice Awards recognise travel insurance providers for having the most outstanding performance to suit the needs of different types of travellers. Categories include Exceptional Value and Exceptional Quality for various policy types, from comprehensive, multi-trip, cruise, ski, and basic coverage. 

Policies ranked highly for their quality are those that  boast the most generous coverage (i.e. comprehensive travel insurance). On the other hand, policies with great value offer a minimum level of  coverage for the least price. 

Our Experts Judges look at many factors when evaluating a policy for an award, most critically:

  • Price, including any excesses and limits, and how premiums vary based on the holiday.
  • Coverage, including benefits and exclusions.

The insurance company with the most standout wins for both quality and value will receive the prestigious Travel Insurance Company of the Year ^ award.

Judges will also compare how well a policy travels for different popular destinations and kinds of trips, so we can nail down the best picks for as many types of holidays as possible.

To see how judges made their choices, check out the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Awards^ methodology report for 2023.

And as always, every travel insurance policy will have its terms and conditions laid out in the product disclosure statement (PDS). Be sure to read the PDS properly and thoroughly before signing up!

  • Multiple Mozo Experts Choice Awards^ winner in 2023
  • Unlimited emergency, cancellation, and medical cover (T&Cs)

Why it won: World2Cover’s comprehensive Top policy picked up wins for both Exceptional Value and Exceptional Quality Travel Insurance, making it the obvious candidate for this prestigious crown. With unlimited emergency, cancellation, and medical cover (with conditions), World2Cover makes an extremely competitive choice for travellers hunting the most inclusions for the best value. 

Standout perks include coverage for 38 pre-existing conditions (including migraines and sleep apnoea), rental car excesses, and up to $2,000 for overseas dental treatment (all with T&Cs). Plus, many amateur and outdoor sports like bungee jumping can be covered at no extra cost (T&Cs).

  • Unlimited overseas medical coverage (T&Cs)
  • Up to $2,500 emergency cancellation and $2,000 lost luggage and effects coverage (T&Cs)

Why it won: Underwritten by NIB, this impressive essentials policy performed well in terms of Exceptional Value^ when assessed for a hypothetical 14-day trip for a family of four to Vietnam .

While limits apply, eligible expenses you could claim under this policy include emergency cancellation, lost luggage , and replacement passport and travel documents coverage (T&Cs).

  • Multiple Mozo Experts Choice Award^ winner
  • On- and pre-trip cover if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 (T&Cs)

Why it won: This ultra-comprehensive policy impressed judges enough to nab two wins, one for Exceptional Quality and another for Exceptional Quality Annual Multi-Trip. With generous coverage for a range of misadventures, including pre and on-trip COVID cover, up to $25,000 for lost or stolen luggage, unlimited overseas medical expenses, and special business trip benefits, Cover-More packs a punch for the holidays (T&Cs). You can also tailor your policy with optional extras like the Cancellations Extensions add-on to extend your coverage.

Collage of a yellow suitcase against a green and brown beach.

Customer favourites: Best travel insurance from Mozo People’s Choice Awards

  • Five Mozo People’s Choice Awards for 2023
  • Flexible excess

Why it won: Sending yourself overseas? Australia Post has developed a first-class comprehensive international travel insurance policy that took home five Mozo People’s Choice wins in 2023. Aussies rated this provider highly for customer satisfaction and service, as well as easy sign-up experience and Most Recommended. And no wonder: Australia Post reckons you can get a quote in minutes. Tailor your policy by choosing your excess and level of coverage; the comprehensive plan comes with unlimited overseas medical and additional emergency expenses coverage, as well as benefits like money to resume your trip if cancelled for eligible reasons (T&Cs apply).

  • Two Mozo People’s Choice Awards for 2023
  • Automatically included adventure activities (T&Cs)

Why it won: Flight Centre has long been in the plane ticket game, but did you know you can also take out comprehensive international travel insurance through it? With two 2023 Mozo People’s Choice Awards for Sign-up Experience and Most Recommended, there’s plenty to check out before checking your luggage with Flight Centre. The International Plus Single-Trip policy includes unlimited overseas medical and emergency expenses coverage and handy benefits like automatic adventure activities coverage for certain activities and the ability to increase sub-limits for certain belongings and rental car excess (with conditions).

  • Domestic pet cover (T&Cs)

Why it won: Voted both Highly Trusted and Most Recommended at the 2023 Mozo People’s Choice Awards , RACV flies high with this excellent option for comprehensive coverage. Benefits include unlimited overseas medical, emergency expenses, and cancellation covers, plus line items for luggage, travel documents, and even domestic pet cover (conditions and limits apply).

A toy suitcase with plane wings.

Expert recommendations are amazing, but what do real travellers think is the best insurance? Thankfully, the 2023 Mozo People’s Choice Awards have landed.

Mozo asked 836 of your fellow Australians which travel insurance providers they rate highly across a range of categories, from customer satisfaction and service to trustworthiness, sign-up and claims experiences, and whether they’d recommend them to a friend.

Winners were then given a Mozo People’s Choice Award, making them some of the best providers around (and in the air).

Compare winners from the latest awards below.

Looking for something a little unique? While these providers may have missed out on a Mozo award this year, we think they still offer something special to travellers.

More best travel insurance winners

Collage of two backpackers scouring a map before jetsetting across the globe with travel insurance.

Here’s the full list of winners for the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance Awards^ for 2023, broken down by category. 


If your travel budget is tight, weighing up the value you’re getting when looking at a policy is crucial. This year, Mozo’s expert judges wanted to highlight great value plans to make the comparison process easier.

From medical-only and essentials cover to more comprehensive and annual multi-trip policies, these providers all offered a required set of inclusions for the judges at the best prices. 

  • Exceptional Medical Only coverage winners simply needed to have unlimited emergency overseas medical cover. 
  • Essential coverage winners needed to have at least $2,000 coverage per traveller for both personal items and cancellation coverage. 
  • Comprehensive, ski, cruise, and annual multi-trip coverage winners needed at least $7,500 of luggage cover per person, plus $15,000 cancellation cover per person. Multi-trip plans were also assessed for a single traveller jet-setting for 30-day trips in a 12-month period.

Mozo’s expert judges also assessed some providers based on the value they offer vacation activities like snow sports or cruise travel . 

Policies that didn’t win an overall coverage award but performed well for any of our eight popular destinations (USA, UK, NZ, Bali, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, and Europe) for a hypothetical family of four on a 14-day trip, were also crowned as Exceptional country winners.

Check out the winners below.

Exceptional Value Medical Only Travel Insurance

  • ahm – Medical Only policy
  • Australia Post – Basic policy
  • Zoom – Medical Only policy

Easy Travel Insurance also won Exceptional Value Medical Only for New Zealand, while Medibank won for the USA.

Exceptional Value Essential Travel Insurance

  • American Express – Essential policy
  • Tick Travel Insurance – Standard policy

Country-specific winners for Exceptional Value Essential Travel Insurance include Chubb Australia (UK), Go Insurance (Bali), insure4less (USA) and Travel Insurance Saver (Vietnam).

Exceptional Value Comprehensive Travel Insurance

  • 1Cover – Comprehensive policy
  • American Express – Ultimate policy
  • Tick Travel Insurance – Top policy
  • World2Cover – Top policy
  • Zoom – Standard and Comprehensive policies

For Exceptional Value Comprehensive winners for certain destinations, look no further than Chubb Australia for the UK, and Australia Post and NRMA for New Zealand. 

Exceptional Value Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance

  • Medibank – Annual Multi-Trip policy
  • NRMA – Comprehensive Annual Multi-Trip policy
  • Webjet – Travel Safe Plus Multi-Trip policy

Exceptional Value Cruise Travel Insurance

  • Allianz – Comprehensive Plan policy
  • Qantas – International Comprehensive policy
  • Worldcare – Comprehensive policy

Exceptional Value Ski Travel Insurance

  • Australia Post – Comprehensive policy
  • NRMA – Comprehensive Plan policy


Some travellers want the best possible insurance, no matter the cost. That’s why Mozo’s expert judges analysed policies with the broadest and most generous cover for the Exceptional Quality travel insurance awards, for both comprehensive and multi-trip policies.

Exceptional Quality Travel Insurance

  • Cover-More – International Comprehensive and International Comprehensive+ policies
  • Easy Travel Insurance – Premium policy
  • Medibank – Comprehensive policy
  • RAA – Premium policy
  • RACQ – Premium policy
  • RACT – Premium policy
  • RACV – Comprehensive policy

Exceptional Quality Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance

  • Allianz – Multi-Trip Plan policy
  • Cover-More – Multi-Trip International Comprehensive and Multi-Trip International Comprehensive+ policies
  • Easy Travel Insurance – Annual Multi-Trip policy

What kind of travel insurance do I need?

Collage of a blue suitcase surrounded by pink question marks.

When finding the best travel insurance policy for yourself, it’s important to compare as many different policies as possible. But what if you’re not sure where to start? Let’s break down the tiers and types of travel insurance on offer. 

Travel insurance policies vary based on where you’re going and for how long. For example:

  • Domestic travel insurance can be great if you’re just exploring Australia.
  • International travel insurance can be great for a once-off trip abroad.
  • Multi-trip travel insurance can be great if you’re making more than one trip, locally or abroad (usually within the same year).

Once you’ve picked the kind of travel insurance you’re after, providers will usually offer multiple tiers (or levels) of coverage, such as medical only, essentials, or comprehensive insurance.

You may also be able to get complimentary credit card travel insurance , which comes as a perk of your credit card.

Travel insurance policies can also include optional extras that tailor your coverage for specific holidays, like backpacker travel insurance or senior travel insurance .

Many clues can point to a travel insurance policy ranking among the best – exceptional price, excellent coverage, and a thumbs-up from fellow Aussie travellers . But the best indicator that a policy rocks? It’s the best for you. 

When comparing travel insurance policies, assess them like you’re giving out your own award: the win of your business! Read through the PDS, send for quotes, and ask yourself questions like:

  • Does this policy cover my holiday needs?
  • Is this within a price range I’m happy with? ( Cheap travel insurance has trade-offs). 
  • Would I feel comfortable working with this provider when the worst happens?

If the answer is ‘yes’, you could be on to a winner.

Other considerations are important, too, however, especially the nitty-gritty details. For example:

  • Do you have to meet any terms and conditions before they settle your travel claim ? 
  • Is there an excess to pay? 
  • Are there any other perks, too, like frequent flyer points? 
  • Do you have pre-existing conditions that could impact your coverage? 

Because every situation is different, not every travel insurance policy is the best for everyone. Some people want an affordable price, while others want the most coverage, no matter the price. 

Comparing what’s on offer can help you determine which travel insurances offer you the best value and quality for your holiday.

FAQs about travel insurance

These days, travel insurance has become as essential as your passport. The right level of coverage could help your finances weather all kinds of unexpected emergencies, from medical treatment to flight cancellations.

While not necessarily mandatory in Australia, it can be a useful financial tool to have in your back pocket. 

With pandemic disruptions still raging, travel insurance has become a wise investment for the practical traveller.

Some overseas destinations have even made basic travel insurance mandatory for entry at the border (usually to cover the costs associated with treating COVID-19). 

When comparing travel insurance policies, it’s vital to ensure the coverage and prices match your holiday needs.

The best travel insurance coverage for you will depend on your needs and holiday. 

For instance, if you’re a relatively low-risk traveller on a budget (but can weather unexpected costs like delays or lost luggage), a basic or essentials-only travel insurance policy could suit you. 

However, if you’re looking for the most protection possible, or you’re doing adventurous travel activities like skiing, comprehensive travel insurance might be a better option.

Different travellers will need different kinds of insurance. Comparing multiple policies can give you an idea of the coverage and value available to your situation.

Travel insurance prices depend on the policy, provider, excess, level of coverage, and destination you choose. Your price may also vary if you’ve included optional extras or expanded your limits for personal items like an expensive smartphone or to cover a pre-existing medical condition. 

Mozo found the average cost for different travel insurance policies ranges from roughly $90 to well over $1,000, depending on the needs of the trip. Most settled between $200 - $400.

However, price is entirely subjective. What seems reasonable to one person could be either too cheap or too expensive to another. 

When comparing travel insurance policies, it’s vital to look for value, not just the price. A cheap policy might not cover you adequately, while an expensive policy might not give you all the perks you need, either. The best policy for you will cover your trip within your budget.

If you’ve jet-set without packing your travel insurance , don’t panic. You still have options to get the coverage you need for your trip. 

Firstly, compare travel insurance policies and get quotes. Some policies may not cover trips already in progress, but others might. The product disclosure statement (PDS) will tell you what benefits, costs, and exclusions you need to know before you buy.

If you have a credit card, it’s worthwhile investigating to see if you can get free travel insurance through your lender. Many will have activation requirements, like proving you’ve paid a certain amount of travel costs with your card.

Speak to your credit card provider if you’re unsure what best applies to your situation.

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.

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best aussie travel insurance

Who we are and how we get paid

Our goal at Mozo is to help you make smart financial decisions and our award-winning comparison tools and services are provided free of charge. As a marketplace business, we do earn money from advertising and this page features products with Go To Site links and/or other paid links where the provider pays us a fee if you go to their site from ours, or you take out a product with them. You do not pay any extra for using our service.

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Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits

Terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits may apply to any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. These terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits could affect the level of benefits and cover available under any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. Please refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and the Target Market Determination on the provider's website for further information before making any decisions about an insurance product.

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Best travel insurance in Australia November 2023

We analysed 50+ travel insurance policies so you don't have to – check out our shortlist or compare quotes to find the best travel insurance for you..


Reviewed by

Southern Cross Travel Insurance image

  • 2023 comprehensive award winner
  • Cancellation cover, lost luggage and more
  • COVID cover

Medibank Travel Insurance image

  • Health members get 15% off
  • Cheaper than average
  • COVID cancellation

Fast Cover image

  • 2023 value award winner
  • Cheapest insurer on average

InsureandGo image

  • 2023 domestic award winner
  • Cheaper than most insurers
  • COVID cover and more

Southern Cross Travel Insurance image

  • Age limit of 119
  • Can cover pre-existing conditions
  • Cheap policy for seniors

In this guide

Compare quotes to find the best travel insurance for you

Get help finding the best travel insurance policies, best international travel insurance: southern cross travel insurance, top pick for discounts: medibank travel insurance, best value travel insurance: fast cover travel insurance, best domestic travel insurance: insureandgo domestic gold, best seniors travel insurance: southern cross travel insurance, top pick for price: tick travel insurance, looking for the best travel insurance in australia, tips to find best travel insurance with covid cover, best travel insurance faqs.


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Our insurance specialists have gathered 300+ quotes for 50+ popular Australian travel insurance policies. We shortlisted 6 policies based on 2023 Finder Awards , customer reviews and expert analysis. Remember, there's no single best travel insurance policy that suits everyone's needs, since we all have different travel plans and needs.

Show summary

  • Top pick for discounts: Medibank travel insurance
  • Best value travel insurance: Fast Cover
  • Best domestic travel insurance: InsureandGo
  • Best travel insurance for seniors: Southern Cross Travel Insurance
  • Top pick for price: Tick travel insurance

Read the full travel insurance methodology

Why you can trust our research

51 travel insurance policies analysed

1,200 travellers surveyed

300+ prices gathered

100+ hours of research

Gary Ross Hunter

SCTI is consistently one of the most competitively priced and well reviewed travel insurers on the market. It doesn't cut corners. Its award-winning International Comprehensive policy covers more than the majority of insurers and its product disclosure statement (PDS) is really easy to understand.

Pros and cons

  • Covers more than most – COVID (including rearrangement costs), cancellations, luggage and more.
  • It's cheap. The third cheapest international policy out of 28 – $233 less on average.
  • Very high customer ratings, on Finder (4.16/5) and other popular review websites.
  • Fast Cover and Medibank tend to be slightly cheaper.
  • Customers rated Tick more highly in the Finder Customer Satisfaction Awards.

How Southern Cross Travel Insurance compares

*Example quote based on a single 40-year-old travelling to Bali for 2 weeks. Data collected in August 2023.

What you're covered for

  • COVID-19 Medical Expenses:
  • Rearrangement costs if you get COVID-19:
  • Theft or damage to luggage: up to $25,000
  • Cancellation and amendment fees: up to $2,500
  • Luggage delay: up to $1,000
  • Theft of cash: up to $500
  • Rental car excess insurance: up to $10,000
  • Cooling off period: 14 days
  • Travel Delay: up to $30,000
  • Special Events: up to $2,500
  • Travel Documents: up to $1,000
  • Personal liability: up to $1,000,000

Why we picked it

It's an award winner

We picked Southern Cross because it's Finder's 2023 Best Travel Insurance – Comprehensive winner. As part of the awards research, we looked at over 100 international travel insurance policies. We narrowed this number down to 28 based on an eligibility criteria put together by our insurance specialists. For example, an eligible brand must offer some type of COVID cover and be open to customers up to 79 years old.

We then gathered over 300 quotes to get an average price and scored the same 18 features for every policy out of 10. These included COVID medical benefits, COVID rearrangement costs, theft or damage to luggage, hospital cash allowance, cancellation and amendment fees, luggage delay and rental car excess insurance. The final score for the comprehensive rating was a 75/25 blend of features and price.

SCTI came in first place because it goes further than the majority of travel insurers. For example, it can cover you for trip cancellations or changes before your journey because of an unexpected event. The majority of insurers typically don't do this. They only cover you for certain reasons. So for example, if your flight was cancelled or delayed for a reason not listed in the PDS, you might not be covered.

Top 5 policies in travel insurance – international comprehensive

  • Southern Cross International Comprehensive – Single Trip
  • NRMA International Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • InsureandGo Gold One Trip
  • Fast Cover International Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • Medibank International Comprehensive Travel Insurance

Its customer service

In addition to the Finder Awards, SCTI has one of the best claims experiences and an easy-to-read PDS. It earned a finalist spot for General Insurance Claims Team of the Year at The International Travel & Health Insurance Journal Awards and won the Best Plain English Legal Document at the most recent Plain Language Awards.

The full methodology behind our awards


Medibank is typically one of the cheapest comprehensive travel insurance policies available (plus, health members also get 15% off a policy). COVID cover, cancellation and more are included automatically.

  • It's very cheap – $233 less than average , according to 300+ quotes.
  • 15% discount for health members (making it the cheapest out of 28 policies).
  • Up to $5,000 for COVID rearrangement costs.
  • Only Medibank and ahm health members can access discount.
  • $15,000 cap for luggage. SCTI and Cover-More have a $25,000 cap.
  • $6,000 cap for rental car excess cover. SCTI and Kogan have a $10,000 cap.

How Medibank Travel Insurance compares

  • Theft or damage to luggage: up to $15,000
  • Cancellation and amendment fees: up to Unlimited
  • Luggage delay: up to $1,100
  • Theft of cash: up to $250
  • Rental car excess insurance: up to $6,000
  • Cooling off period: 21 days
  • Travel Delay: up to $2,000
  • Special Events: No
  • Travel Documents: up to $5,000
  • Personal liability: up to $5,000,000

Its discount

We looked at a total of 51 travel insurance policies as part of the 2023 Finder Awards. We selected Medibank as a top pick for discounts because the health members discount made it the cheapest international policy on average, according to our 2023 pricing research. No other insurer we found offers 15% off if you're a health insurance member.

A Medibank international policy cost $353 on average for a 2-week trip overseas. That's $233 cheaper than average, according to our research of 28 policies. With the health members discount, it becomes the cheapest travel insurance policy on average. It could knock $53 off a $353 policy.

Fast cover

FastCover is our value pick because you get a lot for your money compared to the 28 international policies we analysed. You get extensive COVID cover, cancellations, unlimited medical, travel delay expenses, lost luggage and more.

  • Extensive COVID cover (including trip rearrangement and cancellation costs and repatriation – many others don't offer this).
  • Cheapest international policy on average out of 28.
  • Best Value Finder Award winner and Finder Innovation finalist .
  • Lots of other travel insurers also cover COVID-19 now.
  • Rental car excess cover is an optional extra. It's automatically included with most comprehensive policies.
  • $750 cap on delayed luggage. SCTI and Cover-More have a $1,000 and $1,100 cap.

How Fast Cover Travel Insurance compares

  • Luggage delay: up to $750
  • Rental car excess insurance: Optional
  • Cooling off period: 25 days
  • Special Events: up to $5,000

Good value award-winning cover

Fast Cover is Finder's 2023 Best Travel Insurance – Value winner. According to our research of 28 policies, it's typically the cheapest insurer. You get a lot for your money though. It covers you for the essentials including some types of cancellations, medical expenses and up to $5,000 for COVID-related medical expenses and rearrangement costs.

As part of the awards research, we looked at over 100 international travel insurance policies. We narrowed this number down to 28 based on an eligibility criteria put together by our insurance specialists. For example, an eligible brand must offer some type of COVID cover and be open to customers up to 79 years old.

We then gathered over 300 quotes to get an average price and scored the same 18 features for every policy out of 10. These included COVID medical benefits, COVID rearrangement costs, theft or damage to luggage, hospital cash allowance, cancellation and amendment fees, luggage delay and rental car excess insurance. The final score for the value rating was a 30/70 blend of features and price. Fast Cover won largely because it offered the cheapest policy on average, according to our pricing research.

Top 5 policies in travel insurance – value

Its COVID cover

Its COVID cover goes further than most. Fast Cover's comprehensive policy can pay up to $5,000 for additional travel expenses related to COVID. For example, if you catch the virus while you're on holiday and need to delay your flight home, it can pay for staying in accommodation longer. It can even cover additional expenses associated with childcare. Similarly, it can also cover medical evacuation. Many other insurers don't offer this.

Keep in mind, most major travel insurers in Australia, including Cover-More, InsureandGo and SCTI, cover some COVID-related costs now, including rearranging your trip. However, we selected Fast Cover because it has a more detailed list of events and situations it will cover.

Insureandgo logo

InsureandGo's Domestic Gold is around the half the price of the average domestic policy, making it ideal for budget-friendly trips within Australia. Cancellations, travel delays and rental car excess cover are all automatically included.

  • It's very cheap. Out of 23 insurers, it's $180+ less than average.
  • Get 10% off your travel insurance policy, using the code Finder10.
  • Up to $7,500 towards car rental excess cover. That's $2,500 better than most.
  • $50,000 cap on cancellation cover. Medibank doesn't have a cap. $50,000 is likely more than enough for most though.
  • Its PDS can be confusing and hard to understand.
  • Cover-More, Fast Cover and SCTI also offer reasonably priced domestic policies.

How InsureandGo Travel Insurance compares

*Example quote based on a single 40-year-old travelling in Australia for 1 week. Data collected in August 2023.

  • Theft or damage to luggage: up to $8,000
  • Cancellation and amendment fees: up to $50,000
  • Luggage delay: up to $500
  • Rental car excess insurance: up to $7,500
  • Travel Delay: up to $1,500
  • Travel Documents: No
  • Personal liability: up to $1,500,000

It's competitively priced

We looked at 23 domestic travel insurance policies as part of the 2023 Finder Awards.

We scored the same 14 features for every policy. These benefits included COVID rearrangement costs, theft or damage to luggage and rental car excess cover. InsureandGo scored highly for a number of benefits including rental car excess cover, COVID cover, cancellation cover and luggage cover. It is also competitively priced. Overall, it ranked in first place.

Top 5 policies in travel insurance – domestic

  • InsureandGo Gold Domestic
  • Australia Post Domestic Travel Insurance
  • Cover-More Domestic Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • NRMA Domestic Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • Southern Cross Domestic Travel Insurance

It's comprehensive

You get up to $50,000 for cancellations, $25,000 for travel delays, $8,000 for lost luggage, $5,000 for COVID cancellation and rearrangement costs and $7,500 for rental car excess cover. These are good limits considering how expensive it is to travel domestically, from flights to accommodation.

Similarly, it's good if you plan to rent a car while you're away. InsureandGo's top policy will cover the rental car excess for up to $7,500 if your car is damaged, stolen or involved in an accident. The average is $5,000 which sometimes isn't enough to cover your excess.

Best Travel Insurance - Seniors

Research shows SCTI is one of the most affordable travel insurance policies for Australian seniors. Its International Comprehensive policy has a maximum age limit of 119 and it can cover pre-existing conditions.

  • Maximum age limit of 119. Many stop offering cover at 80.
  • It's cheap for seniors. Out of 28 policies, only FastCover and Medibank cost less.
  • High limits e.g. unlimited medical and evacuation expenses, theft and luggage damage ($25,000) and travel delay ($30,000).
  • Boomers Travel Insurance has no age limit.
  • It doesn't automatically cover any pre-existing conditions. You need to fill out a medical assessment.
  • $2,500 cap on cancellations is low and risky for expensive trips. For example, it's unlimited with Fast Cover.

*Example quote based on a single 75-year-old travelling to Bali for 2 weeks. Data collected in August 2023.

It won the Best Seniors award

We picked Southern Cross Comprehensive because it is Finder's 2023 Best Travel Insurance – Seniors winner. It covers more than other insurers but is still comparatively cheap. To determine the winner, we gathered dozens of quotes for 79-year-olds for 28 international travel insurance policies. This gave us our average price.

We then scored the same 18 features for every policy. These benefits included COVID medical cover, COVID rearrangement costs, theft or damage to luggage and age limits. SCTI came out on top because it covers more than other insurers, has a higher age limit and is competitively priced.

Top 5 policies in t ravel insurance – Seniors

  • Worldcare Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • HIF International Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • Defence Health International Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • Boomers International Comprehensive Travel Insurance

Tick Travel logo

If you just want a really cheap policy that covers you for medical expenses and is highly rated by customers, Tick is hard to beat. Our research shows it's commonly the cheapest basic travel insurer for popular destinations including Bali, Italy and the UK.

  • Highest-rated travel insurer on Finder (4.42/5) and 95% recommendation rate.
  • The cheapest travel insurance cover for 7 out of the 9 destinations we got quotes for.
  • 10% off your travel insurance policy, using the code Finder.
  • Only covers the basics e.g. unlimited medical expenses, up to $2,000 for stolen luggage and personal liability cover.
  • No cover for COVID-19.
  • No cover for cancellations or travel delays.

How Tick Travel Insurance compares

  • Theft or damage to luggage: up to $2,000
  • Cancellation and amendment fees: No
  • Luggage delay: No
  • Theft of cash: No
  • Rental car excess insurance: $0
  • Travel Delay: No

It's hard to beat on price We used the Finder travel insurance engine to determine our budget-friendly top pick. We got 30 quotes on 15 August for each for the following destinations: Bali, USA, Italy, UK, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Spain and a multi-destination option. Tick was the cheapest policy for 7 of the 9 destinations. In the 2 cases where there was a cheaper option, it was only marginally more expensive: 1c for the US and $3 for Bali.

To help you figure out what travel insurance company is the best in 2023, we asked over 1,200 Australians for their opinion and got our insurance experts to rate some of the top international policies.

Most travel insurers offer COVID cover now and most will cover you for similar COVID-related travel expenses . However, there are still some things you can do to make sure you're getting the right policy for you:

Number 1

Take out cover for all travellers

Whether you're travelling with your partner or the whole family, make sure that you add them to the insurance policy. That way, if someone catches COVID but you don't, you'll still be covered for expenses.

Number 2

Get a policy as soon as you book your trip

That way, you're covered if you get sick and need to cancel. A few insurers including Cover-More and Easy Travel Insurance also won't accept COVID-related claims within 21 days of your trip, so make sure you take out cover at least 3 weeks before you jet off.

Number 3

Check the exclusions

It can be tedious but make sure you give the exclusions in the PDS a read before you buy. For example, you won't be covered for costs related to border closures. It means that you might be out of pocket for prepaid accommodation or booked airline tickets if the government of that country imposes a lockdown.

Over 1.3 million left Australian shores in the month of May, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' most recent data – an annual increase of 699,000+ people.


Jillian, Kerry and Tyson travelled from Sydney to Dallas. 10 days in, Tyson (Jillian's son) caught COVID, a day before the family was supposed to leave for a ski trip in Colorado. As a result, they had to rearrange their travel plans.

Unfortunately, Jillian got COVID later and the family had to send Tyson and Kerry home to Sydney, while Jillian stayed another 4 days until she tested negative. She then rebooked her trip home.

Their insurer, Southern Cross Travel Insurance , covered just under $3,000 in costs . The family paid a $500 excess to claim on 2 events.

Get a free travel insurance quote

Why you can trust Finder's travel insurance experts


We're experts


We're independent


We're here to help

What's the best travel insurance with covid cover.

All the top picks we've selected come with COVID cover but Fast Cover goes a little further than most. Like many other insurers, it can help pay for COVID-related medical expenses, cancellation costs and additional accommodation. It can also cover childcare costs and medical evacuation.

How far in advance should I buy travel insurance?

It's worth getting travel insurance as soon as you book your trip. That way, you're covered straight away. If something happens – say you get sick or your flight is cancelled or delayed – you're covered.

Is it best to get a single trip or annual policy?

Single trip policies may be best if you don't plan on travelling much over the next year or, if you're going on a long trip ( annual policies cap the length you're allowed to travel per trip – typically 30, 45 or 60 days).

Annual (or multi-trip) policies may be better if you're a jet-setter who intends to travel several times a year. Generally speaking, an annual policy may work out cheaper than paying for 4 single-trip policies in a year.

But be aware, annual plans have been a little harder to come by since the pandemic.

How do I find the best price for travel insurance?

The simple answer is to compare polices. The cost of travel insurance will always be different depending on where you're going, for how long and your age. By using our travel insurance tool, you can compare heaps of policies by entering those details just that one time, and compare policy features so you can feel confident that you're paying the best price for your travel insurance.

What's the best travel insurance for Bali?

There have been several flight cancellations and delays to Bali recently. Most travel insurance polices can reimburse you for flight cancellations. However, it's worth going with an insurer that will also cover additional travel expenses such as accommodation and pre-booked excursions. It can be very frustrating if something happens but if the cancellation is due to circumstances out of your control, your insurer is likely to cover you.

What's the best travel insurance for the US?

The US has a notoriously expensive healthcare system so it's worth getting a travel insurance policy that comes with unlimited medical expenses cover at the very least. Fortunately, most comprehensive policies offer this. Other important medical-related expenses worth considering are:

  • Hospital cash allowance. An amount you'll be given per day if you're hospitalised to pay for additional expenses.
  • Resumption of journey. This can help pay you to get home if you're very sick.
  • ABS: Overseas Arrivals and Departures
  • The International Travel and Health Insurance Journal Awards 2022
  • Cover-More Travel Insurance PDS (accessed August 2023)
  • Fast Cover Travel Insurance PDS (accessed November 2023)
  • InsureandGo Travel Insurance PDS (accessed August 2023)
  • Plain Language Awards
  • SCTI PDS (accessed August 2023)
  • Tick travel insurance PDS (accessed August 2023)
  • Travel insurance methodology
  • Travel insurance 2023 Finder Awards

best aussie travel insurance

Gary Ross Hunter

Gary Ross Hunter is an editor at Finder, specialising in insurance. He’s been writing about life, travel, home, car, pet and health insurance for over 6 years and regularly appears as an insurance expert in publications including The Sydney Morning Herald,, The Telegraph, Explore Travel and Escape. Gary holds a Kaplan Tier 1 General Insurance (General Advice) certification and a Kaplan Tier 1 Generic Knowledge certification which meets the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146).

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Best COVID-19 Travel Insurance for Australia 2023

Australia is one of the popular destinations that Singaporeans like to travel to for leisure, business or even studies. From its amazing outback to the quirky cafes in the suburbs, Australia is a great place for countless adventures while on a solo trip or when visiting with friends and family. As you start planning for your next vacation there, do remember to get your visa and compare COVID-19 travel insurance coverage before you take off on your Australian getaway!

Masthead Image

COVID-19 Travel Requirements To Enter Australia

Since Australia reopened its borders and welcome tourists back early this year, there has been changes in requirements for travellers entering Australia, and that includes certified COVID-19 vaccination, the purchase of travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage, the type of certified hotels which you book, mandatory PCR tests, and other related procedures.

Vaccination and quarantine requirements

Every tourist used to be required to have a proof (digital/ printed) of COVID-19 Vaccination, but ever since the latest update by the Department of Home Affairs of the Australian government, tourists entering and leaving Australia are no longer required to provide evidence of vaccination status, and there is also no need to complete the Digital Passenger Declaration which was in put in place during the COVID-19 virus outbreak period. If you’re unvaccinated, you do not need a travel exemption to travel to Australia either.

Travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage

Getting travel insurance is not required for most travellers going to Australia, but it is still  strongly recommended to be covered with COVID-19 travel insurance if you’re going to Australia for leisure or for business. This is because in situations if you really need medical assistance during your vacation or business trip in Australia, healthcare expenses can be very expensive unlike those in your home country as overseas medical expenses are usually not subsidised by the government.

VISA application

Unless you’re from New Zealand which is the only country on a visa waiver agreement with Australia, you’ll have to apply for a visa via the Australian Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) system to travel to Australia as a tourist. There are a total of 17 types of visa you can apply for, but if you’re just going there for leisure or business, here are the 5 different visas to consider.

  • Tourist stream visa

As the name suggests, you’ll be able to visit Australia as a tourist with this visa, to see family and friends or even go on a cruise there. You’ll be granted a stay of 3, 6 or 12 months and this visa will cost you about AUD150.

  • eVisitor or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa

There’s no cost to these 2 similar types of “multiple-entry” visas, but there may be an application service charge of AUD20. Both types of visas allow you to visit Australia as often as you wish in a 12-month period, however, the ETA has a minor requirement (stay up to 3 months each time you enter Australia). If you wish to stay for more than 3 months, then the eVisitor visa will be a better option.

  • Transit visa

When you’re transiting in Australia, this visa will be applicable if you’re going to be in Australia for up to 72 hours and not more than that. There’s no cost to this visa as well.

  • Working Holiday visa

Combining business with leisure on your trip to Australia? This visa is just the right one for travellers who are between 18 to 30 years old (or 35 years old for some countries) and have their first extended holiday in Australia while working here. You can even ​​apply for a second or third Working Holiday visa if you meet certain eligibility criteria. The duration for this visa is up to 12 months and it’ll cost you about AUD510.

  • Business visitor stream visa

Those who are travelling to Australia solely for business purposes will need to apply for this visa which grants up to 3 months of stay and costs AUD150.

Requirements for Air Travel to Australia

Travelling by air to Australia includes several requirements that include:

  • Approved ETA visa that is issued via the Australian Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) system or other types of approved visas on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website
  • Mandatory wearing of masks on inbound international flights to Australia and in public areas of Australia 
  • Medical insurance that covers COVID-19 related medical and evacuation expenses is strongly recommended although not mandatory

We asked Singaporeans about flight disruptions, and they answered.

Find out the worst airlines with delays and cancellations according to Singaporean travellers.

Best Australia Travel Insurance With COVID-19 Coverage

FWD Travel Insurance

FWD Travel Insurance

Etiqa Travel Insurance

Etiqa Travel Insurance

Starr Travel Insurance

Starr Travel Insurance

Allianz Travel Insurance

Allianz Travel Insurance

MSIG Travel Insurance

MSIG Travel Insurance

Singlife Travel Insurance

Singlife Travel Insurance

Bubblegum Travel Insurance

Bubblegum Travel Insurance

Best australia travel insurance benefits coverage, what is the average cost of a covid-19 travel insurance for australia.

As you compare across the 6 travel insurers’ benefits and premiums, the average cost of a travel insurance plan with COVID-19 coverage for a 3 weeks Australia vacation is about $94, assuming that we take the most basic plan offered by each travel insurance provider.

Estimated average cost of a travel insurance plan:

$56 + $73 + $104 + $114 + $140 + $77 = $564

$564 ÷ 6 = $94

If you’re looking at more cost-efficient plans, perhaps those by FWD, Bubblegum, and Starr would be more suitable, especially for Starr as the medical expenses coverage by Starr is quite extensive with a hefty maximum limit of $1,000,000, which are among the higher ones in these 6 travel insurances.

When considering more comprehensive coverage for medical expenses in the situation that you get diagnosed with COVID-19, Singlife’s Prestige plan has the highest coverage limit of $5,000,000 and the premium is quite reasonable and lower than other providers like AIG.

As for claiming benefits for trip cancellation if you’re down with COVID-19, Singlife, Starr and Allianz will provide higher coverage of up to $20,000 and $15,000 respectively for you.

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Travel Tips When Travelling In Australia

Are you in the midst of planning for your next Australia vacation? Here are some useful tips that may come in handy.

Best time to go to Australia

As the Australian weather is usually the reverse from countries in the Northern hemisphere, their cold winters begin in the middle of the year, around June, and their summers kick off at the end of the year.

Winters in Melbourne tend to be a little more harsh than in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane, where it’s usually quite mild. Summer just about everywhere in Australia is very hot, with the temperature shooting over 40 degrees, so get your sunblock lotions and hats ready.

Best travel apps for Australia

Google Maps and are must-haves in your itinerary planning as they allow you to download area maps that you can access without Wi-Fi or data.

If you’re up for outdoor adventures, the CamperMate app is a useful app to have as well because you can search for campervan sites and compare the pricing, facilities, read up on reviews and refer to photos of each listing. What’s more, it helps you locate public toilets and petrol stations across Australia and you can list your driveway for campervans to stay overnight.

Renting a car in Australia

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is not a must only if you’re holding a valid driver's licence for at least 12 months and present it at the time of rental. If your car licence is not written in English, an IDP is required.

It is illegal to drive without an original IDP, and car rental companies in Australia will not rent cars to foreigners who are unable to produce an IDP. Do remember to make sure that your travel insurance provides rental car excess cover as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do travel insurance plans for australia trips cover pcr tests.

This really depends on the travel insurance plan you pick. If you’ve got a plan from insurers like AXA and AIG, their plans do not cover expenses incurred for mandatory COVID-19 diagnostic tests or any pre-departure or post-departure testing.

On the other hand, there are a few insurers like MSIG that offer free PCR test coverage for some of their plans i.e. Annual Trip plans. Others like Income travel insurance offer COVID-19 (PCR) swab tests at $124.2 along with a series of other types of pre-departure tests.

Is it better to have travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage?

Yes, considering the current pandemic situation which is yet to be over. Every country has its own prevailing entry requirements and if you really need medical assistance during your vacation or business trip in Australia, healthcare expenses can be very expensive unlike those in your home country as overseas medical expenses are usually not subsidised by the government.

By having COVID-19 coverage in your travel insurance plan, it can provide you claim benefits for overseas medical expenses due to COVID-19, emergency medical evacuation & repatriation, overseas COVID-19 diagnosis quarantine allowance, overseas hospital cash due to COVID-19, trip cancellation/postponement/curtailment/disruption coverage due to COVID-19, and more.

How to get travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage?

Are covid-19 quarantine stays covered by travel insurance, related links.

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Partner content: This content was created by a business partner of Dow Jones and researched and written independently of the MarketWatch newsroom. Links in this article may result in us earning a commission. Learn More

Travel Insurance for an Australian Vacation (2023)

Travel insurance is affordable and can reduce sunken costs if you can’t make it to Australia as expected.

best aussie travel insurance

Nicole Leigh West is an experienced lifestyle journalist and writer for publications including Wanderlust, TripSavvy and Vacations & Travel. Along with roaming the globe and penning fiction novels, Nicole works for World Words as a sub-editor and writer.

best aussie travel insurance

Sabrina Lopez is an editor with over six years of experience writing and editing digital content with a particular focus on home services, home products and personal finance. When she is not working on articles to help consumers make informed decisions, Sabrina enjoys creative writing and spending time with her family and their two parrots.

Whether you experience a travel delay or a medical emergency, travel insurance for Australia vacations provides valuable protection for expensive trip costs. Depending on the level of coverage you choose, reimbursements recoup losses for trip cancellation, lost baggage, unexpected medical treatment and more.

Below, we at the MarketWatch Guides Team discuss the benefits, costs and requirements of international travel insurance for Australia.

Compare Australian Travel Insurance Companies

  • Do I Need Insurance?
  • How Do I Get Insurance?
  • Safety Tips
  • The Bottom Line

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Do I Need Travel Insurance for Australia?

It’s not mandatory to purchase travel insurance as a condition of entry to Australia or neighboring New Zealand in the Australiasia region. However, the Australian government strongly recommends visitors have travel insurance to cover for unexpected medical costs.

While residents are covered by public Medicare and domestic travel insurance, visitors to Australia are treated as private patients. Therefore, you’re generally required to pay hospital expenses and other medical bills at the time of treatment. Furthermore, comprehensive travel insurance with trip cancellation protects against sudden cancellation costs.

Australia is renowned for exciting adventure activities, including boating, hiking and winter sports. Medical coverage ensures you’ll have peace of mind in the event of an injury. The following are some of the most common policies to help you buy travel insurance to suit you.

Cancel for Any Reason Coverage

Cancel for any reason coverage , or CFAR, is sold as an additional premium that reimburses nonrefundable trip costs without limits on why you need to cancel. With standard insurance products, cancellation policies generally reimburse you for a limited and predetermined number of reasons, including hospitalization or the death of a family member.

This type of coverage is useful during situations such as the coronavirus pandemic with changing circumstances and in the absence of COVID-19 coverage. Whether your reason is due to a country’s travel advice changing or simply a change of personal plans, you can claim for prepaid costs and enjoy the flexibility.

CFAR is subject to rules that vary via insurance providers. They can include time limits such as a requirement to cancel within 48 hours of departure.

Gear Theft Protection

Whether you’re traveling to Sydney or exploring the Outback, gear theft protection is useful on every overseas trip as insurance for your personal effects. For a trip to Australia, you might wish to bring the following:

  • Professional camera plus equipment
  • Sports equipment, including surfboards and snowboards

Travel insurance plans help you recover the costs of items that are stolen, damaged or lost via airlines or tour operators. As general advice, your policy covers up to predetermined cost limits, and exclusions may apply.

Be aware that the full value of items might not be covered with the sub-limits. Check the product disclosure statement (PDS) to ensure gear theft protection is sufficient, otherwise leave valuable items at home.

Medical Emergency Insurance and Emergency Medical Evacuation

Excellent medical treatment is available in Australia, and there are no major health hazards of concern according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) . However, in the case of medical expenses, emergency assistance or any pre-existing medical conditions you may have, health insurance is important to recover significant upfront costs.

In the case of an overseas emergency, travel insurance for medical emergencies covers a range of expenses including:

  • Dental emergencies
  • Hospital fees
  • Lab tests and X-rays
  • Operating room charges and anesthesia

Depending on the insurance company, policies also cover expenses if you require medical assistance for injuries via sports and adventure activities. Most cover emergency medical evacuation to a major hospital or your home country.

Rental Car Protection

In Australia, a loss damage waiver and third-party insurance for personal liability are mandatory and therefore included in the contract for any rental vehicle. Premium car insurance, through an authorized representative for rental cars, further limits your liabilities while driving.

Depending on the type of car insurance and the coverage you choose, premium plans may include the following safeguards:

  • Collision damage waiver and theft protection
  • Personal effects coverage
  • Roadside protection
  • Tire and windshield protection

As a separate protection and on top of local car insurance, a standard travel insurance policy generally includes rental vehicle excess cover. This helps to recoup the losses you’re liable for regarding excess costs for damaged or stolen vehicles.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

Standard Australian travel insurance cover generally provides reimbursement for financial loss due to cancellation up to a limit. If you cancel your vacation before departure, nonrefundable and prepaid expenses are covered. However, trip cancellation insurance is subject to binding rules limiting valid reasons. For flexibility, it’s a good idea to choose CFAR.

One of the most common questions regarding cancellation coverage is how you qualify for it. As general advice, the acceptable reasons include:

  • Death of a family member
  • Hospitalization, illness or serious injury
  • Military orders
  • Severe weather conditions, excluding some natural disasters

How Much Does Australia Travel Insurance Cost?

From an annual multi-trip policy to a single trip, a travel insurance quote depends on your personal preferences, age and the destination. International travel insurance providers often use target market determination to design insurance products to suit your demographic.

To get a travel insurance quote, you’ll enter the following on provider sites:

  • Age and number of travelers in your group
  • Destination country and location
  • Total trip price

We requested quotes from five different providers of affordable travel insurance coverage as an example. The below quotes are for a 30-year-old traveler from New York traveling to Australia from Aug. 1 to Aug. 14. Including accommodation and flights, the total trip cost is $5,000.

The quotes listed were collected from each company’s website in May 2023. The most affordable policy plans for international travel insurance to Australia include coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, medical expenses for emergencies, baggage loss or delay and emergency evacuation.

How Do I Get Travel Insurance for Australia?

The first step for getting travel insurance for Australia is to check your credit cards and current health insurance. You might already have travel insurance coverage for an Australian vacation. Most airlines offer comprehensive travel insurance upon booking your flights.

To find the best quote and buy travel insurance, shop around to compare prices. The level of coverage you need depends on your personal preferences.

Australia Safety Tips

Below are safety and travel tips to help you enjoy your trip to Australia with peace of mind.

Crime and Safety

The Australian Travel Advisory from the U.S Department of State is at Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions. For international travel alerts and onward travel, Australia’s Smartraveller site provides information.

In general, U.S. citizens aren’t specifically targeted for crime in Australia. However, it pays to be aware of your surroundings in large cities. Robberies and auto theft are common in some areas, along with pickpockets at crowded tourist destinations.

Day Trips, Tours and Excursions

From diving on the Great Barrier Reef to hiking through the remote Outback, day trips and excursions in Australia are the best way to see the sights. If you’re participating in extreme sports, it’s wise to check with insurance providers with regard to specific insurance coverage.

To ensure tour companies are reputable, use trusted organizations. You’ll find information on Australia’s official tourism site , along with sites in each state you visit.

According to the Australian government , all entry restrictions and rules pertaining to COVID-19 are removed. Most public health measures are also removed across the country. Check with local authorities in the event of changes.

The Bottom Line: Is Travel Insurance for an Australia Vacation Worth It?

You’re not legally obligated to buy travel insurance for a vacation in Australia. However, the benefits of doing so ensure you’re covered for the possibility of financial loss if you need to cancel your trip or you experience delays.

When deciding if travel insurance is worth it , the main factor for a trip to Australia are the medical costs you might incur in the event of an emergency health issue or injury. We recommend you get quotes from a few different providers to find the best deal for your trip.

Frequently Asked Questions About Travel Insurance in Australia

Can i claim flight compensation.

Travel insurance is the best protection against canceled flights, and it might be the only way you can claim flight compensation . For the most part, U.S. airlines only compensate via refunds if cancellations are a direct result of overbooking or airline fault.

Do you need travel insurance to go to Australia?

Travel insurance isn’t mandatory for entry into or travel around Australia. Due to expensive upfront medical costs, most travelers choose to buy travel insurance to cover medical expenses in the event of illness or injury.

Do all credit cards have travel insurance?

Not all credit cards offer travel insurance. Credit cards that feature travel rewards often include travel insurance with the benefits. Check the coverage to ensure it’s suitable for your personal needs.

Do tourists get free health care in Australia?

Visitors to Australia don’t receive free health care and are treated as private patients. If you’re admitted to a hospital or need treatment for an injury, costs are usually required upfront. As this may be expensive, travel insurance to cover unexpected medical expenses is recommended.

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Choice travel insurance buying guide.


Do you need travel insurance? How do you choose the right cover? What are you covered for?

CHOICE answers all the questions you need to know before leaving the country.

Download the CHOICE travel insurance buying guide [PDF 3.52MB] Download the CHOICE travel insurance cheat sheet [PDF 587KB] Who is CHOICE? Set up by consumers for consumers, CHOICE is the independent consumer advocate that provides Australians with information and advice, free from commercial bias. Visit .

Why travel insurance?

  • Does travel insurance cover COVID-19?

How to get travel insurance

Before you buy, how to save money on travel insurance.

  • How to read the product disclosure statement

What are you covered for?

  • Credit card insurance

How to make a complaint

If you’re leaving Australia, travel insurance is just as essential as a passport.

Holidays don’t always go as planned.

If you’re leaving Australia, travel insurance is just as essential as a passport. Medical expenses are the number one reason to get insurance, but sometimes other things can go wrong, such as trip cancellations, delays, lost luggage or even the big stuff like natural disasters and pandemics. If you end up out of pocket because of these things, insurance can make up for that.

The Australian Government won’t pay your medical bills.

In an emergency, the Australian Government can only help so much. The Consular Services Charter describes what the government can and can’t do to help Australians overseas.

If you end up injured or sick while overseas, you’ll be footing the hospital bill and the cost of flying home. If you’re really unlucky, that could cost you or your family hundreds of thousands of dollars.

68% of travellers mistakenly believe the Australian Government would ensure they get medical treatment if they need it overseas, and 43% believe the government would pay their medical bills.

Some countries won’t let you in if you don’t have insurance. 

Singapore and the UAE require you to have travel insurance. Not to mention all 26 European countries in the Schengen Area if you’re applying for a visa to visit. Read the Smartraveller travel advice for information about your destination.


Reciprocal healthcare Australia has reciprocal healthcare agreements with several countries: Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. If you have Medicare, you can get subsidised treatment for essential services only in these countries, which often leads people to ask whether they still need travel insurance. The answer is yes, for the following reasons. You’re usually only covered for urgent care that can’t wait until you get home. If you’re very ill, travel insurance can pay for a medical escort to bring you home to Australia. You still may have to pay fees for treatment and medication. For example, in New Zealand reciprocal health care doesn’t cover you for free or subsidised care by a general practitioner or ambulance. Travel insurance can cover you for cancellations, delays, stolen items and more.

Remember to take your Medicare card with you. You’ll need it, along with your passport, to prove you’re eligible for reciprocal health care. For more information, visit .

Marco* had breathing difficulties on his way home from Europe, causing his flight to be diverted to the UAE. Hospitals in the UAE won’t admit you unless you have insurance or can pay an upfront fee. Marco’s family had to pay thousands of dollars for his treatment. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details

Do you need domestic travel insurance?

Most of us already have medical cover at home, be it Medicare or private health insurance or both. But there are still a few key reasons to consider domestic travel insurance.

  • Cancellation: If you’ve spent a lot on your holiday, then it’s not too much extra to buy travel insurance in case of the unforeseen.
  • Baggage cover: If you’re travelling with valuables, think about whether you want them covered for theft, loss or damage.
  • Car hire excess: You can save money using travel insurance to cover your collision damage excess, rather than paying the car hire company’s extra charge.

Does international travel insurance cover COVID-19?

Many travel insurers now offer limited cover for COVID-19, but the available cover varies quite a lot.  Some policies only cover medical and repatriation costs if you get COVID-19 overseas, while other policies provide limited cover for cancellation costs in addition to medical and repatriation costs.

You should always check the details of your insurance coverage, particularly how it applies to COVID-19 and travel disruptions.

Over 90% of travellers will look for insurance that covers them for cancellation and medical expenses caused by COVID-19.

If you’re planning to go on a cruise, be extra careful. Some travel insurers may not offer COVID-19 cover for multi-night cruises or they may restrict the cover provided on cruises.

Also, don’t rely on the travel insurance on your credit card unless you check it closely – it may not cover claims related to COVID-19.

There are cooling-off periods for COVID-19 cancellation cover, so it’s best to buy your travel insurance at the same time as you book your trip. Some insurers may only cover cancellation if you test positive to COVID-19 and the policy was purchased more than 21 days before your scheduled departure date.

Make your travel plans COVID-safe

You need to be prepared for your travel plans to be interrupted at short notice. As travel insurance may not protect you from government border closures, general lockdowns or quarantine requirements in your destination country, the key is to book only with providers that allow you flexibility should things change.

  • Check the rules for travelling to your destination. For example, are there any entry requirements? What are the vaccination requirements? And what type of travel insurance do you need?
  • Read the terms and conditions of your airline, accommodation and travel tours before you book. Will they refund you if you can’t travel due to COVID-19? If they only offer a reschedule or a credit, will you be in a position to redeem the credit in future?
  • You can book flexible tickets for flights but be aware you usually have to pay the difference between the prices for the tickets you bought and the new tickets. So changing your flight dates at short notice can be very expensive.
  • If you book through a travel agent or booking site, what are their terms and conditions? Will they refund you or provide a credit? Are there cancellation fees?
  • If you pay by credit or debit card (and you selected ‘credit’ when you paid), you may have access to credit card chargebacks if something goes wrong.
  • Keep on top of the latest travel advice and requirements at . Travel restrictions can change at short notice.
  • If you do have to cancel, your travel insurer will ask you to claim what you can back from travel providers first. Read the CHOICE advice on how to get your money back on travel cancellations and ask your travel insurer if you can get a refund or partial refund of your travel insurance premium.

You can buy travel insurance from a travel insurer, travel agent, insurance broker, credit card provider, or even from your health, home or car insurer.

You can buy travel insurance online (direct from the insurer’s website, from a comparison site or through an airline booking site), over the counter or over the phone.

Buy travel insurance as soon as you know your travel dates. That way you’re covered if your trip is cancelled before you even leave or if you’re unable to travel at all.

You can certainly buy travel insurance quicker than it will take you to read this guide, but do you know what you’ll be covered for? Will you be covered if you trip over after having a drink? If you crash your scooter in Thailand? If you lose your wallet during a stopover? If you need to isolate because you contract COVID-19?

There are a lot of ‘what ifs’ to consider, depending on where you’re going and what you’ll be doing, so it’s worth reading the product disclosure statement (PDS) first to make sure you’ll be covered.

Will you use it? Hopefully not, but research by Smartraveller found that one in 4 Australian travellers experienced an insurable event on their last overseas trip. Most common insurable events Flight or tour cancelled Flight delayed more than 12 hours Received medical treatment Lost, damaged or stolen luggage Missed a connecting flight Lost, damaged or stolen cash or personal items Forced to cancel trip before departure What if the insurers don’t pay out? Australian travellers lodged almost 300,000 insurance claims in 2018–19, the last financial year before COVID-19 travel bans. Almost 90% of those were paid out. Top four reasons for declined claims Due to policy exclusions, or not included in the policy conditions Claim amount was below the excess Claim was due to a pre-existing medical condition Claim was for an item that was stolen while it was unattended

1. Where are you going?


The level of cover and the cost of travel insurance can vary depending on the region you’re travelling to, and some risks may be of greater concern than others. Not all travel insurance policies cover COVID-19 and other pandemics or epidemics such as SARS. And not all policies cover you for changing your plans due to a riot or civil commotion, for example. Travel insurance also may not be available for countries with travel alerts.

  • Look up your destination on and make sure you’re aware of any risks or safety advice.
  • Buy a policy that covers you for every country you’re travelling to or transiting through. If you’re going to Europe via a one-night stopover in the US, then get cover for the US and Europe. Usually a worldwide policy will cover this.
86% of travellers say they’re more cautious after the COVID-19 pandemic about travelling to places where it could prove harder to return home in a crisis.

You need different cover for different regions

Insurers sometimes apply policies to regions rather than having a policy for each destination.

Asia Pacific: Destinations such as New Zealand, Bali, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Asia: Destinations such as India, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

Europe: Destinations such as the United Kingdom, Ireland and Western Europe.

Worldwide: All of the above as well as regions such as North America, South America, Japan and Africa.

These definitions differ for each insurer. For example, several insurers cover travel to Bali under their Pacific policy, while some will only cover travel to Bali under their Asian region policy.

2. How long are you going for?


Just a quick trip? Simply buy a standalone travel insurance policy for a set number of days.

Travel often? Consider an annual multi-trip policy or a credit card with complimentary travel insurance, but make sure it gives you the cover you need.

Tip: Annual multi-trip policies and credit card policies can restrict the length of each trip you take – anywhere from 15 to 365 days depending on your policy. Some allow you to pay for extra days.

3. What are you going to do there?


Cruising the open road on a moped? Carving up the ski slopes? Partying at a wedding? These things aren’t necessarily included in a travel insurance policy.

Scan the insurer’s list of included activities and those that you’ll have to pay extra for. And take it easy on the grog – if your alcohol or drug intake is the cause of an adverse event, it won’t be covered by your policy.

4. Are you taking any valuable items?


Do you need cover for a digital SLR camera or an expensive tablet or laptop? Cover for such valuables can vary from a few hundred dollars to thousands, and higher cover will often mean a higher premium.

Consider adding cover for portable valuables to your home insurance policy instead, but check on the excess and if the policy will cover you worldwide and not just in Australia.

Policies also vary when it comes to how they cover valuable items. Valuables in your check-in luggage often aren’t covered, while cover for baggage stored in your hire car is inconsistent. And baggage left unattended is never covered, which can include a bag that is stolen from the seat beside you in a restaurant while you’re looking the other way.

Make sure you have receipts for your valuables as travel insurance will not pay if you can’t prove you own them.

5.   Do you have any medical conditions?


If you have a medical condition that existed before you bought your policy, it may not be covered. This can range from something as common as allergies or asthma through to diabetes, heart conditions and knee replacements.

If you’re not sure, the best thing to do is contact the insurer to ask whether they’ll cover your condition automatically or whether you need to do an assessment.

The Massoud family* was holidaying in Singapore when 13-year-old Nazreen had a recurrence of severe bronchitis, which had affected her in Australia before their trip. The family’s travel insurer refused to pay any hospital bills as Nazreen’s bronchitis was a pre-existing medical condition. As a result, the Massouds had to ask their friends to transfer the $17,000 they needed to cover Nazreen’s hospital expenses, additional accommodation and the cost of changing flights. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details

It’s important to compare policies for cost and cover. Some travel insurance premiums increased by as much as 30% between March and June 2022.

Three-quarters (77%) of travellers are willing to pay more for insurance that covers pandemic-related claims.

The further out from your departure date that you buy travel insurance, the more you’re likely to pay for it, but you’ll be covered from the moment you buy your policy. For example, if you buy insurance 2 months before you fly, you effectively have cheap cover for any events that affect your travel plans in those 2 months.

If you pay for your trip in full 6 months in advance, but you only buy an insurance policy 2 weeks before you depart, you may not be covered for any cancellation costs if you contract COVID-19.

Left it until the last minute, or even later? Only a few insurers let you buy insurance once you’re already overseas (look for the ‘Have you already left Australia?’ checkbox when viewing policy options).

While not all policies offer online discounts, plenty do. Make sure you understand the policy and what it covers. Sometimes (but not always) a reduced price may mean reduced cover.

Tip: Check to find out whether the agent has an Australian financial services (AFS) licence or is an authorised representative of a licence holder. Take the usual precautions when giving your credit card and other details over the internet.

Member discounts

Does your health, car or home insurance provider also sell travel insurance? Some companies give 10–15% discounts to existing members.

Shop around

Trying to negotiate with a website will probably get you nowhere, but if you’re buying over the phone or through a travel agent, give it a go. Travel agents pocket a commission when they sell you insurance, so if you find a better deal elsewhere, ask them if they can beat it.

Almost two-thirds (62%) of overseas travellers who buy insurance do so on or before the day of booking travel.

Use your credit card

Some credit cards come with ‘free’ travel insurance when you use them to buy a ticket, pay for other travel expenses or otherwise activate it (we say ‘free’ because you’ll pay a premium in fees for the card itself).

This type of insurance can sometimes be a money-saver, and the level of cover can be just as good or even better than standard insurance, but make sure it gives you the cover you need.

Compromise on cover

While good medical cover is always essential, you could save money on your premium by choosing a policy with lower or variable cover for cancellation, delays and lost baggage, especially if you aren’t spending big on your holiday or taking expensive items with you.

Have you read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)? According to research conducted in 2022, of those who bought travel insurance: 45% have skim-read the PDS 43% have read the PDS in detail 8% have left the PDS to another person on the policy to read 2% have not and will not read the PDS 2% don’t know

About that fine print

You’re about to click ‘buy’, so you may as well just tick this ‘I acknowledge I’ve read the product disclosure statement’ checkbox and bon voyage…

But wait – have you checked the fine print? In the insurance world, that ‘fine print’ is contained in the product disclosure statement, or PDS (that thing you said you’d read).

How to read the PDS

There are hundreds of policies out there and if you tried to read all the paperwork that comes with each policy, you’d have to extend your holiday just to recover.

If you don’t have time to read the whole PDS cover to cover, at least look for the following.

  • The table of benefits is an overall summary of your cover.
  • The policy cover section is essential reading and is generally split into ‘what we will pay for’ and ‘what we won’t pay for’.
  • General exclusions are also essential reading – these are events that aren’t covered by any section of the policy.
  • Pre-existing conditions can remind you of forgotten ailments and are essential reading for anyone with any kind of medical condition, no matter how mild.
  • The word definition table might contain a few surprises – it’s a good place to check on the definition of a ‘relative’ or a ‘moped’, for example.
  • The claims section lists some further pointers to be aware of (e.g. it’s a good idea not to admit fault or liability in the case of an accident) and the paperwork you may need to collect while you’re away if you need to make a claim, such as police reports.
  • COVID-19 cover section – many policies have a special section listing medical, cancellation and other cover available for COVID-19.
  • The 24-hour emergency assistance contact number (write it down and keep it handy).
The Weaver* family was relieved to have travel insurance when they needed to cancel their holiday. The family wanted to go skiing in New Zealand, but a few days before they were due to depart, 12-year-old Ruby had cold symptoms. A COVID-19 test showed she was positive. Ruby and her whole family had to isolate and their travel insurance paid their cancellation costs. *This is a fictitious but realistic example

The list of travel insurance disputes taken to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) reveals a battlefield of unread or misinterpreted terms and conditions. Between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021, AFCA received more than 2,000 travel insurance complaints related to COVID-19.

Not all travel insurance policies are the same, and the wrong policy can be almost as bad as none at all.

Peter* and his business partner had booked a business trip to South Korea and Japan from 21 February 2020 to 2 March 2020. On 20 February, Peter cancelled the trip on advice of his GP who said that due to the uncertainty of the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak, he should postpone the trip until it is safe to travel. Peter’s travel insurer denied his claim, saying the policy does not provide cover for cancellation due to medical advice. Peter made a complaint and AFCA ruled in his favour as COVID-19 had been publicly announced as an epidemic prior to Peter cancelling the trip and the doctor’s advice not to travel was prudent and reasonable. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details
Checklist – Are you covered for COVID-19? Are your medical costs covered if you contract COVID-19? Are your extra expenses such as accommodation covered if you can’t travel or your stay gets extended because you or your travelling companion tests positive to COVID-19? What happens if you were going to stay with someone but they’ve contracted COVID-19? Or your accommodation or tour company gets closed down because of COVID-19? Are your additional expenses covered? If the Smartraveller alert level is raised to ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ or ‘Do not travel’ due to a COVID-19 outbreak at your destination after you took out travel insurance, are you covered if you cancel your trip? Are your cancellation costs covered if you can’t travel or can’t return on your booked flights because you or your travelling companion contracted COVID-19? Are you covered for cancellation costs if your business partner or a relative back home gets sick with COVID-19 and you need to return earlier than planned? If you’re planning to go on a cruise, be extra careful. Some travel insurers may not offer COVID-19 cover for multi-night cruises. Are you covered for claims caused by government travel bans, border closures, or mandatory quarantine or self-isolation requirements at your destination?

And what are the catches?

Cancellations, baggage and personal items, sports and activities.

This is the number one reason to buy international travel insurance. Look for the insurer’s benefits table, usually on the quotes screen online or near the front of their PDS, for a quick overview of what they’re offering. Most policies have an ‘unlimited’ sum insured.

Pre-existing conditions

Some insurers don’t cover pre-existing conditions at all. Some will only cover pre-existing conditions with an extra fee and sometimes a medical assessment. Some automatically cover pre-existing conditions listed in their PDS, although few will cover mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety.

Insurers exclude cover for certain pre-existing medical conditions and generally don’t provide cover for any illnesses or incidents that arise from these. This includes terminal illness or any illness that shortens your life expectancy as well as organ transplants.

Minor pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, osteopenia and more are usually covered if:

the condition has been stable for more than 12 months

there is no planned surgery

you have not received treatment in the past 12 months.

Pre-existing condition spoiling your holiday plans? lists insurers that may provide cover for pre-existing conditions. Still having trouble finding cover? Enlist the help of an insurance broker.

Examples of conditions that usually need to be assessed before getting cover are coronary problems, lung disease, epilepsy, stroke or any surgeries in the last 2 years.

If in doubt, declare your condition to your insurer.

A disability shouldn’t prevent you from buying travel insurance, but it might make finding a good policy trickier and more expensive.

Is a disability a pre-existing condition?

It depends on the disability and the insurer. Many insurers will automatically cover travellers with limited mobility, cognitive impairments or vision/hearing impairments. But in some cases, this cover may come at an extra cost.

Check with the insurer, as some conditions will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Having trouble getting cover?

Under the Disability Discrimination Act, insurers must assess the actual risks, rather than make assumptions about disabilities. If you’re having trouble getting insurance, a letter from a medical professional might help, particularly if they can state that you’re not likely to need medical or hospital treatment while on your trip.

Cover for your equipment

If you’re travelling with a wheelchair, mobility aid or hearing aid, you’ll need to insure that as well. Check single item limits, which are usually between $750 and $1,000 per item. If you have a piece of medical equipment that exceeds this, you’ll need to specify it and insure it separately.

Many insurance policies exclude hearing aids, so check the fine print and take out extra insurance if necessary.

Cover for your carer

If you’re travelling with a carer, it’s a good idea to be on the same policy in case travel plans change for either of you – that way you’re both covered. If you have a paid carer, ask your insurer whether they’ll cover the cost of a replacement carer should yours be unable to travel.


If you’re travelling while pregnant, be sure to check the following.

  • Are you covered for pregnancy complications? Some insurers don’t cover pregnancy at all.
  • Up until which stage of pregnancy? Pregnancy complications are usually only covered up until a certain stage (often between 23 and 32 weeks, depending on the insurer).
  • Childbirth: Not all insurers will cover childbirth. A premature birth in the US with intensive care and treatment could end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • IVF: Not all insurers will cover IVF pregnancies.
  • Do you have to pay extra to be covered?
  • Do you need medical approval to be covered?

Mental health

Many travel insurers won’t provide cover of any kind for hospitalisation, medication or missed travel caused by a mental health condition, whether that’s depression, anxiety or a psychotic episode.

Others will provide cover if you declare mental illness as a pre-existing condition and pay a higher premium. Check the PDS carefully; insurers may use different terms to describe the same mental health conditions, giving them wriggle room to deny a claim.

Insurers are highly unlikely to pay a mental health-related claim if they discover it was a pre-existing condition that you didn’t declare. The trouble is, an insurer might view a single visit to a therapist many years ago because of work stress, for example, as a pre-existing mental health condition.

Mental health and travel insurance have been a contentious issue for consumer rights groups including CHOICE – and it’s one that’s still evolving from a legal standpoint.

To find out if a travel insurance product includes mental health cover, check , filtering for ‘mental illness related claims’. Then put the PDS under the microscope.

A woman in Victoria won a court case against her insurer after they declined her claim for the cancellation of an overseas trip due to depression. ‘We took out the travel insurance well in advance of the travel, and well before my depression. I was certainly under the impression that I was covered,’ she told CHOICE. ‘They just sent back a letter that said no.’ But her win (the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal awarded her $4,292 for economic loss and a further $15,000 for non-economic loss) was an isolated ruling. It’s still being debated whether or not a general exclusion for mental health claims is legal.

Most policies have an age limit, ranging right up to the 100-year-old seasoned adventurer. There are quite a few catches for older travellers, though.

  • Higher premiums: Insurers often charge older travellers more, and in some cases ‘older’ can be as young as 50. 
  • Higher excess: Travellers as young as 60 but more commonly over 80 may be subject to a higher excess because of their age. The normal excess of around $100 to $200 is often increased to an excess of $2,000 to $3,000 for travellers 80 years and over for claims that relate to injury or illness.
  • Restricted conditions: Subject to medical assessment’, ‘reduced medical cover limits’, ‘reduced travel time’, ‘policy to be purchased 6 months in advance’ – all of these conditions can apply to travellers over a certain age.

You’ll probably want to be covered if your travel plans are cancelled for any reason, but be aware that insurers will come up with plenty of excuses to avoid paying up.

  • Terrorism: Most insurers cover medical expenses but very few cover cancellation expenses in the event of terrorism.
  • Pandemic or epidemic: Commonly excluded.
  • Military action: Commonly excluded.
  • Natural disaster: Covered more often than not.
  • Travel provider/agent insolvency: Commonly excluded.
  • Cancellation due to travel provider’s fault: Insurers commonly exclude cover for delays or rescheduling caused by the transport provider.
John* and his partner’s scheduled train service was delayed, seriously diverted, then terminated, which meant they missed their flight home by several hours. Re-booking fees, emergency accommodation and related fees cost them between $1,000 and $1,500, but the insurer wouldn’t pay the claim as it wasn’t in the policy. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details


When an insurer refers to cover for ‘unforeseen circumstances’, it means something that wasn’t publicised in the media or official government websites when you bought the policy. Check the Smartraveller travel advice when you buy your travel insurance. If it became known before you bought the policy, you’re not covered. So the earlier you buy travel insurance, the more likely you are to be covered for the unexpected.

Exclusions and inclusions

When the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) looks at a complaint about an insurer, they expect you to prove the claim is covered by the policy, while the insurer must prove the claim is excluded by the policy. Specifically, AFCA expects you to ‘establish on the balance of probabilities that you suffered a loss caused by an event to which the policy responds’. That is, do you have a valid claim?

This means that you need to understand if your claim is covered under the listed events of the policy, or that it is not specifically excluded by the policy.

If, for example, you have cover for COVID-19, you aren’t covered for every event caused by the pandemic, but just by what is specifically stated in the PDS.

Margaret and Peter* booked a cruise departing from Darwin in March 2021. Shortly before departure, the Northern Territory Government issued a directive no longer allowing cruises to depart from the NT. Margaret and Peter’s cruise company arranged for the cruise to depart from Broome and flew the passengers to Broome for a cost of $300 per person. As Margaret had bought a policy that included some cover for COVID-19, she made a claim for $600. But this was denied by her travel insurer and her subsequent complaint to AFCA was unsuccessful. AFCA said, ‘The cause of the loss was a government directive to not permit the cruise to operate through the NT port. The insurer’s policy provides no cover for these circumstances. It also excludes losses arising from government intervention, prohibition or regulation.’ *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details
Travel insurance and Smartraveller advice Smartraveller, managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), assigns an overall advice level to more than 175 destinations. This advice level can affect your travel insurance cover. The advice levels are: Level 1  – Exercise normal safety precautions. COVERED. Level 2  – Exercise a high degree of caution. COVERED. Level 3  – Reconsider your need to travel. CHECK. Level 4  – Do not travel. USUALLY NOT COVERED. Travel warnings can work in your favour. If an insurer excludes cover for an event, they may still cover you to change your plans in response to updated advice from Smartraveller. But beware when travelling to a destination that has a ‘Do not travel’ warning. Most standard policies won’t cover you for ‘Do not travel’ destinations, including for COVID-19. A week after a volcanic eruption made world news, Sameer* booked a trip to Bali. He assumed the emergency would be over by the time he was due to fly a month later. Unfortunately, the volcano continued to erupt and Sameer’s flight was cancelled. His insurer declined his claim because he’d bought the flight and insurance after Smartraveller issued a travel alert about the volcanic eruption, and after it had been in the news. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details

Delays can be expensive, particularly if you have to pay for alternative transport or accommodation. And those extra expenses won’t always be covered.

  • Transport delay is only covered after a certain number of hours, usually 6, but you may have to wait as long as 12 hours before your cover kicks in.
  • Cover limits for transport delays are typically lower than other cover limits and are often limited per 24-hour period.
  • Insurers often exclude cover for rescheduling caused by the transport provider but some may cover additional accommodation and travel expenses in this scenario for travellers who are en route.

Baggage cover varies widely, with travel insurance policies ranging from $0 to $30,000. So, if you’re not carrying expensive items, you may be able to save on your premium by selecting a policy that provides lower coverage.

  • Individual items are subject to sub-limits that range from around $250 to as much as $5,000.
  • Higher item limits usually apply for electronic items like laptops, cameras, smartphones and tablets.
  • You can pay extra to specify items you want extra cover for (insurers are always happy for you to pay extra).
  • Valuables locked in a car or checked in on an airline, train or bus may not be covered.
  • Generally, any items left unattended may be excluded from cover, so keep your belongings close.
Jing* sat down to try on a pair of shoes in a busy London shoe shop, placing her handbag next to her on the seat. When she stood up to leave, she discovered her bag was gone. Her insurer refused to pay up because she had left her bag unattended in a public place. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details

Lost luggage

If an airline loses your luggage temporarily and doesn’t compensate you for that loss, you may be able to claim expenses for clothing, toiletries and other necessities, depending on your policy.

  • Cover usually only applies to luggage lost for more than 12 hours, though the minimum time limit varies per insurer, as does the level of cover.
  • If your policy has an excess (a fee that’s deductible from your payout), remember that this applies once per claimed event, and items below the excess level can’t be claimed.
Angelo and Diane* tried to claim $112 for meals and drinks when their connecting flight to Hawaii was delayed by 8 hours. Although their policy technically covered them for the cost, they were liable for an excess of $250, so their claim was denied. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details

If you don’t feel like paying the ‘extra insurance’ the car hire company charges, then use the collision damage excess cover in your travel insurance.

Tip: Stick with recognised car rental companies in this case since this cover only applies if the car hire company already has its own comprehensive insurance.

Do you have the right licence?

Some countries require you to have an international driving permit. If you have an accident while driving on the wrong licence (or breaking that country’s law in any other way), you may not be covered.

Cruise-specific insurance

Cruises aren’t automatically included in all travel insurance policies. If you’re going on a cruise, make sure you have the right cover.

The Department of Health says: ‘Cruise ships carry a higher risk for spreading disease compared to other non-essential activities and transport modes. COVID-19, influenza and other infectious diseases such as gastroenteritis spread easily between people living and socialising in close quarters.’

Check travel insurance policies to make sure medical cover for COVID-19 is included, as some policies exclude this cover. Erica* stumbled and broke her femur during stormy seas while on a cruise. Her insurer covered the cost of evacuation and a partial hip replacement at a hospital in Noumea. They also organised and paid for her son to fly to Noumea to help her recover and return home to Australia. Five months later, the well-travelled 82-year-old was boarding a plane to Croatia for her next (fully insured) adventure. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details

Not leaving Australian waters?

You still need insurance. Doctors working on cruise ships don’t need Medicare provider numbers, so if they treat you, you can’t claim on Medicare or your private health insurance, even if you’re still in Australian waters.

Domestic travel insurance doesn’t cover medical costs, so you need either international travel insurance (check that it covers domestic cruises) or a domestic cruise policy.

Kerry* thought she’d done the right thing buying an annual multi-trip international travel insurance policy for a number of upcoming holidays, one of which was a round-trip cruise departing from and returning to Fremantle, Western Australia, with no port stops. When she had to cancel due to ill health, she discovered her policy wouldn’t cover her because the trip wasn’t considered an international one. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details

When CHOICE compares travel insurers, we look at who covers which sports and adventure activities, such as skiing, ballooning, bungee jumping and scuba diving, to name a few.

But as always with insurance, the PDS may include some surprises. For example, several insurers we’ve reviewed will cover canyoning but they won’t cover abseiling, often a necessity in canyoning. Other policies in our comparison will cover abseiling, but not into a canyon.

If you’re planning on doing anything adventurous, check to make sure you’re covered. It’s not enough to simply look for the tick next to your chosen activity – you also need to check the definitions in the PDS.

Motorcycles and mopeds

Hiring a motorcycle or moped? Depending on which country you’re in, you might need a local or international motorcycle licence. You probably won’t be covered if you aren’t obeying the local law. And even if you are doing the right thing under local law, some policies still won’t cover you unless you have a motorcycle licence.

Are you wearing a helmet? Most countries say you need one by law, but that doesn’t mean it will be included in your hire. No helmet means no cover (in more ways than one).

Nhung* was injured after she rented a moped in Thailand only to find out the engine size was not covered by her insurance policy. Most insurers adopt the national standard for the definition of a moped – an engine capacity under 50cc. If the engine is bigger than that, it’s a motorcycle and you’ll need an Australian motorcycle licence. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details

Skiing and snowboarding

Some insurers cover skiing, often for an extra premium, but not so many cover skiing off-piste (away from the groomed runs). So, if you’re tempted to slide off the beaten path next time you hit the slopes, make sure you have a policy that covers off-piste ski runs (or pay for the optional extra cover).

Otherwise, if you run into a tree and have to be evacuated from the mountains, you may need to  think about selling your home to pay for it.

It’s worth remembering that travel insurance only covers overseas costs. So if you break a leg while you’re abroad, your insurer will likely pay your hospital fees, but they won’t cover your ongoing physiotherapy once you’re back home.

Marianna* fractured her leg in 3 places while skiing with her partner and children in Japan. Because the family had bought additional cover for winter sports, they were reimbursed $35,466 for medical expenses, additional transport and accommodation, the cost of a nanny to look after the children, and business class flights back to Australia. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details

Alcohol and drugs

Overdoing it on vodka and float-tubing down a river isn’t likely to be covered by any policy. Insurers simply won’t pay for costs arising from you being under the influence of alcohol or drugs (except where taken under the advice of a doctor).

Even one or 2 drinks could be enough of an excuse for insurers to get out of paying.

Relatives can be relative Many policies cover the costs to travel home if one of your relatives dies or becomes sick. Bear in mind: an insurer’s definition of a ‘relative’ may differ from yours cover is usually dependent on the age of that relative, so the death of your 84-year-old grandma may not be covered your relatives are subject to the same pre-existing condition exclusions as you, so if your 84-year-old grandma died from a known heart condition, you may not be covered. you may be able to apply for your relative’s pre-existing condition to be assessed before you buy the policy. cover is limited to relatives that live in Australia, or in some cases New Zealand. So if your 84-year-old grandma is in China, you won’t be covered to fly there for her funeral. Amanda* and her husband had booked an overseas diving trip, but shortly before the trip Amanda’s mum passed away from pneumonia. They cancelled their trip and incurred cancellation costs and lost deposits of nearly $13,000. As the death of a parent was covered in their policy, Amanda made a claim. Their insurer denied the claim as Amanda’s mum lived in the United States and was undergoing treatment for lung cancer, so the insurer concluded that her death was caused by a pre-existing condition. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details

So you’ve booked and paid for your holiday through a travel agent, but then the travel agent goes broke. You’ll get your money back, right? Not necessarily.

Only a few insurers will cover you for the insolvency of a travel provider, and that includes hotels, airlines and other transport companies that might go broke overnight (remember Ansett?). But there are a few ways to safeguard your hard-earned holiday.

  • Check whether your insurer covers you for insolvency.
  • Check whether your travel agent has insolvency insurance (this isn’t compulsory, so only some will have it).
  • Pay with your credit card. Some banks allow a chargeback if you pay for something on your credit card and don’t end up actually getting it.

Tip: Don’t accept any dodgy contract terms that require you to give up your chargeback rights.

2 out of 3 travellers assume their travel insurance will cover insolvency, but in 2017 less than a third of insurers actually provided this cover.

Credit card travel insurance

Some credit cards come with complimentary travel insurance. They’ll cover you for all the usual things like medical emergencies, cancellation and protection for baggage and items. But they do differ from standalone policies, so it’s essential you check the fine print.

  • Fees: You’ll pay a premium for these credit cards, usually between $100 and $450 per year.
  • Excess: The excess on credit card policies tends to be fixed at a higher rate (usually around $250), whereas it’s more variable on standalone policies.
  • Age limits: Some credit card policies have no age limit, which can be handy for older travellers.
  • Regions: Credit card travel insurance is not based on location, which means you can travel from Europe to the US without having to worry if your policy covers both areas. Bear in mind though that some regions (such as countries under United Nations embargo) may be excluded, and sometimes with US underwriters, travel to Cuba is excluded.
  • Baggage cover: Credit card insurance often offers higher coverage for baggage loss and damage.
  • Trip duration: Credit card insurance policies vary in how many days of coverage they’ll give you per trip – anywhere from a few weeks to 365 days – so check your limit if you’re going on a long holiday.
  • Pre-existing conditions: Chances are your credit card insurance won’t automatically cover your pre-existing condition. You’ll need to call your insurer and see if you need to pay an extra fee or premium.
  • Domestic travel: Credit card insurance doesn’t apply to domestic travel, although some cards will reimburse expenses associated with domestic flight delays and missed connections to international flights.
  • Making a claim: You may not be able to claim reimbursement unless you pay for purchases (such as emergency items after a baggage delay) with the same credit card.
27% of travellers who plan to buy travel insurance will get it through their credit card.

Is it activated?

Credit card insurance usually activates when you buy your air tickets (or sometimes other transport or accommodation expenses) using your card.

  • Policies require a minimum spend to activate – usually around $500. So if you scored your tickets on sale for $499, you won’t be covered.
  • If you want cover for your spouse or dependants, you must also buy their tickets on your card.
  • Some policies only activate if you book a return ticket. A one-way flight, or even 2 one-way flights, will leave you uninsured.
  • Some banks require you to notify them in order to get full coverage for each trip. While base coverage will still give you emergency medical treatment, you might not get coverage for property damage or luggage delays. Check whether you need to do anything to activate any extra features.
  • Some cards will cover you if you use rewards points to buy your tickets. Others won’t.

Is it worth it?

If you already have a credit card and use it regularly, the free comprehensive travel insurance on your card can save you money. And if you’re a regular traveller without a credit card, it’s worth considering if you travel at least once a year or every second year internationally.

David* booked a trip to North America for himself and his family, including his 11-year-old daughter Petra. The trip was cancelled because Petra got pneumonia. Unfortunately, David only activated his credit card travel insurance about an hour before the family was scheduled to fly out of Australia. The travel insurer denied his claim for cancellation costs because he knew about his daughter’s illness when he activated the policy. *To protect privacy we have changed names and some details

Have you been knocked back on an insurance claim and want to dispute it?

Internal dispute resolution

Complain to the insurer first. They’ll usually keep you up to date about the progress of your complaint every 10 business days.

Once you’ve lodged your case and all the supporting information and documents, the insurer has 45 days to complete its internal dispute resolution process.

External dispute resolution

If you aren’t happy with the insurer’s decision, you can take your complaint to the Australian Financial Complaint Authority (AFCA). They’ll handle your case for free.

  • The AFCA will mediate between you and the insurer to find a resolution.
  • If mediation is unsuccessful, they may make a preliminary assessment or give a determination straight away on your dispute.
  • A determination is legally binding on the insurer but not on you.
  • There’s no appeal process with AFCA.
  • For more information, visit .

Legal action

If you’re unhappy with the AFCA determination, you might want to consider taking legal action against the insurance company.

Keep your travel insurance details with you at all times while on your trip and share them with family or friends before you leave.

Related content

This page provides mature travellers with information to prepare for a hassle-free journey. Properly preparing before you travel will help you have a safe trip.

Browse our general advice pages on a range of travel topics, to learn what you need to know before you go.

No matter who you are, where you're going and what you're doing, get travel insurance. Learn how to choose a policy that's right for you.


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