28 February, 2024
- By Eugene

Does travel insurance cover for elective surgery overseas?

Are you going overseas to get your eyes lasered, your teeth whitened or for breast augmentation, if so, make sure you’re covered before you go under the knife!

Travelling overseas for cosmetic surgery is more popular than ever, and you can easily see why with competitive prices and the rising quality of healthcare abroad.

Singapore, India and Thailand, in particular are increasingly popular destinations for medical tourism with huge numbers of Australians travelling overseas for procedures each year.

But...does standard travel insurance actually cover you for elective surgery overseas?

In short, no. Travel Insurance exists to cover the unforeseen, not situations you already know about with heightened risk.

Cosmetic surgery overseas is considered risky and therefore it’s rare for standard travel insurers to cover elective treatment.

Good news!

There are a few companies that specialise in travel insurance or services relating to Australians travelling overseas for medical treatment. Get your personal quote using our tool at the top of the page

Standard travel insurance & elective surgery

If the purpose of your trip is specifically for cosmetic surgery, many insurers will not only exclude you for medical cover, but will also exclude you for all other travel insurance benefits too. That means you wouldn't be covered for theft, cancellation, rental car excess and more.

However, our research found that some insurers will still allow you to buy a policy. You'll be covered for other travel insurance benefits (such as travel delays or personal liability), but will not be covered for anything relating to the surgery, or any complications that arise from the surgery.

So, for example, you wouldn’t be covered if you’ve had the surgery and are too sick to return home on your scheduled flight. Because the flight cancellation is due to reasons relating to the surgery then your flight would not be covered.

Is travelling overseas for medical treatment worth it?

Although certain cosmetic procedures abroad may be cheaper than in Australia, you should consider the costs of flights, accommodation and any possible medical complications into the full cost of your treatment too.

After taking into account all the costs involved you may find that the difference in price is negligible. It's important to think long and hard before jetting overseas to go under the knife.

Disclaimer: The information in this guide should be taken as general advice only and the full policy details should be reviewed to see if the policies are right for your own circumstances.

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!