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Travel insurance important words to understand

travel insurance important words

Some words and phrases used in travel insurance aren’t there to catch you out, but they can have special meanings and can be tricky to understand.

Because of this it’s important to pay attention to the fine details within your policy. Below we’ve helped explain the most important ones you’ll need to know.


Aircraft, vehicle, train, tram, vessel or other public transport, excluding taxis.


Your children or grandchildren, not in full time employment, who are under 21 and travelling with you.


The first amount you pay when you make a claim.


You, your spouse (or legally recognised de facto) and your dependants.

Locked Storage Compartment

A locked glove box, or concealed boot area of a car. This one is important to know if you’re claiming for items stolen from a car.

Luggage and Personal Effects

Any belongings you take on holiday, or buy on your trip which are for your own purposes. Different insurers will cover different items but generally luggage and personal effects includes clothes, jewellery, cameras, video cameras and computers.

Moped or Scooter

Any motor vehicle with an engine displacement not greater than 50cc.


Any motor vehicle with an engine displacement greater than 50cc.

Open Water Sailing

Sailing more than 10 nautical miles off any land mass.

Pre-existing Medical Condition

An ongoing medical or dental condition which you have symptoms of, are being treated for, are taking medicine for, have had surgery for at any time in the past, or prior to purchasing your travel insurance policy. Pregnancy is also considered a pre-existing medical condition. Pre-existing medical conditions not only apply to the person buying the policy but also travelling companions and relatives.

Public Place

A public place includes planes, trains, trams, cruise ships, taxis, buses, air or bus terminals, stations, streets, museums, galleries, hotels, hotel foyers and grounds, beaches, restaurants, private car parks, public toilets and general access areas.


You and your companion’s spouse, de facto partner, parent, parent-in-law, daughter, son, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, stepparent, step-son, step-daughter, fiancé or fiancée, or guardian. Relatives must be under a certain age (which will vary from insurer to insurer) but might be around 85 years of age, and they must reside in Australia or New Zealand.

Travelling Companion

You must be travelling with this person for 75% of your journey.


When you leave your luggage and personal effects somewhere where they could be taken without you realising, or with someone you’ve just met, or out of your reach, or in a luggage room after you’ve checked out, or forgetting an item and leaving it behind by accident. This is a very important term to understand when claiming for lost or stolen belongings.

You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement before you buy any travel insurance policy to understand the special meanings attached to some of the benefits. That way you’ll be armed with the knowledge of when you’re covered so you can avoid any situations when you might not be.

We’ve got heaps more travel insurance guides to help you find the right policy for your trip. Compare and save on you travel insurance today.