Best COVID-19 Travel Insurance for Australia 2023
Australia is one of the popular destinations that Singaporeans like to travel to for leisure, business or even studies. From its amazing outback to the quirky cafes in the suburbs, Australia is a great place for countless adventures while on a solo trip or when visiting with friends and family. As you start planning for your next vacation there, do remember to get your visa and compare COVID-19 travel insurance coverage before you take off on your Australian getaway!
COVID-19 Travel Requirements To Enter Australia
Since Australia reopened its borders and welcome tourists back early this year, there has been changes in requirements for travellers entering Australia, and that includes certified COVID-19 vaccination, the purchase of travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage, the type of certified hotels which you book, mandatory PCR tests, and other related procedures.
Vaccination and quarantine requirements
Every tourist used to be required to have a proof (digital/ printed) of COVID-19 Vaccination, but ever since the latest update by the Department of Home Affairs of the Australian government, tourists entering and leaving Australia are no longer required to provide evidence of vaccination status, and there is also no need to complete the Digital Passenger Declaration which was in put in place during the COVID-19 virus outbreak period. If you’re unvaccinated, you do not need a travel exemption to travel to Australia either.
Travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage
Getting travel insurance is not required for most travellers going to Australia, but it is still strongly recommended to be covered with COVID-19 travel insurance if you’re going to Australia for leisure or for business. This is because in situations if you really need medical assistance during your vacation or business trip in Australia, healthcare expenses can be very expensive unlike those in your home country as overseas medical expenses are usually not subsidised by the government.
Unless you’re from New Zealand which is the only country on a visa waiver agreement with Australia, you’ll have to apply for a visa via the Australian Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) system to travel to Australia as a tourist. There are a total of 17 types of visa you can apply for, but if you’re just going there for leisure or business, here are the 5 different visas to consider.
- Tourist stream visa
As the name suggests, you’ll be able to visit Australia as a tourist with this visa, to see family and friends or even go on a cruise there. You’ll be granted a stay of 3, 6 or 12 months and this visa will cost you about AUD150.
- eVisitor or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa
There’s no cost to these 2 similar types of “multiple-entry” visas, but there may be an application service charge of AUD20. Both types of visas allow you to visit Australia as often as you wish in a 12-month period, however, the ETA has a minor requirement (stay up to 3 months each time you enter Australia). If you wish to stay for more than 3 months, then the eVisitor visa will be a better option.
- Transit visa
When you’re transiting in Australia, this visa will be applicable if you’re going to be in Australia for up to 72 hours and not more than that. There’s no cost to this visa as well.
- Working Holiday visa
Combining business with leisure on your trip to Australia? This visa is just the right one for travellers who are between 18 to 30 years old (or 35 years old for some countries) and have their first extended holiday in Australia while working here. You can even apply for a second or third Working Holiday visa if you meet certain eligibility criteria. The duration for this visa is up to 12 months and it’ll cost you about AUD510.
- Business visitor stream visa
Those who are travelling to Australia solely for business purposes will need to apply for this visa which grants up to 3 months of stay and costs AUD150.
Requirements for Air Travel to Australia
Travelling by air to Australia includes several requirements that include:
- Approved ETA visa that is issued via the Australian Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) system or other types of approved visas on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website
- Mandatory wearing of masks on inbound international flights to Australia and in public areas of Australia
- Medical insurance that covers COVID-19 related medical and evacuation expenses is strongly recommended although not mandatory
Best Australia Travel Insurance With COVID-19 Coverage
Best Australia Travel Insurance Benefits Coverage
|Best for||Travel insurance plan||Estimated premium rate|
|COVID-19 coverage||Allianz Travel Comprehensive Plans, Starr TraveLead Comprehensive Plans||$114 - $281 (Allianz’s plans inclusive of COVID-19 coverage), $73 - $129 (Starr’s plans inclusive of COVID-19 coverage)|
|Budget travel||FWD Premium plan, Starr TraveLead Comprehensive Bronze||$56 (FWD Premium), $73 (Starr TraveLead Comprehensive Bronze)|
|Overall good value||Bubblegum Travel Insurance plans||$77|
|Extreme sports||MSIG TravelEasy Standard, TravelEasy Elite, TravelEasy Premier plans||$179 - $318|
|Pre-existing conditions||Etiqa Pre-Ex Entry, Savvy and Luxury plans||$210 - $333|
|Highest overseas medical coverage||AIG Travel Guard plans||$140 - $295|
|Travelling while pregnant||MSIG TravelEasy® Standard Pre-Ex, Elite Pre-Ex, Premier Pre-Ex plans||$189 - $304|
|Family||FWD First Family Plan||$129|
|Elderly||MSIG TravelEasy® Standard Pre-Ex, Elite Pre-Ex, Premier Pre-Ex plans||$189 - $304|
|Flight diversion/cancellation/postponement||FWD Premium Plan||$56|
|*Estimated premium rates are based on a 21-day single trip plan to Australia.|
What Is The Average Cost Of A COVID-19 Travel Insurance For Australia?
|Travel insurance provider||Medical expenses due to COVID-19 coverage||Overseas quarantine allowance due to COVID-19||Overseas hospital cash due to COVID-19||Trip cancellation due to COVID-19||Total premium|
|FWD||Up to $100,000||N.A.||$200 per day||Up to $1,000||$56|
|Starr||Up to $1,000,000||N.A.||$200 per day||Up to $15,000||$73 - $129|
|Singlife||Up to $5,000,000||$500 total cap||$200 per day||Up to $20,000||$104 - $209|
|Allianz||Up to $1,000,000||N.A.||N.A.||Up to $15,000||$114 - $281|
|AIG||Up to $100,000||$1,400 total cap||N.A.||Up to $1,000||$140 - $295|
|Bubblegum||Up to $150,000||$100 per day||$100 per day||Up to $5,000||$77|
|*Estimated premium rates are based on a 21-day single trip plan to Australia, and comparing our round-up of the 6 best travel insurance plans with COVID-19 coverage in Singapore.|
As you compare across the 6 travel insurers’ benefits and premiums, the average cost of a travel insurance plan with COVID-19 coverage for a 3 weeks Australia vacation is about $94, assuming that we take the most basic plan offered by each travel insurance provider.
Estimated average cost of a travel insurance plan:
$56 + $73 + $104 + $114 + $140 + $77 = $564
$564 ÷ 6 = $94
If you’re looking at more cost-efficient plans, perhaps those by FWD, Bubblegum, and Starr would be more suitable, especially for Starr as the medical expenses coverage by Starr is quite extensive with a hefty maximum limit of $1,000,000, which are among the higher ones in these 6 travel insurances.
When considering more comprehensive coverage for medical expenses in the situation that you get diagnosed with COVID-19, Singlife’s Prestige plan has the highest coverage limit of $5,000,000 and the premium is quite reasonable and lower than other providers like AIG.
As for claiming benefits for trip cancellation if you’re down with COVID-19, Singlife, Starr and Allianz will provide higher coverage of up to $20,000 and $15,000 respectively for you.
Travel Tips When Travelling In Australia
Are you in the midst of planning for your next Australia vacation? Here are some useful tips that may come in handy.
Best time to go to Australia
As the Australian weather is usually the reverse from countries in the Northern hemisphere, their cold winters begin in the middle of the year, around June, and their summers kick off at the end of the year.
Winters in Melbourne tend to be a little more harsh than in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane, where it’s usually quite mild. Summer just about everywhere in Australia is very hot, with the temperature shooting over 40 degrees, so get your sunblock lotions and hats ready.
Best travel apps for Australia
Google Maps and Maps.me are must-haves in your itinerary planning as they allow you to download area maps that you can access without Wi-Fi or data.
If you’re up for outdoor adventures, the CamperMate app is a useful app to have as well because you can search for campervan sites and compare the pricing, facilities, read up on reviews and refer to photos of each listing. What’s more, it helps you locate public toilets and petrol stations across Australia and you can list your driveway for campervans to stay overnight.
Renting a car in Australia
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is not a must only if you’re holding a valid driver's licence for at least 12 months and present it at the time of rental. If your car licence is not written in English, an IDP is required.
It is illegal to drive without an original IDP, and car rental companies in Australia will not rent cars to foreigners who are unable to produce an IDP. Do remember to make sure that your travel insurance provides rental car excess cover as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do travel insurance plans for Australia trips cover PCR tests?
This really depends on the travel insurance plan you pick. If you’ve got a plan from insurers like AXA and AIG, their plans do not cover expenses incurred for mandatory COVID-19 diagnostic tests or any pre-departure or post-departure testing.
On the other hand, there are a few insurers like MSIG that offer free PCR test coverage for some of their plans i.e. Annual Trip plans. Others like Income travel insurance offer COVID-19 (PCR) swab tests at $124.2 along with a series of other types of pre-departure tests.
Is it better to have travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage?
Yes, considering the current pandemic situation which is yet to be over. Every country has its own prevailing entry requirements and if you really need medical assistance during your vacation or business trip in Australia, healthcare expenses can be very expensive unlike those in your home country as overseas medical expenses are usually not subsidised by the government.
By having COVID-19 coverage in your travel insurance plan, it can provide you claim benefits for overseas medical expenses due to COVID-19, emergency medical evacuation & repatriation, overseas COVID-19 diagnosis quarantine allowance, overseas hospital cash due to COVID-19, trip cancellation/postponement/curtailment/disruption coverage due to COVID-19, and more.
How to get travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage?
- There are a few ways to get COVID-19 coverage for your travel insurance. You can either get COVID-19 coverage as an add-on benefit or as part of an existing insurance plan, through your preferred travel insurance mobile app, website or insurance agent. Some travel insurance companies offer COVID-19 coverage as an add-on benefit to an existing plan, while others include COVID-19 coverage benefits in their range of travel insurance plans.
Are COVID-19 quarantine stays covered by travel insurance?
- Most insurers do provide overseas quarantine allowance in the COVID-19 travel insurance plans that they offer.