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Fair-minded cover: Investigation into discrimination in the travel insurance industry

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission has concluded a major statutory investigation into mental health discrimination by travel insurers.

Final report: Fair-minded cover

The Commission's report, Fair-minded cover, details the findings of the Investigation, which looked at the compliance of several Australian travel insurers over an eight-month period.

The Investigation focused on three companies that made up around 37 per cent of Australia's travel insurance industry – Allianz & AGA, Suncorp and World Nomads Group.

The Investigation found that, in an eight-month period, these travel insurers sold more than 365,000 policies containing terms that discriminated against people with mental health conditions.

These insurers were unable to establish that they could rely on any of the available exceptions under the Equal Opportunity Act to lawfully discriminate.

We are pleased to report that, during the investigation, all three insurers committed to changing their practice of issuing travel insurance policies with a blanket mental health exclusion. This means that some of the largest travel insurers in the Australian market will now provide some cover for mental health conditions.

The report also considered important steps insurers can take to comply with the law in future.

Read our media release and watch our video explainer below.

Download the report

Fair-minded cover - Travel insurance investigation - Full report (PDF, 900KB)
Fair-minded cover - Executive summary (PDF, 405KB)
Fair-minded cover - Ch1 Introduction (PDF, 190KB)
Fair-minded cover - Ch2 Overview of insurance(PDF, 240KB)
Fair-minded cover - Ch 3 Relevant laws (PDF, 205KB)
Fair-minded cover - Ch 4 World Nomads Group (PDF, 190KB)
Fair-minded cover - Ch 5 Suncorp (PDF, 210KB)
Fair-minded cover - Ch 6 Allianz and AGA (PDF, 220KB)
Fair-minded cover - Ch 7 Zurich and Cover-More (PDF, 155KB)
Fair-minded cover - Ch 8 Enduring change (PDF, 170KB)
Fair-minded cover - Glossary (PDF, 95KB)

Agreements with insurers

Following the investigation, the Commission entered into an agreement with nib holdings (parent company of World Nomads Group) regarding the removal of travel insurance products that included discriminatory clauses. We confirm that, since this agreement was executed, nib holdings has now removed the clauses from its products and have accordingly met all requirements of the agreement. 

nib Travel Pty Ltd - final compliance agreeement (PDF, 115KB)

Tracking improvements

In six months' time the Commission will seek an update on progress made towards implementing our recommendations from the insurers and entities. We will publish their responses here.

Making a complaint as a consumer

Fair-minded cover - Consumer fact sheet (PDF, 95KB)

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of a mental health condition, disability or another protected personal characteristic you can call the Commission on 1300 292 153, chat with us online or submit an online complaint form.

The Commission offers a free, fair and timely dispute-resolution service that can help to resolve complaints of discrimination and harassment.

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