Travel Insurance Policies When Traveling To Australia

Travel insurance is often neglected when planning a holiday or business trip. In Britain we are used to a free healthcare system and often forget that in many countries this is not the case. We tend to not realize that luggage can be lost at an airport and that pick-pockets operate in Lisbon as well as London. Most of the time, travel insurance acts as a peace of mind … right up to the time you need it and then it can be the most important article in your suitcase.

Why Do I Need Travel Insurance?

As we are all aware, accidents can happen at any time and in any place to anyone In the worst of circumstances, this can cause significant injury as well as ruining a holiday or business trip. Unfortunately no-one can predict when these accidents will occur or the severity of them when they do. The only thing to do is to have a high quality travel insurance policy. It may feel like you are gambling against yourself when arranging such a policy, however, nothing could be further from the truth.

Luggage can be easily lost at airport, this in normally sufficient to ruin a holiday, having to end a flight and then to traipse around a shopping center to buy clean socks and shirts. Travel insurance can not make this impossible to happen, but can help pay for your new clothes, which will ease the pain a little.

Something as innocent as a wet floor or trip down a flight of stairs could lead to a hospital trip, for example, to administrator to a broken wrist or ankle. Medical insurance will usually cover the cost but if you need to return early your travel insurance policy may have a clause to allow this to be claimed for.

When in a foreign country and hiring a car try to know the local traffic laws. We drive on the left in the UK, not too many countries follow suit on this. In Australia they drive on the left hand side, and driving laws are similar to that in the UK. If you cause an accident, personal liability may be an issue. A good travel insurance policy will also have a clause that allows travel back to the UK if a medical emergency arises.

What Should I Look For In Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a safety net when abroad. A good travel insurance policy should cover you for medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad, 24 hour emergency service and assistance and personal liability cover in case you are sued for causing injury or damaging property.

Other things to consider when purchasing travel insurance are, what is the value of your lost and stolen possessions cover? What's the maximum you can claim on a single piece of your inventory? Are you covered for cancellation and / or curtailment of your flight or ferry? Does your policy have extra cover for activities that are usually not included standard policies, such as jet skiing or adventure activities? Are there any financial insurances in case your carrier airline becomes bankrupt before or during your excursion abroad?
Socio-Political Issues

Australia has a seasonal weather system of extreme weather conditions. There are seasonal flash floods and long periods of intense heat. There are occasional cyclone systems in the summer months November to April. These tropical storms can cause small creeks to become engorged and the strong winds can cause some damage to buildings.

During the summer months there is also the possibility of bush fires. These can cause large volumes of smoke to be blown from the source into population centers such as the Victoria bush fire in February 2009.

Australia has a general threat of terrorism, similar to the UK. Common sense is required in high density tourist location's. But no more than would be used in the UK.

Driving in Australia is permitted on a valid UK driving License and similar road rules apply, seatbelt must be worn, similar speed limits etc.

Specific Insurances

Australia has a fabulous reputation as a holiday destination. The sun, sea and sand formula is exceptionally strong draw for visitors. Care must be taken however at beach destinations. Crime rates are similar to the UK, therefore do not leave articles alone on a beach. Travel Insurance will replace lost goods and monies but it's better to have not had them stolen. Before embarking on a holiday activity, check that it is covered within your travel insurance policy. An accident resulting from a non-covered activity is not going to be paid out for the insurance company. Some activities will be covered and these will be detailed within the policy.

There is the obvious risks at Australian beaches of improper equipment so check all materials and vehicles to the best of your ability. Do not be afraid to ask any instructors to show their qualifications if appropriate.

As you travel further to the center of Australia, you enter the Outback. The dangers here are from heat and wildlife. Its advised to have a satellite phone as mobile signal is very sparse in the desert. It is important to know your travel insurance contact number should any mishap occur as well as the phone number of the territory police number.

If you decide to go on a more adventurous holiday such as skiing, make sure you have winter sports cover. There are places to ski in Australia, although for many visitors from the UK, its not the first thing they think to do when disembarking at Sydney airport.

If you partake in a helicopter tour of the local area, be aware that baggage and belonging are carries at your own risk. Therefore travel insurance is recommended to cover your effects.

Should you run into difficulties and they exceed the level of cover provided by your travel insurance policy the British Consulate is located at

British High Commission in Australia
Commonwealth Avenue
ACT 2600

Telephone: (+61) (0) 2 6270 6666 This number is NOT for passport or visa enquiries
Fax: (+61) (0) 2 6273 3236

Visa & passport contacts:
1300 858 472 Visa enquiries
1300 367 066 Passport enquiries
1902 941 555 General info

Source by Andy Harcombe

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