If you are planning a trip, travel insurance should be an essential part of the planning process, but with so many insurance policies on the market today, which one is going to give you the best deal and the right level of cover? Before you start wading through an ocean of small print, take a look at our handy guide here for the low down on choosing the right product to suit your needs. It includes useful information that could save you money in the long run. You can then use our comparison table to compare travel insurance quickly and easily and find a great deal.
Why is travel insurance so important?
From independent travellers to intrepid families, travel insurance is one of the most important considerations when booking a trip. Without it, you could face colossal medical bills, be stuck in a foreign land without any means of getting home or lose all of your belongings with no chance of compensation. While most travel plans go without a hitch, things can and do go wrong. Travel insurance protects you against the small things like losing your camera to the big things like needing medical treatment abroad.
How to compare travel insurance
With so many products and options available to travellers today, it has never been more important to compare travel insurance to find the right deal. It’s a buyer’s market and that means there are some great deals out there. The trick is to find cheap travel insurance that saves you money while also giving you the best cover. That’s where our easy-to-use comparison table comes in. We’ll show you the best deals at a glance so that you can choose your travel insurance with confidence.
What travel insurance do I need?
The most important consideration when buying your travel insurance is your travel plans. Here are some questions to consider:
– Are you planning on going away more than once this year?
– How long are you going away for?
– Are you travelling outside of Europe?
– Are you booking a golfing break or a worldwide cruise?
– Will you be taking part in an extreme sport, such as skiing or snowboarding?
– Do you need additional cover for your gadgets?
– Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions?
The reason you need to ask yourself these questions is that travel insurance policies provide cover for so many different things today. For example, if you are planning a beach holiday in Tenerife, but will also be taking to the golf course during your stay, you can choose an insurance policy that provides cover for your golf clubs for the duration of your holiday. You may also want to choose additional cover for the loss or damage of your mobile devices and cameras. The great thing about travel insurance today is that it can be tailored to suit your exact needs. Take out a basic policy or customise it with the extras that suit your particular trip. The choice is yours!
Single trip cover or annual multi-trip?
If you only plan to make one trip, single trip travel insurance can be very cost effective and will give you the same level of cover as an annual trip policy, but will end when your holiday ends. Single trip cover is ideal for individuals or families who only plan to travel once or twice a year and wish to save money on their travel insurance. If you are planning more breaks or like to book spontaneous travel, an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy will be the better choice. In the long run, booking an annual policy can work out cheaper than booking lots of single trip policies.
What will a basic travel insurance policy provide cover for?
A basic policy is usually perfect for most travellers and will cover the most common vulnerabilities and risks while you are away. Basic cover usually protects against the following:
– Medical emergencies and repatriation
– Cancellation of your holiday or a holiday that is cut short due to reasons outside of your control
– Baggage claims
– Lost or stolen cash
The amount you are covered for will depend on the individual insurer and you may also be required to pay an excess on any claim you make. Many insurance companies allow you to take out basic cover and then add on extras such as specialist cruise cover or gadget cover.
When should I purchase my travel insurance?
If you have booked future travel, it’s sometimes a good idea to buy your travel insurance at the same time so that you don’t forget and you lock in a great deal. Most travel insurance companies allow you to book your insurance up to 13 months in advance. Another good thing about buying your travel insurance in advance is that you are covered if you need to cancel your holiday. Don’t worry, however, if you have forgotten to purchase your travel insurance and you are travelling tomorrow. Travel insurance companies will usually provide last minute travel insurance even if you are on the way to the airport. However, most won’t provide cover if you have already left the UK.
What destinations will my travel insurance policy cover?
Whether you are travelling to Benidorm or Bermuda, many insurance companies provide worldwide cover for most travel destinations. However, you may find it difficult to purchase traditional insurance cover if you are travelling to destinations advised against by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) or the World Health Organisation (WHO). In these cases, you may need to seek specialist travel insurance cover and pay a higher premium. If you have purchased a policy before an FCO or WHO warning has been issued you will still be covered.
Should I go for the cheaper travel insurance deal?
We all want to save money, and travel insurance is no exception. However, it is important to ensure that when buying cheap travel insurance you get the best cover possible for your money. What seems like a great deal now could turn out to be a big mistake when you make a claim and it is rejected.
When you compare travel insurance, always look to see how much cover is provided for things like medical bills, lost money, lost baggage and cancellation. These are the most important items when buying travel insurance, so make sure the amount of cover offered is adequate for your needs. It is also wise to always read the small print so that you know exactly how and when to make a claim and that you are aware of all clauses.
What should I do if I need to make a claim?
How you make a claim will depend on the circumstances of your claim. For example, if you need to receive medical treatment while abroad, you would usually need to prove to the health provider that you have the necessary insurance in place. In this case, you may need to call your insurance provider so that they can deal with any necessary paperwork. If you have lost possessions or had money stolen, you will need to obtain a police report that details the nature of the loss or theft. Most insurance companies simply need a police crime number for their records and will not require any further details from you. The number you need to call in the case of an emergency should be included on your travel insurance documents. It is a good idea to keep your policy documents close to hand at all times and keep a note of the number.
What extras can I add to make my travel insurance more comprehensive?
Basic cover protects you against the most common risks, but there are other extras and specialist products that you can add to protect certain equipment or a trip that is out of the ordinary. Here are some of the extras that are currently available:
Winter sports cover – If you are taking to the slopes this year, you’ll need to arrange winter sports cover. This will protect your equipment and also cover you for piste closure, delays caused by an avalanche and injuries incurred as a result of taking part in winter sports.
Cruise cover – If you are planning a cruise any time soon, arranging cruise cover will ensure your trip is plain sailing. Cruise travel insurance cover protects you against things like a missed port departure, unused excursions and cruise interruption or cancellation.
Golf cover – Make sure your golf break travel insurance is above par by choosing an upgrade that includes cover for your equipment, replacement equipment hire and lost green fees.
Gadget insurance – Gadget cover allows you to make a claim for the loss or damage of a gadget without affecting your personal belongings claim limit. It can be very beneficial if you like to take a number of gadgets with you when you travel, or you have a specialist gadget, such as a camera, that you would like to arrange separate cover for.
Some higher tier insurance products include these extras as standard, but you will pay a higher premium. It may be better to choose a basic policy and then “bolt on” any extras that you need.
What happens if I have a pre-existing medical condition?
Many people travel with pre-existing medical conditions without any problems at all. Travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions can give you total peace of mind that in the event that you do fall ill while on holiday, your medical expenses will be covered.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you will need to declare this when you complete the online quote process. It is essential that you are honest and that you give as much detail as required. If you do not declare a medical condition and then require medical attention as a result of the condition, you will not be covered by your travel insurance.
Taking precautions when travelling abroad
You can’t always be prepared for when things go wrong while travelling. However, there are a number of precautions you can take to ensure your trip goes according to plan and that your belongings and your health are protected.
– Make sure that all luggage is labelled with your name and destination address for each leg of your journey.
– If travelling in Europe, obtain and carry a European Health Insurance Card as this will give you free or reduced medical treatment within the EU.
– Try not to carry too much cash around with you at one time. Bank cards, traveller’s cheques and pre-paid currency cards are much safer and can be used almost anywhere.
– Keep your important documents, such as your passport, in a hotel safe if possible.
– Keep your bag with you at all times, and preferably across your body so that it is hard to snatch or tamper with. Use forward-facing rucksacks and choose bags without long straps as thieves have been known to cut the straps and steal bags, often without the owner knowing.
– Store the emergency number for your insurance company in your phone so that you can call them when you need to for advice and assistance.
– Leave plenty of time to get to the airport, taking note of check-in times and any other travel deadlines you need to meet.
Compare travel insurance the easy way
Now that you know a little more about travel insurance, the different types available and why it is so important, you can use our comparison table with confidence and find the best deal to suit your needs. We help you to find travel insurance from some of the leading travel insurance companies in the industry today, including travel insurance specialists, banks, building societies and supermarkets. What’s more, we update our table regularly so that you can always find a great deal.
Remember, it is not always the cheapest deal that is the best. Look for the product that offers a great price as well as enough cover to protect what matters during your trip. Then, once you have found the right deal you can relax and look forward to your holiday, safe in the knowledge that your travel, your health and your possessions are all covered.