Before you leave for Australia, where medical costs can be expensive, make sure you are covered even for everyday risks. Some people will advise you to take out private insurance, while others will be satisfied with the insurance provided by their bank through their credit card. But what does 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? We give you more information in this article to help you make the best choice.
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Health insurance in Australia
There is no such thing as zero risk, so it is important to be insured regardless of the nature or length of your stay. In many cases, the insurance you have at home will often not cover you overseas (and some travel insurance policies intended for holidays will not cover stays over a certain length). However, Australia and the UK have signed a health agreement meaning UK citizens – and those of other countries with agreements – benefit from the Australian health system (Medicare). Health care in Australia is very expensive and if you need to go to the doctor, have an X-ray or treat an injury, you will have to pay for it.
The list of countries covered by reciprocal health agreements is as follows:
- The United Kingdom
- The Republic of Ireland
- New Zealand
- The Netherlands
For your trip to Australia, and depending on the duration of your trip, you can choose from several health insurance options. For example, you can subscribe to a private insurance or use the light coverage offered by your credit card. In any case, it is important to make the right choice, at the risk of spoiling your trip.
What Credit Card Travel Insurance covers you for
Most bank cards offer insurance and guarantees for your medical expenses abroad.
You should know that the insurance linked to your Visa or Mastercard basic card covers you for a maximum of 90 days, or 3 months. After that, you will no longer be covered.
In general, medical expenses will be limited to a certain amount. For example, approximately £9,000 depending on the type of Visa or MasterCard basic. These amounts are low especially for countries like the United States or Australia. In these countries, a day of hospitalization alone can cost thousands of euros.
Please note that in order to be covered during your stay abroad, you must have booked and paid for your plane ticket with the same credit card.
You also benefit from a cancellation insurance with your credit card. Be careful however, the criteria are very strict and you will only be reimbursed in case of a serious accident or death (criteria which may not be covered often include that you will not be reimbursed in case of theft of your identity papers, or the modification of your vacations by your employer for example).
What Credit Card Travel insurance does not cover you for
These are further 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 pocket and hope for a refund.
- Even if you are covered 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.
Insurance offered by banks (via your credit card) can be useful for short trips abroad. However, they are not adequate for a long trip, temporarily living abroad, 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
This information is provided for information purposes only. We advise you to contact your bank to get more specific details on the insurance offerd with your individual credit card. You can also consult the MasterCard and Visa websites. Remember to check the fine print of your contract.