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Is travel insurance needed for a staycation?


With flight prices and other general holiday costs rising, many people – especially families – are considering taking holidays at home rather than heading abroad. Do you still need travel insurance if you aren’t leaving the country?

Staycations are increasing in popularity every year, but one cost that many travellers think they can avoid on a home holiday is travel insurance. Unfortunately this may not be the best option. If you are travelling more than 50 miles from home you can buy travel insurance – and it is a sensible thing to consider.

Unexpected problems can be costly on holiday. This is true whether you are taking a 10 hour train ride or a two hour car journey. Luggage can still be stolen, transport delays can still occur, and cancellations can disrupt your plans. Being forced to cancel a trip, or having accommodation cancelled on you, can make your staycation much more expensive than expected.

Travel insurance doesn’t just cover plane rides. Trains, ferries and coaches can also be covered by your insurance policy. This would be particularly helpful if caught up in delays or cancellations, as many of these companies don’t offer refunds if they consider the situation to have been beyond their control: weather, strikes etc.

No matter where in the world you go on holiday you are no doubt going to be packing things that you wouldn’t want to lose. Whether that’s valuable jewellery or electronic devices, a top of the range bicycle or your passport, you still need to make sure they are covered even for a staycation. Check your travel insurance policy small print though, as things like expensive electronic devices may need to be additional add-ons.

Travel insurance should be a consideration no matter how far you travel. Most travel insurance policies require you to have travelled more than 50 miles for more than a weekend, and that you are staying somewhere aside from a family member’s residence.

Cruises might not be covered by travel insurance

As demand for cruises is on the increase, there’s shocking news that many holidays on the waves might not be covered by certain travel insurance policies.

Those planning to take to the high seas are being warned by travel insurance experts not to assume that they will be automatically covered.

A recent study by Defaqto revealed that of the nearly 900 single trip policies that can be purchased for travel insurance, only just under 40% of them included cruising as a standard. What’s more, that around 10% of those policies would never cover a cruise holiday.

This will be shock to the huge numbers that partake to the hotels on the waves every year. They will board their ships thinking that they are covered for such a holiday, when in fact they are as good as travelling without any insurance whatsoever.

Which means that should you become ill on your holiday, or be hospitalised, or have to be repatriated, then the medical bill could be huge.

But that’s not the only problem.

Even if you do have a policy that covers cruising, there can be many conditions attached. For example, you might get compensation for being confined in your cabin, per day, but that the sum total is actually far less than the cost of the cruise itself.

Part of the problem is that cruises can theoretically sail anywhere in the world and visit a large number of countries, each with their own level of medical costs and varying conditions of access to help.

Therefore, travel industry experts are recommending that people who go on cruises should take out special travel insurance that covers all the countries you intend to visit. Also, the cruise ship might offer other activities, which can, like jet-skiing, need a whole level of cover in itself. Then there is the matter of travel to where the ship is berthed, late arrivals (when the ship has sailed) and cancellations.

The advice is to choose a travel insurance policy with great care.

February is Busy Time for Travel Insurance Industry

February is traditionally one of the busiest times for the travel insurance industry and this year has proved no exception.

February is the month when thousands of Brits flock to the slopes and according to one major insurer, the month just gone has lived up to expectations with twice the number of claims during the February half-term break, compared to the rest of the short ski season.

An insurance company ran a survey which discovered that although parents consider health and safety to be a priority when on the slopes, only just over half of those questioned said that they did not take out insurance on a regular basis. What’s more, just less than half said that they didn’t check their polices to see if winter holidays were covered.

Claims in Austria, for example, varied from £1,000 (the commonest amount claimed) to over £15,000 (for a replacement hip). Although, that could be pushed theoretically higher to over £20,000 (the cost of an air ambulance flight back to the UK for spinal injury treatment).

The insurance company were also keen to point out that even though the EIHC health card was accepted, the treatment varied tremendously from country to country and that, for example, on the slopes, would not cover an emergency rescue from a mountain top.

For those still on the slopes, the insurance company compiled a list of top ten tips for staying safe whilst skiing. Unsurprisingly, top of the list came getting the right insurance cover before you hit the slopes and furthermore, keep the paperwork handy for quick use should you have an accident. Then came making sure your equipment is in good order; don’t borrow equipment from others; wear a protective helmet; take lessons when appropriate (if you’ve never skied before, or if you need a refresher); be considerate to others on the slope and learn the rules of skiing (who has the right of way); keep a mobile on you; don’t drink and ski; and, take care when on the mountains and don’t stray into out-of-bound areas.

Travel Insurance Shock in Spain, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey

Travel Trust

The cost of travel insurance for those travelling to Spain, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey is on the rise.

And the reason is simple. The cost of treatment in these four countries has risen dramatically as each of the countries is easing the strain on their public health care systems by pushing tourists towards private medical care facilities.

Many travel insurance companies are now dividing Europe into two sections: those that include the above countries and those that do not. The four countries are more expansive, so need their own category.

And for those travellers who do not admit where they are travelling, they might find if they have to claim, that their policies are not valid. This has worried some holiday makers, who might themselves be passing through one European country to get to another and find themselves not covered as they thought.

The insurers have defended their two-tier Europe as the only way to cope with the rising costs and not affect those who are not travelling to Spain, Cyprus, Malta, or Turkey.

Insurance experts are encouraging all travel policy holders to read the small print, now more than ever they say, to ensure that they are covered for their exact destination. They say it’s vital to not only get the country right, but also ensure that any pre-medical conditions are admitted before travel. Plus, that the right level of cover is organised, should the policy holder participate in any dangerous sports, or other activities such as bungee-jumping.

As always, the advice is to plan your trip and your insurance needs with a great deal of care. People are also being reminded that they should carry their European-wide recognised European Health Insurance Card. This is known as the EHIC and entitles you access to medical healthcare abroad, but it does not act as a replacement for travel insurance. All holiday-makers should take out adequate travel insurance policies.

Travel Insurance Doesn’t Favour The Old

Older travellers on a beach.

Arranging travel insurance for the older members of society, especially those aged over 70, is not easy.

At a time in many people’s lives when they have more time to go on holiday, travel experts are saying it’s ironic that getting insurance can be difficult.

The problem is, that the insurance industry can assume that many elderly people have existing medical problems which might cause problems when they are travelling.

The media are citing many examples of pensioners who are having problems when it comes to arranging their insurance. One was a lady who wanted to have cover whilst she visited her family in Canada, but was refused by a large number of companies she tried, including many reputable names.

What’s more, even when cover is found, the costs can quickly rise to exorbitant levels.

The woman in the example above was aged 82 and was healthier than many people half her age. She had Type 2 diabetes, but it was stable and she took a straightforward course of medicine. Yet she was charged a whopping £250 for her travel insurance.

Some opt to not take out any travel insurance at all, even though experts say this is extremely risky and can land you with a big bill should you fall ill overseas.

Industry experts say this is inevitable, because we grow older, our medical condition does become riskier and paying higher travel insurance premiums is an unfortunate consequence.

One thing is for sure say all observers, is that the debate over whether higher premiums are justified for the elderly, is going to run for some time.