Mozo guides

Cheap travel insurance

Travel insurance doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. We’ve crunched the numbers and identified the cheapest travel insurance options for a variety of travel needs. Read on to discover our top picks.

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These selections are based on the 2024 Mozo Experts Choice Awards, where our expert judges carefully analysed 81 international travel insurance policies to identify those that deliver the best value at a cheap cost. To be considered, the policies had to offer a minimum level of protection, which differed based on category.

Let’s dig in.

Exceptional value medical only travel insurance

Australia Post - International Basic Travel Insurance*
  • Choose your excess
  • Option for single trip or annual multi-trip
  • Quick and easy quote process

We like Australia Post’s International Basic Travel Insurance for its no-frills approach. It’s as basic as it gets, and that’s exactly the point. With this plan, you could save money while still being covered for significant needs like overseas medical and dental expenses. Plus, you have the option to customise it by choosing your excess and more.

It’s perfect if you travel light and don’t need coverage for things like luggage. Notably, it covers COVID-related medical expenses, but keep in mind, it does not provide coverage for COVID-related cancellations.

Exceptional value essential travel insurance

Travel Insurance Saver - Bare Essentials Plan*
  • Unlimited overseas medical expenses
  • Up to $5,000 for emergency travel arrangements and accommodation
  • Personal liability coverage up to $1,000,000

Despite the name, Travel Insurance Saver’s Bare Essentials Plan offers a bit more than just the basics. It’s a solid middle choice for those who want important cover like unlimited overseas medical expenses, dental emergencies up to $1,000, and $250,000 for medical evacuation and repatriation, without going all in on the priciest options. You also get up to $5,000 for emergency travel and accommodation, which is a handy addition.

It’s a solid pick if you’re after the essentials with a few extras but don’t want to splash out on the most comprehensive plans. Just a heads up, it doesn’t cover stolen cash or credit card fraud.

Exceptional value comprehensive travel insurance

World2Cover Top Cover Travel Insurance*
  • Unlimited overseas medical and hospital expenses
  • Unlimited cancellation fees and lost deposits
  • Covers a wide variety of amateur sports and adventure activities

We like World2Cover Top Cover Travel Insurance for its all-in approach, perfect for travellers who want comprehensive coverage. This policy not only includes unlimited overseas medical expenses and cancellation fees, but it also automatically provides cover for a range of amateur sports and adventure activities—letting you just get on with your adventures. Additionally, it covers emergency medical and evacuation expenses, ensuring extensive protection while you’re away from home.

Just keep in mind, this policy requires that your trip start and end in Australia, so it’s not suitable for open-ended travels.

Exceptional value ski travel insurance

Freely international travel insurance with snow sports boost*
  • On and off-piste skiing and snowboarding
  • Cross-country skiing coverage
  • Heli-skiing/boarding with a licensed tour operator

Freely International Travel Insurance knows what skiers and snowboarders need. That's why their Snow Sports Boost is a no-brainer if you’re planning to carve up the slopes. This add-on slips right into your standard Freely international policy, covering you for all the essentials like on-piste and off-piste skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing. Plus, it throws in heli-skiing and boarding, as long as it's part of a tour with a licensed operator.

Just a heads-up: The boost doesn’t cover personal liability for snowmobiling, so any mishaps with the snowmobile that might damage property or hurt someone won't be covered. Also, stick to the marked trails—there’s no coverage for off-piste action if it’s against local advice or involves racing or professional activity.

Exceptional value cruise travel insurance

Qantas Insurance - International Comprehensive Policy*
  • Comprehensive coverage for international cruises
  • Includes medical evacuations and unlimited medical expenses on cruises
  • Up to $15,000 for lost or damaged personal effects; $8,000 rental car excess
Find out more

Qantas Travel Insurance really steps up for cruise travellers with its International Comprehensive Policy. It covers all your bases with unlimited medical expenses and direct medical evacuations from international cruise ships—so you can enjoy the ocean breeze without a worry.

Plus, you get up to $15,000 cover for any luggage mishaps—lost, stolen, or damaged—and if you’re renting a car during your cruise stops, you’re sorted with up to $8,000 for any rental car excess.

But remember, medical coverage does not extend to shore excursions on Australian soil due to legal restrictions.

Exceptional value annual multi-trip travel insurance

Southern Cross Travel Insurance - Annual Multi-trip Policy*
  • Unlimited medical and evacuation coverage
  • Up to $25,000 for lost or damaged baggage
  • Coverage for multiple trips within a 12-month period

Southern Cross Travel Insurance has the go-to annual multi-trip policy for anyone who's always on the move. Once you're in, you're set for as many trips as you want over the next year, with options to cover trips up to 30, 60 or 90 days in length.

The coverage is thorough, offering unlimited medical treatment and evacuation, so you’re safeguarded against health emergencies no matter where you are. It also includes up to $25,000 for lost, stolen or damaged baggage and personal items, plus a substantial $1,000,000 for personal liability.

Note: While this policy provides extensive coverage for numerous travel needs, it doesn’t automatically cover activities like moped riding, skiing, snowboarding or cruises. You’ll have to add those separately.

What does cheap travel insurance cover?

When we discuss cheap travel insurance, we're usually referring to bare-bones policies that provide just the essential protections—typically medical coverage, or that plus a few extras. Using that definition, let’s look at the difference between a cheap policy, a comprehensive policy and one in between. This example comes from insurance company World2Cover and is accurate as of 9 May 2024:

Overseas emergency medical and hospital expenses
Trip cancellation cover
Luggage and personal items
Accidental death
Permanent disability
Credit card fraud and replacement
Stolen cash
COVID medical cover

COVID cancellation cover

How to find cheap travel insurance: tips

Looking to trim down your travel insurance costs? Here are a few handy tips:

  • Choose a higher excess. By opting for a higher excess, you can reduce your upfront premium. Just remember, this means you'll pay more out of pocket if you need to make a claim.
  • Look for online discounts. Many insurers offer discounts for policies purchased online. Keep an eye out for these deals to save some cash.
  • Bundle your cover. If you’re buying insurance for a group or multiple trips, see if you can bundle your policies to get a lower rate.
  • Limit your coverage. Consider exactly what you need coverage for and skip the extras. Opting for a more basic policy can significantly cut costs.
  • Compare policies. Don’t settle on the first quote you get. Shop around and compare different policies to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

FAQs about cheap travel insurance

Why is some travel insurance cheaper than others?

Some travel insurance will be cheaper than others depending on a few factors. These can include what cover level you choose, what’s included in the policy, your particular risk profile and even the insurer’s risk-profile criteria.

Is cheap travel insurance still good?

Some people consider ‘cheap’ to be a dirty word when looking at certain products. But that’s not always the case. As you can see from the options listed above, you can still find adequate cover at an affordable rate.

What is the cheapest travel insurance?

Cheap travel insurance is likely to be the bare-minimum cover you can get. Often called ‘basic’, ‘essentials’, or ‘medical-only’, the cheapest travel insurance likely won’t cover you for things like delayed flight expenses, lost baggage, or injuries resulting from higher risk sports and activities, which some of the more expensive policies might do.

The cheaper end of travel insurance is usually preferred by those who are travelling light and on a budget – like backpackers and students. These policies will generally cover your health and medical emergencies, with little-to-no cover for your belongings or cancellations.

Is cheap travel insurance the best for me?

Unfortunately there’s no easy answer for everyone. The best travel insurance depends on your circumstances, what you’ll need cover for, and what you will be doing on your travels. It’s important that you do your own research on this before you make your choice. 

You have to ask yourself if it’s worth paying for cheaper travel insurance if you feel you’re skimping on the coverage you actually want.

Who has the cheapest travel insurance?

Finding the cheapest travel insurance depends on a variety of factors, including your destination, the length of your trip and what you want to be covered for. Since premiums are based on the insurer’s assessment of risk, it's not straightforward to pinpoint who offers the cheapest policy universally. Generally, the less likely you are to make a claim, the lower your premium will be.

However, the award-winning, ‘best value’ travel insurance providers listed above are a great place to start. Don’t be afraid to compare options, get multiple quotes and choose the cheapest policy you’re comfortable with.

Will pre-existing medical conditions make my travel insurance more expensive?

There are many policies that will automatically cover you for a range of pre-existing conditions. If you check your PDS, it will usually list the automatically covered conditions. Anything from this list won’t affect the price of your insurance or the scope of its coverage, although there may be caveats around whether or not you’ve recently been treated/hospitalised for the condition.

With any pre-existing condition not on the list, you’ll need to talk with your insurer and possibly provide more information. They may agree to cover it at an additional cost, or choose not to cover you for that specific condition.

Brad Buzzard
Brad Buzzard
Senior Money Writer

Brad brings over 25 years of experience in writing and consumer research to Mozo, using his RG146 certification for Generic Knowledge and Superannuation Brad has a knack for translating complex policies, to deliver practical guidance on financial matters. Brad has been featured in The Australian, B&T, Mumbrella, and Asia Insurance Review, and his insights have influenced the strategies of some of the world's biggest brands including McDonalds and Proctor & Gamble.

* Terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits may apply to any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. These terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits could affect the level of benefits and cover available under any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. Please refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and the Target Market Determination on the provider's website for further information before making any decisions about an insurance product.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.