How to save money on travel insurance

Smartraveler and CHOICE share tips for saving money on travel insurance.

How to save on travel insurance

Whether you’re travelling overseas or flying interstate, taking out some form of travel insurance is highly advisable.

Those travelling overseas can enjoy knowing that should things not go as planned – such as losing baggage or flight delays leading to missed room reservations, or worse, medical mishaps or accidents – that you’re totally covered.

Also, some countries won’t even let you in the door if you don’t have travel insurance.

Domestic travellers, while covered for any medical events by Medicare or private health insurance, take up coverage for baggage mishandling, cancellations or car hire excess.

Typically, travel insurance isn’t too expensive, unless you have pre-existing conditions or are engaging in some pretty risky activities.

But as affordable as travel insurance can be, there are ways to make it even cheaper and still enjoy the coverage you need for your time away.

Our friends at Smartraveller have teamed up with CHOICE to create a super-informative Travel Insurance Buying Guide. In it, you can learn when you need insurance, find out the best time to buy and how to make sure you choose the right cover.

Even better are their tips for helping you save money on insurance.

Buy early
You only pay for the period in which you’re travelling, but you’re covered from the moment you buy your policy. So, if you buy two months before you fly, you effectively have free cover for any events that affect your travel plans in those two months. Left it until the last minute, or even later?

Only a few insurers let you buy insurance once you’re already overseas (look for the ‘Have you already left Australia?’ checkbox).

Buy online
While not all policies are discounted online, plenty are. Make sure you understand the policy and what it covers. Sometimes you get less cover with online policies, so make sure a reduced price doesn’t mean reduced cover.

Tips: Check to find out whether the agent has an Australian financial services (AFS) licence or is an authorised representative of a licence holder. Take the usual precautions when giving your credit card and other details over the internet.

Stay loyal
Does your health, car or home insurance provider also sell travel insurance? Some companies give 10 per cent to 15 per cent discounts to members.

Shop around
Trying to negotiate with a website won’t get you a better price, but if you’re buying over the phone or through a travel agent, give it a go.

Travel agents pocket a commission when they sell you insurance, so if you find a better deal elsewhere, ask them if they can beat it.

Use your credit card
Some credit cards come with ‘free’ travel insurance when you use them to buy a ticket or to pay for other travel expenses (we say ‘free’ because you’ll pay a premium in fees for the card itself).

This type of insurance can sometimes be a money-saver, but make sure it gives you the cover you need.

Compromise on cover
While good medical cover is always essential, you could save money on your premium by choosing a policy with lower or variable cover for cancellation, delays and baggage, particularly if you aren’t spending big on your holiday or taking expensive items with you.

Do you take out insurance every time you travel? Do you have any tips for saving money on travel insurance?



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    Retiring Well
    13th Oct 2018
    I just use my fee free credit card with free travel insurance and lots of points. You can use points for all sorts of things. A recent trip gave me enough points for 25c a litre of my fuel for a year.
    13th Oct 2018
    Us too. Been doing that for years and I read enough blogs to accept that insurance will be paid if required.
    I cannot understand WHY YLC keeps flogging paid travel insurance. Having read through the PDF the cover is no different than the free credit card insurance and the providers are the same large companies.
    Personally you'd have to be a mug to fork out $500 - $1500 a trip for something you can get for free. If people feel good about paying a business for the same cover then good luck. We never have and have saved at least $4000 over the years. That's a two return flights to the US and $2000 spending money in itself! Not bad.
    13th Oct 2018
    Yep nothing at all wrong with the credit card insurance, as you say Mick I've read numerous comments from people who have claimed without issues. Also I noticed the article mentions that "you’ll pay a premium in fees for the card itself", not mine, Bankwest fee free Platinum Card so there's no cost at all, never.
    13th Oct 2018
    By paying for my trip with my Platinum card, free travel insurance is included.
    13th Oct 2018
    That is the card we have, David. Just check on your time abroad for coverage. Enjoy your lobster.
    13th Oct 2018
    Good point Jim. Different cards cover different length of time away. Mainly prolonged trips though.
    13th Oct 2018
    Hey everyone, stop spreading the info re travel insurance using the credit card ! May end up disadvantaging ourselves if it becomes common knowledge ;-)

    13th Oct 2018
    I take out travel insurance with my private health fund. We do have credit cards with built in insurance as well, however we spend more time outside the country than the card permits. Very good for one holiday a year and while still at work used that one exclusively. Just check under 'conditions' on your credit card before you trust it to work - they cover a certain amount of weeks; and once you reach 80 they are worthless.
    13th Oct 2018
    80 weeks is a serious time away Jim. You are probably better off maxing out the credit card insurance and then topping up with a paid one to save money.
    13th Oct 2018
    Mick - I meant 80 years of age. Never been away that long, possibly could not afford it without selling the house.
    double j
    13th Oct 2018
    We always take a annual travel insurance policy with a max of 60days out of the country however if you overlap the policies you can achieve a longer time away at no extra cost The other thing we do is suspend our private heath cover which covers the cost of the travel insurance
    13th Oct 2018
    The way to do it for sure, whenever we know that we are out of the country for more than 2 months we suspend the health insurance and take the international with the same provider. Do not you an only do that for a minimum of 2 months (not 7 weeks for instance). That has been made very clear. Thanks for putting that up, double j

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