In this article I will talk about the various types of insurance in Australia, about life, health and travel for those who are not Australian citizens; a good way to feel safe, should any inconvenience arise during your experience abroad.
The insurance could be seen as a guarantee that assures you of receiving the appropriate care if you were involved in an accident or unpleasant circumstances during your stay in Australia. Knowing that you are not likely to have to pay large bills if something should happen during your stay in Australia should be a valid reason to breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy your adventure to the fullest.
Nowadays it is possible to take out insurance for practically everything, but when you are about to leave for a foreign country, especially when you move outside the European Union, it is always better to get good information on life insurance, on those for health, work, travel and property insurance.
Before leaving for Australia, it would be advisable to consider talking to an insurer in your home country, or at least trying to get more information on the coverage required in Australia. You can contact insurers when you are still in your home country to make sure you get the coverage you need as quickly as possible and in the simplest way. In some cases, contracts with clauses ensuring insurance coverage are also offered in the period in which the policy has not yet entered into force.
Depending on the type of visa you have, you can have different insurance options available in Australia. It is commonly believed that anyone who enjoys permanent residency is able to obtain coverage more easily, and receive the same benefits as an Australian citizen, compared to an individual without citizenship, but with a temporary visa.
How to take out an insurance policy in Australia
Although you may think you don’t need life insurance, you never know what the future holds for us, this is an important consideration to keep in mind when thinking about life insurance. This kind of insurance is based on the payment of a series of policies, so that if something really serious happens, it will be the insurance itself to take charge of the funeral and the last expenses and, if you have dependent children or other people to if you are tied up, they will receive a refund for their loss.
When trying to take out this kind of insurance, you must pay close attention to your health conditions, because in certain situations the company may reject the application or add an additional fee to the final premium. It is the same thing that happens when an insurance company decides not to give insurance to a bad driver, in low to its proverbial inability to drive and therefore to the high probability of making an accident. This does not mean that all those who have health problems cannot benefit from life insurance, but it could still happen that they are required to pay a higher sum to pay for the greater and more immediate risk of using medical cover or other.
A life insurance policy covers expenses such as:
- The costs of the funeral
- Mortgage payments and rentals
- Expenses for daily life
- Fees for the education of their relatives
- Small personal debts
Although many countries enter into mutual agreements for the health care of their citizens, the so-called Reciprocal Health Agreement (RHCA), and this is also the case in Italy and Australia, thus allowing their citizens to benefit freely from the Australian National Health System, the best known Medicare, other nations do not benefit from this kind of agreement. If you come from a country that does not recognize this agreement or otherwise stop more than the six months allowed for free medication, it is a good idea to take into account the possibility of taking out a policy to cover health costs. To avoid getting bleeding from the hefty costs of health care, it is good to look for insurance that is more appropriate to you.
Moreover, even if you come from a country that recognizes the RHCA, it is nevertheless a consideration to keep in mind that of stipulating a police, to benefit from assistance from the private health system.
Medicare and the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA)
Medicare, as stated above, is the national health care service sponsored by the government, and provides financial assistance for those in need of medical care. Thanks to the RHCA, those who migrate to Australia from some countries in the world, such as Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, Holland, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom, can take advantage of Medicare and consequently immediate treatment by the public health system to which you have access. Medicare is not simply available for countries that have agreed on the RHCA, but also for all immigrants who have a visa with permanent residence. To register for Medicare, you will need to complete the Medicare Enrollment Form (available on the Human Services website) and submit the original or certified copies of your passport and travel documents to a recognized Medicare office to prove you are eligible for the service. Once approved, you will receive your Medicare card, which must be presented each time you wish to receive medical treatment at the public health system.
Since Medicare is a public service, this only provides a limited number of treatments. If you need private medical assistance, or treatments that are not considered emergencies, such as in the case of eye or dental examinations, you should consider the possibility of benefiting from an Overseas Visitors Health Cover, or health coverage for foreigners.
Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC)
Specifically designed for international workers and tourists, the OVHC is a private insurance that can cover a defined number of expenses for medical treatment, including visits to specialists and hospital admissions. Although for some visas health coverage is not expressly required to enter Australian soil, some visas, as in the case of the subclasses 457 and 485, provide for a minimum health insurance valid for the duration of the stay in Australia. Therefore, I advise you to read the conditions of your visa very carefully, since you may be denied access to the Australian territory if your visa requires specific medical coverage, and you were not in possession of it. Also, even when you start a health insurance case, always keep in mind the waiting periods, so that you don’t run into any visa problems.
Note: If you are about to enter Australian territory with a student visa, you can benefit from the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), which I will discuss in more detail shortly.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
The OSHC is mandatory for international students with temporary student visas and allows access to medical and hospital care, ambulance services and limited pharmaceutical products. It also covers persons dependent on students, whether they are the legitimate spouse or children, who are with the person in question within the Australian borders. What it does not cover are all those treatments considered non-essential and extra, as in the case of screaning and check-ups and medical examinations, or even examinations or dental or eye examinations).
Depending on the university or school you enroll in, you may be entitled to access even more coverage. To determine what kind of benefits and benefits are available to you, contact the institution where you are enrolled directly.
Don’t forget that health coverage ceases to be valid when the student visa expires, and students from certain countries should be eligible for special insurance agreements.
Other types of insurance
The main purpose of income protection is to benefit from part of your contributions in the event that you are unable to do any work, due to an accident or illness. It is usually paid monthly, and you may receive up to 75% of your declared income. To be able to make use of it, it must be demonstrated with tangible and evident proof, as in the case of a medical declaration, that it is actually impossible to carry out one’s work.
In most cases, by paying their premium, the policy remains valid until retirement, once they reach the age of 65, until they retire from the policy or lose their life.
Based on the conditions of the policy, the benefits could cease when the policy ends, the coverage expires, the benefit or payment period ends, the maximum benefit is paid and so on. Carefully read all the clauses of your policy to learn more about all the details governing your insurance.
In principle, income protection is available for those who work and are permanent residents in Australia, including those living in New Zealand and who:
- They are between 18 and 59 years old
- They work at least 20 hours a week and have held the same position for at least 12 months before the policy was stipulated.
- Temporary residents who are not permanent residents may in some cases benefit from income protection.
Travel insurance for non-residents
If you do not intend to take out travel insurance with an insurance in your home country, there is still the possibility of taking out an insurance policy with several Australian companies that promote travel insurance for migrants who intend to travel to or through Australia. Specifically, migrants who use visas 457, 405/410, 411,416,417,422 can take advantage of travel insurance for non-residents.
Depending on the level of coverage you need and based on your budget, travel insurance for non-residents can cover:
- Emergency medical assistance: this item includes medical, hospital and dental assistance immediately and in case of sudden and significant pain.
- Emergency medical assistance abroad: this includes 24-hour medical assistance, ambulance coverage, medical discharge, funeral expenses and hospital guarantee.
- Personal disability coverage: if you become incapacitated as a result of an accident while traveling, you may benefit from some personal disability benefits. There could be very specific rules that define what is meant by “disability” in this case, and very often these are expressed in the policy contract.
- Cancellations and loss of deposits: in the event that you were obliged to decrease the duration of the trip or to cancel it completely and the travel company or flight company are not willing to reimburse the costs, you can at least partially receive a refund from your own insurance.
- Travel delays: all types of travel delays that could affect the continuation of the journey are included.
- Baggage delay: If your baggage stops more than due at a stopover, and you are not boarded on your destination flight with you, you will be eligible for a refund with the money needed to purchase clothes and essential items to meet to the inconvenience waiting to see you deliver your luggage.
- Theft or loss of personal effects and luggage: There are economic reimbursements in the event of lost, stolen or damaged luggage or personal effects. Repayable items include travel documents and credit cards.
- Coverage for hired vehicles: in some cases, some insurance companies provide policies that cover car insurance further, in the event that the rental car is damaged or stolen.
- Personal responsibility: this will cover any legal expenses if you are accused of being responsible for someone’s accident or causing damage to some private property during your trip.
Home insurance and what it contains
The insurance on the house and on what is contained in it can protect the structure of your home, the various installations, the renovations and every object of value contained within it, including your personal effects.
When entering into an insurance policy for the home and all that is contained therein for your home in Australia, you should know that some policies may cover only certain specific aspects, or that others may offer replacement or reimbursement for all, including your personal and valuable effects. As a non-citizen, some insurance agencies may ask you to provide more documentation to provide evidence of actual eligibility for a particular policy.