Does Income Protection Cover You While You’re Overseas?

The short answer is yes. Make sure you're protected while you're overseas by understanding key conditions.

Income protection insurance offers an important form of financial protection for many Australians. It provides:

  • An ongoing monthly benefit when you are sick or injured and unable to work for an extended period.
  • Up to 75% of your regular income

Does income protection cover me when I'm overseas?

If something goes wrong overseas and you're unable to return to work, income protection can cover you. However, you will need to understand the conditions affecting cover while you're overseas and how insurers from our panel treat income protection overseas.

Who covers income protection overseas and what are the conditions?

Knowing who covers what can be a pain, which is why we've made it easy for you. Below are the insurers from our panel and how they treat income protection overseas.

AIA Income Protection
AIA Income Protection
If you travel overseas, AIA’s income protection policy covers you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, anywhere in the world. You will need to inform the insurer of your travel plans when you apply for cover as this may alter the cost of your premiums.Get quote
AMP Elevate Income Insurance
AMP Elevate Income Insurance
When you are accepted for cover, AMP will offer insurance protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week, anywhere in the world. However, if you fall ill or are injured outside Australia or New Zealand, you may need to provide additional medical documentation and/or undergo an additional medical examination by a medical practitioner chosen by AMP.Get quote
Asteron Income Protection
Asteron Income Protection
When you apply for cover, you’ll need to provide details about your travel plans, including your destinations and the purpose of your trip(s). 24/7 worldwide cover is available from Asteron, although special loadings and exclusions may apply to cover.Get quote
BT - Income Protection
BT - Income Protection
BT income protection cover offers protection anywhere in the world all year round. However, special loadings and exclusions may apply to cover.Get quote
ClearView LifeSolutions Income Protection Cover
ClearView LifeSolutions Income Protection Cover
Unless the policyholder and the insurer agree on special cover terms at the time of application, ClearView offers income protection cover anywhere in the world.Get quote
Comminsure Income Protection
Comminsure Income Protection
Cover is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week, anywhere in the world. However, specific exclusions may be applied to your policy for injuries sustained in certain countries, or specific circumstances (e.g. terrorism) in certain countries that could lead to an injury.Get quote
MLC Income Protection Insurance
MLC Income Protection Insurance
When applying for cover, you’ll need to provide details about your travel plans including your destinations, duration of trips and purpose of travel. Cover is offered 24 hours a day all around the world, but specific exclusion and loadings may be applied depending on where you are planning on visiting.Get quote
OnePath OneCare Income Secure Cover
OnePath OneCare Income Secure Cover
OnePath offers protection 365 days a year anywhere in the world, subject to any specific terms and exclusions which may apply to your policy.Get quote
TAL Accelerated Protection - Income Protection Insurance
TAL Accelerated Protection - Income Protection Insurance
Worldwide injury and illness cover is offered by TAL, while the ‘Premier’ policy even includes reimbursement of travel costs if you are injured or fall ill overseas. Of course, depending on your circumstances, exclusions and premium loadings may apply.Get quote
Zurich Income Replacement Insurance
Zurich Income Replacement Insurance
Zurich Wealth Protection policies provide cover all year long, all around the world. However, if you are claiming income replacement benefits you will need to have a medical examination every 12 months in order to continue receiving benefits.Get quote

What factors determine if I will be covered by income protection when overseas?

The answer is yes, but with a few conditions - whether or not you will be covered depends on your insurer, your policy and your individual conditions. Your insurer will ask you several questions when you apply including:

  • Is there anything in your medical history they need to know about?
  • What is your occupation?
  • Would you say that you live a healthy lifestyle?
  • Do you intend on undertaking international travel?

There may be an exclusion for high risk countries

If you are planning on travelling to a country classified as ‘high risk’, expect to have special loadings and exclusions applied to your cover. Similarly, if you’re travelling to a region with a higher risk of war or terrorism, a war and terrorism exclusion may apply to your policy.

However, as long as you satisfy all of the other criteria to be approved for cover, your income protection insurance should provide protection against injuries and illnesses suffered domestically and overseas.

Does life insurance cover me overseas?

Much the same as income protection, most life insurance policies will cover you overseas. Once you’ve been accepted for cover, many insurers will offer protection 24 hours a day, all around the world.

Travelling overseas can be incredibly unpredictable and may also expose you to a large range of risks you would not usually face. With this in mind, the importance of having life insurance cover in place becomes even more apparent, as it guarantees peace of mind no matter where you are in the world. Accidents can happen anywhere, so check the fine print of your policy to make sure it covers you across international borders.

Similarly, if you’re moving abroad it’s a good idea to check what will happen to your life insurance cover - will cover cease once you are no longer an Australian resident? If it will, try to find a provider that specialises in providing worldwide life insurance cover to suit expats.

Am I covered by my health insurance overseas?

Although we can enjoy the protection offered by the Medicare system in Australia, Medicare does not provide any cover overseas. Australia does have reciprocal health care agreements in place with 11 other countries:

Countries where Australian citizens can access reciprocal health care (RCHA)

  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Sweden
  • Netherlands
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • Belgium
  • Malta
  • Slovenia
  • Norway

When you travel to one of these countries you can enjoy access to its basic health care system. However it's wise to consider travel insurance as there are a few drawbacks with relying on the RHCA.

I have all these insurances, why do I need travel insurance?

Okay, so you’ve got life insurance, health insurance, income protection insurance and more - why should you bother taking out travel insurance? Well, in short, travel insurance covers you against risks and events that other types of policies do not. It covers:

  • Trip cancellation and interruption. You’ve booked and paid for a big six-week round the world trip, but one week into your journey a close family member dies and you need to return home. With little choice but to cancel the rest of your journey, in most cases you’d be left significantly out of pocket by cancellation fees and lost deposits. But if you have travel insurance cover in place, you’ll be reimbursed for those expenses.
  • Overseas emergency medical costs. If you suffer a medical emergency while overseas, any expenses you incur as a result will be covered. This includes ambulance transportation, hospital and medical bills, and even repatriation back to Australia if needed. Insurers also offer 24/7 emergency assistance hotlines which can be a godsend when you find yourself in a sticky situation overseas.
  • Luggage and personal items. Lost, stolen or damaged luggage? Your policy will cover the cost of its repair or replacement. Has your travel provider lost or misplaced your luggage? Your insurance will provide an emergency allowance to help you purchase essential items like clothing and toiletry.
  • Other benefits. Travel insurance also covers you for things like stolen cash, lost travel documents and passports, rental vehicle insurance excess, personal liability, accidental death and much more.

Ready to compare your options?

If you are planning an overseas holiday, the knowledge that your income protection policy should still cover you offers a huge boost to your peace of mind. However, don’t simply take it for granted that you will be automatically covered anywhere in the world - check the fine print on your policy and make sure to check with your insurer whether cover will apply before you hop on a plane and start your journey. After all, the last thing you want is to end up with one very unpleasant surprise when you’re on the other side of the world.

Compare income protection quotes from these direct brands

Name Product Short Description Maximum Monthly Benefit Maximum % of Income Covered Maximum Benefit Period Waiting Period
Protect your lifestyle with Virgin Income Protection and new eligible customers can earn 25,000 Velocity Points. Ends 31 Aug 2018. Min monthly premium and T&Cs apply.
5 years
14, 28, 60, or 90 days
Join Qantas Income Protection and earn up to 100,000 Qantas points. T&CS apply.
5 years
2, 4, 13 weeks or 2 years
Cover up to 75% (to a maximum of $25,000) of your monthly income with NobleOak Income Protection. Benefit period can be tailored to suit your needs.
2 years or to the age of 65
30 or 90 days
Cover up to 75% of your monthly income if you can’t work due to illness or injury, up to a maximum of $10,000 a month. Take out cover today and you could get a bonus $100 Gift Card.
5 years
30 or 90 days
Receive up to 75% of your income (up to $10,000 per month) if you're unable to work due to serious illness or injury.
5 years
30 or 90 days

Compare up to 4 providers

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Richard Laycock

Richard is the Insurance Editor at finder, and has been wrangling insurance Product Disclosure Statements for the last 4 years. When he’s not helping Aussies make sense of the fine print, he can be found testing the quality of Aperol Spritzes in his new found home of New York. Richard studied Journalism at Macquarie University and The Missouri School of Journalism, and has a Tier 1 certification in General Advice for Life Insurance. He has also been published in CSO Australia and Dynamic Business.

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