Travel Insurance Glossary

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Travel insurance terms and definitions


Note that the following definitions may vary between insurers and policies, and that these definitions are intended to be a generally useful, rather than a guide to a specific policy or insurer.


  • Accident or accidental loss. A sudden, unexpected and unforeseeable event that happens on your trip and causes loss.
  • Accidental injury. Bodily injury that directly results from an accident.
  • Accidental death. Death caused by injuries sustained in an accident during your trip.
  • Annual multi-trip plan. This type of policy provides travel insurance cover for all your trips during a 12-month period.
  • Adventure sports cover. Available as an additional-cost option on some policies, this benefit covers you when you participate in adventure sports and activities during your trip.


  • Baggage and personal effects. Personal items owned by you and carried with you during your trip.
  • Baggage delay. When your baggage is misdirected, misplaced or arrives late to your destination due to the fault of a carrier.
  • Beneficiary. A person who receives a benefit payment from your insurance policy in the event of your death.
  • Benefits. What your insurer pays you in accordance with the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy.


  • Cancellation fees and lost deposits. Penalties you are charged and non-refundable deposits when unforeseen circumstances beyond your control force you to cancel your trip.
  • Claim. A request for payment from an insurer in accordance with the terms and conditions of your insurance policy.
  • Current market value. The amount of money an item would be worth if sold today.
  • Curtailment. Refers to unforeseen circumstances beyond your control that force you to cut your trip short, for example the death of a relative.


  • Damage. Injury or harm to a person or property.
  • Dependant. Your children or grandchildren who are under the age of 21 and not in full-time employment.
  • Disability. A physical or mental condition that restricts a person’s movements, senses or ability to undertake tasks and activities.
  • Domestic. Refers to travel and trips within Australia.
  • Duty of disclosure. Your duty of disclosure means that you must be honest with your insurer and answer all questions truthfully.





  • Hijack or kidnap. This benefit provides cover if you are kidnapped or the transport you are travelling on is hijacked during your trip.
  • Home. Refers to your primary place of residence in Australia.
  • Hospital cash allowance. Also referred to as a hospital benefit, this is a daily cash payment you receive to cover your out-of-pocket expenses while you are hospitalised overseas.


  • Illness. Sickness or disease that you did not know about when you purchased your travel insurance policy.
  • Inclement weather. Refers to severe weather conditions that delay or cancel your trip.
  • Individual plan. A policy that provides travel insurance cover for only one person.
  • Injury. An injury is anything that causes you bodily harm.


  • Journey. Journey refers to the period for which your insurance plan provides cover. It commences when you leave home and ceases when you return home.
  • Joint cover. A joint travel insurance policy (also referred to as couples travel insurance) also two people to be listed on the one policy and, sometimes, get a discounted rate of cover.



  • Loss. Injury or damage you suffer as a result of an event covered by your insurance policy.
  • Loss of income. Refers to the income you miss out on when you suffer an injury or illness during your trip and are unable to return to work when you arrive home in Australia.
  • Luggage and Personal Effects. See: Baggage and personal effects.
  • Luggage Delay. See: Baggage delay.


  • Maximum trip limit. Refers to the maximum trip duration that can be covered under your travel insurance policy.
  • Medical evacuation. Refers to transport to an appropriate medical facility or back to Australia to receive the necessary treatment or care.
  • Medically necessary. Any medical treatment that is required, that is suitable for the symptoms you display and which can be safely supplied.
  • Money. Includes bank notes, coins and travellers cheques.


  • Natural disaster. An event caused by nature and not by human activity, such as an earthquake, storm or flood.
  • Non-resident travel insurance. Non-residents can get travel insurance but they must satisfy certain conditions.


  • Overseas medical expenses. Refers to hospital, surgical, nursing, ambulance and emergency dental expenses incurred overseas.
  • One-way travel insurance. A one-way policy can cover your trip either one-way back to Australia (also known as already overseas travel insurance) or your one-way travel to another country that your are emigrating to.


  • Pandemic. An epidemic that affects a wide geographic area.
  • Period of cover. The time during which your travel insurance policy provides cover.
  • Personal accident. This benefit provides cover for death, loss of sight, loss of limbs or total and permanent disablement sustained due to an accident during your journey.
  • Personal liability. This benefit covers any legal liability when you are responsible for causing bodily injury to someone else or damage to their property.
  • Pre-existing medical condition. An injury or illness for which you have received care, treatment or medical advice before cover commenced.
  • Premium. The amount you pay to purchase travel insurance cover.


  • Quote. A travel insurance quote is the initial summary of how much a policy will cost you.
  • Quarantine. Mandatory isolation or restrictions on where you can go or what you can bring into a country.


  • Rental vehicle excess. Also referred to as rental car insurance excess, this benefit covers the excess charges following theft of or damage to your rental vehicle.
  • Repatriation of remains. This covers the cost of returning your body to your home country if you die during your trip.
  • Resumption of journey. If you had to return to Australia during your trip due to sudden serious injury, illness or death of a business partner, this benefit covers the cost you incur to resume your journey.


  • Sickness. An illness or disease which is diagnosed or treated by a medical practitioner during your trip.
  • Single-trip plan. A travel insurance plan that covers one trip only.
  • Sudden illness or serious injury. Sudden illness or serious injury refers to a medical condition which first occurs during your trip, requires medical treatment and results in you being certified unfit to travel.


  • Travel delay. Refers to scheduled transport that is delayed by six hours or more.
  • Trip. The period of travel stated in the certificate of insurance.
  • Trip cancellation. This benefit provides cover for your cancellation fees and non-refundable deposits when circumstances beyond your control force you to cancel your trip.
  • Trip interruption. This benefit provides cover for the additional expenses you incur when your trip is interrupted by an insured event, for example injury or illness.


  • Underwriter. The underwriter of a travel insurance policy is the person that evaluates your risk and insures you.
  • Unforeseen event. Unforeseen circumstances are those that are outside your control, for example illness or injury.



  • Waiver. A travel insurance waiver may be gained for a medical condition that is not automatically covered by the policy.
  • Winter sports cover. Available as an additional-cost option from many travel insurers, this provides cover for your participation in winter sports and the associated risks.


  • X-ray/lab. Any diagnostic lab test or x-ray performed in support of basic health services.



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