As an international student in Australia, you are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your study in Australia. But there are also other types of insurance which you may find useful.
Overseas Student Health Cover
International students undertaking formal studies in Australia, and their dependents (for example, spouses and children under 18 years old), must obtain OSHC. It includes cover for visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance cover and limited pharmaceuticals (medicines). OSHC insurers can provide a range of different OSHC products. These may range from a basic product which covers only the compulsory minimum services to comprehensive products which cover, in addition to the compulsory minimum services, extra services as specified under the particular policy. You can find more information, including a list of the providers and average costs, on the Department of Health (opens in a new window) website.
Remember, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship requires overseas students to maintain OSHC for the duration of time they are in Australia. For further information please visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (opens in a new window) website.
Private health insurance
Along with your OSHC you might want to consider purchasing private health insurance to cover items that your OSHC does not cover. You can take out private health insurance to cover just you or your family as well. Benefits, membership costs and eligibility can vary greatly between funds and insurance policies, so when buying health insurance take care to ensure the cover you select is suitable for your needs. You can find more information at: www.privatehealth.gov.au (opens in a new window)
Australia has a very reliable travel industry, but cancelled flights, lost luggage or other un-planned issues can arise. If you are travelling with valuables or are on a travel schedule you have to meet, travel insurance can help cover any mishaps or missed flights. You can arrange travel insurance through a range of providers including travel insurance companies, airlines and travel booking companies.
Home and contents insurance
Home and contents insurance covers the building you live in and your belongings, such as furniture, clothes and appliances. If you rent a property, building insurance is the responsibility of the owner and you do not need to worry about it. But contents insurance is worth considering if you have valuable items you couldn’t afford to replace very easily if something happened to them.
If you purchase a car, motorbike or other vehicle you will need to consider what type of insurance you will need to purchase. Depending on what state or territory of Australia you live in there may be compulsory insurance you need to purchase. For example, in NSW you must purchase Compulsory Third Party insurance which covers you for personal injuries caused to someone else in an accident. You should check with the relevant government agency in your state or territory to find out what, if any, compulsory insurance you might need.
You can also choose to purchase vehicle insurance that covers your car for accidental damage, malicious damage, theft, fire, flood or storm. There are a wide range of providers in Australia that offer vehicle insurance so make sure you research your options and consider what your specific insurance needs are before you purchase vehicle insurance.