Australian Domestic Travel Insurance
From the majestic Kimberley to the unrivalled beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is a country with plenty to see and do. Though we’ve traditionally loved travelling abroad, more and more Australians are realising they should get out and see their own country before exploring the rest of the world.
However, when you’re booking your next Australian holiday remember to take out travel insurance to provide cover for your trip. Some people might wonder why you’d need travel insurance for trips within Australia — this is where you live, after all, and it’s a first-world country with an efficient Medicare system.
But just because you’re not leaving our shores doesn’t mean unforeseen circumstances can’t conspire to turn your dream holiday into a nightmare. What happens if an airline loses all your luggage? Would you be able to cope financially if you crashed your rental car and then had to fork out for a very expensive excess? What if dangerous surf conditions mean you’re unable to take that pre-booked fishing trip you had been desperately looking forward to?
If you have travel insurance cover in place, you’ll be looked after in all of the above situations and plenty more. Domestic travel insurance provides extensive cover for the diverse risks you face while travelling, including things like cancellation fees and lost deposits, rental vehicle excess, and the loss or theft of your luggage and personal effects.
Travel insurance is a vital consideration for any domestic or international holiday, so make sure you don’t leave home without it.
What Are the Advantages of Having a Domestic Travel Insurance Policy for Travelling in Australia?
Many people take out travel insurance simply for the cover it provides in the event case of an overseas medical emergency. What they don’t realise is that travel insurance offers a wide range of other cover features that can be of great use while you’re travelling right here in Australia.
The simple fact of it is that travel always involves risks. Your luggage and personal effects can get stolen no matter where you are in the world, while flight delays are just as likely to occur in Sydney as they are in Singapore. While the cover offered can vary between policies, domestic travel insurance will usually provide cover for:
- Travel delays. If unexpected events such as sickness, natural disaster, strikes or the loss of travel documents cause your trip to be delayed, you’ll receive an allowance to cover extra meals and accommodation expenses.
- Cancellation fees and lost deposits. Sometimes circumstances outside your control can force you to cancel your pre-paid holiday arrangements, for example if you fall ill or lose your job. In such cases, travel insurance provides cover for any cancellation fees or non-refundable deposits.
- Luggage and personal effects. If your luggage or personal belongings are lost, stolen or damaged, you’ll receive cover for the cost of their repair or replacement.
- Rental vehicle insurance excess. This feature provides cover for the cost of the rental company excess if your rental car is stolen, damaged or crashed.
- Accidental death. Your policy will pay out a lump sum benefit if you die within 12 months of suffering an injury on your trip.
- Personal liability. This covers your legal liability for causing bodily injury or property damage to a third party.
- Additional options. It’s also possible to take out cover for things like business travel, winter sports and golf.
Things to Consider When Getting a Domestic Travel Insurance for Travel in Australia
There are a number of important factors to consider when you’re shopping for a domestic travel insurance policy for travel in Australia. For starters, you’ll need to find a policy that offers an adequate level of cover for your needs. All policies should offer cover for things like cancellation fees and lost deposits, travel delays, luggage and personal effects, rental vehicle excess and personal liability.
You should also consider exactly when cover applies. Questions to ask yourself include:
- Is your surfboard covered when not in use?
- Will you receive a benefit if you accidentally lose your luggage?
Each policy has its own terms and exclusions attached, so make sure to familiarise yourself with these when you are comparing policies.
Another factor to consider is how much excess you will have to pay in the event that you make a claim. Consider how the excess compares to the premium you will have to pay, as well as whether or not it is possible to select a higher excess in order to bring premium prices down.
Make sure to read the product disclosure statement closely and make sure you know what is covered and to what level. Be wary of deals that sound too good to be true, as the last thing you want is to find out you don’t have the cover you thought you did when you need it the most.Back to top
More Tips to Finding a Domestic Travel Insurance
When you’re looking for an insurance policy of any kind, the best course of action is to do plenty of research and shop around for the best deal. finder.com.au is the best place to start your travel insurance search, as you can use our resources and tools to research a wide range of insurance companies.
Once you’ve found a few companies that look promising, it’s time to start comparing individual policies.
- Does one policy offer more benefits and features than another?
- Are the benefit limits on one policy a little too restrictive for what you need?
- Are there any exclusions that may have a dramatic impact on your travel plans?
It might not be a fun way to spend an hour or two, but it’s essential that you take the time to read product disclosure statements closely to compare policies. Look at the benefits, features, limits and exclusions of a number of policies to see how they stack up against one another, and look for one that matches your insurance needs.
It’s also a good idea to obtain quotes from a number of insurers to get an accurate idea of how much you will have to pay. However, don’t simply go for the cheapest quote you are offered — consider the level of cover offered and the excess you will have to pay to ensure you end up with the right policy for you.
Finally, if you don’t want to buy your domestic travel insurance direct from an insurer, enlist the expert help of an insurance broker to help you pick out a policy.Back to top
Common Exclusions Applied to Domestic Travel Insurance for Australian Travel
Just like other forms of insurance, domestic travel policies include a range of common exclusions. In addition to regular exclusions, such as the fact that you are not covered for acts of deliberate negligence or for when you are under the influence of alcohol, there are cover options typically not included on a domestic travel insurance policy but that are usually covered by other forms of insurance already held. These include:
- Permanent disability. This offers a lump sum benefit if you suffer the loss of sight in one or both eyes, or the loss of the use of one or more limbs. However, some domestic travel policies will offer this feature.
- Loss of income. If you sustain an injury while travelling and are unable to return to work for a certain period, this feature covers the resulting income loss.
- Loss of travel documents. Cover for the replacement cost of lost travel documents and passports.
- Theft of cash. This covers you when money is stolen from your person.
- Delay of luggage and personal effects. This feature provides the funds you need to purchase emergency clothing and toiletries when your luggage and personal effects are lost or misplaced by a travel provider.
- Alternative transport expenses. If unforeseen circumstances or travel delays make it unlikely that you will be able to get to a pre-arranged event (such as a wedding) on time, this cover feature will reimburse you for the cost of the alternative transport arrangements you make to get to the event.
It is a good idea to check the PDS before agreeing to any policy to ensure that you are covered against events such as these.Back to top
Apply for a Domestic Travel Insurance Policy
Just because you’re not going overseas doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the many features and cover options travel insurance has to offer. Domestic travel insurance policies are designed to offer essential protection against a range of common travel risks. With the right type and level of cover in place, you can enjoy the security and peace of mind you need to simply get out there and experience the best Australia has to offer.
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