Who Offers The Best Travel Insurance For RTW Travel?
Everywhere I go I see one travel blog after another recommending World Nomads Travel insurance. Why? Affiliates, that’s why.
Now I’m not saying they don’t serve a purpose in their own right, there’s pros and cons to World Nomads travel insurance just like any other. However the idea that every single person who writes a travel blog all happens to have the same favourite travel insurance provider is laughable. That’s part of the reason that led me to make a travel insurance guide.
There’s not a lot of imagination out there or any sort of decent impartial look into what’s actually being provided by each travel insurance company, surely the competition is equally capable of providing a decent policy!? (So long as it’s not AAMI as you’ll see below)
So I did my own painstaking research. Painstaking because travel insurance PDS (Product Disclosure Statements) are worded in such a way that you will lose interest in the finer details and not really understand what you’re buying. Are you getting the travel insurance you thought you were? Not always.
I have added a little table, because tables are insanely sexual and badass. Also for simplicity sakes to avoid you needing to dig through a PDS yourself. Although, in saying that, before your purchase I’d recommend reading AT LEAST the PDS of the policy you wish to purchase.
By reading the PDS you’ll get a proper understanding of what is and isn’t covered, under which circumstances they will try to not cover you and also an indication of what you’re required to do in the event of a claim.
Do I need Travel Insurance?
If you’re wondering whether travel insurance is a necessity, you may as well not be reading this post. I’ll try to answer this question as quickly as possible though.
Yes. You need travel insurance. Don’t even question it, just question which type will work best for you based on your needs. See the bottom of this page for more information on why some policies work for some people but are limited for others.
If you think you don’t need travel insurance, you’re way too cool for me. I envy you (not really).
Travel Insurance Terminology
Can’t have a travel insurance guide without explaining at least the very basics. For those who seriously don’t know about insurance, maybe you’re just out of high school and have never dealt with any type of insurances before. Either way, if you find it confusing here’s the only two terms that might be causing you trouble;
Premium: This is the amount you will pay to be covered by the insurer. So you will be out of pocket this amount, regardless of whether you ever need to make a claim with your insurer. Normally this is just paid as a lump sum before the cover starts.
A higher number isn’t always a bad thing, just like the lowest number isn’t an indication of value to you. Match a premium with the cover offered to determine value to yourself.
Excess: This is the amount you pay in addition to the premium, but only on the chance that you make a claim. This can be lowered or raised from the standard $200 amount which will in turn lower or raise your premium. In saying this, I’d recommend keeping it at $200 because the effects on the premium are negligible at best.
Say for example you have your wallet stolen with $100 inside it. You wouldn’t make a claim as the excess you would have to pay would be higher than the cost of the wallet and cash combined. It allows insurance companies to avoid nuisance claims and try focus on the more serious situations where bags are stolen or lost, or where people are injured.
…so you must dig tables huh?
Feel free to have a gander at some other tables I’ve created. Tables are perfect for holding food and beverages, but also for displaying information for comparison.
Wooden tables are sometimes made from wood. An easy way to tell is by asking the person who made it.
*Disclaimers And Other Handy Info
Here are some things to note before checking out the travel insurance comparison table below;
- For equal comparison I used “Worldwide” whenever available when inputting the destination location for my free quote. When this was not an option I put areas such as “Central America”, “South America”, “Africa” etc until it was basically covering the entire world (including Antarctica)
- I also used the time frame of 365 days, for a single traveller who is 30 years old. This way the information is the same for every quote and they can be fairly compared
- These premiums listed are for the most comprehensive of covers, all of these companies will offer cheaper plans but I only wanted to compare the Comprehensive covers for this exercise
- I excluded the columns “Excess”, “Public Liabilities” and “Medical Expenses” because after looking back at the finished products the medical expenses were alway stated as “unlimited for emergencies”. Public Liability was always between $2.5-$5mil and the excess for every company except RAC (which was $250 but could be changed) was $200
- I used the top Google search results, I can’t compare every company but many of the favourites are here. Keep in mind that me being Australian, these search results will vary for you
- With the above being mentioned, it should be noted that these prices are given in $AUD and may vary for your nationality
- Product review rating is taken from the product review website in November 2019, it’s subject to change. Keep in mind some people leave reviews without ever having to make a claim, which to me seems a little odd. However AAMI’s results speak for themselves
- International Driver’s Licenses are sometimes required if you wish to be covered for riding a scooter or driving a rental car. If you don’t have the relevant licence in your home country, the insurers will get out of paying for your claim. These licences need renewals and are generally valid for 1 year
- DRONES WILL NOT BE COVERED by any of these policies, if you want to travel with a drone you will need separate cover. I personally contacted Shielded Insurance who helped me organise cover for the year at roughly $550. It will be different for your country of residence
Travel Insurance Guide – Comparison Table
Insurance Breakdown – Pros and Avoid if …
- Arguably the best value cover available with a very competitive premium and theft cover for up to $15,000
- Good scuba dive cover so long as you’re diving with an instructor
- Cheap snow sports cover. Read more into the specifics if this is a large portion of your trip
- This would be my recommendation as the best cover for the average person, but read below to see exemptions to this recommendation
- NOT FOR DIGITAL NOMADS WITH VERY HIGH VALUE GEAR
- If you travel with an expensive laptop, or an expensive camera setup that’s more expensive than $3,000 but older than 12 months old (so a lot of high end laptops) then beware that they won’t cover you at all
- If you plan on doing any hiking over the altitude of 3500m you won’t be covered by these guys
- Not doing pros and cons, just avoid them. Their reviews are crap, they won’t cover you for around the world travel, their theft limits are lagging way behind every other insurer. Just stay away!
- The premium is low and competitive with 1Cover
- Better for hiking than 1Cover, giving you an extra 1500m elevation to play with if done with a tour guide
- You want better cover for your luggage. $7,500 may be too low for people carrying electronics
- These guys are THE BEST if you have any high value gear. They will cover an extra $10,000 worth of gear with no sub-limits or requirements for it to be new
- Their original theft coverage is already better than 1Cover’s with their $1,500 cover for non electronic objects
- Discounts are available if you’re already a Bupa member
- Unfortunately they will only cover you for 3000m elevation when hiking which won’t cover many of the world’s most popular trails
- Nothing besides the fact they do new for old replacement
- Expensive premium for no real reason
- Snow sports cover is a lot more than others
- Only cover treks to 3000m
- I’d avoid them, there’s no strong selling point
Travel Insurance Direct
- These guys are good for HIKERS with a policy that covers many of the world’s most popular climbs so long as they don’t involve specialist equipment
- Their premium is competitive and their sub-limit of $4,000 for a camera/laptop will be more than enough for 99% of people
- You can even assign an extra $10,000 worth of high value items, although there’s a $4,000 limit which makes it less appealing than Bupa in that regard for a very select few
- There’s not too many to list here, their snow sports are ever so slightly more expensive but you wouldn’t normally get this cover for an entire year anyway. They’re a very balanced option
- Not too much to get excited about here, the high value items can be listed up to $10,000 but Bupa’s offer is better in this regard.
- You plan on hiking over 3000m
- You plan on Scuba Diving, because they have the worst cover I’ve seen. Only to 10m which is pathetic
- I’d actually avoid them just for there poor scuba diver cover alone
- If you want to get into some seriously more niche types of action sports these guys do have different packages available
- The list of activities used to be readily available on their website including the level of “activities premium” that would need to be applied but it seems to have been altered or removed
- You can hike up to 6000m with the correct package and do things such as cavern scuba diving up to 40m with instructors
- Really don’t understand how they get such a big shout out from bloggers / vloggers (besides affiliate links) due to their poor theft coverage. $2,000 for a single item is NOTHING for people with electronics, nor is their $10,000 cap
- Their high value item add on is also capped at $3,000 which is cheap, and it can only total $6,000 worth of extra listed stuff
- If you’re into Skiing/Snowboarding but not hiking above 200m or scuba diving, it’s irrelevant as it’s all a package deal the snow sports will set you back $1,440, which is much more than other companies
Final Summary – What Suits Your Travel Type?
I’ll keep this brief:
I travel with very expensive electronics that need extra cover and I don’t plan on hiking much: Bupa
I want to do some hiking and scuba diving with the best all around cover: Travel Insurance Direct
I have a niche extreme activity or sport that I need covered: World Nomads
I want the best value cover, have no super expensive individual items and won’t hike above 3500m: 1Cover
I really enjoy getting ripped off with shit insurance just for a laugh: AAMI
That’s it folks and blokes, I hope you enjoyed the travel insurance guide and it helped you make a decision. Personally I think Travel Insurance Direct will be my first choice.