5 Hot Tips to Save On Travel Insurance

Heading away and don't want to overpay for travel insurance? Read these key steps to save

Travel insurance is important, but that doesn't mean you have to overspend. Dodge these easy-to-avoid traps and get more for your travel insurance dollar.

1. Are there any coupons, sales or deals?

This might seem like an obvious point but it's worth highlighting. Travel insurers are constantly offering coupons, discounts and bonus offers to win your business by helping you save. Keep an eye out for these offers as many are for a limited time only. These deals range from premium reductions to bundled policy discounts to free global SIM cards. Check out deals currently offered on finder.com.au

2. Is a basic policy enough for your trip?

Most insurers offer three levels of cover – basic, essentials and comprehensive. It's worth reviewing each of these levels to make sure the policy you're looking at suits your cover requirements. If, for example, you already have cover in place, you may only require the reduced level of cover offered by a basic policy.

Australia is part of the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA), which means you have access to basic healthcare in countries such as the UK (similar services to those offered by Medicare), should you need emergency medical or hospital treatment. As a result, you may not require a policy that offers a high level of medical coverage.

3. Frequent traveller? Annual cover could be a smart fit

If you travel multiple times each year, you may be overpaying for your travel insurance. Taking out multiple individual policies rather than one policy for all of your tips for a year could be costing you a bundle. Annual travel insurance covers you for an unlimited amount of trips in any 12 month period. The duration of cover for each trip is limited under an annual travel insurance policy, normally between 30 and 60 days, but these limits vary between providers. Annual travel insurance is best suited to frequent travellers and those who have to travel without much notice.

4. Is buying through your travel agent or airline costing you more?

Some travel agents and airlines add a commission on top of the price of each policy, which can end up leaving you significantly out of pocket. In fact, a finder.com.au study found that you could end up paying more than three times as much than if you bought you travel insurance from travel agents or airlines versus going directly to the insurer. This is because some travel agents and airlines add commissions and fees to the base cost of the policy. For example, the survey looked at the cost of travel insurance for a family of four going on a 21-day trip to the USA. Getting comprehensive cover through a travel agent cost an average of $618, where as the average cost of cover through one of the direct providers on finder.com.au was $215.25.

While these findings are not indicative of all travel agents or airlines, there are travel agents and airlines out the who don't add on excessive commission (some even price beat the quotes you've found online), it does go to show that you've got to compare your travel insurance options – both offline and online.

5. Need to claim? Avoid a hefty excess charge

The lower your policies premium, the higher the excess if you make a claim. With some excess on policies reaching up to $250 for a single claim, it could be worth opting for a policy with an excess waiver. This option allows you to waive any excess charges by paying an upfront fee. The cost of excess eliminator varies but is normally between $15-25. If you choose this option, you can save yourself hundreds in the event of a claim.

Want to know more about no excess travel insurance

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More travel insurance traps to watch out for

  • Avoid buying the first policy you come across. Shop around for the right policy and compare the features of a number of products. Browse product disclosure statements so you know the limits, sub limits and exclusions of each policy. Doing this will help you determine which policy has the cover you need. It’s also incredibly quick and easy to compare travel insurance quotes online, which can help you find a better deal.
  • Beware of excess amounts. The excess charged on most travel insurance policies generally varies from $50 to $250.
  • Read the fine print. Some insurers make you pay multiple excesses when you make claims under different sections of a policy, even if they are for the same event. Read all policy documents closely to avoid this problem.
  • Watch out for family policy limits. When you’re insured under a family policy, your insurance has a set limit that is paid for claims, which is a combined figure not a per-person figure.
  • Beware of rental vehicle excess exclusions. Many travel insurance policies cover the excess charged by rental companies when your rental car is involved in an accident, stolen or damaged. However, you’ll be excluded from cover if you don’t have a driver’s licence, you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or you violated your rental agreement.
  • Beware of warnings. Travel insurance providers exclude claims relating to travel to countries that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has issued a DO NOT TRAVEL advisory.

Save with these discounts featured on finder.com.au

One of the simplest ways to stop paying so much for travel insurance and cut costs is to go online and look for promo codes and other discounts.


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Free Captain Risky Bobblehead with Comprehensive, Annual, Domestic Cover

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Richard Laycock

Richard is the senior insurance writer at finder.com.au and is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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41 Responses to 5 Hot Tips to Save On Travel Insurance

  1. Default Gravatar
    Brendan | August 5, 2015

    how do bank provided E.g as part of my Visa card with WestPac, I get “free” travel insurance. Are these just basics or are they value for money given bank fees I pay?

    • Staff
      Richard | August 6, 2015

      Hi Brendan,

      Thanks for your question. Your complementary travel insurance will come with certain conditions and limitations. If you would like to know more, please have a look at our Credit Card Versus Standalone Travel Insurance page.

      I hope this was helpful,

  2. Default Gravatar
    Jennifer | June 16, 2015

    thanks for your replies re pre-existing conditions. A tip, do not fill in the PEC form on line, ring the company & insist on doing it via the PEC assessor.
    I always get knocked back on line, but accepted on the phone. Been with Covermore since early 90′s. With PEC you need to build up a long term relationship so they can monitor how your condition is going as time passes.

    • Default Gravatar
      Disgruntled | July 28, 2015

      This is not a question, it is a serious recommendation.

      Make absolutely sure you get a copy of your responses to the insurance questionnaire before committing to a policy. Yes, do it over the phone not on-line or in a travel agency.

      I was accused of omitting information about a claimed pre-existing medical condition by a well-known travel insurance company mentioned in one of the responses published below when I had to cancel travel because of emergency surgery for a condition I was aware of at the time of application.

      This was not the case but they refused to believe me. The insurance company refused my refund for months but in the end were unable to produce a copy of my application showing what I had declared, or in their view had not declared. Be careful, very careful!

  3. Default Gravatar
    Jennifer | June 13, 2015

    you have not shown any options for seniors or Ore Existing Conditions. These are of interest to me, if only names of companies that are more accommodating.
    Some information would be welcome.
    I already figured about countries with reciprocal agreements or that you may have dual citizenship with, but what about on board a cruise ship, do many of them want you to pay for medical attention as you receive it?

    • Staff
      Richard | June 15, 2015

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for your question. We have various pages that deal with both these topics, including:
      Travel Insurance for Existing Conditions
      Seniors Travel Insurance

      Whether or not you can take out cover will depend on your pre-existing condition. However, InsureandGo claim to consider all conditions. CoverMore may also be able to help as they assess medical conditions prior to travel issuing travel insurance.

      These are just two providers from our panel that may be able to help and there may be other insures out there who are suitable to your needs.

      I hope this was helpful,

  4. Default Gravatar
    Helyn | June 8, 2015

    I will be travelling with a carer from Sydney to Hawaii. Have 2 days there and then cruising back to Sydney.

    I am in a wheelchair, have a very stable medical condition that requires oxygen and ventilator only at night.

    My condition has been stable for over 38 years

    • Staff
      Richard | June 9, 2015

      HI Helyn,

      Thanks for your comment. finder.com.au is a comparison service and not an insurer. If you would like to compare policies from providers in our panel, please enter your travel details into the travel form above.

      I hope this was helpful,

  5. Default Gravatar
    Graeme | June 8, 2015

    What about having pre-existing medical conditions covered?

    As i like cruising and I go when there is a special on.Sometimes it may be
    a fly cruise and stay vacation.

    I am 65 been on about 6 already

    My pre-existing is a TIA about 7years ago no subsequent incidents ,diabetes (type 2),sleep apnoea

    • Staff
      Richard | June 9, 2015

      Hi Graeme,

      Thank you for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison service and not an insurer, and we are not permitted to provide personalised advice.

      Whether or not you can take out cover will depend on your illness. However, InsureandGo claim to consider all conditions. CoverMore may also be able to help as they assess medical conditions prior to travel issuing travel insurance.

      These are just two providers from our panel that may be able to help and there may be other insures out there who are suitable to your needs.

      I hope this was helpful,

  6. Default Gravatar
    kim | May 29, 2015

    My husband and I are doing a cruise for one week in July this year.We have three ports of call.How much would insurance be for us as a couple,for this period.
    Thank You(kim)

  7. Default Gravatar
    john-arthur | May 26, 2015

    I am 83 years old how can I get travel insurance for the US where my daughter lives.

    • Staff
      Richard | May 26, 2015

      Hi John-Arthur,

      Thanks for your question. It will depend on the insurer. If you have a look at our Seniors Travel Insurance page, there is a complete list of the providers in our panel and the maximum age for each provider under the title, “How old can I be to take out cover?”

      I hope this was helpful,

  8. Default Gravatar
    william | May 26, 2015

    wife and I going on 17 day cruise next February,. wife said all insurance covered by cruise company. but I have what is classed as 3 chronic illness. I would feel safer if I took out my own personal insurance. is this possible if already covered by price of cruise. but cruise insurance is extremely poor

    • Staff
      Richard | May 26, 2015

      Hi William,

      Thank you for your question. Whether or not you can take out cover will depend more on your illness than your existing cover. However, InsureandGo claim to consider all conditions. CoverMore may also be able to as they will assess medical conditions prior to travel issuing travel insurance, so long as you’re not travelling against the advice of a medical practitioner. These may be two providers that may be able to help.

      I hope this was helpful,

    • Default Gravatar
      william | May 26, 2015

      my sincere thanks Richard. I suffer from depression, post traumatic stress and chronic arthritis. To my surprise my private health cover N.I.B. have given me the best cover 3 times have traveled over seas before, but costly. I have looked at 1 of the companies you have suggested and very interested in the there offer and price,. Sincerely, William.

    • Staff
      Richard | May 26, 2015

      Hi William,

      No worries at all. I hope your are able to find cover. If you need anymore help, please let me know.

      Best of luck,

  9. Default Gravatar
    Aileen | May 16, 2015

    Where can I get domestic travel insurance to cover for pre-existing cardio vascular disease. Insurance required is mainly for cancellation of trip as medical expenses are covered by Medicare within Australia.

    • Staff
      Richard | May 18, 2015

      Hi Aileen,

      Thanks for your question. If you contact the insurer, you should be able to arrange cover for things like cancellation, lost luggage, etc and exclude cover for anything arising from your existing condition.

      I hope this was helpful,

  10. Default Gravatar
    frank | May 5, 2015

    Which is the best company to insure with for travel – a cruise to Hawaii and Tahiti- for older people? I’ve tried to find cover for this trip but none seem to want to insure travel to America.

    • Staff
      Richard | May 6, 2015

      Hi Frank,

      Thanks for your question. The best travel insurance is different for everyone. finder.com.au is a comparison service and we are not permitted to provide personalised advice. However, the pages below may help you make a more informed decision:
      Seniors travel insurance
      Cruise travel insurance
      I hope this was helpful,

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