Navigating the world of International Health and Travel Insurance is crucial for anyone planning an extended stay outside their home country. This guide aims to enlighten you on the importance of travel insurance and assist you in making an informed choice tailored to your unique travel needs and profile.
Table of Contents
Exploring Different Travel Insurance Types
Working Holiday Travel Insurance
This insurance is essential for those participating in the Working Holiday Visa program, which allows 18 to 35-year-olds (30 in some cases) to travel and work in countries like Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Given the risks associated with living and working abroad for 1 to 3 years, securing appropriate insurance is often a prerequisite for obtaining the visa.
Only few countries offer this type of visa, among them: Australia, New Zealand and Canada are popular destinations for travellers.
Read also : Working Holiday Travel Insurance
Embarking on overseas studies is an exciting venture. However, it’s vital to secure student-specific insurance, especially when studying outside the European Union. While local national insurance is a must, additional private insurance ensures comprehensive coverage during your educational journey.
Read also : International Student Insurance in Australia
Backpacker travel insurance
For globe-trotters exploring multiple countries, understanding and preparing for varying health systems is key. Backpacker insurance offers peace of mind, covering potential incidents and health issues across different regions.
Read also : Backpacker Travel Insurance
Travel insurance – short stay overseas
Even brief holiday trips warrant insurance coverage. Short-term travel insurance is a smart choice for trips under 90 days, safeguarding your journey regardless of its duration.
Read also : Short Term Travel Insurance – Australia
Au pair insurance
Being an Au Pair in a host family is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of a new country. Although enjoying some security in staying with a family, you are not protected from an incident. It is always important to be covered for yourself and also for the children you will be responsible for.
Volunteering abroad exposes you to unique risks, from health hazards to security concerns. Opt for insurance that provides comprehensive emergency assistance 24/7, regardless of your destination.
For those considering a more permanent move, expatriate insurance is tailored to your new country of residence. It’s essential whether you’re relocating alone, with family, as an independent professional, or as an employee.
In summary, selecting the right travel insurance is a pivotal part of planning your overseas adventure. It ensures not just your health and safety but also enriches your international experience by providing a safety net, allowing you to fully immerse in your journey with peace of mind.
Travel Insurance Companies
Depending on your type of travel, different Travel Insurance Companies would be able to offer you the cover that is best for you and your needs. It is important to compare all of them and find the right one for you. Check the covers, prices, your needs, the services offered. Among the companies, you will find:
We receive a fee when you get a quote from those companies using the links. We do not represent those companies. This is not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
*World Nomads offers cover for more than 100 countries worldwide except those that have specific Government ‘Do Not Travel’ warnings in place, and any sanctioned countries.
Why should I get travel insurance?
Travel insurance is an essential safeguard, as the unpredictability of life, exemplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, shows that absolute safety is a myth. Here’s why securing international travel insurance is a wise decision:
Navigating National Health Care Systems
While your home country’s health care system might offer excellent coverage, it typically doesn’t extend beyond the European zone. When traveling internationally, additional insurance is necessary to ensure coverage in case of accidents. For travel within Europe, obtaining a European Insurance Card is crucial. Additionally, some countries have Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA), which might cover some health care costs abroad. It’s important to verify this before your trip.
The Limitations of Credit Card Travel Insurance
Many credit cards provide travel insurance, but this coverage is often limited. Restrictions usually include the trip’s duration (often under 90 days) and the extent of reimbursement. The specific terms and conditions can be restrictive. While Credit Card travel insurance may suffice for short trips, longer journeys demand more comprehensive insurance solutions.
Health risks in Australia
International travel can pose various risks to health, depending on your type of travel and on your health needs. Since health is paramount, you have to be careful and make sure you are covered in all situations! Here are some of the health risks in Australia:
Climate-related health risks
Australia’s vast size results in varied climate zones. In arid desert areas, high temperatures are common. Protect yourself with sunscreen, hydration, hats, and sunglasses.
Health risks from animals and insects
Beware of mosquitoes! While the risk is low, there have been instances of dengue fever in Queensland. Mosquitoes can also transmit Ross fever or Murrey Valley encephalitis. Protection against mosquito bites is advisable.
In the north of Australia, be vigilant if you’re anywhere near water. It’s best to keep a good distance to water holes and rivers in which Saltwater crocodiles might be staying. Another reason to not go swimming in the ocean in Northern Australia is the lethal Box Jellyfish. As their season runs from October to May, you might see brave people in the water at other times. To be on the safe side, rather swim in the public pools or lagoons.
Finally, there are obviously other animals you should stay far away from! A stray dog or any other animal that bites you can become a hazard if it transmits rabies. Get informed about the areas where rabies is known to occur.
Travel insurance for cancellations
Unforeseen circumstances can happen while traveling abroad. Cancellation insurance is useful if your itinerary changes or if you have to cancel your stay in a place. First, you should have a look at the cancellation policies of your bookings. Generally, the covers offered are low and it is difficult to get any refund. If you need to cancel or want to have more flexibility during your trip, you should take out cancellation insurance in order to avoid losing too much money. Moreover, if you are not traveling by yourself, changes of plans are very likely, so it is essential to make sure you will have your back covered!
When you are traveling abroad for a long period of time, it is pretty common to carry a lot of luggage and / or valuables. Losing, damaging or being robbed of your property is normally very stressful. Without having the appropriate luggage Insurance, it is likely that you are helpless in those situations. Insurance companies have acknowledged that this is one of the biggest complaints of travellers and have developed specific covers for possessions and luggage. It is important to find out in advance about the covers offered because even though it is effective most of the time, luggage insurance does not cover everything.
When traveling abroad, an unexpected event may force you to return home earlier than planned. Unfortunately, in the event of death or a serious accident of a family member, or a major incident at home, you might have to go back home earlier. If you are covered by a travel insurance, this change of plan can be taken care of at no cost for you.
Traveling usually involve discovery and fun, however, an accident can unfortunately happen at any time. In case of accident or serious illness, the medical team that will treat you may decide to transfer you to another country or to repatriate you. To cover those situations and the costs involved, additional travel insurance is required.
Any litigation leads to fees. Those fees can get high pretty quickly, so if you do not want to spend too much money, it’s safer to be covered. All travel insurances offer to cover all or part of legal costs, such as lawyer, expert costs etc.
In summary, travel insurance is not just a formality but a necessity for any international journey. It provides peace of mind, ensuring you’re prepared for health risks and unexpected events, allowing you to fully enjoy your travel experience.
How to choose the best travel insurance?
When planning an international trip, whether for leisure, work, study, or as an au pair, choosing the right travel insurance is crucial. Your insurance needs vary based on the nature, duration, and destination of your trip, as well as the activities you plan to engage in:
Understanding Your Travel Needs
Your insurance requirements differ based on the type of trip. For a short holiday, your needs will be different compared to embarking on a year-long backpacking adventure. Factors like changes in altitude, temperature, and exposure to various diseases can impact your health during travel.
Consider Your Activities
The health risks you face will vary with your lifestyle and activities abroad. If you’re planning to engage in extreme sports like skydiving or diving, ensure your insurance covers adventure sports
Backpacking around the world
For globe-trotters, in addition to varying risks in different countries, there’s also the possibility of needing to rearrange your trip. Opt for insurance with comprehensive luggage cover and a cancellation option for flexibility in unforeseen circumstances. Verify that your insurance provides 24/7 emergency assistance and covers medical expenses upfront, regardless of your location.
Traveling with family means different priorities and needs. Opt for higher coverage as children might have special needs or be more susceptible to health issues. Cancellation costs can be significant for family trips, so consider insurance with a cancellation policy for peace of mind.
Au Pair Travel
As an au pair, you need insurance tailored to this role. Look for policies covering hotel expenses in case of a family change or personal liability if an accident occurs with the child in your care.
Type of visa
When choosing your travel insurance, you will also need to consider the type of visa you will travel with in order to purchase the appropriate insurance cover.
Working Holiday Visa
If you intend to travel with a Working Holiday Visa, you may have to take out mandatory insurance to have your visa approved. Moreover you will probably spend several months in a country, increasing the risk of being sick or have an accident. Some insurance companies are specialised for this kind of travel and will offer you all the guarantees you need for your trip.
If you are traveling with a student visa in Australia, you will have to take out compulsory national health insurance. However, you may also have to take out private insurance to make up the gap in reimbursement. Plus be covered for other risks such as potential early return, personal liability, rental liability etc.
If you intend to live in a foreign country for work you will need insurance that covers your medical expenses or repatriation in case of illness or an accident while working or even in your everyday life. A proper insurance cover will allow you to pack and go with peace of mind for you and your family.
If traveling on a tourist visa, depending on the length of your stay, the insurance will also be different. Also, for a stay as a tourist you will certainly want insurance that covers your luggage. Or will refund you in case of cancellation of your stay. If you are going to do sports activities (skydiving, climbing etc), make sure that these are covered by your insurance contract.
Special medical needs
Your personal needs and condition must be taken into account when choosing your travel insurance. Do you have a physical disability or a specific illness or condition that requires a continuing treatment? Then you will need a special health insurance. In this situation, the best option is to contact your national health care system. Discuss with them the potential reciprocal agreement they may have with other countries.
The healthcare system in Australia
Medicare, the publicly funded health scheme of the country covers all Australians.
Australia has signed agreements with 11 countries. Those cover the cost of medically necessary care when Australians visit certain countries and visitors from these countries visit Australia. Those countries are: United Kingdom, The Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia, Malta.
Visitors from these countries are entitled to some subsidised health services for essential medical treatment while visiting Australia.
The length of cover depends on your country of origin. For example, if you are a resident of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden or Norway, you are covered for the entire length of your stay in Australia.
See the list of countries and specific informations on: Reciprocal Health Care Agreement.
Consultations fees in Australia
Here are a few examples of consultation fees in Australia.
- Consultation with a general practitioner: Between 80 and 120 AUD (Rates vary by city and medical practice)
- Medical specialist: between 150 and 250 AUD Note : To get an appointment with a medical specialist, you will need to go through a general practitioner.
- MRI: Between 200 and 800 AUD *
- Hospitalisation: More than 1000 AUD per day *
Read also : Australian Health Care System
FAQs Travel Insurance
Travel insurance for Australia typically covers medical expenses, trip cancellations or interruptions, baggage loss or delay, emergency medical evacuation, and personal liability. Specific coverage may vary between policies, so it’s essential to review the policy details prior subscribing.
Travel insurance is not mandatory for entering Australia, but it’s highly recommended. Having travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind during your trip.
Yes, travel insurance typically covers medical emergencies in Australia, including doctor visits, hospitalization, and emergency medical evacuation if necessary.
Many travel insurance policies offer coverage for a range of adventure activities and sports, but coverage can vary between insurers. Check your policy for specific details and any exclusions.