Flight insurance is sometimes offered by airlines to cover you for the costs of flight cancellations and delays. It’s different because it only covers flight-related expenses compared to travel insurance which is more inclusive. Travel insurance can protect your entire trip including your flights, overseas medical costs and luggage to name a few.

What’s a PDS?

A PDS (Product Disclosure Statement) is a legally binding document that outlines what you’re covered for. If something’s not mentioned in a PDS then that insurer won’t cover it.
Before you buy any travel insurance policy, always read the PDS to make sure you’re covered for what you need. After you buy a policy, you should expect an email with your certificate of insurance and a copy of the PDS.

Will travel insurance pay my medical expenses up-front?

Travel insurance will typically pay for emergency medical expenses up-front if you need, but you’ll have to get in contact with your insurer as soon as possible to arrange it.
If your condition isn’t major and you don’t have to pay a lot, it might be easier for you to claim your expenses when you get back home.

What’s a “known event”?

In insurance, a known event is an incident that has been reported by the media or government, e.g. a planned pilot strike or weather warning. If you buy travel insurance after these incidents become known events, you most likely won’t be covered for any related claims.

What’s an excess?

An excess is the out-of-pocket expense you’ll have to pay if you need to make a claim on your travel insurance policy. Depending on how risk-averse you are, you can opt for a higher excess, which will mean lower premiums (policy cost), but this might mean that smaller claims are not worth it.

Are there age restrictions on travel insurance?

Most Australian insurers will have an age limit for seniors which can vary from 65 onwards. Those that do cover all ages often have limits on trip durations and exclusions on pre-existing conditions.
Most policies will cover kids for free if they’re travelling with the parent or guardian listed on the Certificate of Insurance. You usually need to be under 21 to be eligible as a dependent, though this varies between brands.

What’s the difference between standalone travel insurance and complimentary credit card travel insurance?

Complimentary credit card travel insurance often comes with more conditions and exclusions than a standalone policy. For example, you might have to pay for a certain percentage of your trip using your credit card. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the fine print regarding the excesses you will have to pay, the benefit limits, the maximum trip duration and which pre-existing medical conditions are automatically excluded.

If you find the few dollars you save isn’t worth the risk of being underinsured, consider taking out a standalone policy instead.

Will travel insurance cover me for my pre-existing medical condition?

Depending on your condition and the insurer, you might be automatically covered for free, you may have to pay more for a policy, or you might not be covered at all. Either way, be sure to let your insurer know about your pre-existing conditions when you apply. Otherwise, any related claims you make are likely to be denied.
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*Travel Insurance Finder compares brands for Australians looking for cover. The number of brands compared may vary based on external factors such as age, destination, cover type and technical issues.