Columbus Direct travel insurance review

Columbus Direct offer several types of travel insurance, covering more than 150 sports and activities. Find out more about what this specialist provider has to offer.

3.6 ★★★★★ (85 reviews) Write a review
Columbus Direct
Customer rating
Satisfaction survey
More than 150 activities covered as standard.
General customer service queries available by email only.

Columbus Direct travel insurance covers more than 150 sports and activities. The company has provided cover for over 15 million customers since 1988. Here’s what you need to know.

What types of policies does Columbus Direct offer?

Columbus Direct offers several types of travel insurance policies:

  • Single trip
  • Single trip with water sports
  • Annual multi-trip
  • Annual multi-trip with water sports
  • Backpacker

Cover limits

All Columbus Direct travel insurance policies cover more than 150 sports and activities. You’ll be covered for medical emergencies (up to £15 million), flight cancellations (up to £5,000) and lost, stolen or damaged belongings (up to £2,500). You can add cover for winter sports or water sports if you need to.

Single trip insurance can last up to 365 days.

With annual multi-trip insurance, you can go on as many trips as you like, provided each journey begins and ends in the UK. To be covered by this policy, the maximum length of each trip should be 31, 45 or 60 days (depending on what you choose).

The maximum age for cover is 74 for annual multi-trip insurance, or 85 for single trip insurance. Cover for people with pre-existing medical conditions is available.

Claims process

You can make a claim via the Columbus Direct website, or over the phone.

The phone number for medical emergencies is 0208 865 1640. The phone number for other claims is 0208 865 1654. Certain claims up to £350 can be settled instantly over the phone.

You’ll need to provide a booking invoice, a letter from your airline (for travel delay), medical receipts or medical reports.

How to contact Columbus Direct

For customer service queries, email

Columbus Direct customer reviews

Columbus Direct has received more than 10,000 reviews on Trustpilot. As at January 2021, its average rating was 4.4 out of 5. While there are many positive reviews, the company seems to have struggled to keep up with the volume of queries from customers during the pandemic. Columbus Direct customers in Finder’s 2021 customer satisfaction survey liked its “simple” and “transparent” policies, but a few had issues when making a claim.

Pros and cons


  • More than 150 activities covered as standard
  • You can cover yourself for up to 365 days on a single trip, or up to 60 days on an annual policy
  • Backpacker insurance is available


  • General customer service queries are available by email only

Our verdict

Wherever you’re going and whatever you’re doing, Columbus Direct is likely to cover you. It’s had a reputation as a reliable travel insurance provider but has admitted that response times during the pandemic were hit by the influx of queries.

Frequently asked questions

Travel insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our customer satisfaction scores (“Customers say”) are based on a survey of 750 customers carried out in December 2020.

Written by

Danny Butler

Danny is a publisher at Finder specialising in insurance and investing. He previously worked at the global insurer Aon and has appeared in national media giving advice on insurance. Danny holds a BA in International Business from the University of Plymouth and has undying loyalty to his average-poor football team, Portsmouth FC. See full profile

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