Best travel insurance reviews 2018 | Reviews , Buyers Guide & Comparison Chart - Best Money Saver

26th October 2018by Joanna White

Travel insurance is something that everyone should have, regardless of the length of trip you’re planning to embark upon.

Without excellent travel insurance, you could face extortionate costs when travelling in the event of an emergency. Things like medical bills, loss of passport, cancelled transport and theft are all factors that could occur while on a trip.

While most travel plans do go without any incidents or accidents, it’s still much better to be prepared and fully covered should an unfortunate incident occur.

With that in mind, here are some of the best travel insurance providers for 2018, as well as an extensive list of the things you need to consider when purchasing your travel insurance.

Columbus Direct

Columbus Direct offer a range of flexible single-trip policies that start at just £2.69. Their annual polices start at £22 and cover a wide range of locations in both Europe as well as worldwide. Columbus Direct will also ensure you obtain the best policy cover for your needs, no matter where you’re travelling to or what you plan on doing while there.

Industry experts

Since their inception in 1988, Columbus Direct have supplied over 15 million people with travel insurance. The team at Columbus Direct are also on hand 24 hours a day to assist you with any medical advice or queries you may have.

Best policy cover

With Columbus Direct, you can benefit from cover on over 150 sports and activities. Sporting activities such as scuba diving, zip lining, horse riding plus countless other activities are all covered for free with Columbus Direct’s travel insurance.

Lounge access

Columbus Direct offer free airport lounge access if you find yourself delayed at the airport for more than one hour. This benefit is great because it means you don’t have to worry about waiting around in a crowded and busy airport; you can have full access to the amenities provided in the airport lounge.


  • Offer policies from just £2.69
  • Cover for over 150 sports and activities
  • Free cover for children


  • Claims over £350 cannot be accessed over the phone


Columbus Direct should definitely be a contender for your travel insurance provider as you can rest assured that you’ll receive a number of excellent benefits including up to £15 million medical covers, 24-hour assistance and cover on over 150 sporting activities


Saga travel insurance has been operating for over ten years, so they’re considered to be experts within the industry.

Range of benefits

They also have a great range of benefits that you can enjoy such as up to £10 million emergency medical cover, up to £5000 cover for loss and theft and 24-hour travel assistance helpline on hand if you require help at any time of the day.

Cover for pre-existing medical conditions

One of Saga’s unique selling points when it comes to travel insurance is that most pre-existing medical conditions are covered for over 50s, with no upper age limit.

This will be incredibly reassuring for over 50s who often feel prohibited from going on holiday due to a lack of fully comprehensive travel insurance.


  • 24 hour travel assistance helpline
  • Up to £10 million emergency medical cover
  • Single cover and annual cover available


  • Only available for over 50s


Saga travel insurance comes with a range of benefits and features. You’ll be covered for pre-existing medical conditions, year-round medical assistance and £10 million emergency medical cover while you’re on holiday.


Admiral travel insurance are one of the leading providers of travel insurance in 2018. Their platinum level of cover also has Defaqto 5 star rating; the highest rating you can obtain in the industry.

Three levels of cover

They offer a vast range of single and annual cover; they also offer three different policies depending on the level of cover that you need; Admiral, Admiral Gold and Admiral Platinum.


The Admiral cover has an excess of £100, £10 million emergency medical cover and £1000 cancellation cover.

Admiral Gold

The second tier policy from Admiral is the Admiral Gold which has an excess of £75, £15 million medical cover and £2,500 cancellation.

Admiral Platinum

The most elite and exclusive cover from Admiral is their Admiral Platinum policy that has an excess of £50, £20 million emergency medical cover and £5,000 maximum cancellation cover


  • Cover for UK, Europe, and Worldwide
  • Golf, cruise and gadget insurance to name a few
  • Cover for everyone


  • Can only make a claim on the phone


There are a number of reasons to choose Admiral, as well as why it’s considered to be one of the best travel insurance companies in 2018. They have flexible choice on their covers, they offer travel insurance for everyone age 18 to over 65 and everyone has access to their 24-hour multilingual emergency helpline!


Debenhams is one of the best travel insurance providers on the market in 2018. They’re 5-star Defaqto rated, offer personal accident cover up to £30,000 and offer free cover for children.

Optional extras

One unique selling point for Debenhams travel insurance is that you can have the option to add extras to your insurance policy.

These include:

  • Overseas wedding cover
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Winter sports
  • Golf equipment

Winter sports cover

Debenhams travel insurance has a whole section offering specific insurance for winter sports. While you can do your best to try and avoid it, accidents can often happen on the likes of ski slopes so it’s always best to be well prepared in the event of an accident.

Debenhams can offer on/off piste skiing cover, ski equipment cover up to £1,000 and 24/7 worldwide emergency cover should you require assistance from an expert while you’re away.

Many types of cover

You can also benefit from several different types of cover with Debenhams travel insurance including:

  • Annual multi-trip
  • Single trip
  • Cruises
  • Medical conditions
  • Cover for over 60s

Excellent assistance helpline

If you find yourself in a pickle while travelling, Debenhams offers a 24 hour emergency medical assistance helpline that you can call from wherever you are in the world. This is a great benefit if you find yourself in an unfamiliar foreign country and you’re unfamiliar with the medical protocol.


  • Free cover for children
  • Prices start at £11
  • Free £5 Debenhams gift card with single trip cover


  • More expensive to add cover upgrades


Debenhams is a great travel insurance provider; offering free cover for children, various different types of cover as well as a 5-star Defaqto rating.

One of their greatest advantages is that they offer full winter sports travel insurance options that cover you for the likes of skiing accidents, theft or loss of ski equipment and 24 hours a day access to medical assistance over the phone.

Direct Line

Direct Line is one of the leading insurance providers overall in 2018, with a special focus on their travel insurance policies.

Various types of travel insurance

There are a number of different travel insurance covers you can choose from with Direct Line including:

  • Annual Multi-trip cover – full year’s cover for trips up to 42 days each
  • Single trip cover – Straightforward cover for a single trip lasting up to 90 days.
  • Discoverer trip cover – Ideal for backpackers, round the world trips and gap years lasting 3 to 18 months.

Customizable cover

Another great feature that Direct Line travel insurance offers is that you can customize your cover to suit you. For an additional cost, you can obtain cover for individual items such as jewellery and cameras as well as cover for various winter sports and equipment.


  • 25% off annual cover when you buy online
  • 24/7 multilingual assistance
  • Defaqto 5 star ratings


  • Doesn’t cover people older than age 74


Direct Line offer emergency medical cover, trip cancellation cover and 24/7 multilingual assistance, wherever you are in the world.

Buyers guide on travel insurance

There are a number of things to consider when taking out a travel insurance policy. Here are some of the things to look out for when purchasing travel insurance.

Do you need single trip cover or annual cover?

The first thing to determine when purchasing travel insurance is how often you’re planning to travel. If you only make one trip a year, then it’s much more cost-effective to buy a single trip cover policy; you’ll also still get the same level of cover for your one trip.

If you plan on going on more holidays or think you might want to increase the number of yearly holidays you embark upon then annual cover is definitely the best option for you.

What does your policy cover?

Another question to ponder when thinking about investing in travel insurance is what exactly you want your policy to cover.

Some of the most basic and cheapest travel insurance policies only cover the very basics but if you’re travelling as a family, then you’ll probably want the most cover possible.

Travel insurance policies cover you for:

  • Medical emergencies
  • Baggage loss and claims
  • Lost or stolen money
  • Holiday cancellation that’s out of your control (delayed flights, missed trains due to weather etc)

Which destinations are you covered for?

While some travel insurance providers may claim that they offer worldwide cover, you may find it somewhat difficult to purchase travel insurance if you’re travelling to unusual or unadvised destinations.

Some destinations are advised against by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as well as the World Health Organisation. While they can’t actually stop you from travelling to these destinations, they can try and dissuade you and they may not offer full cover in these places.

One thing to note however, is that if you’ve purchased a travel insurance policy before either of the above organisations have advised against it then you will still be covered.

Will you require extras?

Along with the basic travel insurance cover as featured above, you may also wish to purchase extras so that you’re fully comped for every eventuality.

If you’re going to be taking part in a holiday that involves a lot of sporting activities such as skiing, snowboarding or golf, then you’ll want to buy extra cover so that you can rest-assured you’ll be protected should something go wrong on your ski holiday, for example.

Some of the best (and most expensive) travel insurance providers will include these kinds of extras as standard as part of their policy, but you may also have to pay a higher premium.

It’s important to fully compare different providers and see what their policies include; sometimes it can be more affordable to purchase a basic policy and then add any extras on if you require them.

Cheap travel insurance isn’t always the best option

When looking to take out a travel insurance policy, it can be easy to go straight for the cheapest option if you’re looking to save money. It’s no secret that holidays themselves can be incredibly expensive so you’re probably going to want to save as much money in other areas as and when you can.

However, the cheapest travel insurance option isn’t always the best option that will offer you the best cover. When comparing travel insurance providers, you need to consider a number of factors that contribute to the cost of your cover.

Things like medical bills, theft, cancellation and lost baggage all need to be looked into to see whether or not they’re covered in your insurance policy.

Travel insurance is something that many people frown upon and think that they’ll never need and while we hope this is the case, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Wherever you’re travelling to in the world and whatever activities you’ll be taking part in, there’ll be a travel insurance provider that can offer you full cover.

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