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Expat travel insurance

Yes, you can get expat travel insurance as an Australian living overseas. It can cover the high cost of overseas medical care, legal liability up to $20m and more.

What you need to know

  • Expat travel insurance can cover Australians for at least 12 months overseas, and sometimes up to 2 years.
  • It can cover medical expenses overseas, cancellation costs, lost luggage, personal items and more.
  • A number of Australian travel insurance providers offer cover for Aussies who are already overseas.

Compare expat travel insurance if you need long term cover.

BrandMaximum length covered in one tripHow does it work?Enquire

Medibank

12 monthsYou can purchase the new cover subject to approval and duration of cover cannot exceed the total of 12 months.
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Freely

6 monthsWhere your journey is necessarily extended due to an unforeseen circumstance outside your control, your period of insurance will be extended until you are physically able to travel home by the quickest and most direct route. The period of insurance will not be extended for any other reason.
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Zoom

12 monthsYou can purchase the new cover subject to approval and duration of cover cannot exceed the total of 12 months.
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Fast Cover

fastcover

24 monthsYou can purchase a 12-month policy and apply to extend for another 12 months after your trip has started.
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Insure4less

12 monthsYou can apply for up to a 12 month extension (maximum extension of insurance is 12 months. Note: There is no cover for any insured person who is in the USA for 364 consecutive days or more.
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Travel Insuranz

Travel Insuranz

12 monthsYou can apply for up to a 12 month extension (maximum extension of insurance is 12 months. Note: There is no cover for any insured person who is in the USA for 364 consecutive days or more.
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insureandgo

InsureandGo

12 monthsCover can be extended, subject to approval from InsureandGo.
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Tick Logo

Tick

12 monthsCover can be extended, subject to approval from Tick.
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World2cover

12 monthsYou can purchase the new cover subject to approval and duration of cover cannot exceed the total of 12 months.
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Cover-More

12 monthsYou can purchase the new cover subject to approval and duration of cover cannot exceed the total of 12 months.
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Southern Cross

12 monthsYou can purchase the new cover subject to approval and duration of cover cannot exceed the total of 12 months.
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Travel with Kit

12 monthsYou can purchase the new cover subject to approval and duration of cover cannot exceed the total of 12 months.More info

Travel with Jane

12 monthsYou can purchase the new cover subject to approval and duration of cover cannot exceed the total of 12 months.More info

Easy

12 monthsYou can purchase the new cover subject to approval and duration of cover cannot exceed the total of 12 months.
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Australia Post

Australia Post

12 monthsYou can purchase the new cover subject to approval and duration of cover cannot exceed the total of 12 months.
Bonus
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1-cover-new1

1cover

12 monthsIf you choose to continue travelling after your first 12 months, you may be able to get a further 12 months of cover by taking an "Already Overeas" policy.More info
Worldcare Travel Insurance

Worldcare

12 monthsYou can purchase the new cover subject to approval and duration of cover cannot exceed the total of 12 months.More info

Note: This information was last updated August 2023

Why might I need expat travel insurance?

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, at any given time there are approximately one million Australians living and working overseas. Here are some key reasons why having expat travel cover is important:

  • Overseas medical expenses. Medicare and your private health insurer won't cover you for any medical costs you incur overseas, so adequate cover for your overseas hospital bills is crucial. Without it, you could be left to deal with a huge financial fallout.
  • Cover when you're already overseas. If you're already overseas, many Australian travel insurers will refuse to cover you, so expat travel insurance can help you get this vital protection.
  • Cover for short trips. If you're an Australian citizen temporarily living overseas, you may want travel insurance cover to provide protection when you take short trips from your current country of residence. For example, if you're temporarily living and working in the UK, you might want to take a holiday around continental Europe.
  • Cover for trips home to Australia. Currently living overseas but planning a quick trip home to Australia to catch up with family and friends? You'll need to find a policy that covers you for the duration of the journey.
  • Liability cover. If you accidentally injure someone or damage their property while you're overseas, travel insurance will often include liability cover up to $20 million.
  • Other important benefits. Travel insurance also covers a wide range of other potentially costly mishaps, including cancellation costs when you're forced to call off your trip due to circumstances beyond your control, and lost or stolen luggage or travel documents.

Types of cover or travel insurance for Australian expats

There are several cover options available for Australian citizens living and working overseas:

  • Already overseas cover. A number of Australian travel insurance providers offer cover for Australians already overseas. These policies offer the same level of cover as ordinary travel insurance, but you may need to serve a waiting period before cover begins and most insurers will require your journey to end in Australia.
  • Travel insurance from an international provider. Travel insurers in other countries can provide cover to an Australian citizen living overseas. However, keep in mind that many insurers in countries around the world won't offer cover to non-residents, so you'll need to check the fine print closely and shop around for the right policy.
  • One-way cover. This type of policy covers you on your outgoing trip only and lets you make a claim without having to return to Australia.
  • Long-term cover. If your work or study abroad is only for a limited period, a long-term travel insurance policy may offer adequate protection. Some insurers offer "backpacker" cover for journeys up to 18 months long.
  • Cover for other countries. If you plan to visit neighbouring countries while you're overseas, you'll need travel insurance that covers trips to those destinations. You may be able to purchase non-resident travel insurance from an insurer in the country where you are currently residing, or in some cases, you may be able to include cover as part of the policy you purchase before you first leave Australia.
  • Reciprocal Health Care Agreement. You may be eligible to receive subsidised health care if you are travelling to a country that is part of the RHCA.

What about countries with a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA)?

In some overseas countries, Australian travellers are able to access essential medical treatment for minimal or no charge. This is due to the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCAs) that the Australian Government has in place with the following countries:

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

Under these agreements, if you visit any one of the above countries then you are able to access subsidised essential medical care if you can provide:

  • Your Australian passport or another valid document that shows you are a permanent resident of Australia
  • A valid Medicare card

It's still a good idea to get travel insurance even if you're visiting a country with an RHCA, since travel insurance can cover lost luggage, personal items, cancellation fees and a bunch of other really common travel mishaps.

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Gary Ross Hunter was 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 Guardian and news.com.au. Gary holds a Kaplan Tier 2 General Advice General Insurance certification which meets the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146). See full bio

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