Travellers without travel insurance are personally liable for covering any medical and associated costs they incur. The Australian Government won't pay for your medical treatment overseas or medical evacuation to Australia or a third country.
You should make sure your travel insurance covers all medical expenses for injury or illness, as well as theft of valuables, damage to baggage and cancellations or interruptions to flight plans.
If you are uninsured, you (or your family) are personally responsible for covering any medical or other costs resulting from unexpected incidents or accidents.
Accidents can happen to anyone, and medical costs overseas can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. Australians have faced financial hardship to cover these costs when things go wrong.
Jenny* (18) was nightclubbing with friends in Bali when she became ill after drinking a cocktail. Her friends recognised the symptoms of methanol poisoning and rushed her to hospital.
Fortunately Jenny recovered after two weeks of care, but because she had been drinking alcohol and was under the legal age to drink cocktails in Bali (21), her insurer refused to pay her claim. Her cash-strapped family had to sell their car to pay the $25,000 in medical expenses.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has teamed up with independent consumer advocate CHOICE to provide two simple travel insurance guides for you, the Aussie traveller, to help you get the right insurance for your trip.
Don't have time to read our full guide? Check out the cheat sheet for all the essential information.
CHOICE is the consumer advocate that provides Australians with information and advice, free from commercial bias.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission's MoneySmart website provides a number of tips on what to look for when shopping around for a travel insurance policy.
The Insurance Council of Australia has information on travel insurance and lists companies that provide travel insurance products. It also provides a handy Find an Insurer service. Note: the Australian Government does not endorse any particular travel insurance provider.
The Know Risk website managed by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) provides helpful information about travel (and other) insurance, and tips on reducing your risks when travelling overseas.
The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) is the national trade association for insurance brokers in Australia. Insurance brokers are able to provide advice to consumers on insurance matters, including travel insurance. The Australian Government does not endorse any particular broker or insurance provider.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.