Travel Insurance Reviews

Find unbiased reviews on travel insurance brands to help you find a provider you can trust.

With literally hundreds of different travel insurance policies available on the Australian market, sorting through all the noise to find something that's affordable, trustworthy and can provide you with the cover you actually need can be overwhelming. A key concern from many Australians is whether or not their insurance provider will actually pay their claim and what it will be like to work with in the event of a claim. These are real concerns and not always easily answered.

This article will provide tips on what to look for when reading travel insurance reviews online to help you make an informed decision on both the policy and provider you choose. If you are ready to compare quotes from Australian travel insurance brands, you can simply enter your trip details in the form below.

Compare quotes and access reviews for over 20 brands

What to consider when comparing travel insurance reviews on providers

Starting to read reviews on different policies but not exactly sure what to look out for? Here are some key points to look at when comparing policies;

  • Do you already cover in place? It is not uncommon for other types of insurance, such as home and contents, to provide some form of cover while overseas. It can be worth checking if these offer any protection for losses suffered overseas.
  • How much does the cover cost? While you might ideally avoid sacrificing cover for a wider range of events, it is important to find a policy option that is competitively priced but still provides an adequate level of cover. Most policies will offer options with different levels of cover i.e. comprehensive, essentials and basic, each with different pricing based on the number of events covered.
  • What are you actually covered for? You need to know what the travel insurance plan covers you for in order to determine how suitable it is for your trip. It is typically not enough to just glance over the cover options, and you should generally actually read through the conditions for claim payment, exclusions and other fine print in detail.
  • How much will you receive in a claim? The benefit amount that you are covered for each cover type can vary from one travel insurance plan to another. When comparing travel insurance policies, you should therefore check the levels of coverage with the various plans you are considering to choose one that provides adequate protection for different losses.
  • What won't you be covered for? Checking the exclusions on the plan is just as important as checking what events you are covered for. Each insurer will have events that they won’t pay for and conditions for the policyholder being eligible to receive a benefit payment.
  • How much excess will you be charged? An important thing to watch out for is how excess will be applied to any claim that you make. Cheaper policies will often have a higher excess charged. Some policies will allow you to remove the excess from the policy, at the cost of increased premiums.
  • What sub-limit is applied to expensive items? To understand the limitations of cover, it is essential that you check what the maximum payment is per item for claims for lost, stolen or damaged belongings. Many providers will only pay a maximum amount per item as well as a maximum amount for all items lost. It is often possible to register high value items to have this sum increased.
  • Is it easy to make a claim? It can be a good idea to get an understanding of a provider’s process for handling claims and what will be required from you in the event that a claim is made. This can help a claim be accepted, and make claim payments more prompt.
  • Is there a cooling off period offered? Many providers will offer a cooling off period whereby the policy can be cancelled if it has not already started. This gives a degree of flexibility in the event that you are not satisfied with the level of cover that is provided. Some policies will offer a cooling-off period of up to around 30 days.
  • What cover do you actually need? Not everyone’s travel cover needs are the same so it can be important to take the time to consider what you actually need cover for and carry out some research on suitable policy options. You may find a more favourable balance of cost-effectiveness with a basic level of cover, without the extra cover for things like adventure activities, winter sports cover etc.
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Everybody has different cover requirements and the policy that might be best for someone else might not necessarily be the right fit for your trip. That said, it might be helpful for you to see what has been popular with previous users of the site. Listed below are the top 5 most popular brands for the six months prior to 13 July 2016.

It displays the top five (one through five) most popular providers with our users in this period. While this is not indicative of the quality of the product and is by no means a recommendation of the best policy for you, it may be helpful for you to see what providers other users have selected.

Top 5 most popular providers overall for 13 July 2016*

Brands Product Product Details Apply
Travel Insurance Direct The Works

Unlimited overseas medical expenses

Unlimited overseas emergency medical assistance

Unlimited cancellation fees and lost deposits

$12,000 luggage and personal effects

Get quoteMore info
InsureandGo Gold Single trip

Unlimited cancellation fee

Unlimited overseas medical expenses

$5,000,000 personal liability

$8,000 luggage and personal effects

Get quoteMore info
1Cover Comprehensive Single Trip

Unlimited overseas medical expenses

$50,000 disruption of journey

Unlimited cancellation fees and lost deposits

$15,000 luggage and personal effects cover

Get quoteMore info
Budget Direct Travel Insurance Comprehensive

Unlimited overseas medical expenses

$40,000 disruption of journey

$7,500 luggage and personal effects

Get quoteMore info
*Data based 13,000+ quote enquiries made through finder.com.au in the six months prior to 13 July 2016

*The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing travel insurance policies.

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What to look for when reading the reviews on brands

In addition to checking out the suitability of particular travel insurance plans, you might also take the time to browse and compare different travel insurance brands. Again, you will be able to access a range of consumer reviews about the different travel insurance brands to help determine the suitability and reputation of the ones you may be considering. Some of the factors you may want to look into when it comes to checking travel insurance brands include:

  • Choice of policies available. The choice of travel insurance plans available from different providers can vary, so if you want to boost your chances of finding a suitable plan at a competitive price it is worth checking the choice of plans available from different providers. Some providers will offer cover that may be more suitable for senior travellers or people heading away on winter sports trips, for example.
  • Who is the insurer underwritten buy. Is is likely that you will find insurance providers in Australia that are backed by larger brands such as Allianz, AIG or ACE who are the actual underwriters of the insurance and back the smaller brand providing the policy. It's worth ensuring the underwriter of the policy is a known insurer.
  • Emergency assistance provider. It can be important to ensure that your provider works with an emergency assistance company that provides 24/7 support anywhere in the world.
  • The ease of claiming. Some reviewers may have found the claims process to have been a lengthy and frustrating one. It can be worth checking with individual providers to see how the general claims experience may vary between insurers. You can also look at travel insurance reviews to find out more about how efficient the claims process may be, and whether other consumers have experienced issues in the past.
  • Flexibility in adjusting policy. It's often normal to make adjustments to your policy following changes to your trip, i.e. destination changes or changes to the dates of your travel. For these situations it can be helpful to go with an insurer that allows amendments to your cover, or has a reputation for helpful customer service.
  • The level of customer service. It is important to have good customer service levels from a travel insurance provider, as you may need to contact them whilst you are away so a prompt and efficient service can be important. Therefore, it can be well worth looking at travel insurance reviews to see what other consumers thought about the customer service levels offered by the insurance provider or providers that you may be considering. It is typical for many insurers to have a 24 hour emergency hotline available that can be reached from most places seven days a week.
  • Deals and special offers to help you save. It is not uncommon to find deals offering premium discounts and other bonus incentives. It can be worth seeing if there are any special promotion codes that can be used to cut the cost on your cover.
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What to be careful of when reading travel insurance reviews

While reviews can provide some value in finding out about the cover options available from different insurers, ideally one shouldn't base a decision on a single review. Here are a few reasons why;

  • Disgruntled customers: There are many customer reviews available online from disgruntled customers berating certain providers because the customer was not eligible to a benefit payment following a claim. Often these people were unaware of the exclusions on their policy and the actual conditions for claim payment. You might receive more value from reviews that discuss a successful claims processing experience and the level of customer service received. It is worth noting that it is relatively uncommon for people take the time and effort to write a positive report after a great experience with their travel insurance provider.
  • Reviews found on insurers website: Though they may provide some value in learning about the different cover features on the plan, reviews from previous customers on a provider's website might only include positive reports of the customer's experience working with the insurer.
  • Watch out for sites with company ratings: Company ratings on consumer sites might only be one industry body's opinion of a provider or cover. The decision on which provider to choose should ideally not be based off one rating only. It can be worth taking the time to read reviews from accredited organisations that are certified to review travel insurance brands.
  • The writer of the review: If it is a review written from an “industry professional” you might want to check whether the review has relevant qualifications to help them provide insightful reviews of travel cover products.
  • Fake reviews: There may be instances where fake reviews have been written to give a biased opinion of an insurer and their products. As stated previously, it is important to try and verify the source of the review and make your own assessment of whether it is giving an unbiased overview of the product's features and benefits.
  • Positive experience that may not be relevant: It is not uncommon for there to be an extremely positive review from a customer that has been able to take advantage of an exclusive deal or bonus offer from the insurer. This may not be as relevant to your situation as other reviews if you are trying to get an idea of the actual cover features and experience with the insurer. Hunting for bargains can help deliver more value for money, but it's also important to know you will be adequately looked after in the event of a claim.
  • Forum comments: Forums can often be a place where old customers vent about their poor claims experience with insurers and not actually offer any real insight into the quality of the cover. Forums can also attract fake reviews, which may be especially likely on ones with little moderation, with the sole intent of promoting a specific provider.
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Tips to get value from reviews

As mentioned previously, it can be helpful to find out more about a product from a variety of different sources before making a purchase. Here are some quick tips that might help you get value from reading online reviews.

  • Know what you want to find out: It can be helpful to first have an idea of what you actually want to find out about the insurer and their product. You might try thinking about product features offered, exclusions, customer service experiences of previous customers and the insurer's claims process.
  • Find reviews from a variety of sources: If you are interested in finding consumer reviews, you might try to access a range of different reviews located on a variety of different websites to help find different perspectives, rather than simply reading a single review from one disgruntled customer and dismissing an insurer entirely based on that.
  • Make your own assessment: Don’t be afraid to make your own assessment of a product while making your own comparisons. While it may be tedious, taking the time to read through the product disclosure statement and actually get a clear understanding of the features offered and the conditions can make it easier to find affordable cover that still offers adequate protection.
  • Confirm what you have read with the insurer: If there are any points that you are unsure about,  you may want to verify them with the insurer or the product disclosure statement.
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Where can I find travel insurance policy reviews online?

There are a number of different resources available online where you can access reviews from both consumers and industry commentators.

  • finder.com.au: finder.com.au features reviews of different product features and exclusions, steps involved in making a claim with different insurers, company background information and some of the benefits and disadvantages of different products. finder.com.au also features reviews from their team on their experiences with different products they have purchased in the past and claim experiences.
  • Travel blogs: There are a number of travel blogs online that feature reviews from previous travel insurance customers. It can be useful to take the necessary steps to verify the validity of these reviews when forming your opinion of a product. You might assess the blog's readership, any bias in the article and relevance of the review for the type of cover you are after.
  • Insurer websites: Many insurers will feature reviews of their products from previous consumers. As mentioned previously, you may want to take these reviews with a grain of salt, as it might be unlikely for an insurer to ever publish a review that places them in a negative light.
  • Recognised travel websites: Reputable travel websites including lonelyplanet.com.au will often feature reviews on different types of products and what to look out for when comparing policies. As before, it can be a good idea to try to assess who the writer is and their motives behind publishing the review.
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Traps to watch out for when comparing policies and reading product reviews

  • I couldn't believe how cheap they were! Cheap price often means a reduced level of cover. While it might be sufficient for some, you may find it is not nearly enough for what you are after. Also, you may want to check the applicable excess, as policies with lower premiums may have a higher excess.
  • I'm covered by my credit card, that's all I need Credit card travel insurance may offer sufficient cover for some travellers but it is definitely not the ideal cover for everyone in all situations. You might only be covered for what was purchased on your credit card, or there might be no cover provided for domestic trips. Also, the cover levels are often far more basic than what is available with standalone policies
  • I need a receipt? Most policies will have a list of what is required for claims for lost/stolen items to be honoured. This may be be valuation documents and statements from transport officials and police. This may vary so it can be helpful to know exactly what you will need to provide in the event of a claim.
  • That's all I get for all my items being stolen? It is important to know the maximum amount you will be paid for lost items. Policies will often apply a sub-limit (amount paid for each item) and a total limit (maximum that will be paid for all items). If you are taking expensive items with you, it can be a good idea to know exactly what you stand to receive in a claim.
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User interviews on their experience with travel insurance

Interview with Fred Schebesta about travel insurance

Do you usually take out travel insurance when you go overseas?

Sometimes. If I am going overseas and its to a relatively dangerous place or if I am unsure of where I am going or I haven't been there before. Otherwise if I have been there before then I wont.

If so where do you usually purchase cover?

  • Online
  • Through a travel agent
  • Through your airline
  • Rely on cover provided on credit card
  • Other?

Online all the way!

What cover features are most important to you? i.e. loss/damage to luggage to personal items, cancellation cover, medical emergencies

Medical emergencies. I don't tend to take very expensive stuff with me so I just want the medical stuff if something were to go wrong.

Do you review the events you are covered for when comparing different plans?

Not really. Just breeze over them.

Do you review policy exclusions for when you won’t receive a benefit payment?

Not really, just browse over them.

Do you review the benefit that you will actually be paid in the event of a loss?

Yes, I am concerned about the fees I will pay if something were to go wrong in a medical situation and I want to know everything is covered because it could get crazy expensive fast and I want to know I am covered.

Do you usually just opt for the single trip policy or have you taken out an annual-multi trip policy in the past?

Single trip. I don't travel that much.

Have you ever taken out cover for domestic trips? If yes what were your reasons?

No, I assume that my health insurance will cover me.

Have you ever taken out cover for ski holidays? If yes what were your reasons? What were you looking to be covered for?

Yes, I was skiing like a crazy man and so I thought I could use some cover. Although, when I went to America I didn't take out cover because I felt I was a little more conservative these days and thought I would just ski a little safer and risk it. When I was in my 20s I def thought cover was a good idea.

Have you ever made a claim for a loss suffered overseas? Please discuss the event

No.

How was your experience dealing with the insurance provider?

Quick, fast and easy to buy cover.

Were you satisfied with the support that you received?

Haven't made a claim.

Would you take out cover with this provider again?

Yes, although I didn't make a claim.

What travel insurance tips do you have for anyone looking to head away on their next trip?

Buy online! Get a comparison because the price differences I noticed were quite steep. I got a quote from my travel agent and it was half the cost if I went online. I felt the agent was ripping me off and I got quite annoyed because I assumed then that they were ripping me off for all the other things.

Interview with Marc Terrano about travel insurance

Do you usually take out travel insurance when you go overseas?

Always

If so where do you usually purchase cover?

  • Online
  • Through a travel agent
  • Through your airline
  • Rely on cover provided on credit card
  • Other?

I always go online, easiest option and cheap

What cover features are most important to you? i.e. loss/damage to luggage to personal items, cancellation cover, medical emergencies

I always look for unlimited medical emergencies and a high dental emergency cap, as health to me is my main concern while travelling overseas. Next I’ll look at personal liability just incase I get into any strife overseas and cancellation cover. These are the things I think I’d most likely need to claim for and be protected against. I don’t look at loss or damage to personal items because I never travel with any items with a high value.

Do you review the events you are covered for when comparing different plans?

No

Do you review policy exclusions for when you won’t receive a benefit payment?

No

Do you review the benefit that you will actually be paid in the event of a loss?

Yes, this is the key thing I look at.

Do you usually just opt for the single trip policy or have you taken out an annual-multi trip policy in the past?

Only single trip policies.

Have you ever taken out cover for domestic trips? If yes what were your reasons?

No.

Have you ever taken out cover for ski holidays? If yes what were your reasons? What were you looking to be covered for?

No, but if I were good enough and spending enough on it each year I would. I think it’s crucial when you’re planning a ski trip in advance without knowing how the season will pan out.

Have you ever made a claim for a loss suffered overseas? Please discuss the event

I’ve had to make a claim for a travel cancellation. The reason I was excluded was because of an exclusion in the policy, but threatening them with action from the ombudsman saw them pay me out.

How was your experience dealing with the insurance provider?

They were reluctant at first, and got back to me via email once the Ombudsman was contacted.

Were you satisfied with the support that you received?

Not really. It took the promise of further action to get the problem sorted out.

Would you take out cover with this provider again?

No, I avoid the provider now, but they don’t provide the best travel insurance so it doesn’t bother me.

What travel insurance tips do you have for anyone looking to head away on their next trip?

Don’t pay for what you don’t need. I rarely take expensive cameras, laptops or tablets away with me, so I’d rather get a policy with less baggage cover and more medical, travel cancellation or personal liability insurance cover.

Ensure your provider is flexible. I mixed up the return date of my latest trip to Europe and was able to top up my policy online with no hassle a few days before I left.

Interview with Will Eve about travel insurance

Do you usually take out travel insurance when you go overseas?
Always
If so where do you usually purchase cover?

  • Online
  • Through a travel agent
  • Through your airline
  • Rely on cover provided on credit card
  • Other

I have always gone online. I haven’t used a travel agent in the past and don’t have a credit card

What cover features are most important to you? i.e. loss/damage to luggage to personal items, cancellation cover, medical emergencies

I have had to make a pretty serious medical claim in the past so now I always make sure there is sufficient coverage there. Also I usually travel with a laptop on camera so cover for expensive items is also important.

Do you review the events you are covered for when comparing different plans?

Yes, I’ll read the summary of the cover before purchasing.

Do you review policy exclusions for when you won’t receive a benefit payment?

I’m pretty clear on most of them but I will look at what evidence will be needed if I have to make a claim

Do you review the benefit that you will actually be paid in the event of a loss?

I’ll look at it. It’s usually plenty for what I’m looking to be covered for.

Do you usually just opt for the single trip policy or have you taken out an annual-multi trip policy in the past?

I’ve only needed single-trip...don’t travel enough to warrant taking out more.

Have you ever taken out cover for domestic trips? If yes what were your reasons?

No.

Have you ever taken out cover for ski holidays? If yes what were your reasons? What were you looking to be covered for?

No. I’ve only taken ski trips in Australia and my health insurance will cover me for any injury...not too fussed about cover for equipment.

Have you ever made a claim for a loss suffered overseas? Please discuss the event

I broke my ankle in Peru a few years back and had to have surgery there. I spent two weeks in hospital, had surgery and then had to be flown home business class because I had to keep my leg elevated.

How was your experience dealing with the insurance provider?

They were fantastic. They were genuinely concerned for my wellbeing and focused on getting me looked after before dealing with all the details of the claim. I had an Australian nurse checking on me everyday while I was in hospital and they sorted out my flights home...I actually couldn’t believe the lengths they went to.

Were you satisfied with the support that you received?

Incredibly...relieved a great amount of stress.

Would you take out cover with this provider again?

Yes. I have taken out cover with them every trip since that accident...have found them to be competitively priced as well.

What travel insurance tips do you have for anyone looking to head away on their next trip?

It’s worth paying an extra bit of cash to get a policy you are happy with. Always know what excess you are going to pay for a claim...the company I go with 1Cover lets you cancel the excess by paying an addition $15 fee

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Comparing plans, providers, and checking out travel insurance reviews online

Although it may have been difficult and time consuming to find the suitably cost-effective travel insurance in the past, these days the whole process can be so much easier and faster than it used to be. You can compare multiple options from different providers simultaneously, and take your time to get a clear understanding of what you are signing up for. While travel insurance reviews can provide some value in helping you find out more about a product and provider, ultimately it can still be advisable to take the time to read through the policy conditions to know exactly what you are getting. If you are unsure about any components of a policy, you are often able to contact a representative of the insurer to find out more.

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6 Responses to Travel Insurance Reviews

  1. Default Gravatar
    Jamie | April 27, 2017

    We will be taking a trip that involves air travel to Tokyo, travel twithin Japan, then a cruise from Tokyo to Sydneythen air fare back to Melbourne. Which insurers do you recommend to provide the best cover. We can then review and decide which best suits our needs. We are in our 60′s.

    • Staff
      Zubair | May 1, 2017

      Hi Jamie,

      Thank you for your question.

      finder.com.au is a comparison and information service and we are not permitted to provide our users with personalised financial advice or product recommendations.

      You will need to take out cruise travel insurance. In order to compare cruise travel insurance quotes from travel insurance brands in our panel, please head to our cruise travel insurance home page.

      All the best,
      Zubair

  2. Default Gravatar
    margot | August 1, 2016

    whats a good travel insurance for short holiday in Australia for 84 year old, so I would like good medical for her and a no excess policy

    • Staff
      Richard | August 2, 2016

      Hi Margot,

      Thanks for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison service and we are not permitted to provide our users with personalised product recommendations. However, you may find our seniors travel insurance page helpful, as it provides information about age cut-offs, pre-existing medical conditions and other useful information.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

  3. Default Gravatar
    Maria | October 19, 2015

    I have been trying to find reviews on ‘Online Travel Insurance’. All the reviews I found only mention the efficiency of dealing with this company arranging their insurance. There were no reviews by people who had to make a claim. Are you able to help?

    • Staff
      Richard | October 20, 2015

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison service and we do have a review page that looks at Online Travel Insurance. This review does outline the claims process. However, our reviews are written based on factual information rather than first-hand experience with the products.

      If you are looking for user reviews, forums are usually an invaluable source of information.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

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