Travel insurance protects the money you've spent on your trip in case something unexpected happens which might cause you financial burden. It assesses the risks involved with your trip and charges a premium to safeguard the costs associated with your travel plans.
You can buy different types of travel insurance from single to multi-trip, basic to comprehensive, ski to cruise, or even a combination of the features. Travellers usually buy travel insurance to cover themselves for overseas medical expenses, cancellations and lost luggage on their trip. Think about the cost of your trip, the activities you'll take part in, the destination and duration, these will help you find the right travel insurance.
While every travel insurance policy is different, here are some of the mishaps that your policy can cover.
If you're sick or injured
If you get food poisoning, have an asthma attack or sprain your ankle and need to seek emergency medical help, you can claim your Overseas Medical Expenses.
If you need to cancel your trip
If you can't make the trip or need to cut it short because you get sick or a family member dies, you can recover non-refundable spends through your Cancellation Fees and Lost Deposits cover.
If your credit cards or travel documents are lost or stolen
Travel Documents cover helps you replace your passport and credit cards if someone steals them out of your bag or the airline loses them after sending your luggage elsewhere.
If your luggage doesn't make it
If the airline decides to send your bags in the opposite direction, the Luggage and Personal Effects cover will pay for replacement supplies until you get them back. It will replace everything if they're gone for good.
We want to help you find comprehensive travel insurance for your trip, but to really benefit from the cover and to make sure you're not caught in a sticky situation that can leave you out of pocket, it's important to know in what circumstances travel insurance doesn't have your back.
You've had a few drinks. Jumped on a moped after a few drinks and ended up hitting a ditch in downtown Kuta? Yep, you're not covered. Insurers do not pay claims that arise while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
You're renting a motorcycle or moped. You're only covered if you have a current Australian motorcycle licence and you wear a helmet. Also, the moped's engine needs to be under the capacity specified by the insurer, which can vary from 50cc to 250cc.
You're hang-gliding or jumping out of a plane. Not all activities will be automatically covered. Each insurer will have a list of high-risk pursuits that are excluded from cover, which are specified in the product disclosure statement (PDS). Find out what these are and if you need to purchase any additional cover.
You're going somewhere the Australian government doesn't recommend. Travel warnings issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading (DFAT) are not to be taken lightly. If you're travelling to a country that's considered dangerous and something goes wrong, your claim will be rejected.
You've waited too long before contacting your insurer or making a claim. Most insurers will require you to notify them of any event leading to a claim within a certain time period. Some even require you to contact them as quickly as 24 hours after the event. Find out what this period is and the maximum period of time following your journey that you can lodge a claim (usually about 30 days).
Similar to how home or car insurance can help you if something goes wrong with your house or vehicle, travel insurance protects you when your travel plans go awry. Once you've told the travel insurance company where you're going, when you're going and how old you are, it can help you when your trip doesn't go according to plan.
Travel insurance works by
Protecting you from the moment you purchase it in case you need to cancel your trip due to something out of your control – and this is why you should purchase your policy as early as possible. If you remember a bit late in the game, it can still help you if you get a travel insurance policy for already-overseas travellers and something goes awry while you're away.
- Helping you get the overseas emergency medical assistance you need and can cover your medical expenses
- Providing a daily allowance if your luggage gets lost and you need to buy things like clothes and toiletries while you're away
With most travel insurance companies, you will likely need to first pay for the medical treatment, extra clothing or other expenses first and then claim them back from the company providing proof of payment (i.e. an invoice from the medical centre).
Every travel insurance brand's policies are different and the amount you're able to claim back changes depending on the level of cover and the company. We've simplified the inclusions in each of our partners' policies in our travel insurance comparison tool so you can clearly see what is and isn't included. The travel insurance brands list out the nitty gritty details in their PDS.
In the PDS, you'll be able to find out how much coverage you have for each benefit (either as a maximum dollar amount or listed as unlimited if there's no cap) once you've paid the excess. The excess is how much you'll need to pay out of pocket before your travel insurance policy kicks in.
With so many benefits outlined in each company's PDS, if you're looking at a few policies side-by-side, it can be hard to spot the difference between Policy A and Policy B. Here are a few things we recommend looking out for when comparing travel insurance policies:
Extensive medical coverage: Hospital fees range greatly from injury to injury and country to country, so look for a policy that has unlimited medical cover.
Cancellation policy: Consider how much you can claim should something get in the way of your dream trip. Look for a policy that covers, at the very least, the trip expenses that you've already paid upfront.
Cover for all your planned activities: If you're into extreme sports (including skiing), make sure your policy covers it. For example, activities like skydiving, bungee jumping and scuba diving are only covered by certain plans and may come with restrictions like how high you can jump from or how deep you can dive.
Lost and/or delayed luggage protection: If your bags don't make the trip, travel insurance may cover you for any interim purchases you need to make (i.e. new clothes, toiletries etc.) or can reimburse you for the valuables in your bag should it not be returned to you at all. If you're one to splash out and your lost bag is jam packed with expensive clothes or accessories, you'll probably want to look for a higher coverage amount.
See how plans change with your age: Each company and policy treats seniors travel insurance differently and may reduce or limit cover or charge different premiums depending on your age.
Consider the excess: With most policies, you'll need to pay the first part of your claim upfront. Depending on the plan, it often ranges from $100-$200. Some travel insurance providers let you reduce the excess for an additional charge – either a flat fee or a percentage of your plan.
Our motto is that if you can afford to travel, you can afford travel insurance.
That said, there's no flat fee for travel insurance. Price depends on a range of factors including where you're going, how long you're travelling for, your age and how comprehensive a plan you'd like among other things.
We've found some sample quotes from some of our most referred partners to three of our most popular destinations, plus some domestic plans, based on the thousands of quotes we've provided to travellers.
*The prices above were all based on a 7-day trip for a 49-year-old traveller, which is the average age of our users. The quote was retrieved on 24-May-2019.
Can I just get cheap travel insurance?
While there's nothing stopping you from just purchasing the cheapest travel insurance plan you can find, which you can do by sorting the search results on our travel insurance quote comparison tool by price, you should keep in mind that the cheap price may also mean cheap quality.
Often, cheap travel insurance policies come with
- No cancellation cover
- No cover for lost luggage
- No rental vehicle excess insurance
- No protection from theft of cash or credit cards
That said, there still are affordable travel insurance policies that offer adequate cover. Although we recommend travellers take out comprehensive policies, we know everyone has different priorities when it comes to travel, so we've looked into cheap travel insurance policies to help you find the best one to meet your needs.
We don't charge you anything to compare policies with us. If you do choose to buy a policy by clicking through to one of our partners, you'll pay no more than going directly to their site.
Trustworthy Finder ratings
Our unique algorithm ranks partners' policies based on how comprehensive they are – and we're not afraid to rank anyone a 1/10. We want to be as honest as we can when it comes to how much cover you'll get on a policy.
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We write our content based on what information travellers are looking for, not what the insurance companies want you to know. We're an independent publisher and want to help you find the information you're looking for.
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