Compare Travel InsuranceFamily Travel InsuranceTravel insurance & family emergencies 101

Travel insurance & family emergencies 101

It's only natural to be concerned about your loved ones when you go away on your holidays.

If a family member or travelling companion falls ill or is injured on your trip, or before you depart for your holiday, it's important to know where you stand with your cover.

A common question that comes up again and again is; Does travel insurance cover family emergencies? The answer is yes, but like all insurances there are exclusions that will affect your claim.

Keep reading to learn about the cover conditions when it comes to travel insurance and family members.

What is classed as ‘Family’?

You may consider friends or pets as family, however when it comes to travel insurance it's a little different. Those considered 'family' in the world of cover relate to your spouse (or legally recognised defacto) and your dependants.

What is classed as a ‘Relative’?

'Relatives' in terms of travel insurance will typically only include: You or your travelling companions spouse, defacto partner, parent, parent-in-law, daughter, son, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, step-parent, step-son, step-daughter, fiancé, fiancée or guardian.

NOTE: Typically aunties, uncles, cousins, close friends are not included as a ‘relative’ under a standard policy.

When does travel insurance cover for family emergencies?

Your policy will kick in if a family member or relative (as defined above);

  • Dies unexpectedly
  • Is disabled by an injury
  • Becomes seriously sick and requires hospitalisation

NOTE: You would not be covered for any of the above scenarios if they were related to existing illnesses. However if the family member is hospitalised (in Australia or New Zealand) after your policy was issued, but when you bought the policy you were unaware of the illness then you may have provision to claim, irrelevant of whether the illness was pre-existing or not. Confusing right!

For example, you may be able to claim for cancellations costs or lost deposits if a family member were diagnosed with cancer and had to cancel your trip and you did not know before.

When are you not covered?

Like any type of insurance terms and conditions apply to your cover. You are unlikely to be able to claim for out-of-pocket expenses due to family emergencies...

  • If you were aware, before your journey commenced, that it might be cancelled, disrupted or delayed
  • If the death, injury or illness was from a pre-existing medical condition
  • If the death was due to the relative committing suicide, or was due to alcohol or drug consumption
  • If you are due compensation from other sources such as your airline, travel insurance would not reimburse you for the loss as well
  • If your relative lives outside Australia or New Zealand
  • If the death, injury or illness happens to a particularly elderly person (age limitations detailed below)

Other options

As mentioned, the majority of insurers would not cover family emergencies if the relative in question suffered from a pre-existing medical condition. However, specialist insurer AllClear may cover you provided that your relative’s doctor is prepared to state that at the date you booked your trip, he/she would have seen no substantial likelihood that his/her patient’s condition would deteriorate to such a degree that you would need to cancel or curtail your journey.

Compare family member age limits

In many policies there are age restrictions concerning family members and when you'd be covered for claiming. For example, if you had a policy with 1300 Insurance and your grandmother suddenly became ill while you were overseas and you wanted to return home quickly. If your grandmother was over 84 years of age you would not have provision to claim. 



1300 Insurance 84 and under
1Cover 84 and under
1st for Women No limit
AAMI No limit
AIG No limit

84 and under

American Express No limit
Australia Post No limit
Australia Seniors 80 and under
Boomers 84 and under
Budget Direct No limit
Bupa No limit
Citibank No limit
Columbus Direct 84 and under
Comminsure 84 and under
Covermore No limit
Dowunder travel insurance 84 and under
Easy Travel Insurance No limit
Fast Cover 84 and under
Go Insurance 84 and under
Insure4Less 84 and under
InsureandGo No limit
itrek 84 and under
Kango Cover 84 and under
Medibank No limit
Multi-trip No limit
NoWorries 84 and under
NRMA No limit
Online Travel Insurance 84 and under
OnTour No limit
Priceline No limit
QBE No limit
Southern Cross No limit
Simply Travel Insurance 84 and under
STA No limit
Suresave No limit
Tick No limit
TID No limit
Travel Insurance Saver 80 and under
Travel Insuranz 84 and under
Virgin Money 84 and under
Webjet 84 and under
Woolworths 84 and under
World Nomads     No limit    


Need some help? Use the search box below to find answers to all those tricky travel insurance questions. We’ve got heaps of travel insurance tips to help you get the best policy for your upcoming holiday!


Ask Eugene travel insurance geek extraordinaire anything

Other Articles You Might Like

Travelling with kids - Family Travel Insurance

Travelling is one of the most educational and inspiring adventures you could embark on with your children, so don't let having kids in tow - stop you go.

Read more
Family Travel Insurance Ultimate Guide

Most insurance companies offer cover specifically intended for families. Purchasing a family policy is cheaper than purchasing travel insurance for each individual travelling, so it may not be as expensive as you think.

Read more
Understand your family travel insurance policy!

Planning that holiday of a lifetime? Make sure you've got the right policy to protect all your loved ones. If you don't understand the ins and outs of the fine print, you could find yourself without the vital cover you need.

Read more
Our travel insurance comparison helps you save time, worry and loads of money!