Want cheap travel insurance but don't know where to start?
Frustrated with trying to compare travel insurance quotes, cover, limits and exclusions from one company to the next?
Tempted to just go ahead and fork out for that premium international travel health insurance plan your round the world ticket agent keeps trying to sell you?
You're on the right page!
Do you even need cheap travel insurance?
You may find that you don't. Take a good look at any insurance policies or health plans you already have and other financial products you use — like bank accounts and credit cards. One of these just might cover you abroad.
If you're not already insured . . .
That way, when you go to compare travel insurance it'll be a cinch to decide what's best for you.
Just as airfare aggregators are the single best place to hunt for bargains on cheap international plane tickets, travel insurance aggregators are the single best place to find cheap international travel insurance.
But what are they?
Travel insurance aggregators are basically travel insurance comparison megasites — similar to search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. They can crawl hundreds of insurance plans and policies for you in virtually no time flat.
All you have to do to compare travel insurance on these sites is type in a few details of your trip. Then just sit back while the aggregator scours all the deals from top insurance providers to come up with the best offers.
Couldn't be simpler.
And once you've got your results, you have comparison tools and features to sort and filter your choices according to price, excess (or deductible), benefits and insurer. On some sites you can also delete the quotes you're not interested in to narrow down your options.
Decided on a policy?
Then just whip your plastic out and buy directly online. You'll get instant confirmation of your purchase along with your policy number and links to download your policy documents — which you've already read, of course!
You can hardly go wrong with travel insurance aggregators — they offer some really competitive rates. And as they make their money from advertising and commissions, they're completely free to use.
But because each aggregator partners with a different mix of insurers and because no two travellers or backpacking adventures are the same, some aggregators may work out better for you than others.
Compare travel insurance on a few sites before you hand over your hard-earned cash.
Prefer to cut right to the chase?
Click here to find out what Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Rough Guides and many seasoned round the world backpackers recommend as the best travel insurance.
Strictly speaking, World Nomads isn't really a travel insurance aggregator — you won't find policy comparison charts and quotes from dozens of different insurance companies on their site.
Then why are they on this list?
Because World Nomads stands out from the crowd.
Available in over 150 countries and backed only by the most trusted specialist travel insurers worldwide, World Nomads provides adventurous travellers and backpackers with unique, personalised, flexible cover.
So when you wake up on your last day in Bali and realise you're not ready to go home . . . now you won't have to!
Comparing over 250 travel insurance products backed by a solid Zero Complaint Guarantee, US-based SquareMouth is one of the most comprehensive travel insurance comparison sites out there.
SquareMouth's powerful technology is tightly linked to their providers, so the whole system is seamless and hassle-free. Plus, after you've bought the insurance you still have 10-14 days to review, change or even cancel it.
If this can impress the New York Times, CNN Money and Fodor's Travel, it's definitely worth checking out.
With exemplary customer service and licensed insurance specialists available to take your toll-free call 365 days a year, it's no surprise that InsureMyTrip has become so popular.
Along with the usual package deals, InsureMyTrip offers individual medical emergency, evacuation, accident and travel visa insurance policies. This is especially useful if you're already partly insured through other plans.
InsureMyTrip is headquartered in the US but they can provide insurance to travellers worldwide.
Highly recommended by The Washington Post as one of the best websites to compare travel insurance, QuoteWright is committed to business integrity, old-fashioned ethics and quality service.
QuoteWright makes it super easy to find and understand the fine print in travel and holiday insurance policies. Many of these plans also include a 10-day free look (or cooling-off) period, when you can still get your money back if you change your mind.
Unfortunately, if you don't live in the US or Canada, you're probably out of luck here.
Canada's travel insurance aggregators are a bit thin on the ground. But even if there were twice as many, Kanetix would still stand out as one of the best.
Kanetix puts together crystal clear comparison charts with your quotes, and supplies company profiles and contact numbers of all their partner insurers. They also cover international students, expats and visitors to Canada.
Anyone who can save me an average of 55% on emergency medical travel insurance gets my vote!
Another Canadian website that gets the big thumbs up is Travel Insurance Quotes — mainly because they also provide a massive amount of useful info in their articles and FAQs.
It does take a bit more time to compare travel insurance on this site than on some of the others, but the results you get back are detailed, comprehensive and well-explained.
Travel Insurance Quotes also guarantees travel medical insurance to seniors without filling in a health questionnaire.
Attracting over 120 million visitors a year, top-notch insurance aggregator Moneysupermarket.com is one of the leading price comparison websites in the UK.
Their quote request form is quick and simple to fill in and you can apply for your travel insurance without leaving their site. Plus, they've got lots of other money-saving goodies like printable coupons, vouchers and discount codes.
But best of all, Moneysupermarket.com does its part in giving back to the community by supporting local charities.
When Confused.com launched in 2002, it was the UK's first price comparison website. It's a fun and friendly place where you can compare travel insurance of all sorts, including backpackers insurance.
Confused.com doesn't offer any fancy sorting options for your results (everything just gets listed by price) but it does have a few good filters to play around with and very helpful policy summaries.
If you've got pre-existing medical conditions that need to be included on your cheap travel insurance, try this site.
Also based in the UK, Comparethemarket.com is one of my absolute favourite aggregators — you can get backpacker insurance quotes on here for up to 18 months!
Comparethemarket.com has no sorting tools either (the cheapest quotes are listed first) but it has a decent range of filters and does a superb job of summarising the key features and benefits of each policy.
And while you're there, check out the very cute and clever Meerkovo meerkats' site, too.
The aggregator website to go to in Australia is Compare Travel Insurance. It's uncluttered, uncomplicated and you don't need to fill in a lot of personal info to get a quote.
Compare Travel Insurance's quotes and benefits summary table pops up with sort buttons above each of its 8 columns to help you make fast, at-a-glance comparisons. Brilliant.
For a bit of a laugh, follow their geeky but lovable character, Eugene, on his personal blog.
Online since 1999, Australia-based Travel Insurance works with a wide range of major insurance companies and offers a full 14-day cooling off period on all policies.
They can also arrange cover for Australians already overseas and visitors to Australia.
Unlike the other aggregators, Travel Insurance takes 1-2 working days to process your policy and issue your documents (done via email) — so don't leave this one until the last minute.
All sound too time-consuming? Here's a quick shortcut you might like:
Best Travel Insurance for Backpacking the World