Everyone should know that travel insurance is a must when on holiday or vacation. Medical emergencies can cost up to $100,000 or more if an evacuation is required. Cancelled place, cruise or tour tickets can also be very expensive and sometimes there is nothing you can do it avoid it. Even theft of luggage can be costly now that more people travel with notebooks and mobile phones.
Sometimes you may not want to pay the cost of travel insurance. For long trips it may actually cost more for insurance than it does for airfares. This is especially true of backpacking holidays through places like Asia or Europe. Also backpackers may not have costly tours or luggage to be concerned about. The standard comprehensive level of holiday insurance is largely wasted on these people.
Many holiday insurance companies offer plans that accommodate the budget conscience and backpackers. These plans tend to cover general medical expenses such as hospital stays, doctor and surgical fees, dental costs, and medical evacuation. Sometimes these will also offer limited cover in other areas such as luggage, credit card and document replacement. It is up to you to decide if you want this as it will raise the premium.
In Australia some companies that offer budget and backpacker travel insurance are: iTrek Travel Insurance, Downunder Insurance, 1Cover Direct Insurance, Insure4Less, and Travel Insurance Direct. You should search for reviews to help determine the best policy for you.
Watch out for the excess. The standard excess tends to be $100 but some companies charge a higher excess to offer you lower premiums. It is usually best to avoid high excesses as it discourages claiming. However, this tends to not be a problem on budget holiday insurance as it really only covers costly medical expenses where the excess fee is only a fraction of what the bills would be.
Since each policy offers a different level of cover which its own terms and conditions it is wise to review the Product Disclosure Statement. This is mandatory in Australia and outlines all the conditions of the policy.