Understanding destination travel warnings before you buy your policy


What is a travel warning?

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issues travel advisories for destinations. These are published on the Smartraveller website

When the travel advisory is at a ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ (Level 3) or ‘Do not travel’ (Level 4) level, we call this a ‘travel warning’. It is important that you understand how these travel warnings affect your cover, before you purchase your insurance. 

In addition to any DFAT travel warning, it is important to understand what border controls (including visa requirements) may be in place for the destination(s) you are travelling to. This information is generally available through the immigration department of the applicable country. There is no provision for cover if you do not have the correct visa, visa waiver, or documents needed for your journey.


When I purchase a policy, how do travel warnings affect my cover? 

You must make sure it’s still safe to travel to your destinations by checking for travel advisories on the Smartraveller website.

Your policy may be affected if the travel advisory on the Smartraveller website is ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ or ‘Do not travel’.

You need to check this when you buy your insurance, again before you start your journey, and before leaving for each new destination.

The table below shows how travel advisories affect your policy.

Type of travel advisory Effect on your policy
 A travel advisory that affects just part of a country  You won’t be covered for events in that part of the country that relate to that travel advisory.
 A travel advisory that affects the whole country  You won’t be covered for events anywhere in that country that relate to that travel advisory. 
To understand how the travel warnings apply to the areas of a country, it’s important to visit the Smartraveller website before you purchase your insurance.


How do travel warnings affect whether I can buy a policy? 

When a country has an ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ or ‘Do not travel’ warning, we may decide to either:

  • sell you a policy, and these will be highlighted in ‘orange’ on our website; or
  • not sell you a policy – these destinations cannot be selected on our website. 

If you cannot select a country, it means we have removed the destination from our website due to the extreme risk that the destination poses to travellers.


When selecting ‘Worldwide’ as your destination

If you select ‘Worldwide’ as your destination when buying your insurance, it’s very important that you check that the individual countries you are travelling to are safe to visit, on the Smartraveller website

We highlight ‘Worldwide’ orange, because we want you to be aware that some countries around the world are likely to have a partial, or whole country travel warning applying to them. 

When you buy your policy, if a country that you’re visiting or a part of that country has a travel warning, you will not be covered* for any events that relate to travel warnings in that country, or in the areas. 


*Except for Section D1.6 of our TravelCare policy. Please refer to your policy document for full terms and conditions that apply under our travel insurance policies.


What you need to know

This page may include some information about our products but, as with all insurance policies, terms and conditions may apply. For our terms and conditions (including information about exclusions, excesses and sub limits) we recommend you read the TravelCare Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement, and the COVID-19 Supplementary Product Disclosure Statement.


Need some help?

If you would like to get in touch, we’re here to help. Please feel free to email us at any time, or speak to one of our friendly insurance experts on 1800 196 484. Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5.00pm.