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What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance protects the money you've spent on your trip in case something unexpected happens which might cause you financial burden. It assesses the risks involved with your trip and charges a premium to safeguard the costs associated with your travel plans.
You can buy different types of travel insurance from single to multi-trip, basic to comprehensive, ski to cruise, or even a combination of the features. Travellers usually buy travel insurance to cover themselves for overseas medical expenses, cancellations and lost luggage on their trip. Think about the cost of your trip, the activities you'll take part in, the destination and duration, these will help you find the right travel insurance.

What type of cover do you need?

How will travel insurance protect you?

While every travel insurance policy is different, here are some of the mishaps that your policy can cover.

If you're sick or injured

If you get food poisoning, have an asthma attack or sprain your ankle and need to seek emergency medical help, you can claim your Overseas Medical Expenses.

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 non-refundable spends through your Cancellation Fees and Lost Deposits cover.

If your credit cards or travel documents are lost or stolen

Travel Documents cover helps you replace your passport and credit cards if someone steals them out of your bag 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 cover will pay for replacement supplies until you get them back. It will replace everything if they're gone for good.

What doesn't it cover?

We want to help you find comprehensive travel insurance for your trip, but to really benefit from the cover and to make sure you're not caught in a sticky situation that can leave you out of pocket, it's important to know in what circumstances travel insurance doesn't have your back.

DrinksYou've had 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.

MotorcyleYou're renting 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, which can vary from 50cc to 250cc.

SkydivingYou're hang-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 product disclosure statement (PDS). Find out what these are and if you need to purchase any additional cover.

MotorcyleYou're going somewhere the Australian government doesn't recommend. Travel warnings issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading (DFAT) are not to be taken lightly. If you're travelling to a country that's considered dangerous and something goes wrong, your claim will be rejected.

You've waited 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 require you to contact them 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).

How does travel insurance work?

Similar to how home or car insurance can help you if something goes wrong with your house or vehicle, travel insurance protects you when your travel plans go awry. Once you've told the travel insurance company where you're going, when you're going and how old you are, it can help you when your trip doesn't go according to plan.

Travel insurance works by

  • Protecting you from the moment you purchase it in case you need to cancel your trip due to something out of your control – and this is why you should purchase your policy as early as possible. If you remember a bit late in the game, it can still help you if you get a travel insurance policy for already-overseas travellers and something goes awry while you're away.
  • Helping you get the overseas emergency medical assistance you need and can cover your medical expenses
  • Providing a daily allowance if your luggage gets lost and you need to buy things like clothes and toiletries while you're away

With most travel insurance companies, you will likely need to first pay for the medical treatment, extra clothing or other expenses first and then claim them back from the company providing proof of payment (i.e. an invoice from the medical centre).

Every travel insurance brand's policies are different and the amount you're able to claim back changes depending on the level of cover and the company. We've simplified the inclusions in each of our partners' policies in our travel insurance comparison tool so you can clearly see what is and isn't included. The travel insurance brands list out the nitty gritty details in their PDS.

In the PDS, you'll be able to find out how much coverage you have for each benefit (either as a maximum dollar amount or listed as unlimited if there's no cap) once you've paid the excess. The excess is how much you'll need to pay out of pocket before your travel insurance policy kicks in.

How to compare travel insurance policies

With so many benefits outlined in each company's PDS, if you're looking at a few policies side-by-side, it can be hard to spot the difference between Policy A and Policy B. Here are a few things we recommend looking out for when comparing travel insurance policies:

  • Extensive medical coverage: Hospital fees range greatly from injury to injury and country to country, so look for a policy that has unlimited medical cover.
  • Cancellation policy: Consider how much you can claim should something get in the way of your dream trip. Look for a policy that covers, at the very least, the trip expenses that you've already paid upfront.
  • Cover for all your planned activities: If you're into extreme sports (including skiing), make sure your policy covers it. For example, activities like skydiving, bungee jumping and scuba diving are only covered by certain plans and may come with restrictions like how high you can jump from or how deep you can dive.
  • Lost and/or delayed luggage protection: If your bags don't make the trip, travel insurance may cover you for any interim purchases you need to make (i.e. new clothes, toiletries etc.) or can reimburse you for the valuables in your bag should it not be returned to you at all. If you're one to splash out and your lost bag is jam packed with expensive clothes or accessories, you'll probably want to look for a higher coverage amount.
  • See how plans change with your age: Each company and policy treats seniors travel insurance differently and may reduce or limit cover or charge different premiums depending on your age.
  • Consider the excess: With most policies, you'll need to pay the first part of your claim upfront. Depending on the plan, it often ranges from $100-$200. Some travel insurance providers let you reduce the excess for an additional charge – either a flat fee or a percentage of your plan.

Popular travel insurance comparison guides


Okay... but how much does it cost?

Our motto is that if you can afford to travel, you can afford travel insurance.

That said, there's no flat fee for travel insurance. Price depends on a range of factors including where you're going, how long you're travelling for, your age and how comprehensive a plan you'd like among other things.

We've found some sample quotes from some of our most referred partners to three of our most popular destinations, plus some domestic plans, based on the thousands of quotes we've provided to travellers.

Travel Insurance BrandBaliUnited StatesThailandGet Quote
American Express$67.50$94.50$67.50Get Quote
1Cover$51.99$88.07$60.05Get Quote
Australia Post$57.00$94.00$72.00Get Quote
Zoom $40.72 $76.97 $50.94Get Quote
Travel Insurance BrandBaliUnited StatesThailandGet Quote
American Express$41.50$52.00$30.50Get Quote
1Cover$36.40$61.65$42.03Get Quote
Australia Post$44.00$78.00$50.00Get Quote
Zoom$26.53$50.15$33.19Get Quote

*The prices above were all based on a 7-day trip for a 49-year-old traveller, which is the average age of our users. The quote was retrieved on 24-May-2019.

Can I just get cheap travel insurance?

While there's nothing stopping you from just purchasing the cheapest travel insurance plan you can find, which you can do by sorting the search results on our travel insurance quote comparison tool by price, you should keep in mind that the cheap price may also mean cheap quality.

Often, cheap travel insurance policies come with

  • No cancellation cover
  • No cover for lost luggage
  • No rental vehicle excess insurance
  • No protection from theft of cash or credit cards

That said, there still are affordable travel insurance policies that offer adequate cover. Although we recommend travellers take out comprehensive policies, we know everyone has different priorities when it comes to travel, so we've looked into cheap travel insurance policies to help you find the best one to meet your needs.

Why should you compare travel insurance quotes with Finder?

100% free

We don't charge you anything to compare policies with us. If you do choose to buy a policy by clicking through to one of our partners, you'll pay no more than going directly to their site.

Trustworthy Finder ratings

Our unique algorithm ranks partners' policies based on how comprehensive they are – and we're not afraid to rank anyone a 1/10. We want to be as honest as we can when it comes to how much cover you'll get on a policy.

Get more than just a quote

We write our content based on what information travellers are looking for, not what the insurance companies want you to know. We're an independent publisher and want to help you find the information you're looking for.

Travel insurance guides for our most popular destinations


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31 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MarianMay 29, 2019

    Hello
    My husband is normally a resident of Australia but has been working in Solomon Islands for the past 4 months. He is flying to Portugal and connects through Brisbane. He can’t get one ticket right through so wants insurance to cover the change of flights in Brisbane. We have NAB complimentary cover. Is this valid and for any insurance does it matter that he starts his journey not in Australia.

  2. Default Gravatar
    PatriciaMay 28, 2019

    Does Westpac free travel insurance cover medical evacuation like from ship to nearest port hospital?

    Thank you.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniMay 30, 2019Staff

      Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Yes, medical evacuation, if needed/emergency, is covered. Please note that medical evacuation due to your pre-existing medical condition may not make you eligible for claims. You may learn more on Westpac credit card complimentary travel insurance on this page.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  3. Default Gravatar
    KayMay 24, 2019

    Will Amex Platinum Reserve card complimentary cover be enough for a trip to turkey. We are 74 and 77 years old , in good health and physical fitness. Will this cover emergency flight back home to Australia?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ZahraMay 27, 2019Staff

      Hi Kay,
      Thanks for reaching out. In answer to your question, it looks like the insurance included with the Amex Platinum Reserve card covers medically necessary repatriation back to Australia up to a maximum of $2,500,000. It’s important to note however that it doesn’t cover any pre-existing medical conditions, so if you or your companion have had any medical issues in the past, you might want to look into a separate travel insurance policy and declare your condition. Our guide on pre-existing conditions and travel insurance might be helpful. As for whether it’s enough cover, unfortunately only you can decide that! Hope this helps and feel free to reach out if you have any other questions. Safe travels!
      Cheers,
      Zahra

  4. Default Gravatar
    BadenApril 1, 2019

    To cover jewellery only for a 3 week period travelling from Sydney to Lisbon Portugal, London &Amsterdam back to Sydney. Cruising from Lisbon to Amsterdam for 14days. The total value of the items is $30,000.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaApril 3, 2019Staff

      Hi Baden,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      If you want to find travel insurance that will cover jewellery, please go to this page. On that page, you will be able to know who offers cover for expensive items. There’s a table that you can use to compare insurers based on product details. After comparing, you can then click on the “Get Quote” button to obtain a quote.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  5. Default Gravatar
    JenMarch 29, 2019

    Hi, I have a very specific requirement for travel insurance – I need to find an insurer whose cancellation policy includes being able to fly home for a funeral of a family member who is both over 85 and in a nursing home. Thanks!

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiMarch 30, 2019Staff

      Hi Jen,

      Thanks for reaching out! We have a page that shows travel insurance providers for family emergencies such as death. It says on the page: travel insurance can help you recover your cancellation costs including pre-booked tickets and hotels, costs associated with returning home at short notice and costs associated with resuming your journey at a later date. Most insurers have the following conditions:

      The person must meet the insurer’s definition of a relative
      The person must be under a specified age limit (according to the travel insurance policy)
      The death or illness must be unexpected
      This guide outlines the benefits and conditions that apply to trip cancellation cover, including resumption of journey and pre-existing medical conditions.

      For more information, you can visit this page.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  6. Default Gravatar
    JoseMarch 24, 2019

    Me and my partner are travelling on the same dates both to Mexico. We are flying in different flights and to different cities in Mexico. We will spend some days together and some days appart. I notice that couple insurance is cheaper than two singles. Can we buy couple and dont lose any benefit specially when making a claim? or should we buy two singles?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ZahraMarch 24, 2019Staff

      Hey Jose,
      Thanks for getting in touch! You’re right – getting a couples policy will generally be cheaper – but you need to make sure that you read the fine print once you’ve chosen an insurer you like, to make sure that you’re covered. Generally, insurers will require that you both have the same departure and return dates, but some may also specify a certain percentage of time that you need to travel together to be eligible for a couples policy. You may find our Couples Travel Insurance page to be helpful. Have a great trip!
      Cheers,
      Zahra

  7. Default Gravatar
    SteveFebruary 11, 2019

    I am trying to find the right travel insurance for my partner and myself that will also include insurance for riding a motorcycle (125cc Yamaha NVX Moped) in Vietnam. Neither of us have a Australian motorcycle licence, BUT we both have a Class A1 Vietnamese Licence (between 50cc and 175cc). Some insures PDS state that you must have an Australian Licence and a licence for the country you are riding in. Others state that you must have an Australian licence OR a licence that you are riding in. We are just trying to find the best cover.

    Thanking you.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniFebruary 12, 2019Staff

      Hi Steve,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      You may check out this page to start comparing your motorcycle travel insurance options. Most Australian insurers will require the driver to have an Australian motorcycle license, regardless of the country you are riding in. You will need to check with the individual insurer to see if you will be covered with a Vietnamese license. Also, not all insurers will cover a 125 cc motorcycle. Kindly go through the attached page for more info on motorcycle travel insurance.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  8. Default Gravatar
    DebbieDecember 13, 2018

    Hi can I get Cancellation and amendment insurance now for a cruise in Japan that leaves in March 2020? We have paid a deposit

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnDecember 18, 2018Staff

      Hi Debbie,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      For this, you may need to contact the travel insurance companies directly, as many don’t let you purchase a policy for a trip more than 12 months in advance. That said, companies like Australia Post Travel Insurance and World2Cover allow you to book 18 months and 548 days in advance, respectively. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  9. Default Gravatar
    karenNovember 29, 2018

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

    • Avatarfinder 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!

      Cheers,
      Nikki

  10. Default Gravatar
    AshleeJune 3, 2014

    Hi,
    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?

    Thanks
    Ashlee

    • Avatarfinder 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,

      Will

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