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Best Travel Insurance for Australia

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, compare travel insurance coverage, and be insured against any unexpected trip delays/cancellations or natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, before you take off on your Australian getaway!

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Travel Requirements To Enter Australia

Australia continues to welcome more tourists, and the latest tourism forecast statistics reveals that Australia is expected to have 9.3 million international visitors in 2024, according to Australia’s Minister for Tourism, Don Farrell. 

With the amount of international visitors including tourists to reach 98% of pre-pandemic levels in 2024, we can expect changes in requirements for travellers entering Australia such as changes to age requirements for visitors applying for the Australian Working Holiday visa which has been increased up to the age of 35 for 6 countries out of the total of 46 countries participating in this program. 

Travel insurance

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.

VISA application

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. With effect from 1 July 2023, citizens of the UK, Canada, France, Denmark, Italy and Ireland are eligible to apply for an Australian Working Holiday visa up to the age of 35. 

The rest of the 40 countries participating in the program will not experience any changes in the 30 year age restriction for now (as per the latest details retrieved on 8 December 2023 from the Minister for Trade and Tourism of Australia). 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.

We asked Singaporeans about flight disruptions, and they answered.

Find out the worst airlines with delays and cancellations according to Singaporean travellers.

Top 10 Things To Do In Australia

Discover the Great Barrier Reef

Experience the magnificence of one of the planet's most extraordinary natural attractions. Dive or snorkel to immerse yourself in the vivid undersea world of corals and marine life, or take helicopter tours to enjoy breathtaking aerial views, and visit conservation centres to learn about reef preservation.

Explore citylife in Sydney

This city is celebrated for its landmark Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Delight in Sydney's dynamic culture which involves relaxing at Bondi Beach, strolling through the Royal Botanic Garden, shopping at The Rocks, ferry rides in Sydney Harbour, and tasting diverse cuisines at Darling Harbour.

Journey through the Australian Outback

Embark on an adventure at the Uluru sunrise to stargaze, learn about Aboriginal culture at ancient rock art sites, dance and sleep around campfires, say hello to kangaroos and emus, cruise through Nitmiluk Gorge, or go on a cattle drive.

Savour Melbourne's coffee

Melbourne, with its bohemian atmosphere, is the ultimate destination for aficionados of fine coffee and a vibrant arts scene. Some notable coffee spots include Market Lane Coffee for artisan brews, Patricia for standout espresso, and St Ali for innovative blends.

Take on the Tasmanian trails

With its rugged terrain, pristine national parks, and numerous hiking paths, Tasmania is a treasure trove of natural splendour ideal for outdoor expeditions. Highlights include hiking at the Overland Track, a world-renowned 65-kilometre trail and whale watching off the coast of Bicheno, where majestic humpback whales frolic in the ocean. If you prefer indoor activities, MONA, a cutting-edge museum of contemporary art and antiquities is a great place to visit.

Catch some waves on the Gold Coast

Renowned for its extensive sandy shores and prime surf locations, the Gold Coast is a haven for beachgoers and surfing buffs. Bring out the kid in you at theme parks like Warner Bros. Movie World, relax on sun-kissed beaches, hike in the hinterland national parks, experience vibrant nightlife, and visit wildlife sanctuaries to encounter native animals.

Experience Barossa Valley's wineries

Celebrated for its exquisite wines, a visit to South Australia's Barossa Valley is a must for enthusiasts of fine vintages. Renowned wineries include Penfolds featuring its iconic Grange, Yalumba for family-owned heritage wines, Seppeltsfield for century-old tawny, Henschke for exceptional single-vineyard wines, and Château Tanunda for its stunning estate.

Venture into the Daintree Rainforest

As one of the world's oldest rainforests, the Daintree is where you can spot crocodiles on Daintree River cruises, marvel at the unique Cape Tribulation where rainforest meets reef, zip-line through lush canopies, enjoy birdwatching, and relax at serene, secluded beaches.

Witness Australian Wildlife on Kangaroo Island

This is an ideal spot to observe some of Australia's renowned wildlife, such as kangaroos, koalas, and diverse bird species, in their natural surroundings.

Travel along the Great Ocean Road

This picturesque coastal route is very popular among travellers who love road trips in the southeastern coast of Australia as it offers striking views of the ocean, dramatic cliffs, and the famed Twelve Apostles rock formations.

Best Travel Insurance For Your Australia Trip

FWD offers a very decent range of travel insurance, and their packages are among the most affordable ones in Singapore. With 3 types of travel insurance plans, namely Premium, Business and First, for you to select from, each of FWD’s plans comes with an optional COVID-19 Enhanced Travel Benefits add-on that covers up to $100,000 in COVID-19 medical expenses incurred during/after your trip. On top of that, you can look forward to their cashless medical claim service, 180-day advance purchase, Emergency medical evacuation and many other benefits.
As a relatively new player in Singapore’s travel insurance scene, Etiqa provides some of the most comprehensive and cheapest travel insurance plans. Their four eProtect Travel insurance plans include pre-existing coverage of up to $1,000,000 for claims relating to pre-existing medical conditions such as injury or illness sustained during the trip, as well as the option of a COVID-19 travel insurance add-on coverage of up to $100,000.
For those who are looking for more personalised travel insurance plans, Starr TraveLead Travel Insurance range of travel insurance plans may be more apt as you’ll be able to customise whichever tier of their Bronze, Silver or Gold plan that you pick. All of their plans include COVID-19 medical expenses and COVID-19 related trip cancellation coverages, as well as in and outpatient treatments abroad coverage, personal accident benefit of up to $500,000 for accidental death and disablement and many more. Note that all Starr TraveLead insurance plans with COVID-19 overseas medical expenses coverage exclude China, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan.
Allianz Travel Insurance Singapore is known for having one of the best medical coverage that is worth from $1 million and up to unlimited coverage. Their variety of Comprehensive Bronze, Comprehensive SIlver and Comprehensive Platinum plans comes with COVID-19 protection, 24/7 Emergency Medical Assistance service, plus coverage for sports-related and cruise activities and more.
MSIG is among the handful of insurers in Singapore that provides travel insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions with its TravelEasy Pre-Ex® add-on option that can be added onto the TravelEasy® Standard, Elite, and Premier insurance plans. Highlights of its TravelEasy® plans include COVID-19 travel insurance coverage, overseas and post-trip medical expenses, extreme sports coverage, replacement of traveller coverage, coverage for insolvency of licensed travel operator, emergency medical evacuation, delayed departure and more.
Being marketed under the Aviva brand, which is the renowned life insurance provider for those doing National Service, Singlife with Aviva travel insurance plans come in 3 tiers: Lite, Plus and Prestige, all of which provide a generous payout for overseas medical expenses in the situation you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 during your trip. In addition, if you or your family members are NSmen who opted in to the Aviva voluntary insurance scheme, you can look forward to great discounts i.e. a 30% off and other attractive perks.
From getting your travel insurance quote almost instantly via the Bubblegum app, to customising your plan with optional add-ons, MoneySmart’s Bubblegum travel insurance plans give you the convenience of being covered for as low as $4 a day. If you’re up for something more exciting like scuba diving, hot air ballooning or other adventurous activities overseas, they’ll also be covered in Bubblegum’s travel insurance.

How is travel insurance useful when there are natural disasters or unexpected trip disruptions?

Personal luggage and belongings coverage

While many travel insurance policies typically exclude claims arising from natural disasters, Acts of God, or adverse weather conditions like earthquakes disrupting travel plans, some insurance plans from companies such as Etiqa and DirectAsia offer reimbursements for lost or damaged personal baggage, belongings, as well as compensation for travel delays and trip cancellations caused by such events.

These coverage benefits address the loss of personal baggage or belongings due to circumstances beyond the insured individual's control at the intended destination. It's important to note that reimbursement limits apply per item, set of items (e.g., laptops), or other personal effects, with variations among insurers.

Trip curtailment, cancellation, delay coverage

In cases of trip curtailment or cancellation due to a travel delay, reimbursements typically cover irrecoverable expenses for unused pre-paid transportation and accommodation costs (excluding administrative charges or fees) cancelled within 30 days prior to the scheduled start of your insured trip to Australia.

Medical costs coverage

In the event of injury resulting from an accident indirectly or directly caused by a natural disaster, certain travel insurance plans, like those provided by Etiqa and DirectAsia, may cover overseas medical expenses or even medical costs incurred upon return to Singapore. Compensation can be applicable to the medical facility where treatment was received, either overseas or in Singapore, or to designated beneficiaries. Treatment must commence within a specified number of hours from the return date to Singapore and is subject to predetermined limits outlined in the travel insurance plan, which should be thoroughly reviewed with the insurance provider.

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Best Australia Travel Insurance Benefits Coverage

Best forTravel insurance planEstimated premium rate
Overall good valueBubblegum travel insurance plansFrom $112
Budget travelFWD Premium planFrom $71
Flight diversion/cancellation/postponementSinglife Travel Plus and Prestige plansFrom $169 (Singlife Travel Lite is from $117)
Overseas medical coverageAllianz travel insurance plansFrom $171
Pre-existing conditionsMSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex plansFrom $189
FamilyDirectAsia travel insurance plansFrom $84
ElderlyTiq Pre-Ex travel insurance plans by EtiqaFrom $210
Travelling while pregnantMSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex plansFrom $189
Extreme sportsStarr TraveLead Comprehensive plansFrom $88
COVID-19 coverageAIG Travel Guard plansFrom $140
*Estimated premium rates are based on a 21-day single trip plan to Australia, data last updated in December 2023.

What Is The Average Cost Of Travel Insurance For A Trip To Australia?

Travel insurance providerOverseas medical expenses Post-trip medical expensesLoss/damage of personal baggageTrip cancellation due to COVID-19Total premium
BubblegumUp to $150,000Up to $10,000Up to $3,000Up to $5,000$112
SinglifeUp to $250,000Up to $10,000Up to $3,000Up to $5,000$117
AllianzUp to $250,000N.A.Up to $1,500Up to $5,000$171
StarrUp to $200,000Up to $15,000Up to $3,000Up to $5,000$88
DirectAsiaUp to $150,000Up to $5,000Up to $1,000Up to $3,000$84
FWDUp to $200,000Up to $6,000Up to $3,000Up to $7,500$71
*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, data last updated in December 2023.

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 $108, assuming that we take the most basic plan offered by each travel insurance provider.

Estimated average cost of a travel insurance plan:

$112 + $117+ $171 + $88 + $84 + $71 = $643

$643 ÷ 6 = $108

If you’re looking at more cost-efficient plans, perhaps those by FWD, Starr and DirectAsia would be more suitable, especially for Starr as the medical expenses coverage by Starr and FWD are quite extensive with a maximum limit of $200,000, which are among the higher ones as compared to the other 4 travel insurance plans above.

When considering more comprehensive coverage for medical expenses in the situation that you get diagnosed with an unexpected severe illness or injury overseas, Singlife’s Prestige plan offers unlimited coverage and the premium is quite reasonable and lower than other providers like Allianz.

As for claiming benefits for trip cancellation if you’re down with an unexpected severe illness or injury, FWD will provide higher coverage (as compared to the other 5 basic plans) of up to $7,500 for you.

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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 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

Is it better to have travel insurance when travelling to Australia?

Yes, considering that 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 a travel insurance plan, it can provide you claim benefits for overseas medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation & repatriation, trip cancellation/postponement/curtailment/disruption coverage, and more.

How to get a suitable travel insurance plan?

There are a few ways to get your ideal travel insurance plan. You can either get it 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.