Travel Insurance Reviews on Leading Australian Insurers

Information verified correct on March 4th, 2015

Find unbiased reviews on travel insurance companies to help you find a provider you can trust

With literally hundreds of different travel insurance policies available on the Australian market, sorting through all the noise to find something that's affordable, trustworthy and provide you with the cover you actually need can be overwhelming. A key concern from many Australian's is whether or not their insurance provider will actually pay their claim and what they will be like to work with in the event of a claim. These are real concerns and not always easily answered.

This article will provide tips on what to look for when reading travel insurance reviews on insurers online to help you make an informed decision on both the policy and provider you choose. If you are ready to compare quotes from leading insurers and access reviews from the finder website, simply enter your trip details in the form below.

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What you need to look for when comparing travel insurance reviews on providers

Starting to read travel insurance reviews on different policies but not exactly sure what to look out for? Here are some key points to look at when comparing policies;

  • Do you already cover in place? It is not uncommon for you to already have other cover in place from different types of insurance including home and contents or car insurance. It is worth checking if these offer any protection for losses suffered overseas.
  • How much does the cover cost? While you should never sacrifice receiving cover for events that you need protection for, it is important to find a policy option that is competitively priced but still provides an adequate level of cover. Most policies will offer options with different levels of cover i.e. comprehensive, essentials and basic, each with different pricing based on the number of events covered.
  • What are you actually covered for? You need to know what the travel insurance plan covers you for in order to determine how suitable it is for your trip. It is not enough to just glance over the cover options; you must actually read through the conditions for claim payment.
  • How much will you receive in a claim? The benefit amount that you are covered for each benefit can vary from one travel insurance plan to another. You should therefore check the levels of coverage with the various plans you are considering and choose one that provides you with adequate levels of protection for different losses.
  • The exclusions: Checking the exclusions on the plan is just as important as checking what events you are covered for. Each insurer will have a list of events that they won’t pay for and conditions for the policyholder being eligible to receive a benefit payment.
  • What won't you be covered for? An important thing to watch out for is how excess will be applied to any claim that you make. Cheaper policies will generally have significantly higher excess fees charged. Some policies will allow you to pay a small fee to have the excess removed from the policy.
  • What sub-limit is applied to expensive items? It is essential that you check what the maximum payment is per item for claims for lost, stolen or damaged belongings. Most providers will only pay a maximum amount per item and then a maximum amount for all items lost. It is usually possible to register high value items to have this sum increased.
  • Is it easy to make a claim? It is good to get an idea of the provider’s process for handling claims and what will be required from you in the event that a claim is made. This will ensure that your claim is not rejected and there is no delay in the actual payment.
  • Is there a cooling off period offered? Most providers will offer a cooling off period whereby the policy can be cancelled if it has not already started. This gives great flexibility in the event that you are not satisfied with the level of cover that is provided. Most policies will offer a cooling-off period of about 30 days

Know what you actually need cover for...cut out the extras you don't need to save

Not everyone’s travel cover needs are the same so it is crucial to take the time to consider what you actually need cover for and carry out some research on suitable policy options. You may find that your trip only really requires a basic level of cover without the extra cover for things like adventure activities, winter sports cover etc. This may also be the case for the level of cover provided for expensive items, you may feel you only need a small amount of cover for what you are taking with you.

Compare different options

Once you have determined what you want from your travel insurance and how much you can afford to spend, you can start browsing and comparing cover in order to work what plan is most suitable. There are a number of ways in which you can do this, from comparing the cost and features of individual travel insurance plans through to reading up on travel insurance reviews. Looking at travel insurance reviews from other consumers is a great way to get a general feel for the quality, effectiveness and suitability of a particular plan or provider. It is still essential that you read through the terms and conditions prior to application.

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What to look for when reading reviews on travel insurance companies

In addition to checking out the suitability of particular travel insurance plans you should also take the time to browse and compare different travel insurance providers. Again, you will be able to access a range of consumer reviews about the different travel insurance providers to determine the suitability and reputation of the ones you may be considering. Some of the factors you may want to look into when it comes to checking travel insurance providers include:

  • Choice of policies available: The choice of travel insurance plans available from different providers can vary, so if you want to boost your chances of finding a suitable plan at a competitive price it is worth checking the choice of plans available from different providers. Some providers will offer specialist cover for senior travellers or people heading away on winter sports trips.
  • Who is the insurer underwritten buy: The majority of insurance providers in Australia are backed by larger companies such as Allianz, AIG or ACE who are the actual underwriters of the insurance and back the the smaller brand providing the policy. It's worth ensuring the underwriter of the the policy is a known insurer.
  • Emergency assistance provider. You want to ensure that your provider works with an emergency assistance company that provides 24/7 report anywhere in the world.
  • The ease of claiming: With some insurance providers, the claims process can be a lengthy and frustrating one. It is always worth checking with individual providers to see what the claims process is. You can also look at travel insurance reviews to find out more about how efficient the claims process is and whether other consumers have experienced issues in the past.
  • Flexibility in adjusting policy: It's normal to have to make adjustments to your policy following changes to your trip i.e. destination changes or changes to the dates of your travel. It's always best to go with an insurer who allows amendments to your cover without too much hassle.
  • The level of customer service: It is important to have good customer service levels from a travel insurance provider, as you may need to contact them whilst you are away so a prompt and efficient service is vital. You also want to ensure a good level of customer service in case you have to make a claim. Therefore, it is well worth looking at travel insurance reviews to see what other consumers thought about the customer service levels offered by the insurance provider or providers that you may be considering. Most insurers will have a 24 hour emergency hotline that can be reached from anywhere in the world seven days a week.
  • Deals and special offers to help you save: With so much competition between different providers in Australia, it is not uncommon to find exclusive deals offering premium discounts and other bonus incentives. It is worth seeing if there are any special promotion codes that can be used to cut the cost on your cover.
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What to be careful of when reading travel insurance reviews

While travel insurance reviews can provide some value in finding out about the cover options available from different insurers, you should never base your decision on whether or not to take out cover on a single review. Here are a few reasons why;

  • Disgruntled customers: There are money customer reviews available online from disgruntled customers berating certain providers because they were not eligible to a benefit payment following a claim. In most cases, these people were unaware of the exclusions on their policy and the actual conditions for claim payment. You can receive more value from these reviews by finding out about the actual experience from the customer in the management of the payment of their claim and how helpful the insurers customer service team were. It is worth noting that people are generally only likely to post a review about a product or service following a bad experience. Rarely will people take the time and effort to publish a positive report after a great experience with their travel insurance provider.
  • Reviews found on insurers website: Though they may provide some value in learning about the different cover features on the plan, reviews from previous customers on the website are only likely to give a positive report of the customers experience working with the insurer.
  • Watch out for sites with company ratings: Company ratings on consumer sites should be only be seen as one industry bodies opinion of a provider or cover. The decision on which provider to choose should never be based off one rating. Take the time to read reviews from accredited organisations that are certified to review travel insurance providers.
  • The writer of the review: If it is a review written from an “industry professional” you want to certify that they are actually qualified to review travel cover products and have knowledge of the industry and what is important to consumers.
  • Fake reviews: Though not as prevalent in the travel insurance industry, there may be instances where fake reviews have been written to give a biased opinion of an insurer and their products. As stated previously, it is important to try and verify the source of the review and make your own assessment of whether it is giving an unbiased overview of the products features and benefits.
  • Positive experience that may not be relevant: It is not uncommon for there to be an extremely positive review from a customer that has been able to take advantage of an exclusive deal or bonus offer from the insurer. This isn’t much use if you are trying to get an idea of the actual cover features and experience with the insurer. It is great to hunt out a bargain but more important to know you will be adequately looked after in the event of a claim.
  • Forum comments: Forums can often be a place where old customers vent about their poor claims experience with the insurer and not actually offer any real insight into the quality of the cover. With little moderation, forums can attract attract fake reviews with the sole intent of promoting a specific provider. Tread with caution.
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Tips to get value from quality travel insurance reviews

As mentioned previously, it is always best to find out more about a product from a variety of different sources before handing over your card details. Here are some quick tips to help you get value from reading online reviews on travel insurance products to help you find a suitable cover option.

  • Know what you want to find out: It is good to first have an idea of what you actually want to find out about the insurer and their product. Think about product features offered, exclusions, customer service experience of previous customers and the insurers claims process.
  • Find reviews from a variety of sources: If you are interested in finding consumer reviews, try and access a range of different reviews located on a variety of different websites to help you form a group opinion. Don’t just read one review from a disgruntled customer and move on to the next.
  • Make your own assessment: Don’t be afraid to make your own assessment of a product while making your own comparisons. While it may be tedious, taking the time to read through the product disclosure statement and actually get a clear understanding of the features offered and the conditions will help ensure you find affordable cover that still offers adequate protection.
  • Confirm what you have read with the insurer: If there are any points that you are unsure about, verify with the insurer or the product disclosure statement
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Where can I find travel insurance reviews online?

There are a number of different resources available online where you can access travel insurance reviews from both consumers and industry commentators.

  • finder.com.au: finder.com.au features reviews on each product from providers featured on the website that explore the different product features and exclusions, insurer claims process, company background and the benefits and disadvantages of different products. finder.com.au also features reviews from their team of writers on their experience with different products they have purchased in the past and any claim experiences.
  • Travel blogs: There are a great number of travel blogs online that feature reviews previous travel insurance customers. It is necessary to take the necessary steps to verify the validity of these reviews when forming your opinion of a product. Assess the blogs readership, any bias in the article and relevance of the review for the type of cover you are after.
  • Insurer websites: Many insurers will feature reviews of their products from previous consumers. As mentioned previously, always take these reviews with a grain of salt, as it is unlikely for an insurer to ever publish a review that places them in any negative light.
  • Recognised travel websites: Reputable travel websites including lonelyplanet.com.au will often feature reviews on different types of products and what to look out for when comparing policies. As before, it is best to assess who the writer is and their motives behind publishing the review.
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Traps to watch out for when comparing policies and reading product reviews

  • I couldn't believe how cheap they were! Cheap price usually means a reduced level of cover. While it might be sufficient for some, you may find in the event of a claim it is not nearly enough for what you are after. Also, watch out for cheap policies with exorbitant excess charges
  • I'm covered by my credit card, that's all I need Credit card travel insurance may offer sufficient cover for some travellers but it is definitely not for everyone. You will usually only be covered for what was purchased on your credit card and there is no cover provided for domestic trips. Also, the cover levels are usually far more basic than what is offered on standalone policies
  • I need a receipt? Most policies will have a list of what is required for claims for lost/stolen items to be honoured. This will usually be valuation documents and statements from transport officials and police. This may vary so know exactly what you will need to be covered for.
  • Thats all I get for all my items being stolen? It is critical you know the maximum amount you will be paid for lost items. Policies will apply a sub-limit (amount paid for each item) and a total limit (maximum that will be paid for all items). If you are taking expensive items with you, best to know exactly what you stand to receive in a claim.
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Everybody has different cover requirements and the policy that might be best for someone might not necessarily be the right fit for your trip. That said, it might be helpful for you to see what has been popular with previous users of the site. List below are the top 5 most popular policies to date. Please note that this list could change in the future as more and more visitors use our service

Top 5 most popular providers overall*

*Data based 13,000+ quote enquiries made through finder.com.au from July 2014 to January 2015
Provider Product Product Details Apply
InsureandGo Gold Single trip
  • Unlimited cancellation cover
  • Unlimited medical expenses cover
  • $5,000,000 personal liability cover
  • $8,000 luggage cover
Get quoteMore info
1Cover Comprehensive Single Trip
  • Unlimited overseas medical expenses cover
  • $50,000 additional accommodation and travel expenses
  • Unlimited cancellation fees and lost deposits cover
  • $5,000 luggage and personal effects cover
Get quoteMore info
Virgin Money International Comprehensive
  • 24 hr emergency assistance
  • Unlimited overseas emergency expenses
  • Up to $7,500 luggage and personal effects cover
  • $3,000 rental vehicle excess cover
Get quoteMore info
Southern Cross Single Trip Policy
  • Unlimited medical and evacuation cover
  • $25,000 luggage cover
  • $5,000 rental vehicle excess cover
  • $50,000 cover for changes to travel plans
Get quoteMore info
Travel Insurance Direct Single Trip International
  • Unlimited Medical Expenses Cover
  • Unlimited Cancellation Costs Cover
  • $12,000 Luggage and Personal Effects Cover
  • Journey does not need to start or end in Australia
Get quoteMore info
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Interview with Fred Schebesta about travel insurance

Do you usually take out travel insurance when you go overseas?

Sometimes. If I am going overseas and its to a relatively dangerous place or if I am unsure of where I am going or I havent been there before. Otherwise if I have been there before then I wont.

If so where do you usually purchase cover?

  • Online
  • Through a travel agent
  • Through your airline
  • Rely on cover provided on credit card
  • Other?

Online all the way!

What cover features are most important to you? i.e. loss/damage to luggage to personal items, cancellation cover, medical emergencies

Medical emergencies. I don't tend to take very expensive stuff with me so I just want the medical stuff if something were to go wrong.

Do you review the events you are covered for when comparing different plans?

Not really. Just breeze over them.

Do you review policy exclusions for when you won’t receive a benefit payment?

Not really, just browse over them.

Do you review the benefit that you will actually be paid in the event of a loss?

Yes, I am concerned about the fees I will pay if something were to go wrong in a medical situation and I want to know everything is covered because it could get crazy expensive fast and I want to know I am covered.

Do you usually just opt for the single trip policy or have you taken out an annual-multi trip policy in the past?

Single trip. I don't travel that much.

Have you ever taken out cover for domestic trips? If yes what were your reasons?

No, I assume that my health insurance will cover me.

Have you ever taken out cover for ski holidays? If yes what were your reasons? What were you looking to be covered for?

Yes, I was skiing like a crazy man and so I thought I could use some cover. Although, when I went to America I didnt take out cover because I felt I was a little more conservative these days and thought I would just ski a little safer and risk it. When I was in my 20s I def thought cover was a good idea.

Have you ever made a claim for a loss suffered overseas? Please discuss the event

No.

How was your experience dealing with the insurance provider?

Quick, fast and easy to buy cover.

Were you satisfied with the support that you received?

Haven't made a claim.

Would you take out cover with this provider again?

Yes, although I didn't make a claim.

What travel insurance tips do you have for anyone looking to head away on their next trip?

Buy online! Get a comparison because the price differences I noticed were quite steep. I got a quote from my travel agent and it was half the cost if I went online. I felt the agent was ripping me off and I got quite annoyed because I assumed then that they were ripping me off for all the other things.

Interview with Marc Terrano about travel insurance

Do you usually take out travel insurance when you go overseas?

Always

If so where do you usually purchase cover?

  • Online
  • Through a travel agent
  • Through your airline
  • Rely on cover provided on credit card
  • Other?

I always go online, easiest option and cheap

What cover features are most important to you? i.e. loss/damage to luggage to personal items, cancellation cover, medical emergencies

I always look for unlimited medical emergencies and a high dental emergency cap, as health to me is my main concern while travelling overseas. Next I’ll look at personal liability just incase I get into any strife overseas and cancellation cover. These are the things I think I’d most likely need to claim for and be protected against. I don’t look at loss or damage to personal items because I never travel with any items with a high value.

Do you review the events you are covered for when comparing different plans?

No

Do you review policy exclusions for when you won’t receive a benefit payment?

No

Do you review the benefit that you will actually be paid in the event of a loss?

Yes, this is the key thing I look at.

Do you usually just opt for the single trip policy or have you taken out an annual-multi trip policy in the past?

Only single trip policies.

Have you ever taken out cover for domestic trips? If yes what were your reasons?

No.

Have you ever taken out cover for ski holidays? If yes what were your reasons? What were you looking to be covered for?

No, but if I were good enough and spending enough on it each year I would. I think it’s crucial when you’re planning a ski trip in advance without knowing how the season will pan out.

Have you ever made a claim for a loss suffered overseas? Please discuss the event

I’ve had to make a claim for a travel cancellation. The reason I was excluded was because of an exclusion in the policy, but threatening them with action from the ombudsman saw them pay me out.

How was your experience dealing with the insurance provider?

They were reluctant at first, and got back to me via email once the Ombudsman was contacted.

Were you satisfied with the support that you received?

Not really. It took the promise of further action to get the problem sorted out.

Would you take out cover with this provider again?

No, I avoid the provider now, but they don’t provide the best travel insurance so it doesn’t bother me.

What travel insurance tips do you have for anyone looking to head away on their next trip?

Don’t pay for what you don’t need. I rarely take expensive cameras, laptops or tablets away with me, so I’d rather get a policy with less baggage cover and more medical, travel cancellation or personal liability insurance cover.

Ensure your provider is flexible. I mixed up the return date of my latest trip to Europe and was able to top up my policy online with no hassle a few days before I left.

Interview with Will Eve about travel insurance

Do you usually take out travel insurance when you go overseas?
Always
If so where do you usually purchase cover?

  • Online
  • Through a travel agent
  • Through your airline<
  • Rely on cover provided on credit card
  • Other

I have always gone online. I haven’t used a travel agent in the past and don’t have a credit card

What cover features are most important to you? i.e. loss/damage to luggage to personal items, cancellation cover, medical emergencies

I have had to make a pretty serious medical claim in the past so now I always make sure there is sufficient coverage there. Also I usually travel with a laptop on camera so cover for expensive items is also important.

Do you review the events you are covered for when comparing different plans?

Yes, I’ll read the summary of the cover before purchasing.

Do you review policy exclusions for when you won’t receive a benefit payment?

I’m pretty clear on most of them but I will look at what evidence will be needed if I have to make a claim

Do you review the benefit that you will actually be paid in the event of a loss?

I’ll look at it. It’s usually plenty for what I’m looking to be covered for.

Do you usually just opt for the single trip policy or have you taken out an annual-multi trip policy in the past?

I’ve only needed single-trip...don’t travel enough to warrant taking out more.

Have you ever taken out cover for domestic trips? If yes what were your reasons?

No.

Have you ever taken out cover for ski holidays? If yes what were your reasons? What were you looking to be covered for?

No. I’ve only taken ski trips in Australia and my health insurance will cover me for any injury...not too fussed about cover for equipment.

Have you ever made a claim for a loss suffered overseas? Please discuss the event

I broke my ankle in Peru a few years back and had to have surgery there. I spent two weeks in hospital, had surgery and then had to be flown home business class because I had to keep my leg elevated.

How was your experience dealing with the insurance provider?

They were fantastic. They were genuinely concerned for my wellbeing and focused on getting me looked after before dealing with all the details of the claim. I had an Australian nurse checking on me everyday while I was in hospital and they sorted out my flights home...I actually couldn’t believe the lengths they went to.

Were you satisfied with the support that you received?

Incredibly...relieved a great amount of stress.

Would you take out cover with this provider again?

Yes. I have taken out cover with them every trip since that accident...have found them to be competitively priced as well.

What travel insurance tips do you have for anyone looking to head away on their next trip?

It’s worth paying an extra bit of cash to get a policy you are happy with. Always know what excess you are going to pay for a claim...the company I go with 1Cover lets you cancel the excess by paying an addition $15 fee

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Comparing plans, providers, and checking out travel insurance reviews online

Although it may have been difficult and time consuming to find the right travel insurance cover at the right price in the past, these days the whole process is so much easier and faster. You can now compare multiple options from different providers simultaneously from home and take your time get a clear understanding of what you are signing up for. While travel insurance reviews can provide some value in helping you find out more about a product and provider, ultimately you will still need to take the time to read through the policy conditions to know exactly what you are getting. If you are unsure about any components of a policy, never hesitate to contact a representative from the company to find out more.

Compare travel insurance deals from leading providers

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