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Travel Insurance - who is the best?

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Noni Moss

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Looking for the best "value for money" travel insurance (for single trip).

Hubby & I will be away for 2 months and are flying RTW using points, so our credit card "automatic travel insurance offers" will probably not cover us (after reading advice on other posts).

We will need Worldwide coverage (due to spending some time in USA/Canada). I have been comparing exclusions and benefits as well as price which has ranged from $1200 (via travel agent) to $620 (via medical fund).

Just wondered if anyone has some recommendations. Cheers :)
 

Mal

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I use QBE Travel Insurance. Reasonably cheap with the Entertainment book discount (30% off the Annual Multi-trip policy at the moment). Never had to lodge a claim though, so can't give details on that.

Note that for 2 months, you may actually get better value from an 'annual multi-trip' type of policy. For example, a quick quote via QBE (without any discount) is roughly $1150 for a family (no children), or $625 for an annual policy for a family (no children). [Entertainment book gets 30% off the rates if you book online]. Havn't looked into it closely, but presume 'family' (no children) means husband and wife.

Note that some annual policies have limits of ~30 days or ~60 days so make sure you read the terms carefully. The QBE one via Entertainment book has a 2 month (60 day) limit on trips if using the annual policy.

Also, note that if you have a 'Gold' membership of this site, you are entitled to a 20% discount off insurance from Columbus Direct (http://www.columbusdirect.com/aus/ )
 
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straitman

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Noni Moss,

Have a look at the Columbus Insurance offered via a Gold FF membership.

Two months for a couple came in at $257 and an annual at $311. This is a 20% discount over normal rates offered so I guess these would be $321 and $389.

Gold membership is well worth it and saves you more than the difference in insurance premium.

I use the annual policy.
 

Dave Noble

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straitman said:
Noni Moss,

Have a look at the Columbus Insurance offered via a Gold FF membership.

Two months for a couple came in at $257 and an annual at $311. This is a 20% discount over normal rates offered so I guess these would be $321 and $389.

Gold membership is well worth it and saves you more than the difference in insurance premium.

I use the annual policy.

I would second the recommendation for Columbus. I took out annual policy with them; had to make a claim and they paid up promptly with zero hassle

Dave
 

Pirate

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I have used QBE travel insurance, via the entertainment book link (25% discount), three times in the last 3 years, all for travel to the US (5 weeks, 2 weeks and 6 weeks for each one). Have also had to claim for medical expenses on first one, and travel delay expenses on second one (Thanks DeathStar). Each time, no hassles, paid up promptly with no trouble. Can highly recommend them (if you use them thru QFF link I think you can even get cover for lost points if you cancel).:)
 

Dave Noble

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I would avoid QBE since it is ridiculously expensive at $525 for an individual and $625 for a family vs Columbus $250 for a single and $389 for a couple ( reduced by 20% with a AFF Gold membership ). 75% of 625 is still $468 whilst the Columbus can be dropped to $311.20 plus $50 AFF fee = $361.20

Dave
 

Alanslegal

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Noni Moss said:
Hubby & I will be away for 2 months and are flying RTW using points, so our credit card "automatic travel insurance offers" will probably not cover us (after reading advice on other posts).
it's probably better to check your CC terms & conditions to find out the specific details, as the cc policy may in fact allow coverage even on award flights as long as you pay for the taxes? or even some minimum spend on the trip? for eg. my ANZ Gold will cover me as long as you spend a minimum of $250.00 on the trip PRIOR to commencing your trip - it doesnt have to be on the flight or hotel, eg. i would be eligible even if I prepay $250 on a dinner reservation in Prague or wherever i travel to.......
 

straitman

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Alanslegal said:
it's probably better to check your CC terms & conditions to find out the specific details, as the cc policy may in fact allow coverage even on award flights as long as you pay for the taxes? or even some minimum spend on the trip? for eg. my ANZ Gold will cover me as long as you spend a minimum of $250.00 on the trip PRIOR to commencing your trip - it doesnt have to be on the flight or hotel, eg. i would be eligible even if I prepay $250 on a dinner reservation in Prague or wherever i travel to.......
From my experience there are to many 'grey' areas, operating this way which is why I bought insurance rather than using that provided by AMEX. (for a rewards ticket)
 

Danger

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I agree with Alanslegal about checking on the minimum spend as my two cards both require spending prior but not necessarily on flights. I recently made a claim using Visa Platinum travel insurance for delayed luggage and the claim was settled within a couple of days, no dramas at all.
 

serfty

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To summarise this as it relates to me and my cards:

  • ANZ Qantas Plat requires $250 of travel content pre-paid using the card before departure. e.g. airfares, accommodation.
  • AMEX Business Gold card requires the entire fare to be charged to the card prior to any injury/event.
Because of these issues and possible choice of card, I choose to have an annual policy. For a tax deductable $340 it removes any issues I may have with either of the above.
 
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Alanslegal

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serfty said:
Because of these issues and possible choice of card, I choose to have an annual policy. For a tax deductable $340 it removes any issues I may have with either of the above.
A good suggestion to one frequent traveller but if the OP has only the 1 RTW travel and no further travel plans in the upcoming 12 months, then the annual policy may not be suited to them.

Further the OP's RTW may be all personal, so no tax deductibility there.
 

Fifa

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And the majority of the annual policies include domestic travel cover (+ car hire excess) which is handy for the odd weekends away!
 

Mal

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The one other tip I'll give is to read through any policy you're interested in carefully. They all vary - both in coverages and payout figures.

The easiest example I can give is that some policies don't cover you in countries where the Australian Government has advised you to reconsider travel/don't travel to. Indonesia is one of these destinations. So if on certain policies, you won't be covered going to Indonesia. Lots of little loopholes all over the place. Watch out!

But travel insurance is a necessity, so just watch what you buy.
 

Shano

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Mal raised a good point. Coincidentally I was just recently reviewing our corporate travel policy (through QBE). A couple of other things that spring to mind:
  • no cover for your items that are stolen out of your hotel room
  • no cover if you are kidnapped in South America (fortunately I do not travel to South America at the moment)
So yes, definitely read the policy very carefully.
 

Dave Noble

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Shano said:
no cover if you are kidnapped in South America (fortunately I do not travel to South America at the moment)[/LIST]So yes, definitely read the policy very carefully.
If you get kidnapped, is there a gentlemen's agreement that the abductors will allow the person to call their insurance company to make the claim? :)

Dave
 

Noni Moss

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Sep 22, 2004
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My thanks to everyone who posted a response - I have been taking your advice on board and following up your suggestions.

To clarify a couple of points, we are looking at single-trip insurance rather than annual as we're not frequent or corporate/business travellers - purely a "pleasure" trip ;)

I was going to mention in my original post (but didn't want to complicate matters), but I have a Pre-Existing Condition (cancer) which I would like to be 'covered' (in case Murphy's Law occurs and something flares up after 5 years of being okay, but also taking medication so it's still classed as pre-existing). Unfortunately Travel Ins Direct won't cover this.

Also when I checked out Columbus, they advised it's not available if over 64yo (damn - hubby has just turned 65!)

We have paid for the taxes/charges using Westpac Platinum Amex card, so if anyone has their info handy, please let me know, otherwise I will start reading the fine print.

Many thanks again :)
 

serfty

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With "pre-existing medical condition"s and age issues, all bets are off.

That gets us to what insurance really is; bookmaking. The companies punt, preferably on bets like to make them a profit. Toss additional factors in, such as AGE or PEMC and the 'easy' money stops - many simple don't want to lknow you.

I believe you will be able to find insurance to cover you both, but check the cost. Self insurance may be 'cheaper'.

It's possible you may get cover at a reasonable cost that excludes events that relate to PEMC or AGE. That may be the better way to go. However, (basically) you then will be self-insuring events that relate to illness.
 
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