Please be aware of our latest Travel Alerts, including Protests in Hong Kong and typhoon Hagibis.

How to Compare Travel Insurance Policies

Comparing travel insurance is a good idea before you purchase a policy

Travellers can compare Travel Insurance

There's a lot to consider when you compare travel insurance policies. With all the different benefits, limits and exclusions, it's not just the price you need to compare!

Travel insurance used to be an optional accessory on any Aussie's holiday checklist, but is now considered a travel essential by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as many experienced travellers.

Considering hospital bills can easily exceed $5,000 AUD per night in some countries and an emergency medical evacuation can set you back over a hundred thousand dollars, it's no wonder!

Travel delays and cancellations caused by extreme weather, natural disasters or other unexpected reasons can also really mess up your holiday plans and put a serious dent in your bank account.

Whether the airline misplaced your baggage on your way to start a working holiday in Canada, your passport gets pickpocketed on a train in Italy, or you have to cancel your family cruise altogether because one of the kids got sick, travel insurance can provide cover for unexpected financial losses and peace of mind for many travellers.

However, before you jump in and buy the cheapest travel insurance you can find online, it's a good idea to compare a few policies from several different insurers to make sure you’re getting the right policy and the best deal.

Why should I compare travel insurance policies?

When you're comparing travel insurance quotes, it's important to compare the benefits and exclusions as well as the price.

The price of a policy is often dependent on the benefits offered so, for cheaper policies, insurance companies may have removed or lowered some of the limits of their policy benefits.

This might sound like an acceptable trade-off at the time when you're comparing quotes, but can end up costing you a lot more down the track if you've forfeited important benefits just to save a few dollars on your insurance premium.

Remember to also check the standard excess amount on each of the policies you're comparing. You might find some policies have their excess fixed at a much higher rate compared to others.

A higher excess means you'll be more out-of-pocket for any claimable expenses or have less money reimbursed if you do need to make a claim.

3 tips for comparing travel insurance

  1. Firstly, compare each of the policy types and consider the different benefits that you would be covered for under each.
  2. Look at the cover limits for each benefit and consider any sub-limits. As the number of benefits increase and the limits of each benefit increase, understandably the price may also increase as you are receiving a higher level of cover.
  3. Finally, decide which benefits are most important to you and which policy has the ideal level of cover for your needs.

What types of policies do I need to compare?

Travel insurers typically provide several different policies, each with varying levels of cover and benefits.

For example, Fast Cover provides three levels of cover:

Basics

This medical-only policy provides emergency medical and hospital cover and is our cheapest travel insurance option.

Popular with backpackers and travellers on a tight budget who don't want any cover for benefits such as cancellation expenses, travel delays or special event transport expenses.

An optional luggage and personal effects benefit can be added on at the time of purchase if you want extra cover for your belongings.

Standard Saver

Our mid-range Standard Saver policy provides an increased level of cover and increased benefit limits compared to the Basics policy.

It has the same level of emergency medical and hospital cover, but also includes limited cover for cancellation expenses as well as cover for luggage and personal effects.

Comprehensive

Our Comprehensive cover is our most popular policy and provides the highest level of cover with the most benefits, as well as the highest limits for each benefit.

 

Compare the different benefits and inclusions of each policy in the tables below:

 

Do you need cruise or ski cover?

Some travel insurers automatically factor cover for activities like cruising and snow sports in their premium prices, even if you're not going anywhere near a cruise ship or ski slope!

Another way to save on travel insurance when comparing policies is to check which activities are and aren't automatically covered.

One of the benefits of a Fast Cover policy is that we ask travellers whether they need to add on cover for cruising or snow sports during the quote process, so you won't end up paying for something you don't need!

How to compare and choose a travel insurance policy

The simplest way to compare the various travel insurance providers is to:

  1. Compare the policy benefits.
  2. Compare the coverage limit (dollar value) for each benefit.
  3. Check the list of General Exclusions in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
  4. Read the travel insurer's online ratings and customer reviews on independent websites like Product Review or Compare Travel Insurance.
  5. Consider buying travel insurance direct from their website or over the phone so you can get the right information to help you decide if it’s right for you.

 

While it may be more work than simply buying the cheapest policy you come across, comparing a few travel insurers can really pay off in the long run if you need to lodge a claim.

Taking an extra five minutes to read through the PDS may end up being the difference between getting the cover you need, and being out of pocket for thousands of dollars.

 

Things you need to know

* See Product Disclosure Statement for full terms and conditions and exclusions and limits that apply. For travellers aged 80 and over, additional terms and conditions, limits and excesses apply.

^ For travellers aged 80 - 89, additional terms and conditions apply.

# Available with our Comprehensive policies only.

** No cover is provided for pregnancy, childbirth or related complications unless it is a single, uncomplicated pregnancy up to and including 23 weeks. In any event we will not pay medical expenses for regular antenatal care, childbirth at any gestation or care of the newborn child. Complications mean any secondary diagnosis occurring prior to, during the course of, concurrent with, or as a result of the pregnancy, which may adversely affect the pregnancy outcome.

+ Statistics based on 'Travel by Australians' quarterly report for June 2013, 'Tourism Industry Facts & Figures at a Glance' September 2012, Cruise Industry Source Market Report: Australia 2013 and Fast Cover Customers.

2 5% saving is based on the cost of a Duo policy versus the cost of two single policies. Excess reduction discount based on excess reduction cost under a Duo policy versus cost under two single policies. Duo policies do not provide cover for any dependent children.

3 Children or dependants under 21 years old and not in full time employment covered for free when travelling with an insured adult. Excludes Duo policies.

4 Price based on an 18 day Basics policy to Pacific region for Single traveller aged 50 years old or younger with $200 excess.

5 Additional terms and conditions, limits and excesses apply to travellers aged 80-89.

6 Must be accompanied by a professional instructor or guide.