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Can you have multiple travel insurance policies?

If your credit card's travel insurance doesn't go far enough, you can take out a second policy.

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In many cases, credit card travel insurance benefits are low, the excess is high and you can't get cover for pre-existing conditions.

If that describes your card's insurance, there's nothing stopping you from getting an additional standalone policy, which will usually offer better cover and more flexibility.

When would you want multiple travel insurance policies?

  • If you buy standalone travel insurance, even though your credit card also provides free travel insurance.
  • If you buy standalone travel insurance, even though your bank account offers travel insurance as part of your account package.
  • If you buy standalone travel insurance, even though one of your other forms of insurance includes travel cover as an add-on.
  • If you have an annual travel insurance policy in place but take out a single trip policy to cover specific losses not covered under the annual policy.

While it's possible to have multiple policies, it's not possible to receive a pay out from 2 policies for the same loss. Australian insurance law stipulates that if you hold 2 insurance policies with identical coverage, both insurers can share the cost of covering the claim, but are not required to pay out 100% of that claim.

The only exception to this is in relation to death or permanent disability cover, where insurers are required to pay out the benefit amount stated in their policies, regardless of what other insurers have paid.

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Disclosing other insurance in the event of a claim

A common exclusion included in travel insurance policies relates to other sources of reimbursement. A typical travel insurance product disclosure statement (PDS) will state that if you are able to receive compensation from any other source for your loss, the insurer will only pay the difference between the benefit amount and the amount you receive from that other source.

This also applies to other insurers. If you have cover under more than 1 policy, you must inform your insurer of this and provide details of the other insurer and the policy. This is because if your insurer pays out your claim, they can then seek a contribution from the other insurer.

Vice versa, if you claim from the other insurer and they only provide you with a partial pay out, your insurer will pay you the difference between what you received and your insured benefit amount.

Example: Single payout for car rental excess charge

David is a 35-year-old sales representative and makes regular trips each year to his company's offices in Tokyo and Seattle. David has an annual multi-trip policy in place with Worldcare Travel Insurance, which he renews each year so that he doesn't have to take out separate cover for each trip.

At the end of a week-long business trip in Tokyo, David decided to extend his trip with a 2-week skiing vacation in Niseko. David decided to take out a separate travel insurance policy with skiinsurance.com.au to ensure he would be covered for ski-related losses such as loss/damage of equipment and piste closure.

5 days into his vacation, David backed his hire car into a telegraph pole when leaving his hotel causing damage to his taillight and left panel. David was shocked to receive a $4,000 excess bill from the car rental company but knew he was covered for car rental excess charges on both his policies.

Soon after returning to Australia David lodged a claim with both skiinsurance.com.au and Worldcare. When lodging with Worldcare, David was asked if he was eligible to receive payment from any other sources. David disclosed his claim with skiinsurance.com.au.

With the claim for skiinsurance.com.au successful, David was not eligible to receive payment from Worldcare as the full amount had already been covered.

* This is a fictional, but realistic, example.

What happens if I don’t disclose both policies?

If you don’t disclose your other forms of cover to your insurer, the penalties could be even more severe. Insurers investigate all claims thoroughly and share this information, so if you claim on 2 policies without declaring, it’s likely one or both will find out.

Moreover, any purposely fraudulent statements regarding other policies could mean your cover will be voided, your policy cancelled and you’ll possibly wind up in court.

Travel insurance claims disclosure example

The section below is a conditions summary for disclosing other payments from travel insurance brand 1Cover (backed by Allianz):

  • If you can claim from anyone else we will only make up the difference. If you are eligible to receive payment for the loss from another party, we will only pay the difference. You must claim from them first.
  • Other insurance policies. If any loss, damage or liability covered under this policy is covered by other insurance, you must give us the details. If you make a claim with one insurance policy and are paid the full amount, you cannot claim under another policy.

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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    tjgoldsteinJanuary 25, 2018

    Hi, I am travelling to France, Sweden and Denmark in September this year. I have a pre existing pancreatitis condition which is extremely hard to insure, as well as chronic back pain… which is actually quite easy to insure! I can get an insurance to cover both but is quite expensive and it is actually cheaper to cover each individually. My question is.. can I legally insure each condition individually.. and obviously use the relevant insurance upon being hospitalised? It would save me about $250 to do it individually.

    Thank you in advance for any help you could provide me with.


    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JudithFebruary 2, 2018Staff

      Hi TJ,

      Thanks for reaching out to Finder. I hope all is well with you.

      Consumers do generally have a “duty of disclosure” when buying insurance. This means that you need to answer questions pertaining to your cover honestly, otherwise either or both insurers could potentially reject a claim based on your omission of the information about your second pre-existing condition. It’s really hard to say, but it could be risky, and prevent you from having a claim paid out if the insurer deems the omission to be fraudulent. I would recommend getting in touch with both insurers directly to confirm – and perhaps one or both of them would be willing to match the price too!

      You might also find our guide on pre-existing medical conditions helpful.

      Best of luck with your travels.


    • Default Gravatar
      tjgoldsteinFebruary 2, 2018

      Thanks for the reply Judith, I appreciate it. I think I will just go with the one insurance but call them anyway to see if I can get it cheaper in the case of forgoing insurance on some things such as car hire… which I won’t be doing.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JudithFebruary 3, 2018Staff

      Hi TJ,

      You are welcome. Please feel free to get in touch with us for clarifications or for other concerns.


  2. Default Gravatar
    MarivicSeptember 1, 2017

    Hi, I have two travel insurances in place. I have one from work benefit (medical travel) and the other from credit card (medical, trip interruption, trip cancellation). If, knock on wood, I have to make a medical claim, do I call both of them? or if I am to use only one, which one do I call? I have to inform them before the expense or otherwise they will not pay me in full. If I call both of them and tell them that I have another policy, will that not create trouble at the time? I don’t want to worry about this so I would like to know exactly what I should do. I did not acquire the two policies on purpose. I just happen to have them as benefits. Thanks.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RenchSeptember 1, 2017Staff

      Hi Marivic,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      While it’s possible to have multiple policies, it’s not possible to receive a pay-out from two policies for the same loss.

      Australian insurance law stipulates that if you hold two insurance policies with identical coverage, both insurers can share the cost of covering the claim, but are not required to pay out 100% of that claim.

      The only exception to this is in relation to death or permanent disability cover, where insurers are required to pay out the benefit amount stated in their policies, regardless of what other insurers have paid.

      I highly recommend you read more about the Travel Insurance Policy.

      Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      I hope this helps.

      Best regards,

  3. Default Gravatar
    JudithMay 7, 2017

    We have purchased international travel insurance. We now need to purchase insurance to cover my husband who has atrial fibrillation. Can we shop around to find a suitable cover.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ZubairMay 8, 2017Staff

      Hi Judith,

      Thank you for your question.

      Your husband will need to declare any medical conditions that are not automatically covered at the time of application. When it comes to heart conditions, it can be tricky to get cover. Most of the insurers in our panel require phone assessments or online questionnaires for heart conditions. You may find our travel insurance for heart conditions article helpful.


  4. Default Gravatar
    LouiseFebruary 27, 2017

    Can you have 2 travel policies? Like one for one year and the other for the rest of your time?
    I already purchased a policy and they only offer 365 days.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ZubairFebruary 28, 2017Staff

      Hi Louise,

      Thank you for your question.

      Unfortunately, you can’t. Most of the travel insurance brands in our panel offer a cover for a maximum of 12 months with an option of extension for additional 12 months.

      In the comparison table found on our long-term travel insurance guide, you can compare the limits and conditions of maximum cover from different travel insurance brands and for a quote, you may click on the green ‘Get quote’ button.


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