Compare travel insurance
Travel should be all about wows, not worries. So get a great deal on insurance and get packing.
Do I really need travel insurance?
Many people feel that taking out travel insurance is an unnecessary expense, but it can end up saving you thousands of pounds. We all like to believe that holidays and trips abroad are plain sailing and stress free. Unfortunately though flights get delayed, luggage gets lost, people get ill and hotels get overbooked.
While no one wants to think about things going wrong, when weighing up whether or not you need travel insurance, you might want to consider these factors:
- You’re not covered by the NHS when you’re overseas. There is no NHS in Ibiza. If you end up needing medical care, you’ll have to somehow fork out the cash to pay the medical bills and medical bills abroad can be exorbitantly expensive.
- Your flight has just been cancelled. Cancelled flights as well as lost, damaged or stolen luggage and valuables are frustrating and costly. Why risk losing thousands when you can get peace of mind for as little as the cost of a few drinks?
- You could end up in serious debt. Hefty hospital bills and repatriation home could leave you and your family hundreds of thousands of pounds in debt.
- Travel insurance is compulsory for some countries. You’re required to have travel insurance in order to gain entry into some countries, including Cuba, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
- You could be liable for injuring someone else. It is easy to accidentally cause injury to someone on the ski slopes, especially if you’re not that experienced, but travel insurance can cover you for personal liability claims.
What does travel insurance cover me for?
- Trip Cancellation. This provides cover for cancellation fees as well as any prepaid deposits you made for travel and accommodation that you are not able to recover if your trip is cancelled or cut short.
- Medical Cover. This provides cover for treatment overseas if you suffer a serious illness or injury. It also should include repatriation in case you need to be flown back home.
- Baggage and Belongings. This provides cover for luggage and personal items that are lost, stolen or damaged on your trip. You can purchase additional cover for specific items.
- Travel delays. This provides cover for delays and cancellations that are beyond your control. Travel delay cover can help you manage some of the additional expenses that may arise as a result, such as accommodation or additional transport.
Things to consider when comparing policies
When comparing different travel insurance quotes its important to consider the following points to make sure you’re receiving the right cover for your trip.
- Where are you travelling? Are there risks specific to that country you should be aware of and is it covered by your insurer? If there has been a travel warning issued against travelling to the country, you may not be able to apply for cover. It is also important to ensure that you are covered for each country you are travelling to, consider worldwide cover if you’re travelling far and wide.
- Do you need extra cover for your trip? If you’re off skiing or your trip involves adventurous activities you’re going to need extra cover. You could also need extra cover if you have pre-existing medical conditions, you’re above a certain age, you’re taking valuables that you want to protect.
- Discounts. If you’re travelling as a family or a group then you might be able to receive a slight discount on your policy.
- How long are you travelling for? Are you a frequent traveller? If you travel often, or you’re planning on taking a gap year, then an annual policy might be more affordable and convenient. Just be aware of the maximum period of travel permitted for individual trips.
- Maximum cover available. Make sure you check out the range of benefits and the maximum payment you will receive for each claim, for example, how much will you be able to claim if you suffer a medical emergency, if your flight is delayed or if your luggage or valuables are lost, stolen or damaged
What doesn’t travel insurance cover?
The last thing you need is to be left stranded overseas if your claim is rejected. Know exactly what you are covered for and avoid a nasty surprise at claim time.
- Had a few drinks? Jumped on a moped after a few drinks and ended up hitting a ditch? Yep, you’re not covered. Insurers do not pay claims that arise while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Renting a motorcycle or moped? You’re only covered if you have a current UK motorcycle licence and you wear a helmet.
Diving or Bungee jumping? Not all activities will be automatically covered. Each insurer will have a list of high-risk pursuits that are excluded from cover. Find out what these are and if you need to purchase any additional cover.
- Lost an expensive item? Policies will have limits applied to what will be paid for an item, which may not measure up to what it’s worth. Consider getting specific cover to protect expensive items.
Had to pay more once you returned home? You’re only covered for expenses incurred while on your trip overseas, not once you have returned home to the UK.
- Ended up in a war zone or a riot? Very few insurers cover claims that are the result of you travelling to a country against foreign travel advice or other warning issued by the government or mass media. This may include strikes, riots, bad weather, civil unrest, contagious diseases, epidemics, pandemics, or threats of epidemics or pandemics. Claims that arise while you’re in a country under a do-not-travel warning will not be covered.
- Left your bag in the back of the taxi? Most insurers do not cover theft if you did not take reasonable care to protect your belongings. Insurers do not cover theft of expensive items that have been left unattended.
- Final stages of pregnancy?Generally, insurers exclude cover for complications that arise past the24th week of pregnancy, although the specifics of cover do vary from one insurer to the next.
What are the most common travel insurance claims?
The most common travel insurance claims are those associated with the three main areas of risk: luggage or personal items damaged or lost, cancellations and overseas medical expenses.
Most insurers will require you to notify them of any event leading to a claim within a certain time period, some even as quickly as 24 hours after the event. Find out what this period is and the maximum period of time following your journey that you can lodge a claim.
Some final points before you buy travel insurance
- Tell the truth. It’s really not worth leaving out details of an old medical condition or anything that you think might be able to save you a few extra pounds. Insurance companies will take the time to ensure that your claim is genuine and that you were truthful at the time of application, so it’s important to be upfront from the start to ensure you are covered appropriately.
- Read the important stuff. You might not read 10 different product disclosure statements cover to cover, but at the very least read through the exclusions and cover benefits section so you know when you will and won’t be covered. It’s also worth checking out the claims section so you know exactly what you will need to provide and who to contact in the event of a claim.
- Know the excess you will be charged. Excess charges can vary greatly between insurers. You will be charged an excess for each individual claim you make under the policy, so it is important to know how much you’ll need to fork out in the event of a claim.
- Want to avoid the excess altogether? Some insurers offer policies with no excess. However, this does mean that you’ll be required to pay a higher premium when you purchase the policy so that you no longer have to pay an excess.
- Know what you will be paid for the loss of valuable items. Most policies will have a sub-limit for individual items. If you are taking out additional cover for expensive items, make sure you know the maximum amount your insurer will pay for multiple items in the event of a claim.
- Keep an eye out for discounts. Competition between insurers for your business means there are some great chances to lock down great savings and bonus gifts.
Still unclear on a few things? Here are some answers to questions you might have.
Purchasing your policy
Choosing the right option
Adjusting your policy
When you will and won’t be covered
Making a claim