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Buyer Beware: The Great Travel Insurance Rort

Mozo has just launched a new travel insurance comparison service and as part of our launch we went mystery price shopping for three different holidays: a family trip to the US, a couple visiting Europe and a backpacker heading to Thailand and Europe. We compared travel insurance quotes from some of the biggest Australian travel players, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Flight Centre, Jetset Travel and Harvey World Travel against the most competitive quotes available through Mozo’s new travel insurance comparison service.

What the travel insurance mystery shop revealed:

  • Australians are paying four times too much for travel insurance
  • Buying travel insurance through airlines and travel agents can be highly overpriced
  • Travel insurance providers have different levels of covers, different exclusions, and policy definitions so it pays to compare options that offers the best price as well as the best fit for your needs.

For our family of four travelling to the USA for 15 days, Qantas Travel Insurance came in at a staggering $756. The cheapest provider in Mozo’s travel insurance comparison service was Fast Cover at $177 – that’s a $579 difference. Both policies were required to have: $100 excess or less, unlimited medical coverage, at least $10,000 cover for personal effects and $10,000 cover for cancellation costs. One of the reasons for the vast price difference is the commission Qantas earns. According to the fine print on the Qantas website, Qantas can earn up to 53% commission on the travel insurance policies it sells

In every travel scenario we tested, Aussies travellers were much better off by shopping around for travel insurance online than buying through travel agents and airlines. Our couple travelling to Europe could save $196 (or dinner at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant) and the backpacker could hang out in Koh Samui for an extra 7 days with their $249 saving

It is important to note that many cheaper online travel insurance providers are often underwritten by the same companies as airlines and travel agents but the savings you see come from not paying huge commissions. The Mozo travel insurance comparison service includes travel insurance policies underwritten by QBE, Alliance, Chartis and Lloyd’s to name a few

One of the other key differences we discovered in our travel insurance mystery shop was also the difference between the way travel insurance providers define levels of cover, exclusions and policy definitions. It definitely pays to do some shopping around to compare your options before you take out a travel insurance policy

Why use Mozo’s Travel Insurance Comparison for your next international trip

  • Instant quotes available for nine travel insurance providers including FastCover, Travel Insuranz, Insure4less, 1Cover, Kanga Cover and Columbus Direct.
  • Compare up to 117 travel insurance policies on features like excess fees, overseas medical cover, luggage and personal effects and cancellation costs.
  • Australia’s most comprehensive database of travel insurance providers and policy choices including Australia Post, NIB, Worldcare, Covermore, American Express and Budget Direct.
  • Helpful travel insurance guides to help with your purchasing decisions.
Mozo Editorial
Mozo Editorial

Mozo’s team of experienced journalists and money experts provide news, insights, practical guides and expert analysis to help you master your personal finances. We follow editorial guidelines that focus on accuracy, reliability and timeliness; helping you make informed financial decisions with confidence and the most of your hard-earned money.