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Travel insurance—the mere mention of the subject is enough to induce a yawn in most people. But while travel insurance might not be particularly exciting or glamorous, it is a crucial expense whenever you’re going on a holiday.
If you don’t think you need travel cover, think about all the potential problems you could encounter on your trip. There’s expensive overseas medical emergencies, lost or stolen luggage, delayed flights, missed connections, unforeseen circumstances that force you to cut your trip short, crashed rental cars and a whole lot of other risks to consider. Without any form of insurance in place, these risks can end up costing you a whole lot of money.
If you do have travel insurance, however, you have essential financial protection against all these risks and more. With the right level of cover in place, you can simply focus on enjoying your holiday to the utmost.
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Tips to Find Discount Travel Insurance
When many people hear the word ‘cheap’, the next word that springs to mind is often ‘nasty’. But just because you’re buying a discount travel insurance policy doesn’t mean you’re buying something of poor quality. Rather than buying insurance from a dodgy provider, what you’re actually doing is buying insurance that covers you against less risks.
While a comprehensive policy includes a broad range of cover, including everything from theft of cash to cancellation fees and emergency cash if your luggage is delayed, budget policies only cover the essentials.
Of course, at the top of the list of essential cover items is overseas emergency medical expenses. Suffering a serious illness or injury while you’re travelling can be astronomically expensive—the wonder that is Medicare won’t be there to help you out in many parts of the world. With this in mind, discount travel insurance provides cover for ambulance transportation, emergency medical and hospital expenses, plus emergency medical expenses. There’s typically also cover for your medical repatriation back to Australia if required.
A budget travel policy will also offer protection against personal liability. If you cause bodily injury or property damage to a third party, your policy will cover your legal liability.
Some policies will end their coverage there, but others will also offer protection for your luggage and personal effects, or perhaps for cancellation costs if unforeseen circumstances (eg job loss) force you to cancel your trip. Compare the level of cover offered by a number of policies, as well as the cost of premiums, to help you find a suitable policy.Back to top
Who Needs a Discount Travel Insurance Policy?
While there are a wide range of policies to choose from, discount travel insurance is aimed at those travellers who are on a budget. Rather than offering cover against a comprehensive range of risks, it instead ensures that you are covered for the essentials. These include things like overseas medical emergencies, personal liability, and perhaps your luggage and personal belongings.
As mentioned above, travel insurance cover is something every traveller should seriously consider. But if you’re a backpacker, someone who is travelling lightly or someone who is looking for a no-frills policy, discount travel insurance is designed with you in mind.Back to top
Things to Consider when Choosing a Discount Travel Insurance Policy
If you’re looking for discount travel insurance, the cost of the policy is obviously going to be very important to you. However, it’s important to remember that the cheapest policy isn’t necessarily the best one—you need to find a policy that offers the best balance between affordability and the level of cover offered.
If you do a quick Google search for discount travel insurance it won’t take you long to figure out that there’s an abundance of choice out there. There are numerous insurance providers vying for your business, and each of them has attractive marketing programs and slogans designed to suck you in. With this in mind, it’s important that you take the time to be a savvy shopper when looking for insurance.
Do plenty of research and shop around for cover. You can find a wealth of information online, both on company websites and comparison sites like finder.com.au, as well as ask friends and family for their advice and recommendations.
Of course, the best way to thoroughly compare policies is to read product disclosure statements. Yes, we know this can be a painfully boring task, but trust us when we tell you that it can save you a lot of money in the long run. Examine policy documents closely to familiarise yourself with the benefits, features, limits and exclusions offered by each policy. This will give you a better idea of the cover available and just how attractive all those cheap quotes truly are.
Determine the level of cover you really want—do you want the most basic policy available or would you like a little extra cover for things like luggage and cancellation fees? Once you know exactly what you want, you can narrow your search down to a policy that matches up with all your requirements.Back to top
Common Discount Travel Cover Traps
The most important thing to be aware of when shopping for discount insurance is that you know exactly what you’re paying for. Some people simply get sucked in by a cheap quote and fail to understand the level of cover they’re getting. Is there a limit on the amount your policy will pay out for overseas medical emergencies? What about personal liability cover and other options? Overseas medical bills can stack up faster than you can say “but I can’t afford it”, so it’s vital to ensure that you have adequate cover in place.
Similarly, many people simply look at the cost of premiums and forget about the excess they will have to pay if they make a claim. In some cases, a costly excess can defeat the purpose of making a claim in the first place, so make sure to read the fine print of a policy. Also, remember that some insurers will allow you to lower your premiums by paying a higher excess, or vice versa, so this is an option it may be worthwhile to consider.
Another thing you should always remember when shopping for insurance is the dreaded exclusion. Every policy will have a lengthy list of circumstances under which you won’t be covered (see the list below) so make sure you’re aware of those situations so you can avoid any nasty surprises.
Finally, remember to look at each insurer’s reputation when it comes to customer service. Will you have access to 24/7 assistance when you experience an emergency overseas? What about claims handling—how fast are claims processed and does the company have a record of customer satisfaction? Answering these questions will help you settle on a trustworthy and reliable insurance provider.Back to top
More Tips on How to Save on Travel Insurance
The best way to save money on your travel insurance is to shop around. However, there are plenty of other ways you can keep more money in your wallet:
- Consider buying direct. Travel agents can add hefty commissions onto the cost of the policies they sell, so you often can save a significant amount of money by buying direct from an insurer.
- Compare multiple policies. Use finder.com.au’s comparison tools to weigh up the pros and cons of competing policies.
- Buy as soon as you book. It’s a good idea to take out cover as soon as you book your holiday, just in case unforeseen circumstances force you to cancel your trip. This means you will have cancellation cover in place.
- Enjoy discounts. If you’re a regular traveller, it might be more cost-effective to buy a annual multi-trip policy rather than buy a separate travel insurance policy for each individual trip. In addition, you may be able to save by taking out cover for your whole family or for you and your travelling partner rather than shopping for individual policies.
- Use promo codes. Though many people aren’t aware of it, you can find discount promo codes to help you save money on just about anything these days. Look on finder.com.au for attractive deals and discounts.
- Lower your premiums. Can you lower the premiums you will have to pay by opting for a higher excess?
- Check your credit card. Many credit cards provide complimentary travel insurance if you use your card to pay for your trip. Check the type and level of coverage your card offers and see if it meets all your needs.
- Make sure to compare apples with apples. Comparing a budget policy with a comprehensive policy won’t tell you much at all, so make sure you compare a basic discount policy with a similar product to get a good idea of its true worth.
Common Discount Travel Insurance Exclusions
Just like all other types of insurance, a discount travel insurance policy will contain a list of exclusions. While this list differs between policies, you typically will not be covered if:
- You do not act responsibly to protect yourself or your property, for example if you leave your luggage unattended in a crowded train station.
- You do not act to reduce your loss as much as possible.
- Your claim relates to consequential loss of any kind.
- Your claim is for a loss recoverable under workers’ compensation, transport accident laws, or other relevant legislation.
- Your claim arises from an error or omission in your booking, or your failure to obtain a relevant visa.
- You act unlawfully or illegally, or if you break the conditions of your visa.
- Your claim is the result of a government authority detaining, confiscating or destroying anything.
- Your claim relates to you riding a motorcycle.
- You ignored a government warning not to travel to a particular region.
- Your claim arises from an act of war.
- Your claim relates to a pre-existing medical condition for which you are not covered.
- Your claim arises out of pregnancy or related complications if you are more than 26 weeks pregnant.
- Your claim results from a loss caused by you being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
No matter what part of the world you’re travelling to, you need to seriously consider taking out travel insurance. Overseas medical emergencies are just as likely to occur in the United States as they are in the United Arab Emirates, so travel insurance provides a crucial financial safety net to ensure your financial health remains intact if something goes wrong on your holiday.
Even if you’re a traveller on a pretty tight budget, you can still find an adequate level of cover to provide the protection you need. In fact, discount travel insurance policies are probably more affordable than you think, and they still provide you against the biggest risks you face while travelling.
It’s quick and easy to source cover online, while you can compare a wide range of policies and insurance providers right here at finder.com.au.