Domestic Travel Insurance for Australians
You don’t need to leave Australia to have a great holiday. The land Down Under has plenty to offer for domestic travellers, from Hamilton Island to Hobart, Brisbane to Broome and Margaret River to Melbourne. But if you are considering a domestic getaway, it is important to also consider taking out a domestic travel insurance policy. Travel plans don’t always go to plan and if you are not properly insured you could be left significantly out of pocket if something does go wrong before or during your domestic holiday.
Do you need domestic travel insurance in Australia?
Some people wrongly assume that there is no point getting domestic travel insurance.
Yes, Medicare and private health insurance will cover Australian residents for most emergency medical expenses while they are on domestic trips. But domestic travel insurance has a lot of other very handy non-medical benefits, with cover for things like luggage and personal effects, cancellation, disruption of journey, rental car excess insurance and personal liability insurance.
Because domestic travel insurance does not cover emergency medical care, it costs significantly less than international travel insurance but can provide peace of mind for your travels.
What if your luggage is lost or stolen?
What if someone puts a dent in your rental car in a carpark?
What if you become injured or ill and can no longer take a trip that you have already paid thousands of dollars for?
Taking out a domestic travel insurance policy can protect you in all of these situations – and more.
What does domestic travel insurance cover?
Most domestic travel insurance policies in Australia have fairly standard inclusions. It is important to read the Product Disclosure Statement for each policy that you are considering, but common benefits include the following:
Cancellation and delays
Cover for cancellation costs, cancellation fees and lost deposits if your domestic trip is cancelled, rescheduled or shortened due to unexpected or unintended circumstances outside of your control.
Covered reasons for cancelling travel may include you suffering an unexpected injury or illness, your redundancy from work, a natural disaster or the unforeseen death, injury or illness of a close relative or travelling companion.
Cover for travel delays could be activated if you flights are significantly delayed due to things like poor weather, natural disasters, industrial action or mechanical issues.
Luggage and personal belongings
Cover for lost, stolen or delayed luggage, as well as lost or stolen personal belongings while on a domestic trip. While the overall benefit limit on policies might be high, certain sub-limits generally apply to things like laptops, tablets, cameras, mobile phones and other expensive individual items.
Rental car excess
Cover for the excess charged by rental car companies if a car is lost, stolen or damaged while in your possession. Most major rental car companies in Australia have standard excess rates of at least $4000, which can make this benefit of domestic travel insurance policies very beneficial if you are planning to hire a car on your travels.
Cover if you pass away on a domestic trip or if you become permanently disabled in an accident while on your trip.
Cover if you injure or cause the death of another person in an accident, or accidentally damage another person or company’s property.
Compare Australian domestic travel insurance
While most domestic travel insurance policies look similar on the surface, their benefits can be quite different.
For example, some domestic travel insurance providers allow you to make a claim for a travel delay if your flights are delayed by at least six hours. However, other insurance providers will only cover delays of at least 12 hours. Claim limits can also vary between policies, as well as sub-limits for luggage, personal belongings and valuables that you take with you on a domestic trip. The excess you will pay if you do need to make a claim can also vary between providers. Make sure you carefully review each policy and determine which one best suits your needs before purchasing a domestic travel insurance policy.
Domestic travel insurance for Covid-19 in Australia
Some domestic travel insurance policies include limited coverage for Covid-19. You may be covered under some policies for cancellation if you or a travelling companion contract Covid-19 and you are unable to travel on a domestic trip as planned. Essential workers who have their pre-approved leave cancelled due to Covid-19 may also be covered for cancellation under some policies, as well as those who are denied boarding on pre-paid transport because they are suspected of being infected with Covid-19. Cover for things like government border closures and travel bans are generally excluded from domestic travel insurance policies.
Domestic cruise insurance in Australia
You might think that you don’t need insurance for a domestic cruise, but cruise lines highly recommend that their guests are covered for all sailings. As soon as a cruise ship leaves an Australian port, all of those onboard are no longer covered by Medicare. This means that any guests who suffer unexpected injury or illness while onboard are required to pay expensive private rates for any medical consultations or treatment on the ship. Many domestic travel insurance policies allow you to add cruise insurance for an additional fee. Cruise packs generally provide cover for medical expenses while onboard a cruise, weather delays and missed departures. You could even receive payments if you are forced into cabin confinement due to illness or injury, or if any formal wear that you take onboard is damaged, lost or stolen.
Domestic snow sports insurance in Australia
Many Australians enjoy a trip to the ski slopes during the winter months, but it can be quite a dangerous and unpredictable recreational activity. Many domestic travel insurance policies allow you to add snow sports cover for an additional cost, which is highly recommended if you are planning a domestic skiing trip. This insurance can cover you for emergency medical evacuation if you are injured while skiing, snowboarding or taking part in other covered winter sports. Other benefits can include cover for cancellation costs, travel delays caused by bad weather, Piste closure due to poor weather or lack of snow. There may also be cover provided for damaged, lost or stolen personal ski equipment and for the excess charged by ski equipment hire companies for gear that is not returned or is damaged.
Domestic travel insurance for children
Some domestic travel insurance policies will cover listed dependants on policies at no extra cost.
Conditions apply and age limits for dependent children vary between providers.