Travel insurance reviews

Here's some tips about sorting through travel insurance reviews so you can make a true comparison.

Backpacker

With literally hundreds of different travel insurance policies available on the Australian market, sorting through all the noise can be overwhelming. This article will provide tips on what to look for when reading travel insurance reviews online so that you can make an informed decision on both the policy and provider you choose.

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Tips for comparing travel insurance reviews

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;

  • How much does the cover cost? It's all about finding a good balance. It's 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. Make sure you 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're covered for each cover type can vary from one travel insurance plan to another. Make sure you check the levels of coverage with the various plans you are considering to choose one that provides a sufficient benefit amount 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. If you find a policy that's substantially cheaper than others, it's sometimes because they have an exclusion other policies won't have, so make sure to check out what's not covered.
  • 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 there a cooling off period offered? This is when 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. Consider what you actually need cover for as 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 and winter sports cover.

What to look for when reading travel insurance reviews on insurance brands

When you are looking at a specific insurer, there are several top tips that'll help you know whether or not they are a reliable travel insurance provider and the right policy for you:

  • Choice of policies available. Insurers that have several policy options available can be really good as it means the cover is more likely to be tailored to your needs and requirements; for example, if you're going on a cruise, are holidaying as a family or are a senior traveller.
  • Who is the insurer underwritten by? It's worth ensuring the underwriter of the policy is a known insurer, as it means they're more trustworthy and are likely to handle claims quickly and efficiently.
  • 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.
  • The level of customer service. It can be well worth looking at travel insurance reviews to see what other consumers thought about the insurer's customer service. It's common 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 of your cover.

4 traps to watch out for

Travel insurance reviews for Australian providers often overlook these common traps, so make sure you're aware of them before you buy a policy.

  1. Don't just get the cheapest policy. You might be reluctant to spend money on a policy but often the cheapest policies simply mean you're covered for very little and it won't help should something go wrong. Policies with lower premiums often have a higher excess as well.
  2. Only getting cover from your credit card. Credit card travel insurance might only cover you 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.
  3. Not keeping receipts. Most policies require evidence of purchases so keep a hold of all receipts in the event you have to make a claim.
  4. Not being aware of what you'll actually be paid out. 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.

How to get value from travel insurance reviews

Here are some quick tips that might help you get value from reading online reviews.

  • Know what you want to find out. Have an idea of what you'd like to know more about, whether it's cruise cover, exclusions or customer service experiences.
  • Find reviews from a variety of sources. Read reviews on different, well-known websites to come to a better understanding of the insurer you're looking into.
  • Make your own assessment. It may be tedious but taking the time to read through the product disclosure statement and actually knowing exactly what is and isn't covered is key to finding the right cover.
  • Confirm what you have read with the insurer. If there are any points that you are unsure about, verify them with the insurer or by looking at the product disclosure statement.

What to be careful of when reading travel insurance reviews

While reviews can be helpful, they often pose some problems themselves. Here are a few points worth considering when reading travel insurance reviews;

  • Disgruntled customers. These are really common in insurance but a lot of the time it's simply down to the fact that customers haven't read the exclusions on their policy and the actual conditions for claim payment. Angry customers then, should act as a reminder to you to always read the product disclosure statement.
  • Reviews found on insurers website. Reviews from previous customers on a provider's website might only include positive reports of the customer's experience working with the insurer so take them with a pinch of salt.
  • 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.
  • Fake reviews. There may be instances where fake reviews have been written to give a biased opinion of an insurer and their products. This is also sometimes the case when a review is written by an "industry professional". If you can, try to 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.
  • 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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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AlisaMay 31, 2018

    Hi,

    My concern is how do I insure physical cash on my travels.

    Kind regards,
    Alisa

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJune 1, 2018Staff

      Hi Alisa,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Your travel insurance basically covers lost or stolen luggage/bags, where you put not only clothes but also your cash and other valuables, from $500 up to $30,000 or even higher depending on the level of coverage so I suggest that you discuss that with your chosen travel insurance company before you take off.

      From foreign cash to credit cards, debit cards and prepaid travel cards, there are all kinds of ways you can take money overseas. Whatever options you choose, it’s important to look at the risks and ways you can keep your money safe when you’re travelling in different countries. Since prevention is always way better than cure, you may be interested to know how you can keep your money safe while traveling by reading some tips on this page.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    DeborahOctober 11, 2017

    Is there a list of companies with a known track record of dealing efficiently with claims made for medical situations which may occur while in the USA? I am looking for those with a large, well known underwriter. I would rather pay a little more, knowing that if any problem arose it would be dealt with quickly and easily.

    • Default Gravatar
      MariaOctober 11, 2017

      Hi Deborah,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      You may find these pages related to what you’re looking for:
      Travel Insurance Claims
      Travel Insurance Underwriters

      Should you require further assistance, please feel free to message us on our Live Chat found on the bottom right of our pages.

      Best,
      Maria

  3. Default Gravatar
    JamieApril 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.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ZubairMay 1, 2017Staff

      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

  4. Default Gravatar
    margotAugust 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

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RichardAugust 2, 2016Staff

      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

  5. Default Gravatar
    MariaOctober 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?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RichardOctober 20, 2015Staff

      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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