How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost In 2017?

29 August 2017
For our 2017 Travel Insurance Star Ratings release, Canstar has calculated just how much people have to pay for travel insurance by destination and age. How much could you have to pay for travel insurance, and what is the cost of not getting it?

It’s no secret that Australians love to travel – according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 823,000 of us travelled overseas in March this year alone and February 2016 – February 2017 saw 9.9 million Aussies go abroad short-term.

With the Australian dollar at its highest in months, now might be a good time to start planning that holiday you’ve been dreaming of. But with every international holiday you take – no matter where – you will need travel insurance.

How much does travel insurance cost? And how much does it cost to not have travel insurance? Canstar answers these questions for you below.

To assist you with comparing travel insurance products for singles travelling to Thailand, we have formulated a table that highlights products that are currently on offer in the market with links directly to the providers website. Sorted by our star ratings (highest to lowest).

How much does travel insurance cost

For our 2017 Travel Insurance Star Ratings, Canstar Research has calculated the average premiums you can expect to pay for a 10-day trip to various countries, including Australia.

These premiums may vary by destination, whether you are travelling alone or as a couple or family, and whether you are a senior.

Minimum, maximum and average premiums by age and destination

Expanding on the infographic above, the following tables provide more detail on the minimum, maximum and average premiums you can expect to pay based on your destination and the kind of traveller you are.

These premiums have been calculated by Canstar Research using a 10-day trip as an example.

Why doesn’t everyone pay the same for travel insurance?

The cost of travel insurance primarily depends on what risks you wish to be covered for. However there are many other factors that affect how much your travel insurance may cost:


You can see in the charts above that the most expensive insurance policies by far are for seniors – senior couples in particular. There are many countries where senior couples pay nearly double that of a couple under 70 years of age.

Age is an important factor when it comes to travel insurance for health reasons; different health conditions may be more likely to affect a traveller depending on how old they are. There are many health conditions that are more common for older travellers, such as pre-existing medical conditions, heart problems, cancer and diabetes.

It’s important to note that many pre-existing medical conditions may be excluded from your insurance policy, and as you age you are likely to have a greater number of these conditions. Hence, it’s important to read your policy document carefully to ensure that you know what you are and are not covered for.

You can also compare travel insurance policies on the Canstar website to find one that meets your requirements:

Where you go

The country you’re travelling to may impact the cost of your travel insurance because each country has it’s own unique level of risk for various events happening. This doesn’t apply for domestic travel insurance.

Travel insurance to a relatively safe country like New Zealand will cost a single person $67 on average at the time of writing , but travel to a country that is considered dangerous (according to Smart Traveller) will cost more. For example, South Africa is currently marked as a dangerous country to travel to, and our research shows that travel insurance for the same person will cost an average of $104.

Type of travel

The type of trip you are taking will involve different levels of risk. A leisurely holiday with the family in Fiji will probably be cheaper than a skiing trip in Japan.

Length of trip

The longer you are away, the higher the cost of insurance (generally). However the cost of insurance is still a very small proportion of the overall cost of your trip.

The charts above only show the premiums you can expect to pay for a 10-day trip, but Canstar has also collected data on 21-day trips. The infographic below highlights the differences between a 10-day trip and a 21-day trip to Bali, Indonesia.

How you play

The activities you plan to participate in while away can increase the risk of your trip, so you will typically pay more to add optional extra cover to your policy for risky or dangerous activities, e.g. skiing cover or water sports cover. Remember, some risky or dangerous activities are excluded from cover altogether, so make sure you know what you are covered for overseas.

Pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a health condition that may affect you while you’re away, and that condition is included within your travel insurance policy, then your insurance may be more expensive to reflect that risk.

The level of cover or limits you choose

Comprehensive policies are more expensive because they cover more risks than policies labelled ‘Basic’ or ‘Essential’.

Optional extra cover you choose

For optional extras, typical examples are if you want to be covered for skiing, water sports or extreme sports like rock climbing. Other examples include cover for continuing to house your pet in a boarding kennel if your return is delayed.

You can have a look at the kinds of extra cover available from various policies by using the Canstar comparison tool:

How much does it cost to not have travel insurance?

We’ll repeat it again: if you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel! Many Australians clearly haven’t been heeding this advice however, as three-quarters of a million of us travelled overseas uninsured in 2016, according to a report by Smart Traveller.

This is a bold strategy indeed, as 168,658 Australian adults without travel insurance experienced an insurable event that year, which can be broken down into:

  • 7% experiencing a cancelled flight or tour
  • 6% receiving medical treatment
  • 6% experiencing lost or stolen luggage
  • 5% missing a connecting flight
  • 4% losing or having their money stolen

Looking at an example of travelling to the United States, the table below shows what a claim will cost you in the United States. The costs take into account the average premiums for a 10-day and 21-day trip and add on the excess payable.

Cost of Travel Insurance for a 30-year-old Single Travelling in the USA
10 Day Trip 21 Day Trip
Average Premium $114 $164
Most Common Standard Claim Excess $100 $100
Most Common Additional Medical Claim Excess $100 $100
Source: Canstar’s Travel Insurance Star Ratings and Awards, 2017. Average premiums are quoted for an assumed standard claim excess of $100 and the most common additional medical claim excess of $100 is also displayed for the purposes of our following example.

In the table below, you can see the average cost of some of the most common claims made by Australians under their travel insurance policy alongside the cost of travel insurance.

USA Cost of Event
in AUD
Benefit Paid Cost of Travel Insurance – Single 10 Days Cost of Travel Insurance – Single 21 Days
Day in Hospital [1] $6,633 $6,633 $314 $364
Emergency Room Visit (heart condition) [2] $2,296 $2,296 $314 $364
Back Problems [2] $1,421 $1,421 $314 $364
Upper respiratory infection [2] $940 $940 $314 $364
Allergic Reaction [2] $367 $367 $314 $364
Train – New York to Miami (loss of pre-paid travel) $1,102 $1,102 $214 $264
Loss of iPad $978 $978 $214 $264
Theft of cash $635 $250 $214 $264
Source: Benefit paid and cost of travel insurance are based on products included in Canstar’s Travel Insurance Star Ratings and Awards, 2017. Cost of each claim event is an average cost, and except for replacement of iPad (which is assumed to be replaced upon return to Australia) is converted from US dollars to Australian dollars where $1AUD = $0.787USD. Cost of travel insurance includes average premiums as quoted for the most common standard excess of $100. The cost of a medical claim includes the most common additional excess of $100. [1] VInternational Federation of Health Plans, “2015 Comparative Price Report. Variation in Medical and Hospital Prices by Country.”, 2015. [2] Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2014.

You can see in this table just how much you stand to lose by not taking out a travel insurance policy; for less than $400 on average, you could save yourself over $6,000 should you need to spend the day in an American hospital. You could also save over $1,000 on treatment for back problems and over $600 if you lose your iPad.

The most common reason that people forgo travel insurance, according to Smart Traveller’s report, is that 28% of people “just don’t think about it,” while 20% considered it to be too expensive. Shockingly, only 25% of people who did think about travel insurance actually went and researched it!

To remedy this, Canstar has provided links to the websites of travel insurance providers that won our most recent Star Ratings Awards for 2017 in the table below. These providers have been recognised for their Outstanding Value to customers, so they’d be a good place to start.

To assist you with comparing travel insurance products for couples travelling to France, we have formulated a table that highlights products that are currently on offer in the market with links directly to the providers website. Sorted by our star ratings (highest to lowest).

You can also compare the other provides that we rate on the Canstar website: