When going to Australia, where medical costs can be very expensive, make sure you are covered for the risks of everyday life. Some people advise you to take out private insurance, others are content with the credit card travel insurance provided by their bank. But what does this credit card insurance actually cover? Is it enough to cover you or is it necessary to take out complementary health insurance for Working Holiday in Australia?

What Credit Card Travel Insurance covers you for

The majority of bank cards offer complimentary insurance for medical expenses and assistance abroad for short trips. Be aware that the insurance linked to your standard Visa or MasterCard covers you for a maximum duration of 90 days or 3 months.

In general, there is a limit of a certain amount on medical expenses (around €11,000 depending on the type of Visa or MasterCard). This limit is quite low, especially in countries such as the United States or Australia where a day of hospitalisation alone can cost thousands of euros.

– To be covered during your stay abroad, you usually have to book your plane ticket with this credit card.

– You also benefit from a cancellation insurance. Be careful though, the criteria are very strict and you will only be reimbursed in the event of a serious accident or death (you normally don’t get any money back in case your identity papers get stolen or if the travel dates are changed by your employer).

What Credit Card Travel insurance does not cover you for

These are examples of situations in which you are not covered by a credit card insurance:

  • The insurance of your bank will not cover you during trips of more than 3 months.
  • “Extreme” sports (air sports, motorcycling, scuba diving, surfing…)
  • You aren’t a 100% free of fees. In fact, you have to pay the excess out of your pocket and hope for a refund.
  • Even if you are supposed to get assistance, it is not always practicable in really remote places, which might be the case in Australia.
  • Your luggage is usually not covered.
  • You don’t get a 100% refund. The insurance only steps in supplemental to a potential refund made by your home Social Security.
  • They don’t offer coverage concerning civil liability.
  • You won’t benefit from legal protection.
  • Credit Card Travel Insurance: Conclusion

Insurances offered by banks (via your credit card) can be useful for short trips abroad. However, they are not adequate for a long trip or in countries where medical costs are very high.

If you settle for this type of insurance for the first three months of your trip, remember to take out new insurance for the time after (we easily forget once travelling). From day 91, you won’t have any cover.

Therefore, we recommend you to subscribe to private health insurance before going to Australia to benefit from:

  • Cover throughout your Working Holiday
  • Refunds without limits
  • A civil liability guarantee
  • Luggage insurance, during the journey and on the spot
  • Legal protection
  • Assistance and repatriation

We can only provide general information. Contact your bank for more details on their insurance policies. Visit their MasterCard and Visa web pages and remember to read the fine print of your contract.

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Updated on the 08/01/2020. Initially published on the 15/11/2018.

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After a long stay in Australia, we founded Black Bird, a company specialized in travel insurance. Our mission is to inform and help young travellers in their insurance choices (advice, tips, comparisons etc). If you have any particular questions, do not hesitate to contact us directly by email. Contact: infos.blackbird@gmail.com. RCS no. 833 461 403. Insurance intermediary registration number: 18000657 (ORIAS - Banking and Finance Intermediaries)