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We compare products from

1Cover American Express Budget-Direct Travel Insurance Fast Cover InsureandGo No Worries Southern Cross Tick Travel Insurance Travel Insurance Direct Virgin Money Worldcare
Travel Insurance Finder™ is a free, Australian-owned comparison service designed to help you find suitable cover for your trip.

Travel insurance comparisons for 2017

PolicyOverseas Medical Expenses CoverPremium*
Unlimited$42.30
Unlimited$44.35
$25,000,000$48.25
Unlimited$60.12

*The price displayed is for a 2-week trip to Bali for a 25-year old traveller. Prices are accurate for January 2017 and are subject to change. Please use the quote engine above for the most accurate pricing.

Do I really need travel insurance?

When planning a trip, you hope that everything goes as planned. Unfortunately, though, flights get delayed, luggage gets lost, people get sick, and hotels get overbooked. Between 2016-2017, DFAT reported that the Australian Government's consular services had provided support for 1,701 Australians that were hospitalised overseas and 1,615 Australians that had died overseas.

While no one wants to think about things going wrong, a 2016 survey conducted by Smarttraveller showed that over 90% of Australians get travel insurance when they go overseas. When weighing up whether or not you need travel insurance, you might want to consider these factors:

  • You're not covered by Medicare when you're overseas. The Reciprocal Health Care Agreement can cover you for some expenses in some countries, but you could still end up paying tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills if something goes wrong.
  • Even a single night in hospital can be exorbitantly expensive. Will, one of the publishers at finder offers a real-life example: he broke his ankle while travelling in Peru. Two weeks in hospital, surgery and flights home cost AUD$41,000. Check out just how much it costs to stay in different hospitals per day around the world.
  • Travel insurance can cover you for more than just medical bills. Cancelled flights as well as lost, damaged or stolen luggage and valuables are frustrating and costly. Why risk losing thousands when you can get peace of mind for as little as the cost of a few drinks?
  • You could end up in serious debt. Hefty hospital bills and repatriation home could leave you and your family hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. The Australian government shared a case study where a woman had to borrow money from her children to cover $90,000 in medical bills.
  • Travel insurance is compulsory for some countries. You're required to have travel insurance in order to gain entry into some countries, including Cuba, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
  • The government can't help with your bills. Even though the Australian government offers consular services in countries, they cannot pay for medical services.
  • Most brands will cover your children or grandchildren under 21 for free. Most brands cover your dependent children for free. Find out more about travel insurance for children travelling alone.
  • Your credit card travel insurance might not be enough. The included insurance with your credit card can often have lower cover amounts, higher out-of-pocket excess amounts and exclude certain activities (such as skiing or adventure sports). Domestic travel is also generally not covered. Check out our list of pros and cons of buying standalone versus credit card travel insurance.

Not sure where to begin? Let our guides help you choose

  • streets of tokyo with lanterns
  • backpacker looking out over the landscape
  • man on swing in ubud, bali

"Sorting out comprehensive travel insurance

should be one of the first tasks on a traveller’s pre-departure checklist."

Source: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), 2017

What are four important travel insurance features?

Here are four key features to review when comparing policies. Don't leave home without them.

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Compare travel insurance quotes in 4 steps

Here's a checklist for comparing and purchasing travel insurance online.

1. Where are you travelling?

2. Do you need extra cover for your trip?

  • Do you need extra cover for winter sports or adventure activities that aren’t automatically covered?
  • Do you need cover for a pre-existing medical condition?
  • Are you taking valuable items with you that exceed the maximum value of a payout?
  • Are you a senior traveller? (Age limits and costs vary among insurers.)
  • Do you plan on paying for flights, accommodations or tours in advance? Consider how much you will need to cover cancellations.
  • Who are you travelling with? Need a family policy with free child cover or that will also cover your spouse?
  • Are you travelling with a large group? (You might be able to get a discount.)
  • Are you not returning home to Australia? Most insurers will require you to depart from and return to Australia in order to take out cover, although a few insurers will provide cover if you are planning on staying on elsewhere.

3. How long are you travelling for? Are you a frequent traveller?

  • If you travel often, an annual policy might be more affordable and convenient. Just be aware of the maximum period of travel permitted for individual trips (usually 30-90 days).

4. Know what to look for when choosing your policy:

  • Make sure you check out the range of benefits and the maximum payment for each claim.
  • What excess will you be charged when making a claim? Can you remove the excess for a small fee?
  • What won’t you be covered for? There are some countries, sports and activities that are not covered by travel insurance.
  • Are any medical conditions you have covered automatically?
  • Already overseas? Only certain policies will cover you if you are already overseas, and there is usually a waiting period of about 7 days before your cover is activated.
  • How flexible is your policy? Can you amend or extend cover easily enough? Most single-trip policies only provide cover for up to 12 months. If you wish to extend the period of cover, you will usually need to contact the insurer to give your reasons for extending the policy and pay the additional premium.

Really? I could have sworn I was covered for that!

The last thing you need is to be left stranded overseas if your claim is rejected. Know exactly what you are covered for and avoid a nasty surprise at claim time.

DrinksHad a few drinks? Jumped on a moped after a few drinks and ended up hitting a ditch in downtown Kuta? Yep, you’re not covered. Insurers do not pay claims that arise while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

MotorcyleRenting a motorcycle or moped? You’re only covered if you have a current Australian motorcycle licence and you wear a helmet. Also, the moped's engine needs to be under the capacity specified by the insurer, usually under 50cc.

SkydivingHang-gliding or jumping out of a plane? Not all activities will be automatically covered. Each insurer will have a list of high-risk pursuits that are excluded from cover, which are specified in the PDS. Find out what these are and if you need to purchase any additional cover.

Expensive itemsLost an expensive item? Policies will have limits applied to what will be paid for an item, which may not measure up to what it's worth. Consider getting specified cover to protect expensive items.

Additional PaymentsHad to pay more once you returned home? You’re only covered for expenses incurred while on your trip overseas, not once you have returned home to Australia. For example, Will was surprised to find out his physiotherapist and specialist appointments were not covered by his policy after he returned to Australia.

Image of tankEnded up in a war zone or a riot? Very few insurers cover claims that are the result of you travelling to a country under a travel advisory issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading (DFAT) or other warning issued by the government or mass media. This may include strikes, riots, bad weather, civil unrest, contagious diseases, epidemics, pandemics, or threats of epidemics or pandemics. Claims that arise while you're in a country under a do-not-travel warning will not be covered.

Thief with maskLeft your bag in the back of the taxi? Most insurers do not cover theft if you did not take reasonable care to protect your belongings. Insurers do not cover theft of expensive items that have been left unattended.

PregnancyFinal stages of pregnancy? Generally, insurers exclude cover for complications that arise past the 26th week of pregnancy, although the specifics of cover do vary from one insurer to the next. Some insurers only provide cover for up to 23 weeks while others may cover up to 32 weeks. Always check your PDS before purchasing.

Claim formWaited too long before contacting your insurer or making a claim? Most insurers will require you to notify them of any event leading to a claim within a certain time period, some even as quickly as 24 hours after the event. Find out what this period is and the maximum period of time following your journey that you can lodge a claim (usually about 30 days).

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Still unclear on a few things? Here are some answers to questions you might have.

1. Purchasing your policy


2. Choosing the right option


3. Adjusting your policy


4. When you will and won’t be covered


5. Making a claim

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Common travel insurance claims?

Lost Luggage Travel Insurance Claims Image

Lost, stolen or delayed personal belongings

  • Loss and theft of personal belongings and baggage topped InsureandGo’s list of most common claims in 2013, making up 38% of the total number of claims received.
  • Teachers Health Fund Travel Insurance data from July 2013 to June 2014 shows that luggage and personal items represented the third most common claim.
  • Easy Travel Insurance reported that lost or stolen luggage is one of the highest claimed losses.
Steps to avoid a claim

  • Take care not to leave your items unattended while travelling.
  • Tag your luggage with your contact details appropriately.
  • Take photos of expensive items to help describe lost items.
  • Ensure you have travel locks secured to your items.
  • Find accommodation that offers adequate security for expensive items, such as a room safe or luggage locker at hostels.

Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance Claims Image

Trip cancellation and lost deposits

  • In the period from July 2013 to June 2014, claims for cancellation fees and lost deposits were the most commonly received claim by Teachers Health Fund Travel Insurance, with more than $170,000 paid out.
  • Easy Travel Insurance lists cancellations as one of the more common claims it receives.
  • Figures from the Association of British Insurers also reveal that cancellations represented 34% of all travel insurance claims received in 2012.
Steps to avoid a claim

  • Take out travel insurance as soon as you make any significant bookings to ensure you are covered for cancellations in the period leading up to your trip.
  • Keep evidence of any significant bookings made with your travel agent.
  • Keep copies of transactions made for flight, tour or accommodation bookings.

Overseas Medical Expenses Claim Image

Overseas medical expenses

  • Medical expenses made up 37% of claims received by InsureandGo in 2013.
  • Medical and hospital expenses came in second on Teachers Health Fund Travel Insurance’s list of the top claims from July 2013 to June 2014. Medical claims made up 56% of the total cost of travel insurance claims paid.
Steps to avoid a claim

  • Be aware of any medical risks such as diseases or unsanitary water and food in the country you are travelling to. Find out what shots are necessary to avoid infection.
  • Be wise about where you are eating or drinking and avoid local spots where the risk of illness may be increased.
  • Bring the necessary medication for any pre-existing conditions. You may find it difficult or very expensive to purchase the same medication overseas.
  • Take necessary precautions to avoid serious injury if participating in sports and activities.

Travel Delay Travel Insurance Claims Image

Travel delays and alternative transport

  • In September 2015, a FlightStats study of 36 major international airports revealed that more than 20% of all departures at 16 of those airports were delayed.
  • Less than 80% of domestic flight departures in Australia left on time in March 2013, according to figures from the Department of Infrastructure and Transport.
Steps to avoid a claim

  • Contact your airline in the days prior to and on the day of your flight to find out if there have been any adjustments to the flight schedule.
  • If a weather warning is issued, contact your airline to find out if your flight is likely to be affected.
  • Follow luggage restrictions and get to the airport well ahead of your flight.

Lost or Stolen Money Travel Insurance Claims Image

Lost or stolen money/cards

  • Money claims represented 5% of all travel claims received by the Association of British Insurers in 2012.
Steps to avoid a claim

  • Invest in a travel pouch or wallet to conceal cards and cash.
  • When travelling on public buses or trains, keep your luggage with valuables secure on your lap.
  • Keep travel cards separate from one another to ensure you always have a backup.
  • Keep photocopies of cards and travel documents.
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Some final points before you buy travel insurance

  • Tell the truth

It’s really not worth leaving out details of an old medical condition or activity you might be doing in order to save a few extra dollars. Insurance companies will take the time to ensure that your claim is genuine and that you were truthful at the time of application.

  • Read the important stuff

You might not read 10 different product disclosure statements cover to cover, but at the very least read through the exclusions and cover benefits section so you know when you will and won’t be covered. It’s also worth checking out the claims section so you know exactly what you will need to provide and who to contact in the event of a claim. Here's more on how to lodge a successful claim.

  • Know the excess you will be charged

Excess charges can vary greatly between insurers and will generally range between $50 and $250. You will be charged an excess for each individual claim you make under the policy.

  • Want to avoid the excess altogether?

Certain policies will offer an excess buyout, commonly known as an excess eliminator. This gives you the opportunity of paying a flat fee when you purchase the policy so that you no longer have to pay an excess.

  • Know what you will be paid for the loss of valuable items

Most policies will have a sub-limit for individual items, such as $500 per item. If you are taking out additional cover for expensive items, make sure you know the maximum amount your insurer will pay for multiple items in the event of a claim.

  • Keep an eye out for discounts

Competition between insurers for your business means there are some great chances to lock down great savings and bonus gifts.

*Finder.com.au has access to policy discounts of up to 10% with certain providers.

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