Want cheap* travel insurance? Compare basic cover with discounts to save further.
If you're looking for cheap* travel insurance, it's sometimes hard to know what's a good deal and what's not. If you're just looking for basic cover for the essentials that won't cost you an arm and a leg, you can find it on finder.com.au in 3 simple steps:
- Work out how much cover you really need
- Check out the latest policy discounts on finder.com.au
- Compare travel insurance policies online
Compare budget quotes and save with exclusive discounts
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This will depend on your personal preferences and travel needs. Here's a simple way to decide:
Finding inexpensive travel insurance is not as easy as just looking at the cost of the policy. Sure, getting the cheapest* travel insurance policy may seem like an easy way to cut your travel costs, but it's important to weigh up both the initial cost and what cover you are getting for your money.
|Trip duration||14 days|
|Age of traveller||35|
Side-by-side comparison of InsureandGo travel insurance policies.
|Features||Bare Essentials (Basic)||Gold Policy (Comprehensive)|
|Policy type||Single trip||Single trip|
|Overseas medical expenses||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Luggage and personal effects||$2,000||$8,000|
|Rental vehicle excess waiver||-||$4,000|
|Cost of policy||$56.36||$86.95|
*Prices retrieved and correct as of March 2016. Price subject to change. Price demonstrated includes an exclusive finder.com.au discount
While the Bare Essentials policy is clearly the cheapest* travel insurance policy of the two, it is limited in what it provides. If you're after value for money and not just the lowest cost policy, then the Gold Policy might be most suitable for you.
How do I compare different levels of cover on finder.com.au?
1. Fill out your trip details in the form above.
2. You can then filter your quote results by the level of cover (look on the left side).
Make sure your policy covers most or all of these essential features
It's crucial to look past the price. Consider looking out for these features when looking at less expensive policies:
- Cancellation cover. If you have to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances, cancellation cover protects you for out of pocket expenses you incur because of lost pre-paid deposits or additional cancellation fees. An indication of good value from a basic policy is that it offers cancellation cover.
- Emergency medical cover. Budget travel insurance policies from Australian insurers generally cover emergency medical expenses.
What can emergency medical cover include?
- 24 hour emergency
- medical assistance
- ambulance fees
- medical evacuations
- funeral arrangements
- messages to family.
- hospital expenses including surgeries
- Luggage and personal effects cover. If your bags are lost by your travel provider, your insurance generally covers the replacement costs for your personal items. If your bags are delayed (generally for more than 24 hours), you'll receive a benefit amount to help to buy new clothes until your luggage is located.
- Personal liability. Inexpensive travel insurance should also cover personal liability, which protects you if you're liable for damage or injury to a third party.
- 24/7 assistance. Make sure your travel insurance policy has 24/7 worldwide emergency assistance.
Go through this checklist before you commit to purchasing a basic plan:
Check the policy covers activities you are participating in
- Cheaper travel insurance policies normally cut back on cover in order to provide basic levels of cover. So, if you're planning on participating in a risky activity on your trip such as skiing, chances are your budget travel insurance policy won't cover it.
Check the limits and sub limits of cover
- For example, consider a comprehensive policy that has unlimited cover for medical and evacuation, but a sub limit of $100,000 for medical and evacuation expenses due to terrorism. Now, consider a budget travel insurance policy has a limit of $50,000 for medical and evacuation but a sub limit of $15,000 for medical and evacuation expenses due to terrorism. Comparing both the limits and sub limits side-by-side helps you to see just where those saving are coming from with cheap* travel insurance policies.
Check pre-existing conditions are covered
Check the excess
- One way insurers are able to offer cheap travel insurance is by having a higher excess.
Check the definitions in each policy.
- A common trap to watch out for when comparing low-cost travel insurance policies is to look at how events are defined by the insurer. Ideally, you should review the terms listed under the policy glossary.
Can cheap* travel insurance cover rental excess?
If your rental car is crashed, stolen or maliciously damaged during your trip, the rental company may charge you an expensive insurance excess, which is often several thousands of dollars. If you have travel insurance cover in place, this excess may be covered as part of your policy. You can find cheap* travel insurance policies that include car rental excess cover through finder.com.au's quote engine.
Can cheap* travel insurance cover cancellations?
If unforeseen circumstances beyond your control force you to cancel your trip, for example if you suffer a serious injury and are unable to travel, you may be charged cancellation fees for your holiday and lose pre-paid deposits. The good news is that some budget travel insurance policies offer cover to help reimburse you for those costs.
Check the fine print as cancellation certainly isn’t covered by all basic policies.
When looking for a bargain on travel insurance, it's easy to get wowed by price and sign up for cover without reading through the policy. Below are some key steps to take when comparing different budget travel insurance policies.
- Know your cover needs. In order to get the right cover, it's important to know what features are relevant for your trip. While you may be trying to find the cheapest* travel insurance policy, it's crucial to make sure you're protection suits your needs. For example, cheaper travel insurance policies normally have lower limits for cancellation, which is an issue if you have a lot of pre-paid travel expenses.
- Know your limits. To have adequate and reasonably priced travel insurance, you need to look at the limits and sub-limits of the policy. For example, a policy may have unlimited cover for medical and evacuation but a sub-limit of $100,000 for medical and evacuation expenses due to terrorism.
- Know what cover you already have. If you have a credit card (or even a high-end debit card) you may have free travel insurance provided by that institution.
- Look out for special offers and discounts. Insurers regularly offer discounts to help you save further. Check out some current discounts available here
- Consider annual-multi trip or policies offering free child cover. This could save you hundreds if travelling with your family or if you are a frequent traveller
- Know your exclusions. When looking for affordable travel insurance it is important to look at the restrictions and exclusions of a policy. Each insurer has a section that lists what they don't cover. Some typical exclusions to watch out for include:
- Illness or injury arising from pre-existing medical conditions
- Injury from potentially risky sports (this will usually require a specific policy)
- Loss arising from act of terrorism, civil unrest or war
- Negligence from policy owner i.e. left their baggage unattended
- Events where the policy owner has been under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Many policies won’t cover accidents arising from motorbikes, scooters or rickshaw transport, common in many Asia Pacific destinations
One of the chief concerns of people looking for a travel insurance deal is whether the decrease in premiums means a dip in the level of medical cover. While this is true of many cheaper travel insurance policies, it is possible to get unlimited cover for medical and dental with budget travel insurance. Displayed below are budget policies from insurers in our panel that offer unlimited medical cover.
If you're searching for cheap* travel insurance deals, chances are you're already aware of complimentary travel insurance through your credit card. While many credit cards offer free travel insurance, there are both positives and negatives of choosing this type of cover.
Travel insurance becomes more expensive the older you get. That doesn't mean that you can't find a deal. You may be asking yourself, how do I find cheap* travel insurance for seniors? Compare, compare, compare. The more seniors travel insurance quotes you look at, the better chance you have of finding a deal on your travel insurance. If you are in good health, the chances are that you'll be able to find more affordable travel insurance than someone else your age, it just takes time. Go on the offensive. Contact as many insurers as possible. Better still, find a seniors' travel insurance specialist.
More and more travellers are now going online to find and compare budget travel insurance options. Some key benefits of purchasing insurance cover online include:
- Convenience and ease. You can compare prices and features of plans at a glance, without leaving your home.
- Compare many different policies simultaneously. Enjoy the convenience of being able to compare multiple policy options at once as opposed to having to go through each policy document separately. Once you have a couple of suitable options, you may want to conduct a more in-depth comparison.
- Excellent choice. You're able to access a range of plans and providers online, which can boost your chances of finding the right plan at the right price.
- Great value for money. Finding the cheapest* travel insurance policy that also offers the cover you need is easy online, not only because you can cut out the middle man and go directly to the insurer but also because you can find coupons and discount codes for those policies with the click of a button.
- Availability of policies with no medical exams. There are a number of insurers that provide cover without you having to undertake medical exams. However, if you do have a pre-existing medical condition, you'll need to contact the insurer and may have to fill out a questionnaire.
- Speed. Once you have found a policy that you are pleased with you can go about getting cover in place right away. Travel Insurance can be put in place securely entirely online in a matter of minutes.
While buying cover online is convenient and straightforward, it's critical you take the time to read through your product disclosure statement (PDS) before purchasing the policy. Many people buy their budget policy without reading through the terms and conditions, placing themselves at risk of an unsuccessful claim. According to a 2012 report, every year the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) assist roughly 20,000 Australians who get into difficulty overseas. This includes:
- 1,400 hospitalisations
- 1,000 deaths
- 30 evacuations for medical treatment.
When an uninsured person gets into this type of situation the personal tragedy can be magnified through long-term financial hardship. Medical evacuations, hospitalisation and the return of your body to Australia should you die overseas can be extremely expensive. The following are some real-world situations:
- South East Asia has been a popular destination for Australians for years, with many not realising that in many places the cost of hospitalisation can exceed $800 a day. DFAT has been called on to arrange medical evacuations from the popular holiday destination of Bali where emergency medical costs have exceeded $60,000.
- It costs more than $10,000 to have your remains returned home from Europe if you were to die while travelling.
- The USA, another popular destination for many Australian travellers, is one of the most expensive places to get into trouble. Evacuation from the USA can cost between $75,000 and $95,000, with people having paid up to $300,000.
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 to 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 on what to look out for. So, what should a good budget travel insurance policy cover?
- Assuming that cheaper policies will cover trip interruptions. Many policies cover you for when your car breaks down on the way to catch your plane causing you to miss your flight. Cheaper travel insurance policies usually limit this clause to only cover you in the event of a breakdown of public transport.
- Assuming that the policy will cover missed connections. When you inadvertently miss a connecting flight, a cost is involved in buying another ticket and sometimes the need for overnight accommodation. Budget travel insurance does not usually cover you for such losses.
- Assuming that budget travel insurance will cover family emergencies (e.g. the passing of a close family member). The definition of ‘close relatives’ can be different on a budget policy than that of the comprehensive travel insurance cover. An uncle or aunt becoming ill and causing you to have to change plans might not cut it with a cheaper travel insurance policy.
- Thinking of just the upfront cost. The cheaper types of policies usually make you pay an excess before the actual insurance is payable even if the event can be claimed. You will find that although you are still covered for many events, you will have to pay an excess that a more expensive policy may not have included.
- Expecting that pre-existing conditions are covered. The most common exclusion is for pre-existing medical conditions. If your illness or injury can be traced back to a pre-existing condition that was present before you made the claim, you claim will be declined unless it is automatically covered, or you have reported it to your insurer and been approved cover for it.
Questions you should ask when it comes to budget cover
- How is my travel insurance so cheap? Specific exclusions are another way of creating inexpensive travel insurance policies. In these cases you will find that quite severe exclusions have been imposed as part of the conditions.
- How is depreciation treated by your budget supplier? Wear and tear deductions are a feature on most of the cheaper policy baggage claims. The cheaper travel insurance policies will usually reduce the value of the item by its age, wear and tear condition.
- Is there cheap travel insurance with no excess? The cheaper types of policies usually make you pay an excess before the actual insurance is payable even if the event can be claimed. You will find that although you are still covered for many events, you will have to pay excess that a more expensive policy will not have included.
If you have a trip coming up and are looking to find affordable travel insurance, you can compare policies and apply entirely online. As stated previously, it is critical that you are fully aware of the conditions of your policy and the level of cover that is provided. If you are unsure about any of the policy features or definitions, don't hesitate to contact the insurer to have any queries resolved.
* There is no such thing as the cheapest travel insurance. The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Cheap' and 'Cheapest' does not represent the overall value of the product, and is subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products. *The $20 price is based on 3 day trip to New Zealand for 18-year-old traveller