How to insure as an Australian nomad?

Hey everyone! There’s often loads of blogs and threads about nomads from Americans and Europeans but I haven’t come across any for nomads from Asia-Pacific.

I personally hold an Australian passport and Hong Kong PR and completely new to being a nomad. Any suggestions at all or resources that others may have come across on this particular topic?

Personally, I’m looking at broad medical/health insurance, travel insurance and as a bonus, insurance which may also cover scuba diving :slight_smile:

Aussie here, and while I’m not a nomad, I’ve used World Nomads for insuring multi-month overseas / RTW trips before. I’ve never had to claim with them, but their customer support seemed genuine & friendly, and I was able to extend my coverage easily while travelling on one trip. They have a page about their scuba diving coverage:

Hunt around online and you should be able to find a 10% discount code from one of the many blogs out there promoting them.

I’ve got cover with World Nomads and have some customer service issues with them. Doesn’t seem to happen to people elsewhere but then Aussie customer service is never the best. The biggest issue was that, when I wanted to extend my policy, the online option wasn’t available and it took some mucking around to get the extension (in the end, I had to get my sister to call them on my behalf). Then, recently, I had to return home for compassionate reasons and they were very vague about it.

On the other hand, I had one claim with them and it was settled quickly.

Tbh, I don’t think there are many other options.

I use SCTI (Southern Cross Travel Insurance), they have a great reputation, great customer service/email support, and reasonably priced.

Are they okay with indefinite travel plans?

Yes, absolutely. You can do a quote on their website:
Personally, I pay $429/yr for annual worldwide cover. Then I can go anywhere, no fuss.

good on you for starting this thread…interesting topic! There are so many international travel insurers! This is probably a good link for you:
and then in regards to scuba diving have a look here:
good luck and have fun with your travels :):slight_smile:

kathrynoh: you might be interested in this link:
my understanding is that some insurer (for example columbus direct) will allow for you to buy a new 12 months policy whilst overseas when your previous policy of 12 months is due to expire…but I think for any of those insurers 2 years is the maximum that they will insure you for…but I believe you can always take out a new cover once you are back in AUS…if you want to stay away indefinitely you would probably need to look at expat insurance:
but that is a whole different ball game and A LOT more pricey I would imagine

happy to hear from anyone that has info on this topic!!!

Thanks. I’ve looked at a few lately that will only insure with a return ticket which is no good.

I recently had to do another claim with World Nomads, my second one, and found their claim process is much improved. The first time I claimed, you couldn’t save your details once you started the process! This time it was so easy and it only took about a week to get my claim approved. That makes me feel more inclined to stick with them than move to someone who might not be as easy to deal with.

Thanks everyone! What an insightful thread of answers @SyneRyder @kathrynoh @mossy2100 @Claudi! This may be a stupid question, but on top of travel insurance, does everyone purchase a separate insurance for health/medical to apply for when they’re not travelling but just in their home country?

I don’t bother, I just use Medicare. If my home base was somewhere like the US then it’d be worth it but I’ve never needed it in Aus. Also, I don’t really understand it that well but there is that loading that they add to private health insurance. I think it’s only if you are over a certain age but it’s like 2% for every year after that so if you don’t have health insurance, and maintain the policy, you can get a huge slug.

I have private health insurance, but I still spend much/most of my year in Australia anyway. If you don’t have private health insurance the Medicare Levy of 2% of your taxable income applies, but it’s probably cheaper not to have private health unless your Australian taxable income is $100K+. Best to check the ATO website / your tax advisor for details though:

Also, today I found out if you’re leaving Australia for 2 months or more, you can pause your private health insurance & not pay any premiums while you’re overseas. You do need to keep proof of travel (eg boarding passes) and reactivate within 2 months of returning to Australia. I’m kicking myself, I could’ve saved myself at least $1000 if I’d known that before!

Edit: Seems different rules apply for different providers. BUPA offers minimum 2 months but maximum 2 years suspension, and says it may affect your Medicare Levy Surcharge coverage. So be sure to check with your own provider.,-can-I-suspend-my-bupa-membership

I just use Medicare in Australia, and try to spend as much time OS as possible :slight_smile: