Travel insurance and medical cover

It is crucial to obtain the right medical cover when travelling overseas, so make sure you understand how it works with your travel insurance.

If you become ill or injured while overseas, travel insurance can pay for some, or all, of the costs that accumulate when you receive medical treatment – provided to you either by a general practitioner or a hospital or clinic. Having the right medical cover as part of your travel insurance policy means that you can claim back the costs of your medical treatment up to your maximum cover amount.

Why is medical cover so important?
The costs of being treated for an illness or injury overseas can be substantial. The Australian Government recommends that all Australians purchase travel insurance with medical cover whenever they travel internationally. Keep in mind that both Medicare and your private health insurance may not cover any medical costs incurred outside of Australia.

Which medical cover do you need?
Your choice of medical cover will depend on your personal health, what type of holiday you are planning and how much safety and care you want your insurance to provide.

It is generally beneficial to consider whether you need cover for:

  • general medical treatments and surgical treatments
  • hospital treatments and cash benefits
  • ambulance expenses and other emergency medical expenses
  • repatriation or medical evacuation
  • pregnancy or childbirth complications
  • compensation for severe injury or death
  • accommodation and/or travel expenses if you cannot travel home for medical reasons or if you require someone to stay/travel with you due to medical necessity.

Some pre-existing medical conditions can preclude you from obtaining reimbursement for costs related to that condition while you are travelling. If you do have a pre-existing medical condition, try searching for a provider who is open to assessing all conditions or who offers competitive premiums for covering your condition.

Making a medical travel insurance claim
Claims processes will differ slightly from provider to provider. In general, however, you will need to provide documentation when making your claim. This can include:

  • medical certificates or statements outlining the treatment you received overseas and the costs involved
  • receipts to prove you have paid for the treatment
  • medical certificates for any pre-existing conditions you have.

There are some circumstances when you won’t be protected by your travel insurance medical cover. While you can still be treated for these incidents overseas, you usually won’t be able to claim back the costs of these treatments or services via your travel insurance. Some common examples can include:

  • search and rescue assistance
  • private hospital rooms (unless medically necessary)
  • any treatments you need due to an attempted suicide or an act of deliberate self-harm
  • any treatments you received that were not immediately and medically necessary
  • pregnancy or childbirth treatments, unless due to a diagnosed complication
  • any treatments you receive after a doctor has deemed you are fit to travel or return home.

Always make sure you read your Product Disclosure Statement and gain an understanding of what is excluded from your medical cover.

InsureandGo’s award-winning travel insurance offers 24-hour emergency assistance, unlimited overseas medical expenses cover and considers all pre-existing medical conditions easily online or over the phone.

Save 10 per cent off your next policy at or phone 1300 552 701.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited, ABN 49 000 525 637, issues InsureandGo Travel Insurance (the insurance). Please read the combined product disclosure statement and financial services guide available at to decide if the insurance is right for you.

Related articles:
Why buy domestic travel insurance?
Is your condition covered?
Why is travel insurance so important?

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