Who is a relative?

Your parent is a relative, right?

Of course, Mum and Dad are relatives.

It is however, worth knowing that in the eyes of insurance, this isn’t always the case.

Insurance companies have different definitions of ‘relative’.  These definitions are generally included in the policy and often state that the relative must live in Australia and be under a certain age.

Here’s a typical example of a policy definition for the term ‘relative’:


Any of the following who is aged under 85 years and resident in Your Normal Country of Residence – Your mother, father, legal guardian, sister, brother, wife, husband, fiancé(e), common law cohabitating domestic partner, daughter, son, grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law.

Some policies only cover immediate family members and not extended relatives.  Some insurers impose an age limit whereby the relative must be aged less than 75, 80 or 84.  The relative must also live in the same country that you do.

Most travel insurance policies do not provide cover for claims that result from a pre-existing medical condition suffered by a non–travelling relative.

There are a few main reasons for this.

The contract of insurance is between the insurance company and the traveller/s (not the non-travelling relative).  This means that the insurance company is not provided with information about the non-travelling person’s medical history to determine if their underwriting guidelines allow them to carry the risk and also assess the likelihood that their pre-existing medical conditions could result in a claim.

Also, the core principle of insurance is to protect the policyholder from sudden, unforeseen and unexpected events.  As people age, their health tends to deteriorate, which often leads travelling loved ones needing to cancel, cut short or abandon a trip.

It is not possible for insurers to cover every conceivable loss; this would raise the cost of insurance policies to such an extent that most travellers would simply not be able to afford insurance. To avoid this, insurers must exclude certain types of losses – the most conceivable types of losses.

If you have an older relative and if your trip would be compromised if they fell ill, were injured or died, make sure you check your insurance policy cover to ensure that it meets your needs.

If you have any questions about travel insurance, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 819 888 or email sales@goinsurance.com.au





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