Domestic Travel Insurance

Taking a domestic holiday? Discover how domestic travel insurance can benefit you and give you the safety net you need.

Last updated on May 4th, 2022 at 03:19 pm by Bill Tsouvalas

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If you’re taking a domestic holiday in the near future, you should consider taking out insurance to cover you if something goes wrong. Domestic travel insurance is often neglected by Australians travelling in their own country, but it can prove extremely worthwhile.

What is domestic travel insurance and how does it work?

Even while you travel your home country, there is still potential for the unexpected to happen. Domestic travel insurance is specially tailored to protect you if an event or accident occurs to disrupt your travels in Australia. As Medicare or private health insurance will cover the costs of medical events here in Australia, medical cover is exempt from domestic travel insurance, making it far cheaper than international travel insurance.

Taking out a travel insurance policy will ensure the protection of your finances if an unexpected situation does unfold and make sure your holiday plans can continue. It can give you cover for cancellations, lost, stolen or damaged luggage or personal property, and even a rental car incident. Purchasing domestic travel insurance will provide the ultimate safeguard and give you peace of mind on your travels.

What are the inclusions in domestic travel insurance?

The inclusions of domestic travel insurance vary between policies, so it’s important you read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

Benefit Benefit explained
Cancellation cover

You can be covered if something goes astray and you incur cancellation costs due to an unforeseen circumstance such as injury, illness, an accident or extreme weather. This can apply to the costs of having to rearrange your travels or having to cancel your trip all together.

Travel delays

Should you have a domestic flight, train trip or bus trip delayed, you may have out-of-pocket costs such as food, accommodation, or transport costs. All these extra expenses can be covered to help keep the cost of your travels down.

Lost, damaged or stolen luggage and personal items.

If your luggage or personal property gets lost, damaged or stolen on your travels, you can be reimbursed the cost or have the items replaced. However, if items are left unattended, you may not be covered.

Family emergencies

Should a close family member or your travel companion become seriously sick, injured or even die, you could be reimbursed for the extra travel expenses. Restrictions can apply.

Rental car excess

if you’re hiring a rental car, domestic travel insurance can cover the cost of your excess should be involved in an accident.

Personal liability

You can be covered for the costs of personal liability should you be involved in a lawsuit and found to be responsible for the injury of a person or damage to their property.

The exclusions of domestic travel insurance will vary between policies. Therefore, it’s vital you check out your policy’s PDS to know what you’re covered for.

Exclusion Exclusion explained
Medical cover

As you’re in Australia, any medical injury or illness would be covered under Medicare or your private health insurance.

Incidents whilst under influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you’re influenced by drugs or alcohol and these factors contribute to the accident, you will most likely not be covered. In addition, reckless acts where you endanger your own life may result in you not getting covered.

High-risk activities

Many high-risk activities are excluded under domestic travel insurance policies. If you’re scuba diving, skydiving, skiing or partaking in water sports, make sure you check your coverage before taking out a policy.

Travel agent insolvency

If your travel agent or tour operator goes bankrupt and is unable to refund your pre-paid costs, a policy usually won’t cover you.

Known events

If you’re aware of events such as extreme weather before taking out domestic travel insurance, you are unlikely to be covered for any claims related to it.

What are some of the optional extras I should look out for on my domestic travel insurance policy?

Optional extras will differ between insurers as some will provide policies which already include cover for certain activities. Optional extras could include some of the following:

  • Skiing – accidents often happen whilst skiing and they could result in significant expenses. If you damage your own equipment or hired equipment, cover for skiing can pay the costs. In addition, you may require an emergency rescue if something does go wrong. Taking out optional extras cover for skiing will insure you if you do need rescuing, a cost which without insurance would prove very expensive.
  • Scuba diving – incidents whilst scuba diving are far too common. It’s important you insure yourself for scuba diving so it’s not an experience which costs far more than you bargained for. Scuba diving without accreditation and without a licensed supervisor will be exempt from cover.
  • Domestic cruises – cover for domestic cruises is essential as often neither Medicare or private health insurance will cover you on board a cruise ship. In addition, cancelled cruises or cancellation fees pertaining to your cruise can be covered.

Top tips for comparing domestic travel insurance

Not sure how to compare your domestic travel insurance options? Follow these tips.

Consider the inclusions and exclusions in respect to the items you’re taking and what activities you will be doing. If you’re taking expensive items, you will need to prioritise cover that includes those belongings. Perhaps you’re going on an adventure holiday and need cover for an array of high-risk activities. If so, you should compare policies which automatically insurer those activities or at least cover them as an optional extra for a low price.

Level of financial coverage.

In addition, you will need to consider the level of financial coverage. The best option for you is to find a policy which offers different benefit limits for different areas of coverage. This will allow you to choose a policy that provides benefit limits which are relevant to your traveling situation. Also, if you are taking expensive personal items, make sure the benefit limits of stolen, lost or damaged property are high enough to cover you should something go wrong and you need your property to be reimbursed or replaced.

Cost of premiums.

Compare the costs of the domestic travel insurance premiums available. Bear in mind that the cheaper the policy you purchase, the worse your coverage will be. You should try to find premiums that fit within your budget and offer value at their price.

Optional extras.

Look at the optional extras offered by different policies. Some policies may include cover for skiing, scuba diving or domestic cruise holidays while others will require it to be purchased as an optional extra for an additional cost. If you’re partaking in any of these on your travels, try to compare policies which include cover for that specific activity to save you money.

Frequently asked questions about domestic travel insurance

What's the best domestic travel insurance?

The best domestic travel insurance depends on your own traveling situation. If you’re going on a road trip with a hire car, taking out cover which includes benefits for rental car excess will be the best option for you. If you have older relatives back home who are ill, the best policy will provide cover for family emergencies. Everyone will require cover for different benefits but as long as your domestic travel insurance fits within your budget, provides you the right inclusions and the right level of cover, you will have the best policy for you.

How much does domestic travel insurance cost?

The price of your domestic travel insurance premium will vary based on several factors including:

  • Your choice of insurer.
  • The duration of your trip.
  • The level of cover you choose.
  • Your age.
  • Your holiday’s activities.
  • Whether you add on extras to your policy.
Is it possible to get a multi-trip domestic travel insurance policy?

Yes – certain insurers will be able to provide domestic multi-trip policies to get you cover for as many domestic holidays as you like within 12 months. However, certain policies may also restrict the duration of each individual trip. Get in contact with various insurers to see what they offer.

What parts of Australia does domestic travel insurance include?

Domestic travel insurance provides cover for holidays to all parts of Australia including Norfolk Island, Tiwi Islands and Lord Howe Island.

Can I be covered for holidays a short distance away from my home under domestic travel insurance?

Yes – cover for domestic holidays within a short distance from your home will vary between policies. Certain policies will require you to be anywhere from at least 50-250km from home. Check your policy’s PDS for details.

As a senior, am I eligible for domestic travel insurance?

Yes – seniors can take out domestic travel insurance. However, insurers may ask more stringent questions about your traveling or health situation and include more exclusions on your cover.