Don't rush your travel insurance purchase... Compare quotes to get the best bang for your buck
With it now possible to compare and purchase travel insurance entirely online, obtaining a travel insurance quote is no longer the hassle it once was. For the sake of convenience, many travellers in the past accepted the travel insurance they were given by their travel agent without question. Now you have the opportunity to compare multiple policy options simultaneously giving yourself a better chance of securing a policy that may not only more affordable but better tailored to your needs.
So how do I actually uncover the value of different travel policies?
The last thing you want to do is just choose the one with the lowest premium and wind up with a policy that doesn't offer the right protection. Continue reading this guide for some some strategic tips to help you compare travel insurance quotes and choose the policy that is right for your trip. If you are ready to compare quotes:
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Tips to compare travel insurance quotes online
Ask yourself these 8 questions:
When looking around for the right travel insurance quote online you should first have a pretty sound idea on the level of cover you require. 8 important questions to ask to determine this include:
- Am I travelling to a country with a reciprocal healthcare agreement with the Australian government? Some countries have reciprocal healthcare agreements with others meaning you can access free or subsidised healthcare while visiting their countries. It is worth noting that this cover will not provide the same level of cover as travel insurance. You can find out what countries participate in this agreement by visiting smartraveller.gov.au
- Am I taking any valuable items away with me? Most policies will allow you to register additional high-value items on your policy for an additional premium fee.
- Am I travelling alone or with my family? Most policies will now let you include your spouse and children on your policy free of charge. Travelling with your family may lead you to opt for a policy offering a higher sum-insured.
- Am I covered by any other types of insurance? You may already be covered for certain events under your car or home and contents insurance. It might be worth reviewing what you stand to receive in the event of a loss as it may make you decide to opt for a policy with a lower sum-insured. In the event that you are eligible to receive payment for your travel cover and another form of compensation, your travel cover will offset the other benefit.
- Private health cover? You may already be covered under your private health cover policy for medical treatment while travelling abroad. This may lead you to consider a more basic level of cover.
- Am I participating in any potentially risky activities? If you are participating in any activities where there is a potentially higher chance of injury, it may be worth considering cover with a higher sum-insured injury.
- What are the chances of me having to cancel my trip? Delayed flights and cancellations have the potential of seriously hurting your hip pocket. For this reason they should be seriously considered when you are seeking a travel insurance quote. If the flight you are booked on has been delayed or cancelled for whatever reason, the airline is obligated to book you on their next available flight or refund you the money you have already paid.
- Do I have any preexisting medical conditions? A preexisting medical condition could potentially cause issues on your travels, it is worth looking for a policy to cover this and ensure that the sum-insured is adequate. It is critical to always warn your provider of your condition to avoid your claim being rejected.
Single Trip or Annual Trip travel insurance quote?
Single trip: Provides cover for a single trip away. Cover can only last for 12 months and any extensions made must fall within a 12-month period.Whether you are taking out cover for a single trip or looking for an annual-multi trip policy will have a great impact on the quote that you receive.
Annual multi trip: Provides cover for an unlimited number of trips within a 12-month period under a single policy. Providers will have different limits for the number of days that can be spent on each trip usually ranging between 45-90 days. This option is a suitable option for business people and last minute travellers and not for those that travel less than 3 times a year. Annual multi-trip insurance is usually not available to elderly travellers.Back to top
Policy benefits and exclusions
The benefits and exclusions on the policy is the most important factor to consider when reviewing travel insurance quotes and this can be found on the providers website and product disclosure statement. It is not just enough to glance at these lists, you must actually read into the conditions of each benefit and exclusion, and ensure a clear understanding on the following terms:
The level of cover you will receive
Each benefit will have a maximum amount of payment that will be provided for each benefit. Some providers will offer unlimited cover. It is likely that a cheaper travel insurance policy will have a reduced sum-insured offered to customers.
The policy excess
Every policy will have excess that is applied when a claim is made. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of what you will be required to pay under claim. Most budget policies will have a significantly higher excess charge.
Some policies will offer option of an excess eliminator. This adds an additional fee of roughly $20 to the policy premium to have any excess removed.
Cover for high value items
Most providers will allow applicants to register specific high-value items on their policy that are over the predetermined limit. For example, items on your policy may be covered with a value limit of $750 but you wish to take away a watch worth $2,000 that you want to register for cover. The addition of high-value items will increase your quote for each item that is registered.
Claim payment sub-limits
It is worth checking to see if there is a sub-limit applied on your policy. Most policies will apply sub-limits whereby the provider will only pay a maximum amount of cover per item. As an example, you may lose your luggage but only be covered for a sub-limit per item lost.
Comparing travel insurance quotes is a matter of having a clear understanding of the conditions of your policy. Taking the time to closely read through your product disclosure statement can ensure you are not paying too much for the wrong type of cover. Never be afraid to call your provider to clarify any components of the policy that you are unsure of.Back to top
Tips to get cheap travel insurance quotes
With everything that goes into planning a trip, many people will rush their purchase decision and sign up for the first policy they come across or the one that their travel agent offers. This may not only result in them taking out cover that is not really suited for their trip but also paying too much for the cover. This section will offer some key tips on how to reduce your travel insurance quote.
- Purchase cover online. While it may seem more convenient to just sign up for the policy that your travel agent or airline offer to you, these policies can be more expensive as a commission fee may be applied to the premium. Taking the time to compare policies online will not only help you find a policy that meets your needs but also save you some extra dollars for your trip. As always, take the necessary precautions when purchasing cover online to ensure your credit card and other details remain secure.
- Discount codes and special offers. More and more insurers are now driving more and more sales of their policies by offering discount codes to buyers. There may also be special discount offers that are available for a short time only, saving you a percentage of the regular premium. Keep an eye out for discount codes in the deals section of finder.com.au to help you save on your next policy.
- Annual trip policy. Annual policies can provide both convenience and great savings by covering multiple trips in any 12-month period. Beware that this option may only bring savings if you travel several times per year or more and some destinations, including America, will only bring marginal savings on annual policies.
- Consider different types of policies. Many insurers will offer a range of specialised policies for travellers with specific needs. These include policies for senior travellers, adventure sport travellers and snow holiday travellers. Not only may these policies provide cover that is better suited to your needs but it may also be more competitively priced as standard policies may hike up premiums to account for the special risk.
- Compare basic and comprehensive options. Most policies will offer comprehensive and basic cover options. After taking the necessary steps to determine what cover you actually need, it is worth comparing the cover provided under both comprehensive and basic options to help you decide what option is more suitable. You may be able to receive adequate cover with a basic policy and save a significant amount of cash.
- Family cover. Some policies will allow you to include your spouse and dependent children on their policy at no extra charge. This can bring great savings over taking out a separate policy for each family member. Most providers will require other family members to be travelling with the policyholder for the entire duration of the trip to remain covered.
- Group policies. Many providers will offer policies for groups of around 10 people or more that are travelling together. This may include co-workers, school groups and sports teams. Purchasing policies in bulk will often be more economical than purchasing separately.
How are travel insurance online quotes determined?
Quotes for travel cover are based on a number of factors that insurers use to help them determine the level of risk that you carry. It is worth having an understanding of how quotes are determined to help you find competitively priced cover. Quotes for travel cover are based on:
- Age: Older travellers will generally pay more for cover with some providers excluding older travellers from certain policies. Many providers will have specialised senior policies in place for applicants over 65.
- Destination: Each insurer will have different pricing in place for destinations. It is worth checking smartraveller.gov.au to see if there are any current warnings for the destination you intend to travel to. Claims may not be recognised if there has been warnings against travel for destinations on travel advisory sites and in the mass media. These are usually categorised by region i.e.:
- Worldwide excluding Americas
- Worldwide including Americas
- Duration of cover: The length of your trip will also determine the premium you will pay. If you are travelling for an extended period of time, it could be worth looking into specialised policies such as backpacker insurance.
- Preexisting medical conditions: Providers will have a list of preexisting medical conditions that are covered under each policy. Conditions that are not covered may result in an additional premium loading and most insurers will require the condition to be stable over the 12 months prior to application. It is crucial that you let your provider know of any preexisting conditions to avoid your claim being rejected in the event that you suffer complications while overseas.
- Activities: Policies will feature a list of activities that will be covered under the policy. If you are participating in an activity that is not covered under the policy, you must speak with your insurer prior to application. Some insurers may provide cover for an additional premium loading.
- Type of policy: The type of policy you choose will impact the premium you pay. Comprehensive policy options will be more expensive as will specialist policies with additional cover for certain events.
Types of policies to receive travel insurance quotes for
As mentioned previously, each provider will have a range of policy options for you to choose from. Reviewing different types of cover may increase your chances of finding cover with benefits and features that are more relevant for your trip. Types of policies offered by Australian insurers include:
- Domestic cover: Provides cover for trips within Australia. Most providers will require you to be travelling a minimum distance from your place of residence for cover to apply. Cover can be taken out as single trip or as an annual-multi trip policy.
- Overseas cover: Provides cover for trips to overseas destinations. Again, cover can be applied for as single-trip or annual multi-trip.
- Ski insurance: Provides cover for ski trips. Generally includes additional cover for events such as avalanche and bad weather closure, cover for prepaid ski pass and equipment hire and cover for off piste skiing.
- Visitors to Australia: Many Australian insurers will now offer cover for non-residents coming to travel in Australia or those that have already arrived and are looking to apply for cover for the duration of their stay.
- Already overseas: Provides cover for travellers already overseas that intend to return to Australia at the end of their trip. It is worth noting that this cover will usually have a waiting period from the start date of the certificate of insurance (usually about 7 days). Most insurers will also not allow applicants to apply for cover for a pre-existing medical condition.
- Seniors travel insurance: Many providers will now offer specialised policies for senior buyers that take into account pre-existing medical conditions and other special cover needs that they have.
When should I compare travel insurance quotes online?
The beauty of travel insurance compared to other types of cover is that the comparison and purchase process is simple enough to be made online. Most insurers will just require cover to be purchased at some stage in the 12 months prior to your departure date. It is generally safest to purchase cover when you have made any significant bookings for your trip to ensure that you will be covered in the event of cancellation.
If you are not satisfied with the policy you have purchased, you are protected by a cooling off period whereby you will receive a complete refund for cancellation within that period. This period is generally about 14 days. The conditions for policy refund are usually:
- You must not have already commenced your trip.
- The policy must not have already commenced.
- You must not be attempting to submit a claim for benefit payment.
Ready to start your travel insurance quote comparison?
If you are ready to start comparing different policy options for your next trip away, you can follow the secure links for travel insurers featured on finder.com.au through to their website. To take advantage of excellent savings and discounts it is worth checking out the finder.com.au deals page to see if there are any special offers currently running. Remember, receiving a quote for travel cover is only the first step...it is critical that you take the time to review the conditions of your policy to ensure you have the right cover for your trip.
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