International Travel Insurance

Get the best coverage for your international holiday by comparing insurance with Savvy.

Last updated on August 4th, 2022 at 04:54 pm by Thomas Perrotta

Compare international travel insurance with Savvy

Taking flight or setting sail for an overseas adventure should be an opportunity for you to relax and take in the sights and sounds of your holiday destination. An international travel insurance policy can help you do just that, as you can forget your worries about any unexpected or untimely events leaving you caught short.

You can compare a range of competitive international travel insurance options right here with Savvy so you can get the coverage you need at the right price. Start the process today and have your insurance sorted before you know it and take off stress-free.

How does international travel insurance work?

International travel insurance is a policy taken out with an insurer designed to provide you with coverage for a range of potential events which may occur whilst you’re on holiday overseas. In terms of how it works, you’ll be required to pay a premium (or set of premiums, depending on how long you’re covered for) for your policy. In return for doing so, you can make a claim under your policy if a covered event occurs and leaves you out of pocket, which your insurer can then partly or fully reimburse you for.

There are different types of travel insurance available to those booking an overseas trip. The two main options to think about are whether you need comprehensive insurance or a basic travel policy.

Comprehensive travel insurance

Taking out a comprehensive policy is the best way to ensure you receive the most coverage whilst on holiday. These policies insure a wider range of potential events, which could help give you peace of mind that you won’t find yourself majorly out of pocket and strapped for cash whilst you’re far from home. As a result of their expanded coverage, comprehensive policies are more expensive to take out than basic travel insurance, but you may find the few extra dollars worth it if you have to make a claim.

Basic travel insurance

As the name suggests, a basic travel insurance policy is more barebones than its comprehensive counterpart. You won’t have as great a number of claimable events and there may be more conditions in place for events which are eligible to be covered. Basic policies are obviously the cheapest travel insurance option and may be more suitable if you’re travelling light or not planning to venture far from your hotel or resort.

What does international travel insurance cover?

The coverage international travel insurance provides will differ between insurers, as all providers are different. However, in general, the following events can be covered under a comprehensive travel insurance policy:

Medical expenses

This is the most important factor for most Australians jet setting abroad, as being injured in an accident or falling ill overseas can result in a hefty hospital bill which can put a major dampener on your holiday (if not stretch your budget considerably). This can include a variety of different events in many different circumstances, including:

  • Standard medical treatment
  • Emergency treatment, such as in a hospital
  • Ambulance or helicopter transportation to receive treatment
  • Returns to Australia for medical purposes

However, it’s just as important, if not more so, to learn about what your policy doesn’t cover. There may be certain activities which aren’t included in your policy which won’t be covered if your medical requirements stem from them, such as if you fell off a motorcycle and required treatment when this was an exclusion.

It’s also important to note that many insurers won’t, or will charge extra to, cover treatment for pre-existing conditions. This may range from cancer to diabetes to heart, kidney and liver conditions to other conditions such as disability or mental health. When comparing your insurance options with Savvy, it’s important to look for one which can provide cover for your condition.

Loss or theft of (or damage to) items

Many travellers may be concerned about misplacing their belongings, having them stolen or damaged, which is why travel insurance companies can offer coverage in this area. The items which can be covered range from luggage to electronics such as phones and laptops, jewellery and even cash.

Your policy can reimburse you for the value of lost or damaged items up to a set limit, which will differ depending on the item. For instance, smartphone limits may be set at $1,000, while you could receive cover of up to $3,000 or more for your luggage.

In terms of what won’t be covered by your policy, you may not be able to claim for electronics damaged in transit, as well as if your items were lost or damaged after being checked in with your airline. Additionally, you may not be reimbursed if your item was lost or stolen whilst unattended or if you were under the influence of alcohol when it disappeared or was damaged.

Cancellation fees

Sometimes things go wrong both prior to and during your holiday and you need to cancel plans, whether they be hotel bookings, flights or for other experiences which may not be refundable. There are many situations where an international travel insurance policy can help you out when it comes to covering the cost of cancellations, including in the following situations:

  • You become ill, or a family member falls ill or dies
  • You become pregnant before your trip and are advised against travelling by medical professionals
  • The Australian Government changes their advice level on your destination to “do not travel”
  • You’re planning to study overseas but your course is scrapped

However, not all cancellations will be eligible. If you knew about a potential situation prior to booking your holiday and purchasing your policy and it becomes the reason for your cancellation, you won’t be covered. Mistakes from airlines or travel agencies also aren’t covered, nor are cancellations due to mental health episodes.

Hire car excess

If you’re renting a car overseas and end up in a scrap, your travel insurance policy can cover part, or all, of the excess you’re charged. This will also be subject to a given limit, so you may be required to pay more if your limit falls short of the value of your hire car excess (as well as your own excess as part of your insurance policy).

However, there are several clear situations where you won’t be covered, such as if you were breaking local laws at the time or were using the incorrect type of petrol. Some companies will only include this as an optional extra, so if you’re planning to rent a vehicle while you’re on holiday, it’s worth comparing your options to find one which can cover you.

How should I compare international travel insurance policies?

When it comes to comparing your options for international travel insurance, there are many considerations to take into account to help you lock in the best policy for your needs. The key areas to think about when shopping around for travel insurance are:

  • Cost of premiums: you shouldn’t have to pay more than necessary for the coverage you need. It’s important to look at how much different policies’ premiums are and whether you can save meaningful funds while still being insured in all the areas you’re looking for.
  • Inclusions and exclusions: as mentioned above, different companies have different inclusions and exclusions, so you should always keep these front of mind when comparing insurance policies. It’s always more important to be safe than sorry, even if it means spending a bit extra on premiums.
  • Optional extras: some insurers may offer certain aspects of their coverage as an extra, meaning you’ll be required to pay more for it to be added to your policy. If you want to be covered for a particular activity, such as skiing or scuba diving, it’s worth looking for those who either cover it or can add it as an extra.
  • Countries covered: not all insurers may be able to provide coverage for the country you’re looking to travel to, so this should, of course, be a key factor when it comes to deciding which is the best international travel insurance policy for you.
  • Excess: you should always ensure that the excess you set for your policy is manageable for you. If you’re wondering what this is, it’s the sum you pay your lender as part of the cost of your claim. There shouldn’t be any danger of you running out of money or stretching your budget when you make a claim, so you should pick an insurer who allows you to make an affordable excess.

Top tips for saving money on international travel insurance

Set a higher excess

The higher the excess you set, the less your premiums will cost. This shifts part of the financial risk from the insurer to you, which is rewarded with a cheaper overall deal in most cases. You’ll have to pay more if you end up making a claim, but you’ll save money overall if you get through your holiday unscathed.

Think about the policy you need

It’s important to consider your needs as a traveller. If you’re travelling with your family, it might be worth taking one family insurance policy rather than several individual ones. If you’re a particularly frequent flyer, it might be worth looking at a multi-trip or annual policy instead. Both of these options could save you money in these circumstances.

Don’t pay for unnecessary coverage

Opting for a policy which includes a range of covered events which won’t apply to you could mean your money is going down the drain. For example, you could save money by looking at a medical-only policy if you travel light and aren’t planning to partake in any risky activities whilst you’re overseas.

Compare your options with Savvy

Of course, one of the simplest ways to save money is to take the time to consider as many offers as you can. Before your insurer even has a chance to look at your profile, you can automatically maximise your chances of finding the cheapest travel insurance policy suitable for your needs by comparing with Savvy.

Common international travel insurance questions answered

Will my international travel insurance cover me for COVID-19-related events?

Now that Australia has opened up following the lengthy closures from the start of the pandemic, there are providers who can cover you for certain events related to COVID-19. Some of these include:

  • Cancellations from contracting COVID-19 before or during your trip
  • Cancellations from becoming a close contact of someone with COVID-19
  • Additional quarantine costs if you contract COVID-19 overseas
Can I take out an international travel insurance policy if I’m pregnant?

Yes – pregnant travellers are still able to access coverage through their travel insurance policy. This can cover things like unexpected complications, medical expenses or cancellations related to the pregnancy up to as far into your pregnancy as 36 weeks in some cases (although 30 or less is a more common number). However, it’s important to consider the exclusions for these policies, such as those who have already experienced pregnancy-related difficulties or have been advised against travelling by your doctor.

Will the country I choose to travel to affect the cost of my premiums?

Yes – different destinations come with different costs from travel insurers. This may be for several reasons, but the most notable is in relation to healthcare systems. You’ll likely find that travel insurance for a trip to the United States will cost much more, which is in large part down to the fact that they don’t offer universal healthcare. In contrast, your trip to Europe will often cost less because they have a less expensive healthcare system.

Can I take out international travel insurance if I’m a senior?

Yes – many travel insurers offer policies designed for senior travellers. Not all providers will enforce the same age limits, with some capping their coverage at 65 years old, while others offer policies to travellers all the way up to 99. It’s important to compare your options and find one which is able to cover you if you’re a senior.

Will I be able to lengthen my travel insurance policy while I’m still overseas?

Yes – there are providers who will allow you to extend your policy under certain circumstances, such as if you’re experiencing delays whilst overseas or if you’re willing to pay extra to do so. However, you won’t be able to do this with all insurers, so you’ll have to compare your options if you wish to have the flexibility to extend your holiday.

Do travel insurance policies cover personal liability?

Yes – there are travel insurance policies which can cover you if you’re found to be liable for someone else’s injury. This can range up to $2 million in some cases, but it’s important to check with your insurer if you wish to cover yourself in this area.