train street

Travel insurance excess charges explained

Understanding excess: Why are you paying it and what does it do?

An excess or deductible in insurance including travel insurance is the amount you must pay towards any claim that you make on your policy. The remaining amount is paid by the insurer up to the limit of the benefit.

The excess will either be a set amount stipulated in the policy’s Product Disclosure Statement or it will be a flexible amount that you can opt to increase or decrease, depending on how much you want to pay vs how much your premium costs.

Why do you pay an excess?

When you buy travel insurance with an excess option, you are assuming part of the risk on behalf of the insurer in return for a lower premium. There are travel insurance brands out there that offer zero excess options for a small fee, which you can see below, but this means you are paying more upfront.

Compare 14 brands that offer reduced excess charges

Brand Excess eliminator? Excess Option 1 Excess Option 2 Excess Option 3 Additional cost? Enquire
1-cover-new1 Yes $0 $100 $25 Get quote
AMEX Travel Insurance Yes $0 $100 $250 $15/$25 Get quote
Budget Direct Travel Insurance Yes $0 $100 $200 Varied Get quote
CoverMore Yes $0 $100 $250 $15/$25 Get quote
Easy Travel Insurance Yes $0 $100 $40 Get quote
Fast Cover Yes $0 $100 $200 $18/36 Get quote
Downunder Yes $0 $100 $30 Get quote
InsureandGo Yes $0 $100 $200 Varied Get quote
iTrek Yes $0 $100 $25 Get quote Yes $0 $100 $25 Get quote
tid-logo-blue Yes $0 $100 $25 Get quote
travel insurance saver logo Yes $0 $100 Varied Get quote
Virgin Money Yes $0 $150 Varied Get quote
youGo Yes $0 $250 Varied Get quote

Compare quotes for travel insurance

Types of travel insurance excess

There are usually two types of excess and these are:

  • Standard excess – the set amount stipulated by the insurer that must be paid towards any claim.
  • Voluntary excess – an excess amount chosen by you that you can increase if you want to lower your premium or decrease or waive altogether if you don’t want to pay anything in the event of a claim.

How to save with a variable excess

The trick with choosing a voluntary excess is to make sure you increase it enough so that your premium becomes affordable, without increasing it to the point where you would have difficulty paying the amount upfront if you had to make a claim.

Benefits of comparing excesses

When you compare travel insurance policies, as you should always do, the excess is one of the first things you should look at, as it can save you money. Look at the excess in comparison to the benefit paid on a claim, as a high excess on an item where the benefit paid is low, such as luggage replacement for instance, is not good value for money, as you would end up paying the majority of the replacement cost yourself.

Another good way to save money on excesses, particularly if you travel frequently, is to take out an excess protection policy. This kind of insurance reimburses you whenever you make a claim that exceeds the excess amount on the policy.

And the good thing about it is that instead of taking out excess protection policies for each kind of insurance you have, such as home and contents, motor vehicle, health and travel insurance, you can take out one single policy that covers all of your main insurances and their excesses.

What am I paying for?

Most travel insurance policies cover the three main areas of risk. These are:

  • Hospital and medical cover – this is always the most important, especially when you are travelling to a country with an expensive health care system such as Japan or the USA.
  • Lost or stolen luggage and belongings – this can be a common occurrence, especially when visiting countries with high crime rates and it is one of the most frequent sources of claims on travel insurance policies.
  • Trip delays and cancellations – this is particularly important if you have pre-paid some or all of your holiday travel and accommodation expenses.

Excesses vary within each area of cover and it is comparing these excesses that will help you determine whether a policy offers good value for money in your particular circumstances.

Can I get travel insurance with no excess charge?

A standard excess applies to all travel insurance policies, while you can often opt to pay an extra voluntary excess in order to enjoy reduced insurance premiums.

If you want to avoid paying excess charge altogether, some providers will offer a feature known as an excess eliminator. This allows you, for a small fee of around $15 to $25, to scrap the need to pay any excess when you make a claim.

When do I pay my excess if I claim?

How and when you pay an excess will depend on the policy and the insurer. Some insurers require you to pay the excess upfront before they will pay the claim, while others will simply deduct the amount of the excess and pay out the remainder of the benefit.

Some insurers will even waive the excess altogether, as in some car insurance claims, where you were not at fault and the insurer is able to recover the amount from the other party.

Does multiple claims mean multiple excess charges?

Another thing to look out for when comparing excesses is whether they are charged per claim or per area of cover. For example, a policy that charges per claim could end up costing you more if your luggage is stolen, as you would have to pay an excess on each claim you make (e.g. one for your luggage, one for your money or one for your passport).

Compare travel insurance quotes and excess charged

Made a search before? Retrieve your search results

At least one destination is required
Both dates are required
Add more travellers
Enter the age of each traveller between 0 and 99

Enter a valid email address

At least one destination is required
Starting date is required
Add more travellers
Enter the age of each traveller between 0 and 99

Enter a valid email address

Type or Select your destination(s)

Popular Destinations

Can't find your destination? Just type it in the box above.

We compare products from

By submitting this form, you agree to the Privacy & Cookies Policy and Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy.

Travel insurance FAQs

Back to top

Compare travel insurance excesses today

As this article has shown, excess is a normal part of insurance and needs to be factored into the overall cost of any policy. Just as an insurer takes a calculated risk on whether you are likely to make a claim on that policy, you are also gambling on the likelihood of having to pay the excess when you increase it to decrease your premium. So an excess can be seen as a way of you accepting a small portion of the risk yourself.

Picture: Unsplash

Richard Laycock

Richard is the Insurance Editor at finder, and has been wrangling insurance Product Disclosure Statements for the last 4 years. When he’s not helping Aussies make sense of the fine print, he can be found testing the quality of Aperol Spritzes in his new found home of New York. Richard studied Journalism at Macquarie University and The Missouri School of Journalism, and has a Tier 1 certification in General Advice for Life Insurance. He has also been published in CSO Australia and Dynamic Business.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

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 Privacy & Cookies Policy and Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy.

4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    kimJuly 31, 2017

    Hotel in Menorca lost 2 adults 2 children’s passports, insurance company are paying for replacement passports etc but have said our excess is £100 per person. The certificate from travel agents only says excess £100, no policy booklet was given as Thomson’s didn’t have any in stock. I believe it has been mis-sold as I was unaware of excess being per person.

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlAugust 1, 2017

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      I’m sorry to hear about this mishap. I’m afraid we cannot check this information for you as we do not have the insurance details. You may want to contact the insurance company and ask for the policy booklet so you can ascertain the excess charging.

      It’s a good idea to always check the features and details of the policy, as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and if necessary, reach out to the insurance company before buying an insurance.

      Kind regards,

  2. Default Gravatar
    BarryJune 27, 2016

    I asked Google, “why do we have to pay an excess on our Travel Insurance”. I got this page as an result ( ). It explains how an excess works. Any Dip-Stick knows how it works, Derrr. I asked why do we have to pay it. If you insure something. It should replace the total value of what is insured. I accept depreciation. But why do we have to pay an excess. It Google that led me here. Not So shows you how bright google is. Not very. So why do we have to pay an excess. Seems a SCAM to me. That everyone accepts.

    • finder Customer Care
      RichardJune 28, 2016Staff

      Hi Barry,

      Thanks for your question. When you buy travel insurance with an excess option, you are assuming part of the risk on behalf of the insurer in return for a lower premium. There are travel insurance brands out there that offer zero excess options but this means you are paying more upfront.

      I hope this was helpful,

Ask a question
Go to site