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Your guide about Travel, Work, Live or Study in Australia

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Insurances
in Australia

 Insurance in Australia became a big deal as in the USA, but Australians are kings and Queens when the subject is to be protected. Opposed to New Zealand which has one of the best social security system in the world, together with some Scandinavian countries, the Australian social system in my opinion, went downhill during John Howard government. Elderly people and the disadvantaged, suffered the most. To compensate for the lack of proper investments in the sector, the government came with incentives for the population jump into private insurance and leave the government alone. in special the private health insurance. Because Australia openly copy the American system, the country is becoming year by year a place where people are prosecuting the other for small things. Why Australia just don't copy the ACC Kiwi system? (read about ACC in the same topic about New Zealand). Insurance to cover insurance is not something alien in the Australia way of life, but anyway, some of these insurance are compulsory even for someone for example, studding in Australia for a time longer than 3 months.

  Travel Insurance - As is written in the government website, if you can not afford insurance, you cannot afford to travel. So, be wise that Medical consultation, hospitals and dentists are among the highest in the world. Dentist for example charges so high that many Australians are taking holidays in Thailand, Bali or Indonesia, just to do dental treatments. That means if you are coming to visit Australia, an insurance that cover eventual medical expenses is a must. Don't forget to check if your health/medical insurance also covers ambulance. A single 200 Km ambulance ride can cost up to A$ 2000. Another important part to include in your insurance, is a third party liability insurance and legal insurance (one that cover lawyers in case you need them). If the insurance also extend its coverage to flight cancellations and loss or thief or your luggage, it will be a bonus. But the most important insurance is the medical one.

Compulsory Health Insurance for Students - Called in Australia OSHC which means " Overseas Students Health Cover". It was made compulsory by the government, meaning that without it, you will not be allowed to study in Australia. This insurance have to be paid according the duration of the course, example, if you will study for 6 months, you must pay 6 months of insurance to the OSHC. Usually when you enrol in one course, the course itself send you the bill together with the payment for the tuition. In case you come to study and is bringing the family, there is a reduction per head for everyone in you family be also covered. This Insurance covers medical and hospitals emergencies and expenses and depending which plan you choose, can also cover consultations with doctors and medicines. Note that OSHC will pay 100% of the bill if you go to a public hospital, but only part of the costs if you choose a private hospital. OSHC doesn't cover, Dentists, Ophthalmologists, and medicines, but if you upgrade for a kind of " Gold Plan", every need can be covered, including ambulance. The best thing to do is to consult the school or the insurer to know every condition of the plan chosen. 

More about Study in Australia.

There are many insurance companies in Australia which offer OSHC for international students in Australia. They differ in price and plans.

List of Insurance Companies that offer OSHC:

 

More info about OSHC :  www.health.gov.au

 Prices 2013 for OSHC for Individual ( prices may be different from each insurer)

Duration Price
3 months A$ 98.50
6 months A$ 197
12 months A$ 437
12 months family A$ 2022

Car insurance in Australia costs in average A$ 560 per year depending on the year, model and maker of the car. The so called  "Comprehensive Insurance", covers everything, such as damages cause in your car or other person's cars, plus fire and thief. If your car is new or almost new, you can go for an "Agreed Value" in which you and the insurer agree for a value to be paid for you in case of complete loss of you car. Car older than 10 years are usually out of this deal, except collectors cars. A good alternative for who owns an old car, is to purchase insurance only for "Third Party" damage, meaning if you crash your car against someone else's car, the insurance pays for the damage cause by you on the other person's car, or a wall, a post light, etc...It doesn't pays to fix your car. Note that Australia has some imported cars from Japan etc...and almost 100% of the insurers will not accept a comprehensive insurance for this cars, only third party insurance. Just to give you an idea, a post on an Australian street cost around A$ 20,000. So if you put one down, you'd better have insurance.

Insurance for Car Rental - this could be a little tricky to understand. The reason is because all rental cars have comprehensive insurance but, there is a big But, there is something called "Excess". This means that the car is full covered but if you do a damage, let's say up to A$ 1000 you pay for this value (the excess). If the damage is A$ 5000, you pay A$ 1000 and the insurance 4000. You can buy the excess or part of it, for 10 or 20 extra dollars per day, and it will reduce this excess, but is up to you to find out if it would will be a good deal for you. Read your policy and ask if your insurance is covering windscreen and tyres.

Note: In Australia if you are found guilty of an accident and are under the influence of any amount of alcohol, the insurance company can refuse to pay for damages.

Roger purchased an insurance against space invadors.
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