With Australia’s borders set to remain closed until some time in 2021, more of us than ever are planning a great Australian adventure. It’s often said that if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. But why should you consider domestic travel insurance? TravelCard was rated No. 1 in 2019 by CHOICE for domestic travel insurance  and these are our top tips when considering domestic cover.
1. In case you have to cancel your trip
One of the most common claims the TravelCard team receives, for both domestic and international policies, is trip cancellation. If you have to cancel your holiday due to unforeseen circumstances, like sickness or injury, domestic travel insurance could cover you for the loss of any non-refundable deposits such as hotel bookings.
Remember that most travel insurance policies won’t cover you for any cancellation related to COVID illness or area lockdowns. Please make sure you follow the COVID guidelines of your state government and the area you are travelling to.
TravelCard Tip: Depending how far in advance you’ve booked your trip, a lot can happen. Domestic travel insurance can be purchased as soon as you know your travel dates. That way you are likely to have cover if your trip gets cancelled before you leave or if you are unable to travel at all due to sickness or injury (but always check the terms & conditions in your PDS for what’s covered).
2. In case your luggage is lost, accidentally damaged or stolen
A recent survey by the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia showed Queensland getaways are top of the destination list for would-be travellers. 34% said it would be their most likely destination for a domestic leisure trip. If you’re not lucky enough to live in the sunshine state, chances are you’ll be flying there. Domestic travel insurance usually provides insurance cover for luggage and personal belongings. So if your luggage is lost, accidentally damaged or stolen you could be covered.
If you’ll be flying for your next domestic trip, it’s well worth considering domestic travel insurance to cover you.
TravelCard tip: Never leave luggage in an unattended vehicle, even if it is out of sight. This is often excluded from travel insurance policies (both domestic and overseas) and your insurer may not cover you if anything is stolen.
3. If you’re hiring a car
The coronavirus pandemic has (for now) changed the way we travel. A recent survey showed a huge 7 in 10 Australians are planning to travel by car for their next holiday. If you’re hiring a car for some or all of your trip, domestic travel insurance may be a worthwhile investment.
The insurance excess on car rental can run into thousands of dollars, so having cover through your domestic travel insurance policy gives you peace of mind. It also gives you an alternative if you prefer not to buy excess cover as an add-on from the rental company. A road trip is one of the best ways to see Australia and you don’t want to spend your holiday worrying about something going wrong.
TravelCard tip: Remember that if you have more than one driver, you need to name each person on your travel insurance policy. Otherwise, you may not be covered. It’s also worth noting that rental car excess on travel insurance is not rental vehicle insurance (this is usually included in the daily price of your hire car).
4. If you’re skiing or snowboarding
We may not be able to travel to New Zealand for the 2020 ski season, but fortunately we have some fantastic resorts here in Australia. Whether you’re skiing in Perisher or Thredbo, Mount Buller or Mount Hotham, you may want to consider adding on winter sports cover with your domestic travel insurance policy.
Although domestic travel insurance can’t cover medical costs by law, there are lots of other reasons you might want to consider Winter Sports Cover. For example:
- If your gear is lost or stolen (usually, you’ll be covered for equipment that you own or any you hire)
- If you can’t ski because all pistes at the resort are closed (this can happen for many reasons such as high winds or not enough snow)
- If you’re unable to use pre-paid ski/lift passes or tuition fees due to sickness or injury.
5. If you’re travelling for a special event such as a wedding
You’re on your way to a wedding, grand final or 30th anniversary celebration and your train is delayed, or worse, cancelled. If you’ve seen Four Weddings And A Funeral, you can probably relate to the stress of running late for a special occasion. And it’s even worse when it’s outside of your control. What many people don’t know is that some domestic travel insurance policies will pay for the reasonable costs of using alternative public transport to arrive at your destination on time.
TravelCard tip: You’ll need to provide evidence from your carrier to support any claim. Make sure you keep everything, cancel the original booking and get written confirmation of the delay.
Travel insurance can be just as important holidaying in Australia as overseas
Whether you’re embarking on an epic road trip, want cover for your luggage, or are attending a special event like a wedding, there are lots of reasons to consider domestic travel insurance. Just don’t forget that travel insurers often stipulate you must be more than a certain distance away from your home to be covered. For instance, to be covered by TravelCard domestic policies, your trip must be at least 100km from home and include an overnight stay. If you’re going on a short trip or a family getaway this is important to keep in mind.
Want more domestic travel insurance tips? Check out the CHOICE travel insurance guide.
 TTF COVID-19 TRAVEL & LEISURE INSIGHTS, Tourism & Transport Forum Australia and Newgate Research, June 2020
Benefits and covers subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits (including sub-limits) of the insurance policy. TCA Insurance Services Pty Ltd (TCA) ABN 76 621 476 220 is an authorised representative (AR 1262773) of the Insurer, The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (Hollard) ABN 78 090 584 473 (AFSL 241436). Any advice provided by TCA in relation to the TravelCard Real-Time Insurance products and the TravelCard is general advice only. Please consider the Combined Financial Services Guide & Product Disclosure Statement and the TravelCard Terms & Conditions (available at www.travelcard.com.au) before deciding whether they are suitable for you.