Travel Insurance for Expat Australians

The saying, "Don't leave home without it", applies to travel insurance without exception. The major concerns are medical problems overseas although your most frequent claims are going to be around the cost of travel disruption and baggage loss. So the question is, what is the most cost effective insurance on a value for money basis? In short, you'll need to do some shopping around but it will rarely, if ever, be found at your travel agent. The best deals are online and we suggest a couple of sites to start with below.

The things you should look for are:

  • The level of cover, particularly in the “high cost” areas such as medical cover and repatriation, cancellation, loss of baggage and personal liability.
  • The cost of cover, and
  • The bona fides of the insurance underwriter – the size and reputation of the insurance company which stands behind the policy.

Just a hint; if you are going to be using hire cars a lot while overseas, get a policy that covers you for the excess payable if your rental vehicle is stolen, crashed or damaged. Car rental companies make more money from insurance than renting the car and this can save you a large amount of money.

We suggest you consider the following online providers below in any comparison - but expatriates need to be particularly careful when it comes to ensuring that the policy covers your situation (particularly if resident in certain countries). Read any fine print carefully and contact the company directly if in doubt.

If you are Resident outside of Australia:

If you are resident outside Australia then we would suggest you consider insurance through World Nomads - they provide cover for people resident in over 150 countries, with online claims and the ability to extend coverage while you are overseas. It covers adventure activities such as skiing and snowboarding. The underwriters are a variety of major insurers depending on the country of residency; please check for your individual country.

If you are a Resident or Temporary Resident in Australia

If you are a resident of Australia, or indeed a temporary resident of Australia (for example working in Australia on a 457 visa) who has been resident in the country for at least 3 months, then travel cover is available from Insure4Less. 

If you are aged over 70

Finding and arranging travel insurance on a competitive basis when aged over 70 can be difficult, and we suggest you do your research well in advance of the trip. One Australian provider who specifically covers senior travellers is 1Cover Travel Insurance but note that policy restrictions begin to apply when you are 80 and above - always read the documentation carefully.

Remember, if you are permanently resident overseas, travel insurance from Australian providers is NOT a replacement for international health insurance; cover is normally provided on the basis that you are currently a resident of Australia and this may allow insurers to dispute a claim.