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Compare the best holiday insurance
Whether you're taking a two-week break in the sun, a cheap, short break for the weekend, or a round-the-world adventure, finding the right insurance is just as important as booking your flights or choosing a resort. Search now and compare quotes from more than 50 travel insurance providers.
What kind of travel insurance policy do I need?
Single trip - A one-off policy that typically covers a period of travel for up to 30 days.
Multi trip - An annual policy that covers multiple individual trips throughout the year. Better for frequent travellers.
Backpacker - A policy that extends beyond 30 days. Ideal for travellers looking to take an extended trip.
The type of travel insurance you choose depends on a number of factors. Where you are going; how long you plan to travel; the activities you plan to do while away; the amount you travel during the year; and your personal circumstances all have to be taken into account.
For example, if, like most people, you plan one trip at a time, single-trip policies are the most convenient option. Meanwhile, those who travel more than three times a year could benefit from a multi-trip policy.
Furthermore, each type of policy will be available for cover in Europe or worldwide (either including or excluding the USA/Canada) and you can buy a policy for a single traveller, a couple, family or even a group.
Winter sports, such as skiing, and extreme activities, like bungee jumping, are not commonly included in standard policies, and if you’re planning a holiday that involves such activities, you’ll need a specialist policy that covers you.
Finally, your health and age will also play a significant role in the policy you choose. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may have to pay more for your insurance and a higher excess. Generally, the older you get, the more you pay too – this is down to insurers deeming older travellers higher risk. While some of this is unavoidable, travel insurance comparison can help you shop around for the best deal possible.
How much should I be paying for travel insurance?
The cost of your travel insurance depends on the level of cover you require, where you travel to and your personal circumstances (most notably, age and health).
Single trip policies can start from under £10, while annual multi-trip policies are usually more expensive because they cover the whole year. Most multi-trip policies require you to specify a region, so you'll have to make sure you stick to that region – and while you can choose worldwide cover, it will cost you more.
As tempting as it may be, try to avoid going straight for the cheapest deal as it might not offer the right level of cover. At the end of the day, it’s down to the individual to assess the policy, the price and the amount of cover it provides. For the best chance of finding a deal, you should always shop around compare multiple travel insurance policies.
What will a standard travel insurance policy cover me for?
The level of cover you get will depend on the type of policy you take out. The following is what most travel insurance policies will cover you for as standard:
- Emergency medical cover – this is essential and should cover treatment costs and hospital charges, replacement ticket to get home if you cannot use your own, and reasonable additional transport and accommodation expenses for relatives/close friends as a minimum.
- The cost of cancellation – can help you recover what you paid for an expensive holiday in the event you are unable to travel. May also cover a cancelled or delayed trip where the airline/travel provider is at fault.
- Personal liability – cover in case you accidentally injure someone or damage their property.
- Lost baggage (flight only) – airlines are required by law to pay a specified amount of money per kilo of lost luggage. However, this is unlikely to cover the full cost of your luggage.
- Missed flight – some travel insurance policies include cover for missed flights, which should include any travel expenses you incur in reaching your destination.
- Theft – if you’re covered for theft, most insurers will ask for a police report.
What should I look for when comparing travel insurance policies?
There’s no one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to travel insurance, and basic cover can vary between different policies and insurers. When comparing travel insurance policies, here some important aspects you need to look out for:
- Excess – this is the amount you are expected to pay towards your claim. Look out for a policy excess of less than £100, unless you can afford to pay more in the event of a claim. For joint cover, you should also check is whether this amount is per person or per policy.
- Exclusions – certain factors can render your insurance valid: for example if you travel to a country that the government has explicitly advised against or injure yourself while under the influence of alcohol. Always check which exclusions apply.
- Single item limit – this is the maximum an insurer will pay out for a single item. Be aware, expensive electronic goods may be worth more than this.
- Personal liability – this covers you (up to a certain amount) if you accidently injure a third party or damage their property and end up getting sued.
- Legal expenses and advice – if you suffer injury while abroad, legal expenses and advice cover could prove invaluable, especially in countries where legal aid isn't an option. Is this included?
Do I really need travel insurance?
In a word, yes. While it isn't illegal to travel without insurance, it's very risky, and by going on holiday without it you can leave yourself exposed to all kinds of issues.
Even something as simple as a doctor’s visit can become surprisingly costly without sufficient medical cover. And while this may be covered by an EHIC in some countries, urgent medical care (such as repatriation) is not. When you consider that medical issues account for over half of claims costs, according to recent figures from The Association of British Insurers (ABI), it’s worth getting covered.
In 2017, 159,000 travellers needed medical treatment while abroad, which cost insurers £201 million. The report also revealed that insurers are paying out around £1 million every day to cover the costs of illness, cancellations and injury.
Of course, most people will never have to use their insurance, and, hopefully, the only time you’ll even have to think about your policy is when you purchase it. For the sake of a few minutes’ searching online, the peace of mind you’ll get is infinitely worth it.
Ultimately, knowing you have protection from a travel insurance policy will give you the comfort you need to kick back, relax and enjoy your holiday...