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1Cover American Express Budget-Direct Travel Insurance Fast Cover InsureandGo Online Travel Insurance Southern Cross Tick Travel Insurance Virgin Money Webjet World 2 Cover Worldcare Zoom
Travel Insurance Finder™ is a free, Australian-owned comparison service designed to help you find suitable cover for your trip.

What type of cover are you looking for?

Do you 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 2017-2018, DFAT reported that the Australian Government's consular services had provided support for 1,585 Australians that were hospitalised overseas and 1,671 Australians that had died overseas.

The Smartraveller survey also found that 11% of Australians went overseas without travel insurance. 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

"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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Travel Insurance has got your back.

Here are some mishaps you may find yourself in and where you’d find them in your policy. Some types of cover listed here are included in most basic policies, while others come optional. It’s up to you to make sure your policy offers the cover you need and for the amount you need.

If you're sick or injured

If you get food poisoning, have an asthma attack or sprain your ankle, your claim will be treated as an Overseas Medical Expense.

If you need a medi-vac

If you're seriously injured or fall ill and you're too far from the nearest hospital, your Medical Evacuation cover will kick in. If it happens on a cruise or in a ski field, you’ll need the optional Cruise Pack or Snow Sports pack respectively.

If you need to cancel your trip

If you can’t make the trip or need to cut it short because you get sick or a family member dies, you can recover money already spent under the Cancellation Fees and Lost Deposits section.

If an unexpected event screws up your plans

If you have to change your plans because a natural disaster strikes, your home gets destroyed or your documents are lost or stolen, Additional Accommodation and Travel Expenses will pay for you to change your plans or return home.

If your important documents are lost or stolen

Your Travel Documents cover helps you replace your passports and travellers cheques if someone steals them out of your hotel room or the airline loses them after sending your luggage elsewhere.

If your luggage doesn't make it

If the airline decides to send your bags in the opposite direction, the Luggage and Personal Effects section will pay for replacement supplies until you get them back. It will replace everything if they're gone for good.

If you have to return home early

If you have to cut your trip short because a family member dies, you can get the funds to head home through the Family Emergency section of your policy.

If you have an accident in your rental car

If your someone keys your rental vehicle or a thief takes off with it, the Rental Vehicle Insurance Excess cover will make sure your out-of-pocket expenses are affordable.

Your credit cards are lost or stolen

Your Credit Card Fraud and Replacement cover will help you replace lost or stolen credit cards. And if the thief runs up a huge bill, it will cover any fraudulent charges that your bank won’t.

Someone sues you

If you injure someone or damage their property, such as knocking over an antique vase on a museum tour, Personal Liability cover will help you pay any money you owe legally.

Accidental death

If the ship you’re sailing on sinks and takes you with it, the Accidental Death part of your policy will give your loved ones a one-time cash payout.

You suffer a total permanent disability

If you you go blind or permanently lose the use of your arms while travelling, Permanent Disability cover will give you a one-time cash payout. If the disability keeps you from going back to work, Loss of Income cover will give you an additional weekly payout.

You go skiing or snowboarding

If you are skiing, snowboarding or participating in any snow sports you must add a special Winter Sports Pack if you want covered for many of the situations described above.

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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What companies offer travel insurance in Australia?

Check out our review of various travel insurance providers in Australia, so you can compare and make an informed decision. While we try our best to keep this list up to date, it may not be a comprehensive listing of every single insurance company, and may become out of date as brands merge, new brands are introduced or other changes take place. And although we take all reasonable measures to ensure our published content is accurate, complete and current at the time of publication, information can change quickly, so it's always best to refer to the PDS before buying anything.

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 of finder user's favourite destinations

Heading to Bali, the USA or the UK? Learn more about these destinations and how you can benefit from taking out travel insurance before you go.

More destination guides

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.

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

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Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

16 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    karenNovember 29, 2018

    do I need travel insurance for a 5 hour transit in the US

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiNovember 29, 2018Staff

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for getting in touch! Since you will be travelling to an international country other than Australia, it is advisable to get travel insurance regardless of the period, if by land or by plane. To search for travel insurance, simply use the table at the top of this page and enter the details needed. When you’re done, click GET MY QUOTE and it will show the providers according to your requirements. As a friendly reminder, carefully review the Product Disclosure Statement of the product before applying. You may also contact the insurance provider should you have any questions about their policy. Hope this helps!


  2. Default Gravatar
    AshleeJune 3, 2014

    My partner is in the defence forces and is currently on a deployment. He is due for his 2weeks leave shortly and we are looking to meet up in Europe during this time. I have looked at a number of travel insurance options for him but they all say that he will only be covered if he is returning to Australia. Is there any kind of travel insurance that he can get that will cover him while we are in Europe even though he will not be returning to Australia until 3 months after the European holiday?


    • finder Customer Care
      WilliamJune 10, 2014Staff

      Hi Ashlee,

      Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately I have not been able to find an Australian Travel Insurance Provider that will provide cover for trips where the policyholder does not intend to return to Australia at the end of the trip. You may need to take out a European policy with an insurer from the country that you plan to spend most of your time abroad.

      Apologies for not being able to provide more assistance,


  3. Default Gravatar
    March 4, 2014

    I booked some Virgin travel insurance 6-10 Feb 2014 and would like to have the points added to my Velocity card. I could not find an option when I actually booked the insurance. How do I go about this please. thank you for your time.

    Regards Vanetta

    • finder Customer Care
      MarcMarch 5, 2014Staff

      Hi Vanetta,
      thanks for the question.

      If this was purchased with a Virgin credit card or travel card these points will be automatically transferred to your account. If this hasn’t occurred please contact Virgin directly to find out more about why this hasn’t happened.


  4. Default Gravatar
    BobJanuary 18, 2014

    Hello: Just tried to use your link to AIG insurance but my internet security reported that I was being diverted to a similar sounding web site that was not secure and the https address was crossed out.
    Has your link been compromised?
    Daren’t proceed further to AIG

    • finder Customer Care
      ShirleyJanuary 20, 2014Staff

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for your comment.

      We’re currently in the process of fixing the link, I’ll send you an email when it’s been updated.

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention and apologies for any inconvenience caused.


  5. Default Gravatar
    aboobakerJanuary 17, 2014


    • finder Customer Care
      ShirleyJanuary 20, 2014Staff

      Hi Aboobaker,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Please contact your insurance provider and make a claim.


  6. Default Gravatar
    RichardJanuary 1, 2014

    We have made a claim to our insurance company for part of the trip which had to be cancelled because of sickness, and they are refusing to settle. The decision to cancel was made on professional medical advice, we are appealing the decision, can you help with advice.

    • finder Customer Care
      MarcJanuary 2, 2014Staff

      Hello Richard,
      thanks for the question.

      If the situation is still not resolved or you’re unhappy with the decision, it may be useful to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service. They’ll be able to work through the decision and if you’re unhappy with the decision your insurance provider has made it’s better to contact them sooner rather than later.

      I hope this helps,

    • Default Gravatar
      RichardJanuary 1, 2014

      Thank you

  7. Default Gravatar
    KarenOctober 3, 2013

    Do any of the reviewed travel insurance policies cover missed connections?

    • finder Customer Care
      ShirleyOctober 3, 2013Staff

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for your comment.

      They don’t specifically cover missed connections but they do cover things like travel delay. 1Cover also provides cover for the disruption of your journey.

      Hope this helps,

  8. Default Gravatar
    RosalindAugust 19, 2013

    Do you provide information re comparative phone bundling costs ?

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