Don't leave yourself guessing. Find out who's popular with our users and which policy is best for you.
What is the best travel insurance policy*? It's a hard question to answer as everyone's needs are different. The best travel insurance policy is the one that's right for you. The one that ticks all the boxes: cover, cost, extras.
This article provides tips on how to find the right cover for your needs, what has been popular with our users in the past, lists of award winning cover available in Australia, what a good policy will provide, exclusions and more.
Keep reading our tips for finding the best Australian travel insurance*.
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While this is not indicative of the quality of the product and is by no means a recommendation of the best policy for you, it may be helpful for you to see what providers ours users have selected and it displays the top five (one through five) most popular providers with our users.
Top 5 most popular providers overall for 15 Feb 2016*
*Data based 13,000+ quote enquiries made through finder.com.au in the six months prior to 15 Feb 2016
*The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing travel insurance policies.
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This is a very difficult question to answer, mainly because what is the best travel insurance for one person is not necessarily a good travel insurance option for the next. However, each year many brands receive awards and accolades and are crowned the best travel insurance policy. There are various travel insurance awards out there but it can be hard to decide which ones are a true reflection of the cover and which are driven by product promotion. Each year Choice Magazine have their Choice Buys, which are an independent consumer review of the pros and cons of various policies.
Award winning cover
Top rated annual travel insurance
- Good2Go Frequent Traveller. Good2Go Frequent Traveller insurance was the top rated policy, providing policyholders with one of the best ratings for baggage, cancellation and medical cover. The policy also had the cheapest* average premiums.
Top rated comprehensive travel insurance
- Good2Go The Works. For the third year in a row, the Good2Go The Works policy made it onto the list of best value travel insurance policies. Just like the Frequent Traveller policy, The Works ranked at the top of the list for baggage, cancellation and medical cover and had lower average premium costs.
Top rated budget travel insurance
- Travel Insuranz Classic. Travel Insuranz Classic rated highly for the features it provided when compared with other budget policies. It was also the cheapest* policy in this group.
Top rated seniors travel insurance
- APIA Comprehensive. APIA Travel Insurance is a specialised travel insurance provider for over 50s and provides no age limit policies and cover for pre-existing conditions.
How do I choose a travel insurance policy? What should I be looking for?
It's quite common for people to go with the first policy they see, whether it is because it offers a low premium or because they just can't be bothered to keep looking. This section provides key insights into the important aspects of policies to review before reaching for your wallet.
- Should I worry about the price of the policy? While price should never be your sole consideration for what policy to choose, it is important to ensure what you are paying reflects the quality of the cover: the best value. It is also critical to review how much you have to pay in excess for a claim. Cheap policies often have a higher claims excess.
- Should I read the PDS? Have a clear understanding of the benefits and exclusions on each policy to avoid any surprises in the event that you need to make a claim.
- How are pre-existing conditions covered? Each insurer has conditions for the acceptance of pre-existing medical conditions The product disclosure statement should clearly display what is and isn't covered. In the event that your condition is not covered you may need to contact the insurer to discuss other options.
- Does my policy have a cooling-off period? Most policies offer a cooling-off period between 14 and 30 days where you can cancel the policy if you are not satisfied with the cover and receive a full refund.
- I am planning on taking expensive items with me, are there any issues? Many policies allow you to register high-value items for additional cover. It is crucial that you check if there is a sub-limit for each item. As an example, you may have $10,000 in cover for high value items but a claim limit of $1,500 per item.
- Do I need to keep records? Most brands require you provide proof of purchase for any high-value items that you are claiming. This may include photos, receipts or other documentation.
- Is 24-hour emergency assistance something I need? Possibly the most important benefit to ensure you have on an international policy is the availability of 24-hour support if you are seriously injured or become ill in a foreign country.
- Can I take out family cover? Most policies allow you to include your spouse, children or grandchildren on your policy provided they are travelling with you for the duration of the journey.
- Can I take out group cover? Many providers now allow travelling groups to take out the same cover for their trip to give a multi-policy discount and to save time. It is worth finding out what exclusions may apply under a group policy.
- How does depreciation work with my insurer? Most providers account for depreciation when reviewing claims for lost or damaged luggage and other valuables. Review in your policy the conditions of depreciation.
- Can I reduce my excess? Most policies allow you to pay a small fee to remove any excess that is payable in the event of a claim. This fee is usually around $25 dollars and might be worth considering during application.
Which is the right travel insurer for me? Choosing the right benefits
Finding the best travel insurance* for your trip isn't just a matter of finding a policy suitable to your needs but also finding an insurer that you feel secure with. Here are some factors to consider when asking yourself when comparing different options available:
- Are they a trusted provider? While it may not be the be all and end all when comparing different options, taking out cover with an established brand that is recognised industry-wide is usually a safer bet than applying for cover with someone you have never even heard of.
- Do they offer a range of products? Being restricted in the policy options available to you may lead you to take out cover that is not as closely tailored to your needs as other options. This is especially the case if you are seeking cover for adventure sports or if you are a senior traveller.
- How easy are they to get in contact with? One key indicator of a reputable company is how easily they can be contacted. It is crucial that your insurance provider is able to be contacted 24 hours a day, anywhere in the world.
- Do they have a simple claims process? It is worth reviewing what will be required in the event of a claim to be sure that you have the necessary documentation while you are travelling and that there are no delays in your claim payment.
- Do they provide secure transactions? If you are purchasing your cover online, its worth reviewing the privacy disclosure on the providers website to have an understanding of how your details will be used and that your card details are secure.
You've probably ended up on this page because of specific question: which is the best travel insurance* for seniors, which is the best budget travel insurance, which is the best ski travel insurance or which is the best value for money travel insurance?
*Data based 13,000+ quote enquiries made through finder.com.au from July 2014 to January 2015. Data sorted by age to find most popular with 65+
The tables above display brands from within our panel and is not representative of the entire travel insurance market place. If you are after the best value travel insurance or the cheapest travel insurance, please enter your details into the quote form. From there you will be able to compare travel insurance policies on both price and features.
*The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing travel insurance policies.Back to top
What should my policy cover?
Some typical benefits to consider when comparing policies include:
- Does it offer family cover? A family policy might be a smart option for covering all members of your family and saves you the hassle of taking out individual policies. Most policies require dependent children to be under the age of 21 and not engaged in any full-time work. For cover to remain in place other family members listed on the policy must be travelling with the policyholder at all times.
- Can you get 24-hour emergency assistance? This type of cover gives you protection 24 hours a day. This cover will often include cover for ambulance fees, funeral arrangements and messages to family.
- Are overseas hospital expenses covered? Make sure your policy has a high limit for emergency medical and dental, the best value travel insurance policies normally make this one of the focal points of their cover.
- Are travel delays covered? Some policies provide cover if you're flight is delayed for more than 12 hours.
- Is dental covered? Some policies provide cover for dental expenses if you experience acute pain while travelling.
- Are you covered for additional accommodation and travel costs? This option covers reasonable accommodation and travel expenses if you are unable to travel due to sickness or injury.
- What if there's a family emergency? Family emergency covers additional expenses to cover travelling and accommodation expenses if your partner or travelling companion becomes seriously ill or injured.
- Is there a hospital cash allowance? A hospital cash allowance provides a benefit for a specified number of days if you are required to stay in hospital while overseas.
- Are you covered for accidental death? This is a lump sum benefit paid for accidental death that occurred on your journey or within the 12-month period following.
- Is permanent disability covered? If you become permanently disabled, you'll receive a lump sum benefit.
- What if I suffer a loss of income? If you suffer a loss of income due to an insurable event and are unable to work to your full capacity after returning home, this cover pays a benefit to help you cope with the bills.
- Am I covered for fraud? Credit card loss and fraud covers the replacement cost following loss and use of your credit card on your journey.
- What happens if my cash gets stolen? Some policies offer cover for cash stolen from your person.
- Are my luggage and other personal items covered? Make sure you find a policy that covers for the loss or damage of your personal items while travelling.
- Am I covered for cancellation? This is one of the most important sections of cover to pay attention to when looking for the best Australian travel insurance, as it covers for cancellation of flights, tours and other prepaid travel costs. Conditions for cancellation vary between insurers so check the fine print.
- What happens if my trip is interrupted? Some policies cover for reasonable accommodation and meals if your trip is disrupted by events that are outside of your control such as for the death of family member.
- What if I need to find alternative transport? If you have a special event such as wedding, funeral or conference and you experience a delay with your transport, you will be compensated for additional transport that you have had to take as a result.
- Am I covered for personal liability? Most policies cover legal liability for any claims made against you following bodily injuries or damage to property. However, be wary of the so-called best value travel insurance policies, as there sometimes offer a lower limit when it comes to liability insurance.
- What about my pet if I am delayed on my trip. Check if the policy covers for additional boarding fees for your pet if you are delayed returning home by transport carrier.
- What happens if because of an injury I cannot perform my normal household duties? Domestic services cover covers you for housekeeping costs following injury on your trip.
- Is rental vehicle excess covered. Find a policy that covers for excess charged by rental company following crash, damage or theft of your rental vehicle.
It is essential when comparing different policy options to closely review the terms and conditions of each of these benefits. The amount of benefit that will be paid for a claim on these benefits can vary greatly between providers with cheaper policies often having a reduced sum-insured.Back to top
What doesn't my policy cover?
When comparing different policies, it is crucial to review the exclusions of the policy.
- What if I had been drinking when the incident occurred? Providers exclude claims that were the resulted from you being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- What if I left my bag unattended? Travel insurance companies consider it negligent if it can be proved you left your property in an unattended hotel or bus stop. You must always show care and concern for your own property to minimise any chance of theft.
- What if I acted in a risky way? If you act irresponsibly and suffer an injury it is unlikely your claim will be paid.
- What if I can't find proof that I suffered a loss? Travel insurers will always need proof before any claim can be taken seriously.
- Failure to observe government warnings or warnings in the mass media. Most policies do not pay out on claims for events that have taken place where there have been warnings against travel. This may include such things as war or civil unrest.
- Is mental illness covered? Mental illness, depression, anxiety and stress are generally not covered.
- Are adventure activities covered? It depends. Many insurers exclude your participation in activities such as skiing and require you to buy extra insurance to cover for that activity. Check with your insurer prior to travel.
- Where other compensation can be claimed. Travel insurance providers will not pay out on claims if you are able to receive support from other insurance or compensation programs. In the event that other support is unable to cover the total loss, the insurer will pay the difference.
- What if I want to ride a motorbike? If you hold an Australian drivers licence you're covered. This is also the case if you are the passenger on a motorcycle that is driven by an unlicensed driver.
- I contracted a sexually transmitted diseases, am I covered? STDs are not covered under travel insurance policies.
- What if I have a pre-existing medical condition? Pre-existing medical conditions that are not specified in your policy or that have not been approved by your insurer will not be covered.
These are just some of the exclusions that may feature on your policy. Read up on what is excluded to know you are getting the right cover for your needs.Back to top
How do I make sure I'm getting the most out of my policy?
Travel cover is crucial for ensuring that in the event you suffer a loss overseas that you have the right cover in place so as to minimise your financial loss. This section provides an overview of some key considerations to make when looking for a policy.
Do I already have cover in place?
It's important to consider any other types of cover you already have in place that may be able to provide support in the event of a loss. This may lead you to consider a more affordable cover and in doing so you can get the best value travel insurance.
- Home and contents insurance. Many home content insurance policies include a clause that insures your personal possessions when you are away from your home.
- Life insurance. In the event of your death while overseas the proceeds from your life insurance policy can be used to bring your body back home. You may also have permanent disability cover and other types of protection that can be called on to pay any hospitalisation or repatriation costs if you fall ill or become injured while away.
- Car rental cover. You may already have a comprehensive car insurance policy in place that will cover you for the excess payable in the event that your rental car is crashed, damaged or stolen.
How much protection am I really getting out of my credit card cover?
Many credit cards provide complimentary travel insurance. You have to check the quality of cover and level of benefits these services offer as many of these insurances are often quite basic. The basic cover most of them provide includes travel accident cover, which gives you financial protection should you become seriously injured as a result of an accident. While the premiums may be low, the excess charged is also usually significantly higher and you generally have to pay for all or part of the trip with the card to activate the cover.
But I am already covered under my business travel policy?
It is important that anyone depending on a business travel insurance policy is aware that there are often restrictions placed on these types of specialist policies. Standard business policies don't usually accommodate casual workers or those involved in manual labour but if this is your field of occupation there are specialist business travel insurance policies available to better suit your situation. The benefit of these types of policies is that they will give you special treatment as regard to covering your tools of trade.
Can I still get cover if I am a senior traveller?
Many insurers require senior travellers to take out a specialised policy, often with a premium loading, to account for the additional risk that they present to the insurer. Senior travellers may need to undertake a round of medical underwriting to uncover any risks that they present to the insurer.
I am backpacking and don't know how long and where I will be travelling?
If you are a backpacker it pays to check out any limitations the insurer may place on the length of time you are covered for. Most insurers put a limit of 31 days on a trip and if you are a backpacker who isn't quite sure of how long you'll be staying this could be quite a restrictive option. A way around this is to seek out specialist backpacker, long stay, or gap travel insurance. These policies usually cover you from three to eighteen months across many countries.
Single Trip or Annual Trip Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is available as either single trip or annual multi-trip policies. If you travel frequently, an annual policy is the best value travel insurance for you. Most policies limit the number of days a trip can last. It is worth reviewing the maximum number of days that you can be away for each trip as it can vary between 45-90 days depending on your provider. Generally, limits are longer for single trip policies than for annual.
Can I be covered if I have a pre-existing medical condition?
Having protection against illness or injury is one of the most important reasons for taking out travel insurance. If you have a pre-existing medical condition you have to inform your insurer of this fact when applying for the cover. If you don't and the condition flares up while away you most certainly won't be covered, in fact you will run the risk of invalidating the whole policy. Many travel insurers will cover you for some pre-existing medical conditions without imposing a loading. Others will impose an extra charge on your premium before they'll agree to cover you.
Do I need basic or comprehensive cover?
Most policies will give you the option to select a basic travel insurance policy or comprehensive cover. Each will offer varying levels of cover with premiums obviously higher for comprehensive cover options. Deciding what option is right for you is a matter of:
- Considering your travel plans and what you actually need to be covered for
- Considering what other forms of insurance or compensation you are entitled to
- Reviewing what excess is payable for claims on basic policies
- Considering your budget. While it is not ideal to base your decision on the premium charged, price may be an important consideration for some buyers
I still have some questions about finding the best Australian travel insurance
Why do I need to take out travel insurance?
Without travel insurance you could find yourself in a very difficult position when it comes to the paying for the costs that result form situations such as lost or stolen luggage, medical or dental emergencies. Getting the top travel insurance you can afford may help tom minimise these costs.
What sorts of issues does standard travel insurance cover?
Basic travel insurance does not tend to cover specialist needs such as extreme sports , travelling whilst pregnant, pre-existing illnesses, and the like. However, it does usually offers a range of valuable protection in events such as:
- Medical cover
- Your luggage and personal effects
- Airline or travel company issues
Can I get specialist travel insurance?
You may have special needs that require more cover than a standard travel insurance policy. For example, you may need to get cover for extreme sports, pregnancy or pre-existing medical conditions. To ensure your needs are met you should check the PDS of the plans you are considering. If you have any questions about the cover, contact the insurer to clear up any misgivings you may have.
What if I need travel insurance for a cruise?
Not all travel insurance providers cover cruises, so you have to do your research and find ones that offer cruise travel insurance. You then need to make sure that you are covered for all of the places you are visiting, and where applicable, the various activities you will be taking part in. Many insurers do offer cruise travel insurance policies.
How much will I have to pay for travel insurance?
The cost of travel insurance is based on a number of factors, so there is no general answer to this question. However, comparing deals and top travel insurance policies enables you to try and find the most affordable travel insurance. Some of the things that may affect the cost of your travel insurance cover include:
- The level of coverage you take out
- The provider you choose to take out your cover with
- Whether you have any specialist needs when you take out your cover
- The destination you are travelling to
- The length of time you are going for
- Whether you take out single trip, multi-trip, family or group travel insurance cover
- Your medical history and general health
- Your age when you travel
- The type of activities you will be taking part in while you are away
Does my travel insurance provide protection for day trips and excursions whilst I am away?
Some travel insurance providers offer protection for various excursions and day trips. You should always check with your specific provider (if it is not made clear in the policy).
Why go online to buy travel insurance?
The easiest way to find travel insurance that is affordable and suits your needs is by comparing deals online. There is an abundance of choice available online, which means that you have a better chance of finding cover that suits both your needs and budget. It's essential to compare travel insurance plans and providers if you want to get the right plan at the right price, as there are so many plans on the market and the cost can vary so widely.
When is the best time to take out travel insurance cover?
It is advisable to take out travel insurance cover as soon as you have booked and paid for your trip. This way you are covered for cancellations of if your travel company or airline goes bust, which means that you can get back your prepaid costs and deposits.
What is the excess on travel insurance?
The excess on any insurance policy is the amount that you will have to pay from your own pocket before you receive any payout. So, if your excess is $300 and you claim for $1000, you will only receive $700 because the first $300 comes from your own pocket. If your claim is therefore the same as or less than your excess there is no point making the claim because you will receive nothing. You will generally find that the higher the excess for cheap travel insurance policies than with the top rated plans.
Can I get travel insurance cover if I am pregnant?
You can get travel insurance cover if you are pregnant but you should bear in mind that there are restrictions and exclusions. Many insurers offer insurance if you are 26-30 weeks into your pregnancy but will insist that you travel back no later than eight weeks before your due date due to the risk of premature birth. If you have had complications with pregnancy in the past you may find that you cannot get insurance cover because of the increased risk to the insurance companies. If you are having a multiple pregnancy or have become pregnant through IVF you may have to pay more for your travel insurance cover. If you are travelling when pregnant it is vital that you check the details of any travel insurance cover you are considering very carefully so that you know exactly what you are and are not covered for.
Can I extend my policy?
Annual trip policies are only available for a period of 12 months so it is not possible to extend cover beyond this period. Single-trip policies can be extended by contacting your insurer and requesting the necessary policy extension documentation. Single trip policies can be extended provided the cover does not surpass 12 months in total.
Peruvian Ankle Surgery
finder.com.au publisher Will knows more than most just how valuable it is to have travel i8nsurance in place while travelling overseas. Will was four months into a five month trip around South America and had stopped in Lima, the capital city of Peru, for a few days before he planned to walk the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.
On a particularly lazy day at the hostel, Will and two of his mates decided to head down to the local skatepark at city's main beach ... in hindsight, probably not the best idea two days before the planned trip to one of the seven wonders of the world.
Disaster struck about 15 minutes into the session when Will came off his board and rolled across his ankle. A local that saw the incident and called an ambulance, which took Will to the local hospital where an x-ray revealed a double fracture. The break was so bad that will was unable to fly and would need to have surgery in Peru.
Will returned to the hostel on crutches with his ankle strapped and gathered the copy of his 1Cover travel insurance receipt from his bag. After phoning his less than impressed parents (on their own holiday in Rome), Will called his insurance company, 1Cover, and was surprised to be put straight through to someone in their Australian office. Will was recommended to one of the leading international hospitals in Peru, Clinic Anglo Americana.
Upon arriving at the hospital a few days later, Will was given his own room complete with his own bathroom, Wi-Fi, flat screen television and amazing (by hospital standards) food. The trauma in the break was too bad to operate so Will spent two weeks in hospital before undergoing surgery. This trauma was brought on by hobbling around the hostel for two days sorting out the details of his policy. The insurance company was extremely helpful throughout the entire process with an Australian nurse phoning Will everyday to check up on him and ensure he knew what was happening with the operation. The stress of how the hospital fees and transport back to Australia would be covered were immediately removed with Will assured he was covered under his policy.
After two weeks in hospital and a successful surgery, a representative 1Cover organised last minute flights for him to fly back home to Australia. They even arranged an assistant from the airline to personally move him through the busy airport and into the terminal for his flight home.
What was covered?
Total Cost Covered?
- Take out insurance and know exactly what events you are covered for. Not all insurers would have covered skateboarding.
- Keep a copy of your insurance policy number in your bag/wallet.
- If you get injured, go straight to the hospital, you can sort out the insurance details later. It is not worth stumbling around a hotel or hostel for a couple of days as you try to get in touch with the insurer and make sure your claim will be approved...the injury will only get worse.
- If you are going to do any sports overseas, don't drink. Injuries that occur while drinking or on drugs are not covered. The insurer will speak to the paramedics and hospital staff to get a full rundown of how the injury occurred.
- ...don't go to the skatepark two days before planning to go to 7 wonders of the world.
Compare policies to find the best deal
If you are ready to start comparing different policy options for your trip you can follow the secure links on finder.com.au through to our featured providers websites. Policies can be purchased entirely online though we recommend you take the time to read through the product disclosure statement to ensure you know exactly what you are signing up for.
* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms "Cheapest", 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.