For almost two years, Australians waited for the pandemic to pass so they could travel again. Now that domestic and international travel has resumed, travel insurance providers have started offering coverage for pandemic-related events, allowing you to plan your next holiday without having to worry as much about COVID-19 getting in the way.
Comparing with Savvy allows you to find affordable travel insurance that protects you if your trip is impacted by COVID-19. Take the guesswork out of finding the best travel insurance and find the right deal for your travels today.
Does travel insurance cover COVID-19-related expenses?
Some travel insurance providers offer coverage for COVID-19-related expenses. However, this coverage tends to vary depending on the policy you choose. That’s why it’s important to compare deals so you get the best coverage to suit your needs.
Many providers require you to take out comprehensive travel insurance if you want cover for COVID-19-related expenses. Plenty of these comprehensive insurance policies allow you to claim between $2,500 and $5,000 in non-refundable costs, as long as you bought the insurance at least three weeks before your departure. Claimable expenses include:
- Ambulance and hospital treatment.
- Cancellation of accommodation, tour and flight bookings because you or a close relative or business partner contracts COVID-19.
- Funeral or repatriation costs if you die overseas.
- Care for your pets back home if you need to extend your stay abroad due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.
- Quarantine hotel and COVID-19 testing costs. A few countries and cities require you to quarantine upon arrival in the country at your own cost. If you’re travelling to Hong Kong, you’ll be required to isolate for 14 days at your own cost and undergo two COVID-19 tests before you’re free to roam the city.
A few basic packages can also cover you for medical expenses if you require hospitalisation due to illness, although they won’t allow you to get your money back for cancelled flights or accommodation.
What isn’t included in COVID-19 travel insurance?
While there are insurance policies on the market which cover you for COVID-19-related costs while on a holiday, there are some restrictions on what you can claim. Many of the policies won’t cover you if you travel to a country against government advice. The government regularly updates its travel warnings on other countries, with a number deemed high-risk destinations for a variety of reasons including civil unrest or COVID-19.
Many providers won’t cover you for border closures, travel bans or lockdowns back home or abroad which result in you being unable to travel. When you’re comparing with Savvy, make sure you find a policy which allows you the flexibility to get a refund on your premium if you’re unable to enjoy your holiday. Otherwise, if there’s a snap lockdown in your destination and you’re unable to enter the country, you could be left out of pocket from the cost of flights or hotels.
Most insurers also won’t cover you for cancellation due to quarantine more broadly, such as if you’re deemed a close contact of a COVID-19 case overseas or at home. Many also view not wearing a mask in a high-risk setting or visiting a COVID-positive person as ‘risky behaviour’ and may void your claim.
How else should I compare travel insurance policies?
Doing your homework is the best way to find the right travel insurance policy for you. When you’re comparing deals with Savvy, you’ll need to weigh up several factors to ensure you get the coverage you need. These include:
Comprehensive or basic
Look closely at what each of these options covers and assess whether it’s worth a little extra money for a little extra protection. Few insurers offer COVID-19 protections within their basic policies, so you’ll more than likely need to take out comprehensive insurance if you want coverage. Comparing with Savvy will allow you to see the difference between providers clearly, helping you make a clear-cut decision.
Inclusions and exclusions
Comparing insurers will allow you to see what’s included in their policy and what isn’t. Many insurers cover things such as overseas medical expenses, cancellations and the excess on your hire car. However, some policies won’t cover the loss or theft of your luggage or only cover up to a lower monetary limit in lost possession (such as $2,000). Doing your homework allows you to get the most out of your travel insurance.
If you’re planning on doing some thrill-seeking while you’re abroad, you might want to check you’re covered if something unexpected does happen. Insurers offer optional extras such as snow sport or skiing coverage or add-ons if you decide to go scuba diving, sky diving or paragliding. By comparing with us, you can boost your chances of finding a provider which has the extras you need or includes such events in their main policy.
If you’re jet setting across the globe, it’s a good idea to triple-check that the countries you’re travelling through are covered by your insurance. This includes any you’re stopping over in for a few hours while you await a connecting flight. If you test positive for COVID-19 during a stop-over and require treatment, but don’t have insurance, it could end up costing you a pretty penny.
Insurance companies require you to pay a gap whenever you make a claim. The excess you pay on your travel insurance varies from provider to provider but you usually get to choose how much you can afford to pay if you do make a claim. Make sure the excess you set on your travel insurance policy is affordable for you and won’t stretch your budget too much.
Types of travel insurance
International travel insurance can offer cover for a range of events, including medical expenses, lost luggage or items, cancellation fees and more when you're overseas and a long way from home.
If you're journeying within Australia, domestic policies are designed to offer many of the same protections as international travel insurance (with the exception of medical expenses).
The most standard and common type of travel insurance, this policy can cover you for one trip starting and ending in Australia (and is available for both international and domestic travel).
As the name suggests, this type of travel insurance covers multiple trips over a 12-month period. Depending on your insurer, you may be able to take an unlimited number of trips up to 90 days each.
You don't have to have a return ticket booked to take out cover while you're overseas. One-way travel insurance enables you to access cover without a set end date, such as if you're moving temporarily.
You may need to take out specialist coverage if you're setting sail on a cruise. Fortunately, cruise insurance can cover emergency evacuation, cabin confinement and more.
Just because you're older doesn't mean travel insurance isn't still important. If you qualify for cover, seniors' travel insurance can offer greater peace of mind for included events while you're travelling.
Adding winter sports or ski cover to your policy can add protection against damage to your equipment, piste closure due to bad weather and activities such as back-country skiing, heliskiing and more.
Looking to enjoy some adventure sports on holiday? An adventure sports pack can grant you cover for a range of activities, such as hiking, scuba diving and motorcycle or scooter riding.
Jetsetting with the whole clan in tow? Some insurers offer family travel insurance, which enables you to include yourself, your partner and your dependent children under one policy to help you save.
If you're travelling interstate or overseas with your partner (or simply another friend or family member), you may be able to access a discount by taking out a joint or duo travel insurance policy.
Why compare travel insurance with Savvy?
Top tips for saving money on your travel insurance
Travel insurance premiums are more expensive if you visit some countries over others, primarily due to the cost of health care. For example, it can cost more to visit countries such as the United States and the United Arab Emirates due to their expensive medical treatment. It’s worth considering if you may want to travel to a country with cheaper health care, such as Greece, Italy and Sweden.
Buying your travel insurance sooner than later allows you to be covered for more non-refundable costs in the event you have to cancel your trip. That means there’s a higher likelihood you can be reimbursed for deposits paid on your hotels, flights and tours.
If you have multiple trips planned or you are a frequent flier, annual travel insurance can often be cheaper than taking out individual policies for each trip. Not only can it save you money, but it’s also less hassle because you’re covered for up to 90 days over the course of a year.
Every time you make a claim on your insurance, you pay an excess and the provider settles the remainder of the cost. Choosing to pay a greater amount in this instance can save you money on your premium, as you’re willing to put more of your own money towards your claim.
Checklist for before you take out COVID-19 travel insurance
Check your destination's travel status
Pay close attention to the news and government advice about travel warnings regarding certain countries. From time to time, the government will issue warnings if there is a real risk to travellers posed by COVID-19, protests or terrorist attacks in a certain country. You generally won’t be covered if you get sick or injured visiting one of these countries, so make sure your destination has the all-clear before booking your flights and shopping around for travel insurance.
Frequently asked COVID-19 travel insurance questions
Helpful travel insurance guides
Explore your travel insurance options for your next destination
We do not compare all travel insurance brands currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and does not consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.
Savvy earns a commission from our partners each time a customer buys a travel insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via their websites.
Before purchasing your policy, we recommend you refer to the provider’s PDS for any further information on the terms, inclusions and exclusions.