1 photo
HBF Travel Insurance

HBF Travel Insurance

1.5 from 17 reviews

Left alone when truely needed what I paid for.

After 6 years on HBF private health, paying $86 a month for up to 6 years and only using it once for a dental checkup, I naturally went for HBF Travel insurance for the 6 months of the years I would travel.

In Sep 2017 I fell down a mountain and open fractured my toe. As I paid for my insurance while in the airport in Indonesia, I was left, Lying in a hospital . . . . dripping from my almost ripped off toe. For 8 hours I argued that I was a valued customer for 6 years with no claim and yet they would leave my High and dry when I needed it most.

I came back to Australia and cancelled all of my insurance with HBF.

If you leave your customer when you are needed the most that is a bad business move.

HBF, lift your game.

Insurance claim madeYes

Not worth the trouble!

When I set off for a year of study in Israel I went with HBF as they give a generous discount for existing members. I have always found their regular health/car insurance to be excellent, but their travel insurance (outsourced to CGU insurance) has been a complete disaster.

About 4 months ago I had to go to hospital with a severe gastrointestinal illness (turned out to be giardia). When I ordered the insurance I was told that they can arrange payment in situations like this over up front over the phone so I'm not out of pocket, but when I actually got to the hospital they said that they wouldn't pay for anything without getting the official report from the doctor first. As the hospital wouldn't admit me without proof of payment first, I had to give my own credit card and pay with that, then get reimbursed by the insurer. I do understand this, mind you - they need to wait to see if it's something I'm actually covered for before they blindly hand over money. My problem was just that this is not what they told me when I bought the product, and I'm just thankful that I had the money to pay for the treatment in advance or I would have been in a lot of trouble.

The real problem came with getting the money back. Initially the claims team were very helpful, they replied to all my e-mails more or less instantly, told me exactly what documents I needed to give them, and even told me that I didn't need to get the doctors report translated from Hebrew, that they could arrange that for me. So far, so good. The problem came when I tried to actually get them to give me my money back. 3 months with no word before I figure something fishy is going on, so I e-mail them. And e-mail them. and e-mail them again. No response. About 15 or 20 e-mails later I get frustrated and say that if I don't hear from them soon (at least with an explanation of why its taking so long) I will be contacting the Financial Ombudsman Service. The next day I get an e-mail asking for one final document from me, and then a few days after that to say that my claim has been processed and paid. So, what could have been a week or so long process ended up taking over 4 months.

100% guaranteed I will never be buying travel insurance through HBF again, and I was very close to just cancelling all my insurance with them altogether.

Insurance claim madeYes

Don't Waste Your Money

Do not deal with hbf travel insurance complete waste of money.
I recently had a dental emergency while in London costing over 1000.00AUD. When i tried to claim i was told that it was not covered because it was not a specific event. HBF claim it was tooth maintenance. An emergency root canal is not tooth maintenance. Well i don't know what would qualify as a specific event but i would have thought that an emergency root canal would be covered. Way to go HBF you just lost all our insurance business and i will be telling all my friends.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Angry, thanks for giving us a chance to discuss this with you publicly, we really appreciate. While we do cover emergency dental expenses within our Travel Insurance it needs to be work performed on healthy, natural teeth and/gums to stop sudden pain resulting from an accident. A root canal wouldn’t meet the definition of work being performed on healthy teeth and it wouldn’t be from the result of an accident which is why it’s classed as tooth maintenance. We always strive to be as transparent with our members as possible about what’s included with their cover, all of the information is detailed in the PDS, the criteria for dental work is mentioned on pages 21 and 22. I know you’re disappointed with the situation and I can appreciate that it is frustrating to have a claim knocked back without really understanding why. I hope the above information helps clarify why we weren’t able to pay the claim this time, if you do have any other questions or want to chat at all please just let me know - Lauren

Wonderful customer service

We had a medical emergency with our son the day before we were due to depart for our holiday, and couldn't travel. The claiming process was more straight forward than I was expecting and HBF did not make it too difficult to substantiate my claim. The claims consultant responded to my emails in a timely manner and the claim was also approved promptly. The customer service received from HBF has made this stressful time a little easier. I cannot say the same for my airline, whose customer service in trying to get an insurance letter has been nothing short of a debacle. I would recommend HBF travel insurance.

Insurance claim madeYes

Terrible for 79 year old travellers.

I agree completely with the Ralph[Not competitive]. As a 79 year old member I expected better service from HBF in travel insurance.I suggest that HBF changes their insurer and finds one more sympathetic to the needs of older members.


Insurance claim madeNo

Not competitive

HBF insurance is very, very expensive for aged customers even if they have membership. Further, their cover levels are less generous than other well known and reliable companies.....

Check it out and get the quotes before you commit to HBF.

Seeing the lack of competitiveness in this area I am now tempted to check out my Health Insurance! Am I paying too much compared to the market price? I now think I might be!

Insurance claim madeNo

No help at all

My wife is in a Dubai hospital by herself with my almost 2year old daughter, I am offshore on a ship. My daughter had a fit on a plane right at boarding time. If not stressful enough when she called HBF to sought the insurance not only was the operator not helpful but piled on things that is impossible to obtain from where we are. Will be cancelling all dealing with HBF.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi Darren I'm so sorry to hear your daughter is in hospital, that's stressful at any time not just when you're travelling. Are you able to email social@hbf.com.au with the details for the claim or your policy number? I'd love to look into it for you and see what we can do to help you and your family - Lauren

Very bad claims support team

Hi, I have taken travel insurance from hbf and when I wanted to claim, the claim team member did not even ask me if I am ok to talk and just saying as per policy x, this is a exclusion and forward me to underwriting team for refund if possible. I asked to call me back in 30 min as I am heading to a meeting and I need to talk further on this. She said ok.
I did not receive any call so I called back and asked about my claim and surprisingly the member told your claim is rejected and need a formal process to challenge their decision . I told her like without getting full details how can one reject claim. She admitted and said she will forward the email to call me back at 11.30am but I did not get call again.

Very bad experience

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi RK P, I'm sorry to hear about your recent experience when making a claim on your Travel Insurance, not calling you back when we advised we would definitely isn't the way we like to treat out members. If you can send us an email to social@hbf.com.au with some further details and your policy or claim number I can find out what's happening for you - Lauren

Lost travel documentation sent May 24th for reimbursement of trip cancelled

HBF promise so much yet service is bad Not only did I have my original claim refused despite documentation saying I did not have a hip injury. When this was rectified I was informed by phone April 19th 2016 that my travel application had been accepted to be informed the next day by email that it had not. I again spent time on the phone querying this and was advised that it had been a typing mistake Now today June 20th I am informed that all documentation pertaining to monies outlaid(posted May 24th 2016) has been lost and that they can't proceed.All required documentation had been posted as previously stated May 24th ( i was waiting for final payment from Expedia of which HBF were aware)
Today I phoned to inquire about refund and was informed that an email had been sent to me June 16th but had bounced back to me as my Mail box was full
I have been away hence not accessed my emails however the representative did not trouble to phone or text me to inform me of this matter asking me to contact them
I wonder how long they would have let this matter slide unless I hadn't phoned them to day
What I want to know is where is my Documentation and how has it been misplaced
I am very angry and will not be taking any further travel insurance out with them

Insurance claim madeYes
Hi Patsy, it's really disappointing to hear and this and definitively not the service we like to offer our members. I'd really like to look in to this for you and see what we can do, can you please send us an email at social@hbf.com.au with your policy number? and I'll be able to follow it up from there - LaurenThank you Lauren however a HBF representative has now contacted me and appologised and I have been assured that there will be reimbursement into my bank account within 72 hours

Worst experience of my life

My daughter got Denghi Fever while volunteering in Bali. She was admitted to hospital and given advice to fly home before she deteriorated. She flew home under advice from doctors but HBF say, that because she didn't get their permission she is not able to claim this fare or a refund for her return airfare she had previously paid for. I don't think anyone would get paid out if they are refusing in this cut and dry claim. Check reviews before you take out travel insurance.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hello C. Hutchinson, apologies for our late response, we have only recently taken ownership of this account so that we may reply. I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's experience. Would you mind sending an email to social@hbf.com.au with her member number and a little more information on what happened? I would like to take this opportunity to follow up and get this escalated for you. - Tristan

What's the point of the insurance?

Disappointed. Flight suddenly got delayed which caused a 16 hour delay for an urgent commitment back home. Tried to claim for this as this area before booking a brand new flight as it is stated as 'unlimited claim' in the policy information for flight delays. After making a very costly overseas call, found out in actual fact that it is NOT covered by hbf and they would not compensate at all.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hello Andrea, firstly, let me apologise for our late response, we have only recently taken ownership of this account so that we may reply. Secondly, I apologise for the experience you have had regarding our travel insurance. Can you please email me further details on this so I can look into it for you at social@hbf.com.au? - Tristan


Got a travel insurance to go to Venezuela, and had pain in my tummy, when to a GP who asked me to go to ehy gynecologist, when to see him, he did some test, founding a big cyst in my left ovary.

Came back to Australia, tried to claim, and hbf said it was a pre-existent condition and did not pay anything from my test and consultation overseas. This pre-existent condition I didn't know about it, and I had never been treated in my life, they asked for my whole medical history because they wanted to know even if I had a flu or not, just crazy, I didn't have time for this hassle. Now I will get an laparoscopy here. Don't get HBF travel insurance, go with another company. Too much hassle for nothing.

All they don't pay and it is a hassle for nothing.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hi MM39, apologies for the delayed response - we have only recently taken ownership of this account to enable us to reply. I am so sorry to hear about this experience. A pre-existing condition is anything that is diagnosed or documented, so if it hadn't shown up in your medical history then we wouldn't have been able to deny the claim on these grounds. I appreciate this is now a while ago, but if you do want to follow this up with us pleas email us at social@hbf.com.au. Thanks, Lauren


I am writing to you in the hope you can bring some attention to this story. I live in Turkey and my friend [name removed] also lives here. recently her elderly father [name removed] flew from Perth to Turkey to visit her. Unfortunately on his third day here he suffered a severe stroke leaving him paralysed on his left side and requiring constant nursing care. [name removed] has had Health Insurance with HBF for 43 years and has always taken out his travel insurance with them. he gave them total disclosure of his medical condition whish required medication and had a heart operation a few years ago covered by this company. They were fully aware of his previous conditions and assured him he was fully covered. After suffering his stroke his family were initially told that HBF would take care of all his requirements including bringing him home safely back to Australia so he could receive the medical care and rehabilitation he so desperately needs.

After 11 days they have now told the family that he is not covered, they have told them and I quote ' we are sympathetic and can offer you all the non financial support you need.' Not only that but they have also offered to assist with flying him home for 46 000 australian dollars. I think you can agree that this is an absolute outrage and the family are now left having to care for him at home ( in Turkey) without physio or any kind of rehab and stresisng over tyreing to figure out how they will get him home and how they will pay for the substantially large hospital and transport bills. I would appreciate it if you could bring some kind of attention to this as it really is totally unacceptable to leave an elderly and serşously ill stroke victim stranded in a foreign country without the rehab he needs, after 43 years of loyal patronage. Thank you for reading and I and [name removed]'s family appreciate anything you can do.

They refuse to pay up!

Insurance claim madeYes


We paid for top cover with HBF, a company our family have been with forever. Gary broke his ankle overseas and this company would not even help us out with a essential item like a wheelchair. First excuse was they needed a hospital report, we gave them that then they wanted a specialist Medical report (2 weeks after the accident). They got that then refused to accept the specialist report so demanded we see their own doctor. 18 days after the accident and they are still making excuses why not to help us. We would hate it to be our kids or their friends.
Nothing. We would strongly advice everyone not to use this uncaring and unprofessional company.
HBF did everything in their power not to assist us when Gary badly broke his ankle overseas which required pins and a plate.

Insurance claim madeYes
1 comment
Hello, apologies for the delayed response, we have only just been able to gain ownership of this account to allow us to reply. Sorry to hear about the situation with the travel insurance and your husband, this sounds unusual and I hope this was resolved for you shortly after the review. For any incidents now while our members are travelling overseas we have Travel - First Assistance that's available to call 24/7 on +61 2 8895 0698 or within Australia on (02) 8895 0698. - Lauren

Awful Service

I visited HBF Bunbury to get a quote for travel insurance to go to Europe later in the year. after the only available customer assistant attempted to waste time and looking around to see if any other assistants had become available sighed and called me to her desk. After I waited about 7 ,minutes for her to type stuff into the computer she brought out a pamphlet, wrote 2 prices on it and just said "you can pay that much or that much". When I questioned what the 2 prices were for she said "it's all written there". I then attempted to present her with a scenario and asked if it would be covered to which she sighed again and said "it's written there" stupid me then asked her about a price for my parents (who are also already HBF customers) where she replied "their price will be different" with no attempt to actually give me a quote. I said thank you and left, I then walked over to a bin and threw the pamphlet into it. I will never get travel insurance with HBF and now question if I even want health insurance with these people. God help anyone in another country in trouble that calls this girl to claim insurance! If I could give less than 1 star I would.
the chair I sat in before this happened was comfortable...
Terrible service, price was high.

Insurance claim madeNo
How could I not base my opinion on the rep? The service was so bad I never got a chance to try their insurance! Why should I have to do the insurance online to be treated like a valued customer. I ended up with a different insurance company that was half the price and had 10x the customer service! We ended up with Travel Insurance Direct, they are online and have a very strong review rating. We were very happy with their overall service and price. We also phoned different companies to see what their customer service was like, time spent waiting on the line and general staff knowledge of their product and I gotta say these guys were far and beyond other companies. Good luck with your travels! :)Hello hc85, firstly, let me apologise for our late response, we have only recently taken ownership of this account so that we may reply. Secondly, I apologise for this poor customer service experience you have experienced. I would like to take the time to get some information on who you spoke to in the Bunbury branch so we can pass on feedback as this is not the member service experience we are trained to provide. If you have the time, please email us further details at social@hbf.com.au. - Tristan


Asked for quotations for yearly travel insurance. Came out as the most expensive compared to other quotations from other companies.
Give discount if you already taken other insurance from them. Can deal with customer service at branches so don't have to deal with faceless person on the phone.
Very expensive, even after discount.

Insurance claim madeNo
1 comment
Hello, apologies for the delayed response, we have only just been able to gain ownership of this account to allow us to reply. We're happy to say that our travel insurance has changed a lot since you originally got a quote - we have partnered with CGU, and are now able to offer premiums and discounts for our members so we're now in line with other travel insurance providers. Feel free to get a quote on our website - https://www.hbf.com.au/travel-insurance - Lauren


I would go with HBF again. After trying 5-6 different insurance companies they are the only one who would approve cover for my sons stable heart & kidney conditions. We paid extra premium of course, but didnt want to risk not having the insurance.
approved for pre-existing medical contions
cost almost $500 for travel insurance to fiji for only 7 nights

Insurance claim madeNo
1 comment
Hello, firstly, let me apologise for our late response, we have only recently taken ownership of this account so that we may reply. Secondly, thank you for your positive feedback, it's always great to hear back from a happy HBF member. If you wish to discuss this any further, feel free to email me at social@hbf.com.au - Tristan

Questions & Answers

Hi for those that have taken a policy out and traveling to Bali in the near future could you please advise if you have a cut-off date for cover?
1 answer
Hi Carrie, our cut off date for the cover will be the moment the Volcano erupts, from there it becomes what is called a known event. You can find more information here: https://www.hbf.com.au/bali-volcano If you have any other questions at all please just ask - Lauren

Hi, Im looking at your asia insurance. Just wanting to know if we become unwell & go to hospital after notifying your company do we just pay an excess to hospitAL & you cover the bills or do we pay the bills and you refund? also my husband lives & works in australia as a provisional resident - partner vusa. do you cover him?
1 answer
Hi Mish, apologies for the delayed response - we have only recently taken ownership of this account to enable us to reply. Are you able to send me an email with more details on your enquiry to social@hbf.com.au? Once I have further information on your circumstances I will be able to point you in the right direction. - Tristan


HBF Travel Insurance
CategoryTravel Insurance
Contact Number 133 423
24-Hour Phone Contact No
Online Live Chat No
Other Insurance Types Offered Car, Health, Life and Travel

Visit official website

ProductReview.com.au has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence our content moderation policies in any way, though ProductReview.com.au may earn commissions for products/services purchased via affiliate links.