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Find cheap travel insurance for the essentials
Want cheap travel insurance? Compare coverage to save on the basics.
If you’re looking for cheap travel insurance, it’s sometimes hard to know what’s a good deal and what’s not. If you’re just looking for basic cover for the essentials that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, you can find it on here in three simple steps:
- Work out how much cover you really need.
- Check out the latest policy discounts on finder.com.
- Compare travel insurance policies online.
- Trip cancellation: 100% of insured trip cost
- Trip interruption: 100% of insured trip cost
- Trip delay: $500
- Medical expense benefits: $15,000
Our top pick: Travelex Travel Basic
Essential travel coverage — with the option to customize — that can protect the cost of your trip.
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- Get a quote instantly
- Over 50 years of experience
What’s in this guide?
Compare budget travel insurance plans
What do I need from a budget travel insurance policy?
Make sure your policy covers most or all of these essential features.
It’s crucial to look past the price. Consider looking out for these features when looking at less expensive policies:
- Cancellation cover. If you have to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances, cancellation cover protects you for out of pocket expenses you incur because of lost pre-paid deposits or additional cancellation fees. An indication of good value from a basic policy is that it offers cancellation cover.
- Emergency medical cover. Budget travel insurance policies from insurers generally cover emergency medical expenses.
- Personal liability. Inexpensive travel insurance should also cover personal liability, which protects you if you’re liable for damage or injury to a third party.
- Luggage and personal effects cover. If your bags are lost by your travel provider, your insurance generally covers the replacement costs for your personal items. If your bags are delayed (generally for more than 24 hours), you’ll receive a benefit amount to help to buy new clothes until your luggage is located.
- 24/7 assistance. Make sure your travel insurance policy has 24/7 worldwide emergency assistance.
What can emergency medical cover include?
- 24 hour emergency
- Medical assistance
- Ambulance fees
- Medical evacuations
- Funeral arrangements
- Messages to family.
- Hospital expenses including surgeries
What else should I look for in a low-cost policy?
Go through this checklist before you commit to purchasing a basic plan:
Can cheap travel insurance cover rental car deductibles?
If your rental car is crashed, stolen or maliciously damaged during your trip, the rental company may charge you an expensive insurance excess, which is often several thousands of dollars. If you have travel insurance cover in place, this excess may be covered as part of your policy.
Can cheap travel insurance cover cancellations?
If unforeseen circumstances beyond your control force you to cancel your trip, for example if you suffer a serious injury and are unable to travel, you may be charged cancellation fees for your vacation and lose pre-paid deposits. The good news is that some budget travel insurance policies offer cover to help reimburse you for those costs. Check the fine print as cancellation certainly isn’t covered by all basic policies.
How do I get the cheapest policy without compromising cover?
When looking for a bargain on travel insurance, it’s easy to get wowed by price and sign up for cover without reading through the policy. Below are some key steps to take when comparing different budget travel insurance policies.
- Know your coverage needs. In order to get the right cover, it’s important to know what features are relevant for your trip. While you may be trying to find the cheapest travel insurance policy, it’s crucial to make sure you’re protection suits your needs. For example, cheaper travel insurance policies normally have lower limits for cancellation, which is an issue if you have a lot of pre-paid travel expenses.
- Know your limits. To have adequate and reasonably priced travel insurance, you need to look at the limits and sub-limits of the policy. For example, a policy may have unlimited cover for medical and evacuation but a sub-limit of $100,000 for medical and evacuation expenses due to terrorism.
- Know what cover you already have. If you have a credit card (or even a high-end debit card) you may have free travel insurance provided by that institution.
- Look out for special offers and discounts. Insurers regularly offer discounts to help you save further.
- Consider annual-multi trip or policies offering free child cover. This could save you hundreds if traveling with your family or if you are a frequent traveler.
- Know your exclusions. When looking for affordable travel insurance it’s important to look at the restrictions and exclusions of a policy. Each insurer has a section that lists what they don’t cover. Some typical exclusions to watch out for include:
- Illness or injury arising from pre-existing medical conditions.
- Injury from potentially risky sports — this will usually require a specific policy.
- Loss arising from act of terrorism, civil unrest or war.
- Negligence from policy owner left — like leaving your baggage unattended.
- Events where the policy owner has been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Many policies won’t cover accidents arising from motorbikes, scooters or rickshaw transport, common in many Asia Pacific destinations.
Can I get comprehensive medical on a discount policy?
One of the chief concerns of people looking for a travel insurance deal is whether the decrease in premiums means a dip in the level of medical cover. While this is true of many cheaper travel insurance policies, it is possible to get unlimited cover for medical and dental with budget travel insurance. Displayed below are budget policies from insurers in our panel that offer unlimited medical cover.
Is free credit card travel insurance enough?
If you’re searching for cheap travel insurance deals, chances are you’re already aware of complimentary travel insurance through your credit card. While many credit cards offer free travel insurance, there are both positives and negatives of choosing this type of cover.
Can seniors find affordable travel insurance?
Travel insurance becomes more expensive the older you get. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find a deal. You may be asking yourself, how do I find cheap travel insurance for seniors? Compare, compare, compare. The more seniors travel insurance quotes you look at, the better chance you have of finding a deal on your travel insurance. If you’re in good health, the chances are that you’ll be able to find more affordable travel insurance than someone else your age, it just takes time. Go on the offensive. Contact as many insurers as possible.
Should I buy travel insurance online?
More and more travellers are now going online to find and compare budget travel insurance options. Some key benefits of purchasing insurance cover online include:
- Convenience and ease. You can compare prices and features of plans at a glance, without leaving your home.
- Compare many different policies simultaneously. Enjoy the convenience of being able to compare multiple policy options at once as opposed to having to go through each policy document separately. Once you have a couple of suitable options, you may want to conduct a more in-depth comparison.
- Excellent choice. You’re able to access a range of plans and providers online, which can boost your chances of finding the right plan at the right price.
- Great value for money. Finding the cheapest travel insurance policy that also offers the cover you need is easy online, not only because you can cut out the middle man and go directly to the insurer, but also because you can find coupons and discount codes for those policies with the click of a button.
- Availability of policies with no medical exams. There are a number of insurers that provide cover without you having to undertake medical exams. However, if you do have a pre-existing medical condition, you’ll need to contact the insurer and may have to fill out a questionnaire.
- Speed. Once you have found a policy that you are pleased with you can go about getting cover in place right away. Travel Insurance can be put in place securely entirely online in a matter of minutes.
Here’s why you really should read the fine print
While buying cover online is convenient and straightforward, it’s critical you take the time to read through your product disclosure statement (PDS) before purchasing the policy. Many people buy their budget policy without reading through the terms and conditions, placing themselves at risk of an unsuccessful claim.
When an uninsured person gets into this type of situation the personal tragedy can be magnified through long-term financial hardship. Medical evacuations, hospitalization and the return of your body to the US should you die overseas can be extremely expensive. The following are some real-world situations:
- In many places in South East Asia the cost of hospitalization can exceed $800 a day. Rescue efforts have been called on to arrange medical evacuations from the popular holiday destination of Bali where emergency medical costs have exceeded $60,000.
- It costs more than $10,000 to have your remains returned home from Europe if you were to die while traveling.
Common cheap cover traps to avoid
While cheaper travel insurance is better than no travel insurance at all, you still have to make sure the cover you do get is satisfactory to your needs. Policy conditions for what you are and are not covered for can be quite complex so it’s important to have an idea of what to look out for. So, what should a good budget travel insurance policy cover?
- Assuming that cheaper policies will cover trip interruptions. Many policies cover you for when your car breaks down on the way to catch your plane causing you to miss your flight. Cheaper travel insurance policies usually limit this clause to only cover you in the event of a breakdown of public transportation.
- Assuming that the policy will cover missed connections. When you inadvertently miss a connecting flight, a cost is involved in buying another ticket and sometimes the need for overnight accommodation. Budget travel insurance does not usually cover you for such losses.
- Assuming that budget travel insurance will cover family emergencies (e.g. the passing of a close family member). The definition of ‘close relatives’ can be different on a budget policy than that of the comprehensive travel insurance cover. An uncle or aunt becoming ill and causing you to have to change plans might not cut it with a cheaper travel insurance policy.
- Thinking of just the upfront cost. The cheaper types of policies usually make you pay a deductible before the actual insurance is payable even if the event can be claimed. You will find that although you are still covered for many events, you will have to pay a deductible that a more expensive policy may not have included.
- Expecting that pre-existing conditions are covered. The most common exclusion is for pre-existing medical conditions. If your illness or injury can be traced back to a pre-existing condition that was present before you made the claim, you claim will be declined unless it is automatically covered, or you have reported it to your insurer and been approved cover for it.
Questions you should ask when it comes to budget cover
- How is my travel insurance so cheap? Specific exclusions are another way of creating inexpensive travel insurance policies. In these cases you will find that quite severe exclusions have been imposed as part of the conditions.
- How is depreciation treated by your budget supplier? Wear and tear deductions are a feature on most of the cheaper policy baggage claims. The cheaper travel insurance policies will usually reduce the value of the item by its age, wear and tear condition.
- Is there cheap travel insurance with no deductible? The cheaper types of policies usually make you pay an excess before the actual insurance is payable even if the event can be claimed. You’ll find that although you are still covered for many events, you will have to pay excess that a more expensive policy will not have included.
Find reasonably priced travel insurance and apply online
If you have a trip coming up and are looking to find affordable travel insurance, you can compare policies and apply entirely online. It’s critical that you are fully aware of the conditions of your policy and the level of cover that is provided. If you’re unsure about any of the policy features or definitions, don’t hesitate to contact the insurer to have any queries resolved.
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