Does travel insurance often provide a large amount of cover for disability caused by an incident while travelling?

The brochure linked to from this travel agency gave a value in the tens of thousands of Australian dollars as the maximum claimable for permanent disability. Can shopping around find me a travel insurance product that provides a large amount of cover (equivalent to several years' worth of income), or should I instead look for a non travel insurance related product, such as an insurance policy which is solely about disability (or possibly disability and death)?

If it matters, I live in Australia and I'm an Australian citizen.

  • 1
    it's an excellent question, i've always wondered this. it's sort of like you need "life insurance, just for the trip". travel insurance is more like "medical insurance, for the trip" - the life/disability amounts in travel insurance are comic, as OP implies. good question!
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 16:28

2 Answers 2


In general the point of the medical component of travel insurance is to deal with acute treatement abroad and then if nessacery to transport you back home (flying someone home on a stretcher is not cheap).

Accidents don't just happen when travelling, so if you feel the need for insurance against disablity caused by accidents then you should probablly look for something that will cover you all the time. It's probablly also worth checking if any pension or life insurance policies you have include any cover for this.


Travel insurances are "one offs" for special occasions and hence people buy them rarely, for a limited amount of time and don't research them very well. The insurance industry often takes advantage of this and many policies are insanely complicated with lots and lots of exclusions and limitation to coverage. If you want to find out whether a specific insurance covers a specific issue, you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time researching this carefully.

Disability is a complex topic. Every country has it's own set of laws that kicks in to cover a disability incident and it depends often on the cause (medical or accident) and time frame (short term, long term, permanent). This being said, there is relatively inexpensive "accident" insurance available that pays cash depending on type and severity of the disability. They only cover accidents, not medical. You can easily research through Google.

Keep in mind that Insurance is in the business of making money for the Insurance, so on average every premium is higher than the risk it covers. I would recommend to carefully research your existing insurances and local laws to determine what coverage and options you already have. Then identify any gaps you are not comfortable with and then research options to specifically cover this gap.

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