My parents are going on an overseas cruise in just under a month so I have been looking at travel insurance options for them. If you are planning to travel, insurance is an important consideration. For most, overseas travel is a rewarding experience. No one plans for things to go wrong, but unfortunately sometimes they do. Travel insurance is a great way to be prepared for such problems by providing you with security and protection whilst you are traveling domestically or internationally. While investigating the best deal at the lowest price, I decided to compare a few options and bring them over here to share. My parents will only be gone for 12 days but I wanted to conduct this investigation on a larger scale; larger in travel duration and in terms of multiple regions being visited. I will be using the dates and regions I required travel insurance for during my three month overseas adventure in 2008.
Duration of trip:
July 21 – October 14
Regions being visit:
Europe & USA –> Worldwide
The European tour I went on and a majority of my airfares were booked through STA Travel here in Australia, so it made sense to purchase my travel insurance through them too. The travel agent I was dealing with at STA Travel was a friend and advised me not to purchase my travel insurance through them as they were terribly over priced. She cautiously slipped me a website to check out and also suggested looking at other companies which is exactly what I did. While on the topic of STA Travel though, let’s check out their prices for my dates and region. QBE Australia are the underwriters for STA Travel’s travel insurance.
First up, the comprehensive option. This covers basically everything you could imagine from medical and loss of luggage to plane hijacking. The monetary amounts you are covered for are, in a worst case scenario, efficient and in most cases, unlimited.
Level of Excess for STA Travel comprehensive travel insurance: $250
Total Cost of STA Travel comprehensive travel insurance: $798
Ouch! Seems a bit steep. STA Travel, however, also offers a budget travel insurance option for those not so cashed up. Beware, though, this option, by no means, covers any where near as much as the comprehensive option.
Total cost of STA Travel budget travel insurance: $349
Next we look at Allianz. Allianz travel insurance is underwritten by Worldcare. Like STA Travel, they offer both a comprehensive and a budget insurance option. Allianz’ comprehensive insurance covers similar to that of STA Travel’s, both in terms of benefits and the monetary value you are covered for.
Allianz Insurance results:
Level of Excess for Allianz comprehensive travel insurance: Not indicated
Total Cost of Allianz comprehensive travel insurance: $363
That is already a $435 saving when compared to STA Travel’s comprehensive insurance. Not bad considering their plan benefits are quite similar. Allianz’ comprehensive insurance is only $14 more than STA Travel’s budget insurance! Now, let’s take a look at Allianz’ budget insurance. It must be noted though, that Allianz’ budget insurance does not cover as much as STA Travel’s budget insurance. Its main emphasis is medical benefits and that is pretty much it.
Total cost of Allianz budget travel insurance: $146
This next pricing comparison is with Travel Insurance Direct. After careful consideration, this is the company I ended up booking my travel insurance with. I came across them via an online forum discussing travel insurance options and prices. Travel Insurance Direct are underwritten by Allianz. With Travel Insurance Direct, however, instead of selecting a ‘Worldwide’ region to cover both Europe and the USA, you are asked to select the region in which you are spending the most time in. Since I was spending two months in Europe and one month in the USA, I selected Europe as my desired region. I was skeptical about this, though, as I worried what would happen if I was injured in the USA after selecting Europe. The region guide clearly states…
“When making the region selection, choose the region where the majority of your trip is going to be spent and this will also cover you for all other areas you travel to.
For example, if you are spending 3 days in Singapore, 2 weeks in the UK and 4 weeks in Europe, select ‘Europe’ as your destination and you will be covered in Singapore and the UK also.”
Even after reading this, I was sure to call the company several times to make sure this was correct, and, to my surprise, it was. I think this is what kept the price down and lower than the others I had researched. Travel Insurance Direct offers no budget insurance option, just the one comprehensive policy is offered.
Travel Insurance Direct results:
Level of Excess for TID comprehensive travel insurance: Not indicated
Total Cost of TID comprehensive travel insurance: $302
Although the total cost came to $302, upon doing some Googling, I came across some promotional codes which entitled me to receive a discount on top of this already low cost. At the time of blogging, both promotional codes are still valid. To make use of them, after you have input your travel details and received your quote, just below the quote section is a highlighted pink section that looks like this:
When you tick the box, you are prompted to enter the promotional code. The two I have access to are:
ARTOG – Entitles you to a 5% discount off total insurance
TIDXMASPC – Entitles you to a 10% discount off total insurance
(Meant to expire Dec 31, 2008, but it still seems to be working)
ARTOG drops my quote down to $286.90 and
TIDXMASPC drops my quote down to $271.80.
That is a further $92 saving when compared to Allianz’ comprehensive travel insurance and $527 when compared to STA Travel! That is bloody awesome considering their benefit summary is so similar. Being budget conscious at the time, it is clear to see why this option was best for me. I received comprehensive cover at a budget price! Fortunately for me, I did not need to make any claims, so, unfortunately for you, I cannot tell you how good Travel Insurance Direct is when dealing with clients who do lodge claims. Considering they are underwritten by Allianz though, I am assuming they will not prove a problem if it comes to that.
One last option I want to touch on is World Nomads. World Nomads is, like Travel Insurance Direct, underwritten by Allianz Insurance. It offers a cheap form of comprehensive travel insurance, however, unlike many of the other comprehensive benefit plans, World Nomads does not offer unlimited medical and only insures up to the value of $5,000,000 for singles.
World Nomads results:
Level of Excess for World Nomads comprehensive travel insurance: $100
Total Cost of World Nomads comprehensive travel insurance: $257
Although World Nomads works out to be slightly cheaper than Travel Insurance Direct, the benefits offered and value covered is not as extreme as Travel Insurance Direct. However, if you think the benefits are more than enough to get you through your trip, then by all means, take the cheaper option. Just remember, you cannot control what happens to you while you are on vacation.
TRAVEL INSURANCE SUMMARY TABLE