How to compare travel insurance

When it comes to something as important as travel insurance, you should be confident that you’re protected by the level of cover you need. But not all travel insurance is made equal, and finding a policy to suit you can sometimes be confusing.

This guide to comparing travel insurance will outline the key things to look for in a policy and give you some tips on how to find the right cover for you.

Why buy travel insurance

From stolen luggage to slips and trips, there’s a lot that can go wrong when travelling overseas. Travel insurance can give you the peace of mind that you’re protected if the unexpected happens.

Unexpected events can end up costing you a lot of money, especially if you’re forced to extend your holiday before you can safely return home, or your destination has expensive medical care.

What is covered by travel insurance?

Our award-winning TravelCare policy can cover you for things like:

  • Medical and evacuation
  • Lost or stolen items
  • Cancelling or changing your journey before you leave
  • Changes to your journey once you have left
  • Personal accident
  • Personal liability
  • Bank cards, passport and travel documents
  • Rental vehicle excess
  • Emergency dental treatment
  • Overseas funeral expenses
  • Cash allowance while in hospital

What isn't covered by travel insurance?

When comparing travel insurance policies, it’s important to be aware of any exclusions to your cover. Travel insurers usually outline a list of general exclusions in their Product Disclosure Statement.

For example, amongst other exclusions, you won’t be covered under our TravelCare policy if you’re:

  • Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Gambling
  • Breaking the law
  • Hitchhiking

Click here to view our travel insurance products and the benefits.

How to compare different types of travel insurers

When researching travel insurance options, you may come across different types of organisations that sell travel insurance. Let’s look at some of the most common types providers and some things to consider for each.


Direct travel insurers, like Southern Cross Travel Insurance, provide travel insurance directly to customers without any middlemen. That means you don’t have to pay extra for a travel agent or broker’s fee, which may save you money.

Travel agents

Travel agents may also offer to organise your travel insurance by dealing with an insurer themselves. This may cost you more, as some agents will charge a fee for their service.

As insurance through a travel agent is usually purchased on the spot, alongside your travel plans, it removes the option to shop around for the most appropriate and competitive insurance for your needs.


Some airlines offer a travel insurance product, which you can add to your flight booking. As with any provider, pay special attention to the benefits they offer, their record of customer service and whether they provide 24/7 emergency assistance.

Credit cards

Some credit cards may offer ‘complimentary’ travel insurance. However, it’s always important to check the benefits, cover limits and exclusions, so you have a full understanding of what you are and aren’t covered for. You may be required to book all your travel on that credit card in order to qualify for free travel insurance. There may also be other rules that you have to follow to ensure you are covered, such as activating your travel insurance before your trip.

How to choose a travel insurer

When comparing travel insurers, ask yourself if they:

  1. Have won industry awards - We've won several industry awards through the years, including the 2018 Canstar Outstanding Value International Travel Insurance award and 2019 Silver Reader's Digest Silver Quality Service Award for Travel Insurance.

  2. Have good customer reviews - At SCTI, we're proud to have achieved a rating of 4.6/5* on

  3. Have 24/7 emergency assistance - We offer 24/7 emergency assistance, so you can travel with confidence knowing we are just a phone call away if you have a medical emergency overseas.

  4. Underwrite their own policies - At SCTI, we also underwrite our own insurance, meaning we're not reselling another company's product.

If you'd like any more information on which SCTI policy is the right choice for your next adventure overseas, contact us at

What you need to know

This page provides a summary of the key terms only. As with all insurance policies, terms and conditions apply. For our terms and conditions (including information about exclusions, excesses and sub limits) we recommend you read the travel insurance policy document.


*Data correct as of 19 December 2018