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Domestic travel insurance

November 2020 By Eugene Wylde

Compare domestic cover | What is covered | What isn't | Why you need domestic cover | FAQs

With international travel off the agenda for the foreseeable future, it's encouraging to see Aussies scratching their itch in their own backyard.  The COVID-19 pandemic has affected thousands of Aussie travellers and their future holiday plans, but, cooped-up Aussies are keen to hit the road in their home country as the travel bug continues to bite hard.

Although the travel industry is in a place of extreme uncertainty, domestic holidays have begun to boom. After being locked indoors and restricted for so long, Aussies are looking for unique, regional and peaceful places – not cities to visit.  For now, we can say bye to Bali and Fiji and hello to Port Douglas, Byron and Broome.

Australia is one big place and there is just as much to see and do here as there is going abroad. Blessed with beautiful beaches, a myriad of natural wonders, unique wildlife, large expanses of the outback and a collection of cosmopolitan cities, it’s easy to see why this captivating country is a complete travel destination.

The comfort of being close to home combined with the relaxed Aussie lifestyle makes it easy to overlook travel insurance for a domestic holiday.  Whilst the majority of us don't need to worry about medical cover when travelling domestically (assuming you're covered by Medicare or private health cover), being protected at home is just as important as being covered overseas.

Lost luggage, damage to a rental car, flight delays, cancellations and theft are all situations that could quickly put a downer on any domestic trip. Our guide helps to explain everything there is to know about cover for your holiday-at-home!

We all need to do our bit to keep our loved ones and country safe, so its important to be informed of the government restrictions in place across Australia. Be sure to understand the current restrictions and changes that may affect you and your travels. You can check restrictions in all states and territories using the COVID-19 Restriction Checker.

Right now, you cannot travel overseas unless you have an exemption to leave Australia. You can learn more about leaving Australia by visiting COVID-19 and the Australian border.  Having said that, Pacific and Asian travel bubbles are on the way.

Travel insurance is there to cover you for unexpected and unforeseen events, so cover for COVID-19 is scarce.  We're not aware of any policies that will cover you for cancellations relating to COVID-19, so be sure to opt for travel booking options that offer flexibility in cancellations.

Compare domestic travel insurance

The following table shows some of the most common cover levels of comprehensive domestic travel insurance. 



General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.


cancellation cover

cancellation cover

Sometimes trips just don't go to plan! Domestic cancellation benefits cover the cost of rearranging or cancelling your trip because of unforeseen circumstances like illness, accidents & extreme weather. Cover starts from the day you buy your policy not when your trip starts :)


Lost or Damaged Luggage

It's a real pain in the butt when your stuff is lost, stolen or doesn't show up. At least if disasters happen on your holiday at home your policy will replace or reimburse you for your baggage and personal items if they disappear or are damaged.

No hidden fees

Travel delays

Bummer, your interstate flight is delayed, now what!? If your transport is postponed due to an unforeseen reason, your out-of-pocket accommodation, meals, and transport costs would be covered until you get back-on-track. 

rental excess

Rental car excess

Hiring a car? Did you know domestic travel insurance often includes your rental vehicle excess should you have a ding or your hire car is stolen? Don’t take up the expensive collision damage waiver with your rental company, get cover with your domestic policy for a fraction of the cost. 

family emergency

Family emergency

It's always a worry going on holiday leaving loved ones behind. Never fear, should a close relative, or the person you’re travelling with become seriously ill, injured or heaven-forbid die, your travel expenses would be claimable. Restrictions can apply for relatives age, medical conditions and where they live. 

personal liability

Personal liability

A lawsuit would certainly put a dampener on your dream holiday. Relax as you're covered in the event that you are found to be legally liable for accidental injury or damage you may have caused to another person or their property whilst on your trip. 

WHAT doesn't domestic travel insurance cover?

Let's face it, domestic travel insurance can't cover everything! 
Here's a few things to be aware of that might not be covered on your Australian adventure. 
Medical benefits: Domestic travel insurance doesn't include medical benefits as the government's healthcare system Medicare will take care of your medical troubles on home soil.

Dental Cover: It's also unlikely a domestic policy would include cover for dental expenses including hospital stays, surgery or prescriptions.

Permanent Disability: Not all insurers include permanent disability benefits as part of their domestic cover. This would normally include cover if you are injured on your trip and within 12 months of the date of the accident, you permanently lose sight in one or both eyes, or one or more limbs.

Being reckless: We know that travel is all about new and exciting experiences, but if you deliberately put your life in danger (like jumping off a high cliff into the sea) you're unlikely to be covered. Injuries or loss when alcohol or drugs have been a contributing factor may not be covered either. Not too many Espresso Martinis in Byron Bay now!

High-risk activities: Many high-risk activities and extreme sports are not automatically covered. Always check whether your planned activities are covered before you go.  You may be able to purchase additional cover for certain activities.

Travel supplier default: Does your tour operator sound a bit dodgy? Travel insurance does not always cover for insolvency of travel agents, tour wholesalers, tour operators or booking agents. Make sure you’re confident in the operator making your travel arrangements.

Known events: If news of a hurricane affecting travel has already been spread all over the news and prompted you to buy cover, it's too late. You can of course still purchase, it's just that events known in the mass media are likely to be excluded from your cover.

And more...We haven't detailed all travel insurance exclusions here. Just the ones that frequently pop up.  It's vital that you read your chosen insurer's Product Disclosure Statement before you purchase to understand the exclusions that apply to your cover. 

common claims on domestic travel insurance


Things can go wrong when you’re travelling in Australia too. Sometimes before you even get a chance to leave your home.

We surveyed some of Australia's leading travel insurers on the most common claims for Domestic Travel Insurance:

  • Trip cancellation costs because a traveller or a family member becomes seriously ill or injured (33% of claims)
  • Lost, stolen or damaged luggage - including our beloved mobile devices (15% of claims)
  • Excess for a stolen or damaged rental car (11% of claims)
  • Flights cancelled due to natural disasters or severe weather (8% of claims)
  • Additional expenses because someone’s sick or hurt (5% of claims).


Why you need domestic cover? 

Too many Aussies go on holidays at home without thinking they need travel insurance when they do! Here’s why!

Exxy flight Costs

Australia is a big place! Going from one side to the other will set you back significantly.  If a family emergency stopped you from going on your trip, or your flight was cancelled, would you have enough money to pay for another flight?

Natural disasters

Floods, storms, hurricanes don't just happen overseas, they happen here too. Should a severe weather event affect your trip, your domestic cover will reimburse you for any out-of-pocket expenses. Phew!

Missed events

Booked flights to see your favourite pop star or sporting team perform? In the event that your flight to that big event is cancelled or delayed domestic travel insurance will help you get there on time.

Your stuff is important

Loss, theft or damage to your prized possessions can be a common, yet gut-wrenching experience. Don't worry, if your personal belongings go AWOL the right policy will pay to replace or repair them. Woop!

For your peace of mind

Many holidays are hassle-free but a reasonable domestic policy is a small price to pay to cover your holiday at home. You wouldn’t travel overseas without cover, so don’t travel around Australia without it either.

travel insurance quotes

Hiring a car in Australia

A great benefit of domestic travel insurance is that several policies come with rental vehicle excess included.

When hiring a car, you’ll be encouraged to pay a daily collision waiver from the rental company to reduce the amount you have to pay them in the event of an accident. However, you don’t have to pay this if you purchase travel insurance with car hire excess included.

Whether you’re driving overseas or interstate, this can be a real cost saver as a travel insurance policy usually works out far cheaper.
As long as your vehicle is hired from a licensed rental company, you can also cover the excess of campervans and motorhomes (not exceeding 4.5 tonnes) which makes for happy campers.

cruising domestically 

Are you cruising around Australia? Did you know that Medicare doesn’t cover cruisers even if you’re sailing in domestic waters? Even if you’re just travelling up the coast from Sydney to Brisbane, you’ll need to make sure your policy adequately covers you if you were in need of any medical treatment whilst on board. When getting quotes on our site, you’ll be encouraged to pick Pacific for the region, even if you’re sailing domestically. Click here to learn more about domestic cruise insurance.


Domestic Travel Insurance Faq'S

Have a tricky travel insurance question? Here are some of the most common queries we get from our customers.

What region does domestic travel insurance cover?

When you buy domestic cover, you are purchasing a policy for the whole country including Tasmania, Norfolk Island and Torres Strait. Create a quote to start comparing prices and features.

Am I covered if my domestic flight is cancelled due to the coronavirus?

The short answer is, no. If your airline cancels your flight due to the coronavirus it is their responsibility to reschedule or reimburse the costs of the flight.

Am I covered for holidays within a short distance from home?

This depends upon the policy that you buy. Some insurers require you to be a certain distance from your home in order for the domestic cover to kick-in! It varies from around 50-200km so be sure to check the PDS if you're planning a staycation close to home.

Am I covered for cruising domestically?

It's choppy waters out there! Some insurers cover you automatically when going on a cruise, others require you to purchase a cruise pack and some cover you as long as you have an international policy like the Pacific for example. If you are unsure, pick up the phone and give your insurer a call to check that you have the right cover. When you go on a cruise in Australian waters, in most cases it’s required for you to purchase a Pacific policy. This is because visiting the doctor onboard the ship is charged at private/international rates. You’ll also need a Pacific policy to be covered for helicopter rescue off the ship. Some companies still allow you to purchase a domestic plan, but you’ll need to add-on a cruise pack in order to be covered from ship-to-shore.

What does rental vehicle excess cover?

Rental vehicle excess is the amount that you would have to pay in the event that your rental vehicle is stolen or damaged, while in your care. Many people buy domestic travel insurance for this benefit alone as it is far cheaper to buy a travel insurance policy, including cover for your hire car than it is buying excess cover direct from your rental company.

Can I buy domestic travel insurance for relatives visiting me in Australia?

Some Aussie companies offer “Visitors Travel Insurance” as it is known. You may be required to purchase the policy before the friends or relatives arrive in Australia and waiting periods may reply. See more about visitors to Australia cover here.

Does domestic travel insurance cover me for family emergencies?

Yes, in most cases, if a loved one is unexpectedly hospitalised or passes away and you need to return home early, your domestic cover will pay to get you there.

Does domestic travel insurance cover me for skiing in Thredbo or Perisher?

In most cases, you’ll need to purchase some sort of ski or adventure pack in order to be covered for skiing or snowboarding within Australia. You should also consider whether ambulance costs would be covered should you need to be evacuated off a mountain. Speak to your chosen insurer to check if emergency evacuation benefits are included in their domestic snow pack.

Can I buy annual travel insurance for domestic trips?

Are you in favour of a frequent city break? Whether it's Sydney, Adelaide or Perth you might benefit from a multi-trip policy designed for frequent domestic travellers. If you have more than two trips planned within a 12 month period an annual travel insurance policy can be significantly cheaper than purchasing a single trip policy each time you travel.

What does domestic travel insurance cover?

Domestic Travel Insurance is specifically for trips within Australia. Your cover will typically include cover for loss or damage to luggage, travel delays, cancellation fees. Other benefits such as rental vehicle excess, personal liability and theft of cash are common too. It's important to note that medical benefits are not covered for domestic policies.

OTHER HANDY Tips & Guides

non resident travel insurance


Are you visiting Australia from overseas? Or need to arrange travel insurance for friends or family visiting you? Get travel insurance for visitors to Australia today!

one way


Heading on an adventure with no return date? Get one-way travel insurance for your trip. Find out who you can buy it from right here.

domestic travel insurance

non-resident cover

Are you living in Australia on a temporary visa and planning a trip overseas? We've done the hard work for you. 15 out of 20 insurers offer travel insurance to non-residents. Yippee

Contributor Eugene Wylde

Eugene Wylde

Eugene is the king of insurance! Having spent more than ten years raising awareness on the importance of holiday protection, he is a self-confessed insurance geek extraordinaire when it comes to the world of travel cover. Eugene loves helping people save time, worry and loads of money with the right policy at the right price. His ideal holiday is any one where he has a pina colada in his hand. Salut!

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