Over one million Kiwis visit Australia every year. With white-sand beaches, dazzling harbours, lively cities and boundless room for adventure, it’s easy to see why. Our western neighbour has become a second home, and it’s rare to find a Kiwi who hasn’t bathed at Bondi Beach or shopped till they dropped in the malls of Melbourne.
While Australia has a reputation as an affordable holiday favourite, it also has a reputation as a place of danger. Whether it be sharks, jellyfish, rip currents, or just the scorching sun, an Australian beach escape can easily turn into a holiday to forget.
But it’s not just the beaches that present risks to travellers, which is why proper insurance is essential for your Australian holiday, no matter what part of the country you’re visiting.
Do New Zealanders need travel insurance for Australia?
New Zealanders enjoy a reciprocal health agreement with Australia for some healthcare services, like medically necessary treatment as a public patient in a public hospital and access to prescription medicine.
There is a common misconception that this reciprocal health agreement means that New Zealanders don’t need travel insurance when visiting Australia. This is not the case. Emergency hospital treatment can quickly become extremely expensive, especially when it causes disruptions to your travel plans.
For example, a broken leg can mean an unwanted upgrade to business class seats, or prevent you from departing at all. Uninsured travellers can also find themselves footing the bill for ambulance rides, blood tests, accommodation extensions and flight cancellations.
We’ve seen first-hand how costly it can be to extend your stay due to a medical emergency, which is why we urge all New Zealanders to protect themselves with travel insurance when visiting Australia.
What will my insurance policy cover in Australia?
Our TravelCare policy provides great quality, affordable travel insurance for your trip to Australia. All TravelCare customers have access to our worldwide emergency assistance team, who can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Our comprehensive TravelCare insurance includes cover for:
- Unlimited medical and evacuation expenses that arise due to unexpected events while on your journey
- Cancellation fees and lost deposits – increase your cover depending on the cost of your journey
- Damaged or lost baggage
- Personal items if they are stolen or damaged
- Rental car excess should you have an accident
- Emergency dental treatment
- Funeral costs
Does my policy cover medical emergencies and hospital bills?
Unfortunately, illness and injury make up the largest number of claims we receive from travellers to Australia.
Thankfully, our TravelCare policy insures you for unlimited medical and evacuation expenses that arise due to unexpected events while you’re in Australia.
Am I covered for stolen or damaged phones, cameras and laptops?
Behind illness and injury, stolen and damaged valuables are the second most common claim we see from travellers to Australia. You may expect pickpocketing to be a greater risk in the marketplaces of South-East Asia than in the modern cities of Sydney or Melbourne, however travellers should keep their guard up as Australia isn’t immune to petty thieves.
Stolen valuables can take the shine off any holiday, which is why our TravelCare policy covers you for personal items that are lost, stolen or damaged as a result from an unexpected event.
Am I insured for rental car excess?
Australia has enough endless highways and scenic coast routes to satisfy any traveller with a taste for the open road. In fact, travelling by car from Sydney to Perth takes over 40 hours of driving time!
Your Aussie road trip may not be this extreme, but it’s important that you prepare carefully even for short journeys on the road. Our TravelCare policy covers you for rental car excess of up to $5,000 per journey if you have an accident, but your cover depends on a few things including:
- That you or the driver obey any law including driving laws or highway rules. For example: speed limits and blood alcohol limits
- That you hire your vehicle from a licensed rental car agency
- That you always comply with the terms of the rental vehicle agreement
- That you only drive on formed or paved roads and car parks
- You are a named driver on the policy
How to stay safe in Australia
Depending on the type of your Australian holiday, there are a number of things to consider to ensure you stay safe. A snorkelling trip to the Great Barrier Reef will require a different set of preparations than a tour of Melbourne’s restaurants, and the risks you face will also depend on the time of year you visit.
If you’re visiting Australia in summer, the sun is one of the biggest dangers to consider. Temperatures can soar to over 45 degrees Celsius around Christmas and New Year, and also into February.
You might be tempted to hit the beach, but the Australian heat is nothing to take lightly. Ensure you stay hydrated and shaded, and if temperatures approach 40 degrees, opt for the movies instead of the beach.
Other summertime dangers in Australia include rip currents, jellyfish and sharks, which can be avoided by seeking the advice of lifeguards at patrolled beaches.
What you need to know
This page provides a summary of the key terms only. As with all insurance policies, terms and conditions apply. For our terms and conditions (including information about exclusions, excesses and sub limits) we recommend you read the travel insurance policy document.