Travel insurance for cancelling your trip before it starts

If you’ve paid a lot of money up front for your domestic or overseas trip, you may want to make sure you’ve got travel insurance.

That way, if something happens and you’re forced to cancel your trip before it begins, you’ll be able to claim your unused flights, pre-paid accommodation, lost deposits and other non-refundable costs from your travel insurer.

All Budget Direct travel insurance policies except Last Minute can cover the cost of cancelling (or amending) your trip due to unexpected events outside of your control. 

In other words, the cancellation must be “necessary and unavoidable” (see list of insured events in table below).

What if I have to cut my trip short?

What’s covered?

Before you depart on your trip
If you have to cancel your trip because… We can cover you for … Claim limits (per insured person)
  • you or your travelling companion, relative or business associate suffers an unforeseen illness, injury or death1
  • you have to go to court to be a witness or be on a jury
  • you’re put into quarantine
  • the vehicle you plan to use for your self-drive holiday is undriveable following an accident within seven days of your departure
  • you, your relative or a travelling companion are a member of the armed forces, police, fire, nursing or ambulance services and have to stay in Australia due to an emergency or are posted overseas unexpectedly
  • you’re made redundant, or involuntarily retrenched, from your full-time job unexpectedly
  • a fire, storm, flood or burglary occurs at your home or place of business within 48 hours of your departure
  • travel restrictions are imposed on you following a terrorist attack or natural disaster.2

Cancellation and amendment fees

  • reimbursement of the travel, accommodation, meals, tours, excursions, activities and visa expenses you’ve already paid or agreed to pay for under a contract, and which you cannot recover from any other sources (e.g. airline, hotel, tour operator)
  • tuition or course cancellation fee if the sole purpose of your trip was to attend the course
  • travel agent’s cancellation fee.

Alternatively, we can cover the expense of you rearranging or rescheduling your trip before you depart (as long it does not exceed the cost of cancelling your trip).

  • Comprehensive, Annual Multi-Trip: Unlimited amount
  • Essential: Up to $12,500
  • Domestic: Up to $10,000
  • Last Minute: No cover

Compare all travel policies

  1. Your relative or business associate must be an Australian resident and be in Australia when their illness, injury or death occurs. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. For more details, please read the Product Disclosure Statement.
  2. We do not cover claims for losses caused by an event you were already aware of when you bought your insurance policy, including events identified in our travel alerts.

Frequent flyer points

If you’re forced to cancel an air ticket you bought using frequent flyer points (or similar), we can reimburse you as follows:

  • if your airline will not refund your points, we can pay you the cost of the equivalent-class air ticket, based on the quoted retail price at the time the ticket was issued
  • if your airline refunds only a portion of your points, we can pay you the cost of the equivalent-class air ticket, based on the quoted retail price at the time the ticket was issued – less the value of your points refunded back to you.

What’s not covered?

Budget Direct travel insurance does not cover trip cancellation for any reason. Indeed, there are numerous reasons for trip cancellations we do not cover – called ‘exclusions’ – such as:

  • you changed your mind
  • your travel documents (e.g. passport, visas) were not in order
  • you were late for your check-in and missed your flight
  • you experienced complications relating to a pre-existing medical condition we do not cover
  • you were injured participating in a sport or activity we do not cover
  • you hurt yourself while skiing (unless you added Snow Sports Cover to your policy)
  • your travel service provider ceased operations after running into financial difficulties.

In addition, we do not cover cancellation claims for the following costs:

  • costs you incurred after failing to inform your travel suppliers (e.g. airline, hotel tour operator) as soon as possible that you had to cancel your trip
  • expenses paid by you on behalf of another person not listed on your insurance certificate.

Find out more

The information on this page is a summary only. For more details about Budget Direct travel insurance, including the terms, conditions, limits and exclusions that apply, please read the Product Disclosure Statement.

How to make a claim

Before cancelling your trip, you might want to refer to the PDS or contact us to ensure the reason for your cancellation is covered by us. If you cancel, don’t forget to notify your travel suppliers (airline, hotel, tour operator, etc.) as soon as possible. Make a claim on your travel insurance policy.

What evidence is required to support my trip-cancellation claim?

When you lodge a claim for the cancellation of your trip, we’ll ask you to provide us with written proof of the:

  • reason for the cancellation, for example:
    • doctor’s note 
    • hospital admission record
    • certificate of jury attendance
    • report from the airline or cruise operator.
  • costs being claimed, for example: 
    • travel itinerary
    • invoices or receipts of pre-paid expenses
    • letters detailing any non-refundable deposits
    • documents stating suppliers’ cancellation fees
    • evidence of refunds you’ve received or are eligible to receive from third parties.

If you’re unsure about which paperwork to submit, contact us and we’ll help you figure it out.

What if I have to cut my trip short?

After you’ve departed on your trip
If you have to cut your trip short because… We can cover you for … Claim limits (per insured person)
  • you or your travelling companion are unfit to continue your trip3
  • your or your travelling companion’s relative or your business associate suffer an unforeseen illness, injury or death4
  • your home or business premises in Australia sustains serious damage (e.g. due to a fire).

Cutting your trip short

Reimbursement of the travel, accommodation, meals, tours, excursions, activities and visa expenses you’ve already paid or agreed to pay for under a contract, and which you cannot recover from any other sources (e.g. airline, hotel, tour operator).

From up to $10,000 (Domestic) to up to an unlimited amount (Comprehensive, Annual Multi-Trip).

Last Minute: No cover

Additional expenses

Extra accommodation, meals and travel expenses – over and above what you have budgeted for – if your trip is disrupted or you have to return home early due to an insured event.

From up to $5,000 (Last Minute, Domestic) to up to $40,000

(Comprehensive, Annual Multi-Trip).

Resumption of journey

Cost of an airfare to return you to the international airport closest to where your original trip was cut short. Subject to our approval, you must resume your trip within 60 days of returning to Australia.

Up to $3,000 (Comprehensive, Annual Multi-Trip only)

  1. The person’s poor health must be certified by a medical practitioner.
  2. Your relative or business associate must be an Australian resident and be in Australia when their illness, injury or death occurs. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. For more details, please read the Product Disclosure Statement.

Frequently asked questions

Pre-existing medical conditions and travel insurance

Trip cancellation FAQs

Claiming on travel insurance

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