Remember: Travel insurance is a must-have inclusion

24 December 2015
Travel is part of life for many Aussies, but just as travel comes with its own set of unique experiences, it also comes with some pitfalls which many don’t think about until they happen. The best hedge against the unexpected is travel insurance. It’s a must whether you’re flying interstate or overseas.

The good news for people heading off on holiday is that travel insurance is a competitive market and there are hundreds of policies available. The bad news is that that choice adds to the confusion for travellers though; there are many quite significant differences between policies and choosing the wrong one is not much better than having no cover at all. You absolutely don’t want to find out that you’re not covered for something important when the crisis is happening.

Every year Canstar looks at eligible travel insurance policies in two categories
– Domestic and International – to see how they perform for different types of travellers flying to various popular destinations.

Price is certainly important but it’s not everything. The policy needs to cover essential areas and not leave you stranded when you need it the most. This year, we compared 229 policies from 73 insurers to find who offers outstanding value Domestic and International Travel Insurance.

Common travel insurance exclusions

No travel policy will cover you for every single thing that might go wrong while you’re away. It’s stating the obvious but you need to be covered for the things that you’re intending to do. Some common exclusions can include hazardous pursuits such as motorcycling and scuba diving. Then there are exclusions such as pre-existing medical conditions, risky behaviour – don’t do anything silly while drunk – and simply being careless with your stuff. Read the terms and conditions carefully.

Domestic travel insurance

Domestic travel insurance policies cover travellers for things such as cancellations, loss of luggage, rental vehicle excess and legal liability. The average cost of domestic travel insurance is modest and the cost will stay the same regardless of which part of Australia you are visiting. The following table shows the minimum, maximum and average cost of domestic travel insurance for a 10 day holiday anywhere in Australia, based on the products surveyed in 2015.

Domestic travel insurance cover

Cover Minimum premium Average premium Maximum premium
Singles $32 $63 $121
Couples $64 $120 $245
Family $64 $120 $245

Source: Canstar. Travel Insurance Star Ratings report research 2015

While the cost of domestic travel insurance will be the same regardless of where people are going, they still need to be mindful of exclusions or possible loadings. If you’re going skiing, scuba diving, bungee jumping or rock climbing, for example, let your insurer know.

Who provides outstanding value?

In 2015, Canstar announced the following winners of the Outstanding Value – Domestic Travel Insurance Award.

Downunder Insurance Services

In the Australian market since 1998, Downunder Insurance Services combines competitive price and generous features to offer a winning product to domestic travellers.


All Insurance Australia Group brands, these three insurers offer the same domestics travel insurance products and are therefore jointly winners of the Outstanding Vaue – Domestic Travel Insurance award.

International travel insurance

Unlike domestic cover the cost of international travel insurance will vary depending on the destination, but it will still represent a small fraction of total travel costs. Canstar crunched the numbers on policies from 73 providers to calculate the minimum, maximum and average travel insurance premiums you will pay for a 10 day jaunt, according to which countries you plan to visit.

Destination Average premium cost for singles Average premium cost for couples Average premium cost for family
Bali $80 $147 $153
Thailand $93 $171 $178
China $94 $175 $180
Japan $100 $188 $195
Brazil $116 $218 $228
South Africa $113 $212 $218
UK $96 $180 $186
USA $122 $231 $240
France $100 $187 $194
Fiji $77 $143 $147
New Zealand $76 $142 $146

Source: Canstar. Travel Insurance Star Ratings report research 2015

Most overseas policies will cover travellers for emergency medical expenses and repatriation, should the very worst happen. But travellers should be sure to read the small print of their policy.

Who provides outstanding value?

For international travel insurance, travel insurers InsureandGo and Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) have proved their enduring value for travellers, with both providers building on their success in last year’s Canstar rating to again win the Outstanding Value – International Travel Insurance award. Both providers offer competitive premiums and superior features for travellers.


A winning combination of price and features has seen InsureandGo repeat its success of last year in Canstar’s international travel insurance ratings. It includes features such as:

  • Accidental death coverage of up to $50,000 per person.
  • Comprehensive coverage for Luggage and Travel documents.
  • Standard coverage for Terrorism, Water Sport, Rock Climbing, Motor Cycle and Non-professional sporting trips.

Southern Cross Travel Insurance

This is the sixth year Southern Cross Travel (SCTI) has won the Canstar International Travel Insurance award. SCTI maintains consistency with a mix of features and standout prices. Features of note include:

  • Cover for most pre-existing medical conditions, with the exception of diabetes and clinical depression.
  • Unlimited cover for overseas medical and dental.
  • Comprehensive cover for Luggage and Travel documents.
  • Rental vehicle excess of $5,000 as standard.

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