How do I find the right travel insurance company for me?
When trying to find the best travel insurance policy, the most important things to consider are:
- Where you’re travelling to
- The length of time you’re travelling for
- Whether you’re planning more trips abroad in the next year
- What activities you want to be insured for (e.g. skiing or scuba diving)
- Your age
- If you’ll need a policy that also covers your family
All of these factors will have a bearing on the type of policy you want to look for, and which option will be the cheapest while offering you the best level of cover.
Once you have decided on what your travel insurance needs to cover you for, you will be able to compare all the providers that offer suitable policies to find the best one for you. We write in-depth reviews of all the UK’s best travel insurance companies to help you understand the pros and cons of each and make sure you get the right cover. Keep reading and we’ll take you through the best companies in the UK and what to look out for when buying travel insurance.
The top 10 travel insurance companies in the UK
Through researching every UK provider of travel insurance thoroughly, we’ve found that there are some that stand above the rest for the cover they offer and the quality of the service they offer customers. Here are the top 10:
- Marks and Spencer
- Direct Line
- Age Co
- Post Office
Why should I get travel insurance?
When travelling you should always get travel insurance. Whether you’re off to see the world on a long multi-trip, or just taking a short holiday, accidents can happen at any time and without travel insurance they can be very expensive.
The most essential part of every travel insurance policy is the coverage offered for medical care. Even on policies that cost under £10 the amount of medical insurance you will have will run into the millions, ensuring that you won’t have to foot any costly hospital bills if you were to fall ill or get injured while travelling. Usually your policy will also include cover for repatriation, so you won’t have to worry about the cost of getting home in the event you get seriously ill or injured.
On top of this, travel insurance will give you protection for your valuables and enable you to get your money back if your trip is cancelled or your luggage is lost by a careless airline.
What types of travel insurance policy can I get?
Depending on where you’re going, how long you’re travelling for, and what activities you want to do, there are a variety of different travel insurance options available. Here’s a quick summary so you can find out which suits you best.
The most standard form of travel insurance, single trip policies offer you coverage for a one-off holiday. Simply select the date you leave and the date you return, and for most trips you will be able to get a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
If you’re planning multiple trips or holidays across the course of a year, then an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy could save you both time and money. With this type of policy the number of trips you can take is usually unlimited, but each individual holiday will commonly be limited to 31 consecutive days. Additionally, depending on where you want to travel to, there are various types of multi-trip policy that cover everything from travel to various European countries, to worldwide policies that protect you wherever you go.
If you’re off on a long trip or on a gap year, then backpacker insurance is designed to keep you covered on your adventures. Unlike a multi-trip policy that limits the consecutive days you can spend travelling, backpacker insurance will allow you to travel fo far longer: even up to a year or more. This type of insurance will offer you medical cover, protection for your valuables, and often include cover for various activities not often covered by other travel insurance policies (e.g. bungee jumping or white water rafting).
Worldwide travel insurance
If you want a policy that covers you whenever you want to travel, then both annual multi-trip and backpacker insurance policies offer this option. Commonly you can take out three types of policy: cover for travel around Europe, worldwide cover (excluding The USA, Canada, and the Carribean), or worldwide cover (including the USA, Canada, and the Carribean). The more places you wish to be covered for, the more expensive your policy will be.
When travelling abroad for business, always check if you are insured through your employer. If not, then you can take out either single or multi-trip business travel insurance policies to cover the costs of any unexpected cancellations, medical treatment, or the loss of any valuable items such as your laptop or suit.
Most travel insurance policies will not cover you for winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding, but allow cover for these activities to be added as an optional extra. Getting insurance for winter sports will significantly raise the cost of your policy, and if you’re taking out a multi-trip policy you will commonly find that there’s a limit to the number of days in the year you can spend on the slopes (e.g. you can only be skiing for 18 days out of the year).
To take away the hassle of booking an individual travel insurance policy for each member of your family, you can take out one family holiday insurance policy that will protect you all on your trip. Typically these policies will allow you to take out coverage for up to two adults and up to five children, and you can get family travel insurance that will cover you all for one trip, or multi-trip policies to keep your family protected on all your holidays throughout the year.
Travel insurance for older people
Many travel insurance policies have age restrictions, with many not offering insurance to anyone over the age of 65. This doesn’t mean you cannot get travel insurance as an older person, just that you’ll often need to take out specific policies. Often referred to as ‘travel insurance for seniors’ these policies tend to be a little more expensive than travel insurance for younger people, but they’re still nothing compared to the medical bill you’ll receive if you get ill or injured abroad with no travel insurance.
What should I look for in a travel insurance company?
When comparing your travel insurance options, there are a variety of factors to consider. From wanting to make sure your policy has a low excess when making a claim, to ensuring you’re covered in the event of cancellations. Here’s a list of what you should check when taking out a travel insurance policy:
- The level at which the excess is set
- Amount of medical cover offered
- Whether the policy includes cover for cancellations
- That you will be insured for all the activities you want to undertake (e.g. winter sports)
- How much cover is provided for your possessions and valuables
- The amount you’re covered for in the event your bags are lost
Does a cheap travel insurance policy mean a worse travel insurance policy?
As with any form of insurance, if you pay higher premiums you will generally receive more cover. However, depending on your situation and where you’re travelling you may not need more than basic cover, in which case making a cheap travel insurance policy your best option. Your prime consideration when taking out travel insurance should be the level of cover you receive, then compare the policies that match your needs to find the best value.
One thing to watch out for in particular on a cheaper travel insurance policy is the excess included in the policy. Especially when it comes to valuables, you want to ensure that any payout you receive won’t be eaten up too much by the excess you need to pay.
What if I have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
Even if you’re travelling around Europe and have a European Health Insurance Card, you still need travel insurance. This is for a couple of reasons.
First, your EHIC only covers you for basic medical care and will not offer any financial help for repatriation if you are so ill or injured you need to be transported home. Travel insurance offers comprehensive medical cover that runs into the millions of pounds, to help make sure you get the care you need and can get home if something bad happens.
Second, a European Health Insurance Card offers no financial protection outside of medical care. If you want protection for the loss of any valuables, or in case there’s an unexpected cancellation that impacts your holiday, you can only get this through travel insurance.
Should I get travel insurance from a company I have other insurances with?
If you have a regular insurance provider, it’s certainly worth checking with them to see if you can get a deal on travel insurance through being an existing customer. However, it is still a good idea to compare what you’re offered against other insurance policies, as there are many companies that specialise in travel insurance that may be able to offer you a better deal.
Where can I find out more about travel insurance companies?
If you want to know more about a travel insurance provider, then head along to our in-depth reviews and we will take you through everything you need to know. We deconstruct every policy in plain English so you can find out exactly what you’ll be covered for, and how much it will cost.
Can I get a quote right now?
Absolutely. If you’re ready to get a travel insurance quote right now then simply click the link below and we’ll connect you with one of our trusted brokers who will get you a quote in minutes.