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Travel insurance is sometimes called holiday insurance, but it’s not just for vacations. Travel insurance can cover you on holiday or on business. It protects against things like luggage loss, medical expenses, flight delays, trip cancellation and more.
Buy travel insurance to protect you if the unexpected happens – for international travel or trips within the UK.
There are many types of travel insurance and the things they cover vary. Also, the financial limits can be very different. Medical expenses are a good example. Getting sick while you are abroad can be expensive. Don’t assume the NHS will pay for you. They may not.
In a country with high medical costs like the USA, a long stay in hospital can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Make sure the policy you buy has enough financial firepower to cover emergencies like these.
Finally, if you’ll be taking part in specialist activities when travelling, such as winter sports or hang-gliding, make sure your travel insurance covers them. Some don’t. Buying travel insurance that’s tailored for specialist sports is the best way to go.
To compare travel insurance and get the best deal is easy. Just provide some basic information. Such as:
Is it for a single trip, many trips or for a specialist activity such as a cruise or skiing?
Are you staying in the UK or going abroad? Which countries will you visit? Some destinations are more expensive to insure. Where you are going will affect what you pay for travel insurance.
If you’re not buying an annual, multi-trip policy, what dates will you be leaving and coming back? In the event you’re taking overnight flights or voyages, provide the dates you leave and return to your UK airport or seaport — not the dates you arrive and leave your destination.
Provide the names of everyone who will be covered by the insurance.
Finetune parts of your travel insurance to get the best quotes. This means setting financial limits on things like:
The excess: The sum you are willing to pay as part of a claim.
Baggage limit: If you lost your luggage, what would it cost to replace? Raise or lower the maximum pay-out the insurer will pay.
Medical cover: Medical costs can be very high in foreign lands. Make sure you have enough financial cover if the worst happens.
Cancellation: How much could you bear to lose if your trip was cancelled and you had already paid for it? (Such as a package holiday). Set the maximum pay-out you would receive. You may wish to cover the whole trip or just part of the cost.
Single item: Are you travelling with something of high value? Most travel insurance has a pay-out limit per item. That may not be enough for some things like an expensive camera or jewellery. Specify these items to insure their full value in case of damage, loss or theft.
Pre-existing medical conditions: Does anyone travelling have an existing medical condition? If so, please provide basic information about this.
Remember, the more accurate you are with the details you provide, the less chance there is that your insurer will decline to pay in the event of an emergency. When In doubt, tell us.
Yes, you can, but only a few insurers allow this. Most demand that you take out travel insurance before you depart. Those that will insure you after you have left home will only provide cover moving forwards. You cannot back-date the policy. Anything that happened before the start date is not covered.
*Based on a couple aged 30 with no pre-existing medical conditions, taking annual multi-trip cover for Europe. Cover starts on 4th March 2022 and ends on 3rd March 2023. Prices correct as of 3rd March 2022.
If you're struggling to find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPs) also provides a list of specialist insurers on the MaPs directory website – or you can call the British Insurance Brokers Association on 0370 950 1790. https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/everyday-money/insurance/travel-insurance-directory