Best travel insurance


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2019 Finder Awards

Winner: Best Travel Insurance - Comprehensive

Budget Direct Travel Insurance

Second year running winner. Budget Direct's comprehensive policy includes important benefits with high limits.

2019 Finder Awards

Winner: Best Travel Insurance - Value

Online Travel Insurance

Online Travel Insurance stands out for its competitively priced policy that still offers a considerable amount of cover.

Find the best travel insurance policy for you

warning 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.

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What should the best policy cover?

When looking for travel insurance there are must-haves and nice-to-haves. When looking for the best policy, it really should have cover for both must-haves and nice-to-haves.

Lifebuoy Must-haves

  • Medical cover
  • Flight cancellations and delays
  • Trip disruption cover
  • Medical evacuation
  • Luggage and personal effects
  • Passport and travel documents
  • Trip cancellation
  • Personal liability
  • Rental car insurance excess

Cocktail Nice-to-haves

  • Travel delays
  • Luggage delay cover
  • Theft of cash
  • Loss of income
  • Hospital cash allowance
  • Accidental death
  • Pet care/ domestic services

Is it best to get a single trip or annual policy?

When you're looking for travel insurance you'll come across the option of choosing a single or annual trip policy. Both have their pros and cons but single trip policies are best for you if you don't plan on travelling much over the next 365 days or if you're going on one long trip (annual policies cap the length you're allowed to travel in a single go).

Annual policies are best if you're a bit of a jet-setter. Buying an annual policy generally works out cheaper than buying single trip policies if you plan on making more than four shorter trips in the next year.

Single tripAnnual multi-trip
  • Great if you have specific cover requirements, eg, medical or sports activities.
  • Great for travellers who only travel a couple of times a year.
  • Cover can last for up to 12 months.
  • Can be more suitable for travellers over 65 years of age.
  • Great for frequent travellers who travel at least 3 times per year.
  • Can provide cover for multiple destinations.
  • The maximum length of individual trips is usually 45–90 days.

Getting the best value out of your travel insurance

Sometimes you're not after the best policy but rather after the best bang for your buck, this is no truer than when trying to find the best travel insurance for the whole family.

We analysed policies from three of our most popular partners to see how their policies for Bali compared. We looked at a 10-day trip to Bali using a 30-year-old traveller. These quotes were retrieved on 28 May 2019.

Budget DirectTick Travel InsuranceFast Cover
PolicyLast minuteBasicBasics
Price for 10 days' cover$39.03$23.51$24.80
Overseas emergency medical assistance and hospital expensesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Luggage and personal effects$2,500$2,000Not covered
Cancellation fees and lost depositsNot coveredNot coveredNot covered
Budget DirectTick Travel InsuranceFast Cover
PolicyEssentialStandardStandard Saver
Price for 10 days' cover$55.14$36.18$41.70
Overseas emergency medical assistance and hospital expensesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Luggage and personal effects$5,000$4,000$5,000
Cancellation fees and lost deposits$12,500$5,000$25,000
Budget DirectTick Travel InsuranceFast Cover
Price for 10 days' cover$57.19$39.11$44.70
Overseas emergency medical assistance and hospital expensesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Luggage and personal effects$7,500$7,500$15,000
Cancellation fees and lost depositsUnlimited$20,000Unlimited

Best travel insurance companies

Finding the best travel insurance company is not as simple as getting the best policy. For the best travel insurance company, you're going to want to look at how good its products are in conjunction with things like the company's reputation and how many complaints it receives.

The table below displays data collected by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) in 2017–18 on your chance of having a dispute per 100,000 with these travel insurers and underwriters. If you're not sure what the underwriter for a travel insurance company is, you'll be able to find it listed in the PDS.

Financial services providerPrimary businessChance of dispute
Insurance Australia LimitedGeneral insurerNot listed
Chubb Insurance Australia LimitedGeneral insurer0.3
AIG Australia LimitedGeneral insurer4.5
AWP Australia Pty LtdUnderwriting agency5.4
Lloyd's Australia LimitedGeneral insurer8.5
The Hollard Insurance Company Pty LtdGeneral insurer11.2
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company LimitedGeneral insurer12
Auto & General Insurance Company LimitedUnderwriting agency12.3
Great Lakes Insurance SEUnderwriting agency12.9
Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co LtdGeneral insurer22.9
Southern Cross Benefits LtdGeneral insurer23.6
QBE Insurance (Australia) LimitedGeneral insurer25.1
AAI LimitedGeneral insurer28.7
Zurich Australian Insurance LimitedGeneral insurer31.1

Check the underwriter

Those listed in the table above are the underwriters of a whole host of travel insurance brands in Australia. So when you're looking at a policy, it's always smart to look at which underwriter is used.

Check online reviews

Before you take out your policy, have a quick whip around the Internet to see what previous customers have said about their claims experiences, whether their emergency assistance team was helpful or just customer service in general. Sure, you're always going to find negative comments, especially in the world of insurance but if the reviews are all overwhelmingly bad, you might want to look at taking your business elsewhere.

What isn't covered even by the best policies?

Sadly, not even the crème de la crème of travel insurance policies cover everything.

Below are a few items no policy provides cover for:

  • If you intentionally or recklessly put yourself in danger
  • If your claim is for consequential loss of any kind, for example loss of enjoyment
  • If your claim arises because you engage in manual labour on your journey (note that some policies will cover working holidays)
  • If your claim arises because you breach a government prohibition or regulation
  • If you fail to get the correct visa
  • If you fail to obtain a passport in time to travel
  • If you drive a vehicle without a current Australian licence or a licence valid for the country you are driving in
  • If your claim arises due to any errors or omissions in your booking arrangements
  • If your claim arises due to an act of war
  • If your claim arises due to a pre-existing condition that is excluded from cover
  • If you travel to a country for which the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has issued a "Do Not Travel" advisory
  • If you travel against medical advice
  • If your claim arises because you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs

All policies are different, so make sure you check the relevant PDS for a full list exclusions.

How to find the best travel insurance for...

Every traveller is different, which is why finding the best policy is so hard. These guides should help you narrow down your search:

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