Budget Direct travel insurance review | Compare 5 policies | Finder (2023)

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Our verdict

  • Budget Direct travel insurance includes cruise cover in its policies as standard, if you're sailing in international waters. Normally, you'd need to purchase an add-on for this type of cover.
  • This provider offers a standard manageable excess of $200 – the amount you'll need to pay if you make a claim. You can also reduce your excess to $100 or down to $0 by paying a premium on top of your policy.
  • We compared Budget Direct's domestic policy to 10 other travel insurance providers and found that its cover limit of $10,000 for cancellation and curtailment costs was one of the lowest out there.

Review by our senior insurance writer James Martin.

Offering a variety of policies, Budget Direct travel insurance has you covered for staycations or holidays abroad. It also covers you for one-off trips or annual voyages and offers a variety of add-ons suitable for winter sports enthusiasts. Keep reading to review each policy and to find the right one for you.

Budget Direct travel insurance is not currently available via Finder. You can head to the Budget Direct website or compare alternative options available below.

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Summary of Budget Direct's Comprehensive policy

Overseas medical and hospital expensesUnlimited
Cancellation and amendment feesUnlimited
Luggage and personal effects$7,500
Maximum age limit100

Table updated June 2020.

Budget Direct travel insurance review of benefits

Compare Budget Direct travel insurance policies side by side to see which policy is most suitable for your trip.

BenefitsComprehensiveEssentialsLast minuteDomesticAnnual multi-trip
Additional expenses$40,000$12,500$5,000$5,000$40,000
Alternative transport expenses$5,000$2,500$2,500$5,000
Cancellation and amendment feesUnlimited$12,500$10,000Unlimited
Cutting your trip shortUnlimited$12,500$7,500Unlimited
Delayed luggage allowance$600$400$250$600
Hospital cash allowance$75 per completed 24 hours up to $2,500$75 per completed 24 hours up to $1,000$75 per completed 24 hours up to $2,500
Loss of income$10,400$10,400
Luggage and personal effects*$7,500$5,000$2,500$5,000$7,500
Overseas medical and hospital expensesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Personal accident*$40,000$30,000$15,000$40,000
Personal liability$5,000,000$2,000,000$1,000,000$1,500,000$5,000,000
Pet care$500$500
Rental vehicle insurance excess$6,000$4,000$4,000$6,000
Resumption of journey$3,000$3,000
Travel delay expenses$100 per completed 12 hours up to $2,000$50 per completed 12 hours up to $1,000$50 per completed 12 hours up to $1,000$100 per completed 12 hours up to $2,000
Travel documents and credit cards$5,000$2,500$5,000

*Conditions such as variable claim limits apply. Table last updated 16 June 2020.

Are there any policy add-ons?

One of the major perks of taking out international travel insurance with Budget Direct is that you won't need to buy extra cover if you're heading on a cruise. However, a few additional cover options come for an added price:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions. Budget Direct cover up to 27 pre-existing medical conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes and acne. However you will need to pay a bit extra for cover. If your condition is not listed, Budget Direct may not pay any claims related to your condition.
  • Snow sports cover. If you're planning on hitting the slopes at any stage during your trip, you might want to look at the snow sports cover, which protects you from the costs of piste closure, damage to your ski gear, avalanche cover and more.
  • Additional specified items cover. If you're travelling with an item that costs more than single-item limit of your Budget Direct policy, you can select the additional specified items cover, which can protect items up to a maximum value of $4,000.
  • Excess reduction. Budget Direct has 3 excess options: $200, $100 and $0 excess. If you don't want to pay as much for your policy upfront, you can select the $200 option but pay more at claim time or vice versa. Select the $0 option and pay more for your policy but nothing come claim time.

Is cover from Budget Direct expensive?

How much you'll pay for cover depends on a few variables such as your age, where you're going, for how long and the activities you're planning to do while you're there. Since there are so many variables, it's hard to say whether a provider is more or less expensive than the other.

However, after completing a range of dummy quotes for different destinations, both the Essential and Last Minute policies from Budget Direct consistently cost less than the average policy in the results from the Finder Travel Insurance comparison tool.

And while the Budget Direct Comprehensive travel insurance might cost slightly more than the average policy, it consistently ranks as one of the most comprehensive policies based on Finder Ratings.

For example, Budget Direct Last Minute travel insurance costs roughly 32% less than Budget Direct Comprehensive travel insurance. This might seem like a huge saving but since travel insurance is relatively inexpensive, the savings won't change your life.

You're also getting a lot less bang for your buck. The Last Minute option only covers 4 of the 18 items covered by the Comprehensive policy. While you're saving 32% in monetary terms, you're losing about 78% of the cover provided by the premium option.

How can I save on Budget Direct travel insurance?

Looking to save money travel insurance? Here are some ways to cut costs with Budget Direct:

  1. Opt for a lower level of cover. If cost is all you're concerned about, you can choose the Last Minute travel insurance option. However, as I previously stated it doesn't represent great value for money.
  2. Use a Budget Direct travel insurance promo code. If you're after a discount on your travel insurance from Budget Direct, there are always promo codes floating around on the Internet. Check out the latest codes on Finder.
  3. Check your excess. Opting for the highest excess means you'll pay less upfront for cover but need to pay the full excess should you lodge a claim.

What happens if I need to make a claim?

If you do need to file a claim, the process is straightforward. Simply provide the following:

  • Policy number
  • Details about the accident: time, date and others
  • Supporting evidence: police or medical reports, receipts
  • Personal details: name, age
  • Payment details: account name, number
  • Travel details: where, when and others

Budget Direct claim and contact details

Claim via email: Complete your claim form and send it with any other supporting information to: budgetdirect@claims-travel.com.au

Claim via post: Complete your claim form and send it with any other supporting information to:
GPO Box 14, Brisbane QLD 4001

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Claim online: Complete your claim form and upload it with any other supporting information through Budget Direct online claims centre: https://claimmanager.com.au/budgetdirect/agreement

Emergency assistance: +61 7 3465 1718 (from overseas); 1800 444 424 (within Australia)

Budget Direct travel insurancetravel insurance FAQ

  • If you're curious about your cover, you should read the Budget Direct travel insurance PDS so you know exactly what you're covered for.

  • Yes. All international policies from Budget Direct offer cruise cover as standard.

  • No, Budget Direct travel insurance does not cover pregnancy or any costs related to childbirth.

  • As previously stated, Budget Direct travel insurance is consistently highly scored using the Finder Ratings. It won a Finder Award for Best Comprehensive Travel Insurance in 2018 and 2019.

  • Budget Direct travel insurance covers 27 pre-existing medical conditions as standard:

    • Acne
    • Asthma
    • Bunions
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Cataracts
    • Coeliac disease
    • Congenital blindness
    • Congenital deafness
    • Diabetes mellitus (Type I)
    • Diabetes mellitus (Type II)
    • Dry eye syndrome
    • Ear grommets
    • Eczema
    • Epilepsy
    • Food intolerance
    • Gastric reflux
    • Glaucoma
    • Gout
    • Hay fever
    • Hiatus hernia
    • Hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol)
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Macular degeneration
    • Meniere's disease
    • Rhinitis
    • Sinusitis
  • Yes, you can add the snow sports cover to your Budget Direct travel insurance policy.

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  • Yes, Budget Direct covers both mopeds and motorcycles provided you're obeying all laws, the bike has a compliant engine size and you hold a valid licence.

  • Your rental car is not covered by Budget Direct as that cover is typically bought through the rental agent. However, depending on your policy you may have Budget Direct travel insurance car rental excess cover.

  • If you need to cancel your policy and you've not begun your trip or made a claim on the policy, you have a cooling-off period of 14 days where you can cancel your policy and Budget Direct travel insurance will refund your premiums.

  • Budget Direct travel insurance provides cover for many age groups including seniors. All Budget Direct policies are available to travellers until the age of 75. Once you're over the age of 75, your policy options are limited to Comprehensive and Domestic. Budget Direct does not cover travellers over the age of 100.

  • Yes, Budget Direct travel insurance does cover emergency dental, though the limits are not specified in the PDS.

  • Yes, you're covered if your trip is interrupted by a natural disaster such as a volcanic erruption or an earthquake as long as the event wasn't publicly known prior to you buying the policy.

  • Auto & General Insurance Company Limited underwrites Budget Direct travel insurance.

  • Yes, you can get one-way travel insurance from Budget Direct as long as you begin your journey in Australia.

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