We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t
compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we
refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or
Learn more about Finder
Travel insurance is often an afterthought. An additional expense. An annoyance. But when the proverbial you-know-what hits the fan, it can be a real money saver. Just how much would it cost you if you had to pay for a hospital bed while overseas? And how good would the treatment you get actually be?
How we worked this out
We analysed 10,000 anonymised travel insurance quotes submitted to finder.com.au to identify the most popular destinations for our users. Then for each of those countries, we identified hospital costs, based on WHO Department of Health Systems Financing (2011) estimates. Those figures are likely to be on the low side, since they only represent the "hotel" component of hospital costs, which means drugs and diagnostic tests may need to be paid for as well.
The WHO figures are in international dollars (I$), which is a hypothetical unit of currency with the same purchasing power parity as the US dollar. We converted this to the value of the Australian dollar during the same period.
Finally, we used our travel insurance quote comparison tool to calculate the cost of a policy for a two-week journey to each destination for a 35-year-old traveller. Each destination produced over 40 quotes. We took the average cost of all the policies, basic through comprehensive.
The Top 20: Hospital bed costs and travel insurance costs
*Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China was not included in the WHO Department of Health Systems Financing (2011) estimates. Cost for hospital bed was sourced from The Hospital Authority (HA) https://www.ha.org.hk/haho/ho/cs/v3/serviceguide_feenchg-en.htm
Compare international travel insurance quotes
Finally, some good news! Domestic travel is picking up, so some insurers have started offering cover again 🦘 Just remember, you won't be covered for any pandemic related claims if you do take out domestic travel insurance. International travel insurance is limited and sometimes unavailable at this point.
Money isn't everything, especially when it comes to your health. Even with travel insurance, you don't want to get stuck in a country with a poor healthcare system. So we extended our analysis of the 20 most popular destinations to assess the quality of the medical system, based on four key measures:
International SOS ranking. The International SOS ranking gives a medical rating to a country based on numerous factors including: access to prescription medication, administrative, cultural and language barriers, the presence of infectious disease, and the standard of medical and dental care. These factors are ranked on a scale:
Large rapidly developing countries. Refers to developing nations with disparate levels of healthcare: well-developed in major cities but almost non-existent in rural areas.
Low risk. International standard of care throughout the nation, with high standards of emergency care and low risk of infectious disease.
Medium risk. Varying (high to low) levels of standard international heath care available. Reasonable emergency services and minor risk of water-borne diseases.
High risk. Nations with limited medical services. Basic emergency and dental care. Serious risk of infectious diseases (e.g. dengue fever or typhoid). Limited access to prescription medication.
Extreme risk. Healthcare systems that are either overtaxed or virtually non-existent. Limited to no emergency services, with the risk there is no access to prescription medications. High degree of risk for contracting an infectious disease.
WHO World Health Report ranking. The most recent World Health Report Health systems: improving performance (2000) assessed the performance of national health systems.
ABS departure figures. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) release monthly figures for short-haul overseas departures of Australian residents.
Travel advisory. A governmental warning provided by smartraveller.gov.au, which provides safety advice for Australians venturing overseas.
Richard Laycock is Finder’s insights editor after spending the last five years writing and editing articles about insurance. His musings can be found across the web including on MoneyMag, Yahoo Finance and Travel Weekly. When he’s not doing deep dives on data, he is testing the quality of cocktails in his newfound home of New York. Richard studied Media at Macquarie University and The Missouri School of Journalism and has a Tier 1 Certification in General Advice for Life Insurance.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money here.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.