Cheap Travel Insurance
Looking for budget travel insurance? Here are some options to help you save cash.
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Important:Travel insurance rules continue to change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We’re working hard to keep up and make sure our guides are up to date, however some information may not be accurate during the pandemic. It’s even more important to double-check all details that matter to you before taking out cover. Please know that some policies may not be available through Finder at this time. Here are some helpful tips:
- If you're buying a policy today, it's unlikely that you'll be covered for any coronavirus-related claims
- If your travel plans go against government advice, your policy will most likely be voided and you won't be covered
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Online Travel Insurance
Online Travel Insurance stands out for its competitively priced policy that still offers a considerable amount of cover compared to 76 other applicants.
How to get the best cheap travel insurance in Australia
The cheapest policies are usually basic or medical-only policies. These policies cover emergency medical assistance, personal liability and not much else. Therefore, getting the best cheap travel insurance takes some consideration. The best policies are usually the most comprehensive policies but if you want something cheap, you may have to sacrifice some benefits.
To help you choose the "best cheap travel insurance", check out our tips:
- Pay for the cover you need. Some policies are more expensive because they have more inclusions. For example, you may be going on a trip where you're only bringing a backpack of clothes. Do you really need $15,000 cover for your luggage? Kudos if you do!
- Choose your excess. An excess is the amount that you have to pay to the insurer to have your claim processed. A higher excess could work in your favour so you don't have to compromise on benefits, but it means that you will be out of pocket if you do end up having to claim for something.
- Look into your options. Comparing options is easy using our search tool. Enter your trip details and sort your options from cheapest to most expensive. Then have a look at the finder rating (which sorts policies based on comprehensiveness from 1-10), you might find that some cheaper policies actually cover more than others.
In this example, you'll notice how the cheapest policy actually has a higher finder rating which means it's more comprehensive than the others. While it's more comprehensive than other cheaper options, bear in mind that it still only includes very basic features of a travel insurance policy. Other important benefits such as cancellation costs and cover for your travel documents are not included.
More expensive VS. budget travel insurance
This a comparison of two policies so you can see the difference in inclusions.
|Fast Cover Basics||Fast Cover Comprehensive|
|Overseas Emergency Medical & Hospital Expenses|
|Overseas Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation|
|Trip Cancellation Expenses|
|Trip Disruption Expenses|
|Overseas Hospital Cash Payment|
|Passports, Credit Cards & Credit Card Fraud|
|Theft of Cash|
|Luggage and Personal Effects|
|Travel Delay Expenses|
*This table was created on the 11th July 2019 for a 30 year old travelling to Fiji for 14 days on a $200 excess.
Most insurers offer different levels of cover so it's worth noting the difference in price and benefits between each policy.
The below table compares Fast Cover's basic and comprehensive policy. The price difference is $25.80 which breaks down to an extra $1.84 to have way more benefits. You'll notice that Fast Cover's Basic policy covers you for medical expenses and personal liability. While these are vital components of a policy, it won't cover you for typical travel hiccups such as having to cancel parts of your trip due to something out of your control, out of pocket expenses if you've been sent to hospital overseas, or if someone skims your credit card.
This is not to say that a cheap policy isn't suitable. If all you're really concerned about is medical cover than a budget policy will suffice, just make sure you understand the benefits.
Ask yourself these questions when comparing:
- Are you going on a cruise?
- Are you going on a tour?
- Will you be skiing/snowboarding?
- Will you be doing adventure sports like diving, hiking, etc?
- Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions?
- Are you hiring a car?
- Are you volunteering or going on a working holiday?
- Are you traveling with family or anyone elderly?
- Is this your first time travelling?
- Are you travelling with expensive luggage?
Other ways to cheaper travel insurance
If you're looking for other ways to save some money, these tips can help;
- Discounts for 2 or more travellers. Most insurers will give you a discount if there are 2 or more people listed on your policy. This does mean that everyone on this policy will have to be travelling together and doing the same trip.
- Get a coupon or promo code. Brands release coupon codes quite often which usually range between 5-15%.
- Buy online. Online insurers are sometimes cheaper however it can be hard to contact them for help with choosing a policy or looking for clarification. Some of these insurers only provide an email address to get in touch.
- Consider an annual multi-trip. If you travel up to 3 times a year, it could be a good idea to buy an annual policy which can save you money and time.
Common budget travel insurance traps to avoid
While cheaper travel insurance is better than no travel insurance at all, you still have to make sure the cover you do get is satisfactory and meets your needs. Policy conditions for what you are and are not covered for can be quite complex so it is important to have an idea of what to look out for. Here are some things to look out for:
- Underinsurance. Don't let the desire to save money on travel insurance cause you to skimp on the features you need in a policy. Make sure any policy you choose offers an adequate level of cover for your trip, as the consequences of underinsurance can be financially disastrous.
- Failing to disclose. If you've got a pre-existing medical condition and you're worried it might prompt the insurer to jack up the cost of cover, don't even think about "forgetting" to mention it in your application for cover. This could lead to your claim being refused and your policy cancelled, so be upfront and honest from the get-go and disclose all pre-existing conditions when you apply.
- Not doing your research. Don't get sucked in straight away by an attractive discount or a travel insurance quote that sounds too good to be true. Read the fine print to make sure any policy you choose offers the cover you need for your next holiday.
- Getting a cheaper policy by choosing a higher excess. Always consider the likelihood that you might have to claim. By choosing a higher excess you could be out of pocket from one single claim. Then you haven't saved any money at all.
Travel insurance is an essential expense, but it doesn't have to break the bank. With a little bit of knowledge of how to find the best deal, you can lock in affordable cover and hit the road with complete confidence.
Frequently asked questions
What is a good price for travel insurance?
Is travel insurance worth the cost?
Is buying travel insurance directly cheaper?
Can I buy trip cancellation insurance only?
Yes, but only a handful of insurers offer this kind of policy. At the moment, Finder partners that offer 'cancellation only' include CoverMore, Qantas Travel Insurance and RACV but the policies are limited to travel within Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.[/fin_accordion]
No, not usually. Most cheap policies will only include benefits for overseas medical expenses, and if you're lucky, you might get personal liability and a bit of cover for your luggage. If you're worried about accidental death and disability, you're better off going with a more comprehensive and inclusive policy.
How does travel insurance work?
After paying for a policy, pre-departure benefits (like cancellation cover) come into effect immediately.
If something unexpected happens overseas and you need assistance, the best thing to do is call your insurer and ask if you're covered. They'll then advise you on what to do and what paperwork is needed to process your claim through. Depending on your situation, the insurer will cover the costs or reimburse you if you have to pay upfront costs.
Cover will end when you return home or if the policy expires (whichever comes first).
Picture: Getty Images
More guides on Finder
Guide to travel insurance, cancellation and airline tickets.
Travel insurance without medical cover
This guide looks at the types of stand-alone policies offered by insurers and asks whether we can really afford to be without medical cover when travelling overseas.
Travel insurance for luggage offers cover against the cost of repair or replacement when your luggage and personal belongings are lost, stolen or damaged.
Excess reduction and no excess travel insurance
Excess reduction and no excess travel insurance is a great optional extra for those heading overseas who want to own their risk. Compare the various excesses available from the providers in the finder.com.au panel.
Basic travel insurance
Not sure if basic travel cover is worth it? Find out why covering the essentials is a smart move.
10 hot tips to save on travel insurance
Check out these ten simple things you can do to reduce your travel insurance premium.
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