Australia is a remote country endowed with stretches of beaches, national parks, conical monuments, unbelievable wildlife and an outback of vast land mass. It’s home to wonderful places like the mysterious Great Barrier Reef, Opera house (Sydney), Fraser Island and other remarkable tourist destinations. Over the past half-decade, more than five million international visitors have flocked to Australia annually. In fact, 7.6% increase in international visits was recorded towards the end of 2017.
General Information about Travel insurance to Australia
Is it necessary to acquire a travel insurance Policy?
Medical services are expensive for foreigners without health insurance. Therefore, it is better to purchase a travel insurance policy prior to departure of tourists from their countries of residence.
The travel insurance policy covers the medical expenses involving outpatient and inpatient treatments, repatriation and emergency evacuation, especially during severe conditions.
In addition, the travel insurance coverage capacity may be enhanced by including other supplementary options based on the tourists’ itinerary and envisaged risk.
Hence, a valid insurance policy should be obtained 5 days before departure.
Types of Travel insurance policies:
Factor influencing the cost of insurance
The cost of acquiring a travel insurance policy is not fixed, and as such; the premium of an insurance policy depends on several driving factors. These factors are not limited to the following below:
Some Insurance companies may offer travel insurance services for various premiums, depending on their interests, organizational goals, and business strategies. Some companies may require the insured to pay a certain amount of deductibles, while other insurers may not require the insured to pay deductibles before the actual coverage can begin to take effect.
The age of the individual seeking the insurance policies determines the cost of the insurance policy. For instance, the premium for an adult will be less expensive than the premium required to cover a child or an old person above 64 years.
The cost of insurance per day for a long trip may be inexpensive when compared to that of a short trip. For example, if trip A is scheduled for 30 days, and trip B is scheduled for 7 days on the contrary. The insurance cost for one day may be inexpensive for trip A. However, the cost of insurance for one day may be expensive for trip B.
Extending the insurance coverage to individuals above the age of 2 years will require an increased premium. More so, a high premium is associated with multiple companions. For instance, some insurance companies provide the capability for the insured to extend the insurance policy’s coverage to children below 2 years, without incurring an additional cost. Contrary to this, a huge amount of premium will be required to extend coverage to other family members, close relatives or friends, and the cost of such extension will be multiplicative.
The travel insurance policy can be supplemented by including non-medical options to protect the policyholder from events that may be financially catastrophic.
Several Insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions, but a handful of them provide policies with the capabilities to cover several kinds of pre-existing conditions at an increased premium.
The cost of the travel insurance policies could be determined through the insurance company’s customer care.
These Additional options include:
Personal liability insurance
Trip Cancellation Insurance
The risk of forfeiting a fare may be associated with purchasing a ticket for a scheduled trip. After paying for a fare, the insured tourist may forcefully abandon his/her itinerary due to the occurrence of circumstantial events beyond his/her control. The following reasons may cause the forceful cancellation of a scheduled trip:
The insured may be declared unfit for the trip by a doctor.
The insured’s visa application may be rejected at the Embassy for certain reasons, especially if the insured had purchased the fare in advance, prior to the visa interview, especially if he or she is not from countries that do not require visas into Australia
The death of either the insured or his/her or family member or close relative.
Sudden sickness of the insured’s child.
The insured may be summoned as a witness to testify in the court of law.
The insured may be ordered to undertake a critical military assignment on behalf of his/her nation.
The insured must inform the transport carrier, and cancel the trip.
The insured must provide adequate documentation and necessary reasons for canceling the trip.
The insured must not be seriously ill while purchasing the fare.
The dental insurance options provide coverage for expenses on regular dental and oral care procedures. The standard travel insurance policy will not provide orthodontics and other cosmetic dentistry services, it will only assist in times of emergency by providing pain relievers for the insured.
Hence, in order to perform certain kinds of dental procedures like crowns, root canal treatment, bridges, cavity fillings, tooth extractions, x-ray, regular cleaning and other orthodontic procedures, it is better to include the dental insurance.
The luggage of any traveler is subject to the risk of loss or damage by accidents and theft respectively. Provided this insurance is included, it may cover the expenses associated with losing the insured’s luggage.
For instance, the tourist may lose some luggage contents like clothes or other important documents. In such cases, if this insurance is included, it will provide compensation, especially if the contents of the luggage are not misplaced due to the negligence of the insured.
The compensation provided by the insurance is valued at a certain sum less the depreciation of the missing item. For instance, if the insured loses his/her clothes, the insurance will provide compensation based on the current value of the clothes.
The insurance doesn't provide coverage for the loss of expensive properties like jewelry or other properties meant for commercial purposes.
If the insured intends on traveling with expensive pieces of jewelry or electronics like laptops, they should be kept close to the insured in a hand luggage and not in the cargo section of the plane.
The sports insurance, if included; will provide coverage for expenses involved in treating severe injuries sustained by the insured during a sport or outdoor activity. Tourists planning to participate in one form of rigorous exercise or the other should endeavor to insure the associated risk by opting for the sports insurance option. For instance, if the insured intends to climb mountaintops of Bobong or participate in motorbiking, it will be wiser to add this option, because in cases of an accident, the default medical coverage provided by the travel insurance will not be able to settle the expenses for treating severe injuries, and it will not provide subsequent compensational benefit, especially when the sport accident leads to certain kinds of disabilities.
Will the medical insurance cover treatment for accidents, and why is accident insurance necessary?
Yes, it will, but subsequent compensations for resulting disabilities, dismemberment, loss of limbs, sight and extremities will not be provided by the travel insurance alone. Rather, if the accident insurance is included in advance, it will provide such compensations. For instance, if an insured losses his/ her sight and sustains multiple fractures during a car crash along the Parramatta road, after covering the expenses on treatments for trauma and injuries, the accident insurance will provide compensation for the loss of his or her sight.
Personal Liability Insurance
An insured tourist may inadvertently destroy or inflict injuries on a third party, and get sued. And he/she may incur the cost of treating the third party or replacing the victims damaged property. Similarly, the insured may commit an offense in Australia out of ignorance, but we know that ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the law. In such an unfortunate situation the personal liability will cover the cost of settling any arising court case or punishment by the law. If necessary, the personal liability insurance will provide a competent lawyer to negotiate on the insured‘s behalf in such an unfortunate situation, provided this option is included by the insured prior to the insured event.
The option may not provide coverage in the following cases:
Cases of immoral misconduct.
Involvement in criminal offenses, especially in connection with any form of syndicate or drug cartel.
Involvement in a terror plot.
And other cases.
Try and read the terms and conditions of the policy to gain more insight on this section.
Dental services and pain relieving treatments in cases of emergency intervention.
Expenses associated with recovering lost documents.
Expenses for legal aid.
Search and rescue operations, only at an additional cost to the original premium.
The insurance company will deny the coverage of a medical expense which arises from self-inflicted injuries.
Death as a result of suicide will not be compensated by the insurance policy.
False declaration of health status. If the insured provides false information about his/her health situation, the insurance company will refuse subsequent coverage. Therefore, it is better to present honest and valid information about insured's health condition, especially when the insured is diagnosed with a terminal illness immediately after purchasing the insurance policy. For instance, if the insured is diagnosed with a cardiovascular disorder which was absent when the insured was purchasing the insurance policy, the insured must inform the insurance company in order to avoid denial.
Pre-existing conditions are not covered by several insurers, and only a handful of these insurers would cover pre-existing conditions at a high premium.
Treatment of chronic or mental diseases.
Injuries sustained from accidents as a result of drug abuse or excessive intake of alcoholic products will be denied by the insurance company.
The insurance company will not be responsible for covering the expenses associated with treating menstrual abnormalities, impotency, birth control and artificial insemination.
Travelling for the sole purpose of receiving medical treatment will not be covered by the insurance company.
The insurers may deny the expense on the treatment of accidents, especially if the insured drives without a valid driving license.
Accidents as a consequence of alcoholic or narcotic intoxication.
The insurance coverage will fail if the accidents are experienced as a result of negligence on the insured's part. For example, if the insured doesn't pay attention to risk reports and updates provided by his/her insurer.
While purchasing an insurance policy, it is advisable to indicate the following risks:
Participation in sports and other forms of rigorous exercise.
Manning Scooters or motorbikes.
In addition, tourists are advised to inquire about other risks that could either be covered or uncovered.
Actions performed in the case of an insured event
First of all, contact the representative of the insurance company and provide detailed information regarding the insured event. Also, be sure to report any contraindications or allergies to certain kinds of medications. Duplicate (if possible) your appeal by sending an e-mail format of the complaint in addition.
At the time of the appeal, be ready to provide the customer care with the following details:
Name of insured person.
Number of the insurance policy and the name of the insurance company.
The phone number that will be used in following up details about the insured's situation.
After this procedure, the insured will receive instructions from the representative of the insurance company concerning the medical institution to visit. If the medical institution is far from the insured's location. The insured must specify the mode of transportation required to deliver him/ her to the proposed medical institution. The insured must also make inquiries concerning who will incur the cost of such a fare.
Keep all documents and evidence concerning the payment of transport to the medical institution.
If the Insured is directed by the customer care to a medical institution in which it is necessary to make a cash payment, for subsequent compensation of expenses; the Insured must obtain the following documents:
An invoice for payment confirmation./li>
Doctor’s statement indicating the diagnosis in English.
Do not go to any medical institution, except the institutions recommended by the insurer’s customer care. Such actions may require the insured to bear the cost of the medical services without receiving subsequent compensation from the insurance company.
Cost of Medical Services in Australia
A valid insurance policy is required to consult a doctor in Australia. In absence of an insurance policy, the foreign tourist can consult Doctors in private Hospitals.
Although, cost of medical services could be quite expensive at a private hospital, especially without an insurance policy. For instance, consulting a specialist may cost from $120 to a certain amount. Trivial surgeries requiring the removal of an appendix may cost either approximately $332 or above such an amount, surgeries associated with removing cataracts may require over $682. Summoning the services of a Doctor at home may also cost about $125-$200. And the price for dental treatment may cost $50 or above. Usually, patients are charged about $280 for 50 to about 60km or above such a distance. For longer distances, an additional cost of $1.2 or more may be incurred for each additional distance measured in kilometers.
Emergency Telephone Number
Police/ fire service/ Ambulance: 000
SES support during flood and storms: 132500
International incident emergency assistance: 1300555135
In general, vaccines are not required while traveling to Australia, but an exception exists for tourists from countries with predominant issues of yellow fever. However, tourists are still required to enhance their immune system against typhoid fever caused by salmonella – a bacterium capable of entering the body system through contaminated water and food. This bacterium poses resistance to several types of antibiotics, slowing down the rate of remedy.
The typhoid vaccine can be administered either orally or by injection, two weeks before the trip. This vaccine is meant to be administered every three to five years.
More so, during the period of May to October, travelers are advised to receive the flu shot. This vaccine is recommended for travels with chronic bronchopulmonary disease or travelers above the age of 65 years.
Travelers intending to explore the Australian outback may be posed with the risk of encountering bats, wild cats or Dingoes. Therefore, travelers should endeavor to receive an anti-rabies vaccine. Similarly, Children and pets should also be vaccinated and kept safe from these wild and rare species.
In general, Australia is home to wonderful and tremendous wildlife, but several of these creatures are may not be friendly. These creatures could bite, sting or rip the limbs apart when they are disturbed. Example of these animals includes poisonous snakes (Taipan), wild cats, crocodile and etc. Although, there are very slim chances of encountering such creatures in the cities, apart from zoos like the Taronga Zoo in Sydney.
Fortunately, the Australian medical support is highly equipped and reliable, and till date, there are many antidotes for countering the dangerous effects of venoms.
In the event of a bite or sting, urgent care or medical support is often a decisive factor saving a bitten victim’s life.
Kangaroo meat is one of several delicacies in Australia. Vegemite is an aboriginal Australian dish that is made from yeast, salt, celery, and onions. Other dishes include anaboroo and burrawong.
In order to prevent allergic reactions and discomfort, tourists and foreigners must exercise caution to determine if they are allergic to the ingredients of this dishes. Hence, tourists are advised to feed wisely.
Tap water is properly treated and suitable for drinking. However, it is not absolutely recommended for drinking. The tap water may be composed of some chemical contents that remain different from the normal chemical composition of water in the tourist's home country. Tourists are advised to purchase bottled water and avoid drinking water from streams, lakes or waterfalls.
Across the eight states of Australia, climate conditions vary. While some places experience the warmth of the sun, other places around the mountainous regions may experience cooler temperature. In the southern region, summer lasts from December to February, autumn last from March to May. The winter lasts from June to August, and spring from September to November. In the Northern tropical areas, wet (November to April) and dry (May to October) seasons are experienced. The southern regions (Victoria and Tasmania) are characterized by a milder weather condition.
Australia is characterized by hot temperature and scorching sun, which could cause sunburn, heat shock. Sunburn is unpleasant for the skin and it can significantly disrupt one's rest. Sunstroke is a health hazard caused by overheating from the sun rays that are incident in the head. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Heat stroke arises from general overheating of the body. To avoid direct exposure to the sun, travelers are advised to apply protective creams, wear light clothes and sunglasses.
Australia is home to over 7000 beaches stretched across its coasts. Both international tourists and locals love to visit the Bondi beach. However, beaches could pose certain kinds of risks due to the presence of sharks and jellyfish. Tourists are advised to remain in between the coast and the boundaries indicated by some flags. Tourist may only cross these boundaries at their own peril.
Australia is one of the safest places in the world, with law-abiding citizens. The level of theft is very low in large cities and tourist destinations. However, tourists are still tasked with being cautious.
The medical care system is advanced but due to Australia’s large land mass and remoteness of some locations, it is quite difficult to provide emergency first aid services. Fortunately, the royal flying doctor service is capable of solving the issue associated with providing emergency first aid from remote locations. They have over 50 aircrafts.
Medical services are administered to foreigners in private hospitals. These private hospitals are quite expensive than their public counterpart, and as such; it is better to obtain suitable coverage.
All medicines are exclusively sold in pharmacies, but certain restrictions are imposed on purchasing medicines without a medical prescription from a doctor. Restrictions are also imposed on imported drugs. Hence, it is advisable to bring in drugs along with their prescription while visiting Australia, especially if these medications are required for healthy sustenance.