They probably can, but it would be worth doing a quick sanity check on cost for those flights directly vs the tour company. Insurance, but again shop around and check the Terms and Conditions as many things you expect to be covered may not be! You might have a better "concierge" style service with a travel agent if things go wrong. Personally I've travelled on the complementary insurance that you get when you book return tickets on the BankWest card I mentioned earlier, and having read the T&C it seemed to be about the same as the Covermore plan that Flight Centre wanted to charge us $800 for (for a 7 week europe+japan trip). That said, you may find differences, or things that you need which are excluded. For example check car hire, motor bike riding, activities whilst intoxicated, hospital cover past a limit, pre-existing conditions, etc. Good luck and enjoy your trip.