Are Australians being ripped off on travel insurance?

“Travel insurance is much cheaper overseas than here in Australia,” says a Traveller reader. “Most of my family in Europe have a year-round/world-wide travel insurance policy and no age or health restrictions seem to apply. Are we being ripped off here in Oz?”

It’s not hard to find other nationalities who pay less for travel insurance than we do, but ripped off, no. For a UK resident, for example, 43 years old and travelling solo, visiting Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand between April 1-30, 2024, a basic Allianz Bronze travel insurance policy costs $105.

Soaring … is travel insurance ripping off Australians?Credit: Getty Images

For an Australian the same age with the same itinerary and dates, the equivalent Allianz Basic policy cost is $174. However, for a US resident the cost of a Basic policy is higher still, $284 if the total trip cost is $6900. If that trip costs $9960, that same Basic policy costs $420.

Even within Europe the cost varies. That same Allianz policy for a month in South-East Asia for which a British resident pays $105 will cost a resident of Germany $347. Gary Ross Hunter, a travel insurance expert at, says: “There are lots of reasons insurers charge different prices, including the risk the specific insurer is willing to take, the brand’s position in the market, its overheads.

“It’s like anything really. Take coffee. It’s basically the same thing wherever you buy it, but there are lots of reasons businesses charge different prices, from the supply chain down to the price of rent in the cafe that sells it.”

As well as the level of cover, the risk factors – the places to be visited, age of the traveller, pre-existing medical conditions, any adventure sports to be undertaken – determine the policy’s premium. The country of residence feeds into that equation, and in some countries, a payout on a travel insurance policy is either more likely or more expensive for the insurer, and so the premium is higher.

“Can you purchase travel insurance from another country,” asks another Traveller reader? Sadly, no. Your travel insurance policy must be purchased in your country of primary residence.

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