What is the best travel insurance for my trip to... ?
The Internet has truly revolutionised travelling in many different ways. Today, you can book your flight, hotel, tours, and even get travel insurance all while you are enjoying a steaming cup of coffee on your sofa. More than anything, everyone can now share their experiences, and you can get reviews and recommendations from more experiences travellers by just spending a few minutes on travel forums. One question that comes up frequently on travel forums regarding travel insurance: ‘I'm looking for the best travel insurance for the states with the lowest excess, who does everyone recommend?’ Answering this question is surprisingly more difficult than it seems. Let’s have a look why…
The best travel insurance is...
Friends, online forums, even travel agents will happily tell you what the best travel insurance is for your trip. While they may mean well, the topic of travel insurance is not as black and white as you may think. Let’s first analyse some of the problems with travel insurance recommendations.
XYZ is the best travel insurance because they are the cheapest
No one wants to spend a lot of money on something they hopefully will not need. Especially when it comes to travel insurance, many travellers tend to aim for the cheapest policy to keep costs down. While some cheap insurance providers offer a perfectly good service, many travellers do not properly check what insurance they have actually bought. With cheap travel insurance, reading the terms and conditions (or the Product Disclosure Statement) carefully becomes very important in order to know the exclusions and under which conditions you are not covered. Furthermore, pay close attention to the policy itself to see whether everything you want to insure is in fact insured, or whether the policy is so cheap because it only extends partial cover.
XYZ is the best travel insurance for students/seniors/families…
Again, meaning well, people recommend insurance for specific types of travellers, but it still does not take into account that we all have very different needs when it comes to insurance. Sure, age is an important consideration, but it is only one of several when it comes to travel insurance. Your state of health is another very important one that this particular statement does not take into account. If you are a student with asthma and diabetes, your travel insurance needs will be different from a student in peak health!
XYZ is the best travel insurance because they have the highest cover limits
When you compare travel insurance policies, one thing becomes abundantly clear: no two policies are exactly alike. In fact, even policies that cost exactly the same still offer differing cover. Some policies have higher luggage and cancellation limits, but in turn have higher excess or a much lower cover limit for dental expenses. Other policies may offer a lower luggage limit but then offer credit card fraud insurance. The limits themselves do not say much about what the insurance covers. At the end, it depends on each traveller to decide what needs to be insured and for how much.
XYZ is the best travel insurance because it only has positive reviews online
There are many places online to check travel insurance reviews – from comparison websites that fetch insurance quotes, blog articles, insurance review sites, and magazine articles. Sometimes you may come across travel insurance reviews that read like a dream.
XYZ is the best travel insurance because their underwriter is ____
There are many travel insurance companies offering their services in Australia, many more than underwriters. But what exactly is an insurance underwriter? While you pay your premium to an insurance brand, the one who pays your bills if you make a claim is the underwriter. Insurance underwriters not only evaluate claims, they also evaluate entire insurance brands in order to ensure good service and a low risk to them.
When you ‘look behind the curtain’ of any given travel insurance provider, you will see that many are backed by similar underwriters such as Allianz, QBE, Lloyds and IAG. Hollard for example is not only the underwriter of Fast Cover, but also many other travel insurance providers. Knowing the underwriter of your travel insurance provider is important as you do want to know that they are reputable, offer worldwide service, and have enough money to pay your claim if it comes down to it. Finding a travel insurance that is backed by a reputable underwriter is important, but not the only consideration, and having a certain underwriter certainly does not make any travel insurance ‘the best’.
Ok, ok… but what is the best travel insurance?
Obviously, there is no such thing as ‘the best travel insurance’ on a global level. That is not to say that a certain policy or company won’t be the best for you and your needs. And at the end of the day, that is exactly what it boils down to: you, your needs and your budget. Finding the best travel insurance for you involves price comparisons, choosing how much you are willing to spend, planning your trip in terms of potentially risky activities and finding an insurance that will cover those, and finally your age and health status. Based on these, yes you can find the best insurance… for you.
The best travel insurance at the end will be the one that lets you enjoy the holiday you want without ever having to worry about the consequences of any accidents or problems, simply because you know you are covered! For some this might mean cover for action sports, for others just a simply medical cover, and for others still, cover for their expensive photography equipment. Once you know what you want and need, you will find the right insurance for you at the best price!
Any advice provided is general only and does not take into consideration any personal circumstances. Always read the Product Disclosure Statement to ensure the product is right for you.