How to get travel insurance for a group
If you’re going abroad with other people, then you may be able to save money and time by taking out a group travel insurance policy. Whether you’re off to attend a wedding, tour as a sports team, for a stag/hen do, or just for a relaxing holiday, it’s worth looking into getting everyone covered by one policy. Keep reading and we’ll take you through everything you need to know about group travel insurance.
What is group travel insurance?
Group travel insurance is exactly what it sounds like: travel insurance that covers a group of people under one single policy. Unlike with family travel insurance, the people insured under a group policy don’t necessarily have to be related. However, your entire group may have to be travelling at the same time to your destination (e.g. on the same flight/train/bus) in order to be eligible for a policy.
What does it cover?
Group travel insurance provides similar coverage to other forms of travel insurance, the only difference being that it provides this cover for more than one person at a time. It’s advisable to check how the excess is calculated when taking out travel insurance for a group; it’s possible that each person making a claim will have to pay the excess, even if injured in the same incident. Typically, group travel insurance covers:
- Medical expenses
- Repatriation costs
- Personal liability
- Lost luggage
- Stolen/damaged valuables
What are the advantages of group travel insurance?
The primary benefit of group travel insurance policies is that they can save you both time and money. Instead of every member of your group needing to take out a separate insurance policy, you can deal with everyone’s travel insurance in one single policy. This can also end up saving you all money, especially if you only need basic cover and nobody in the group has a pre-existing medical condition.
Another thing that sets group travel insurance apart from getting individual travel insurance is that usually you’ll all be able to cancel your trip and get a refund if one person falls ill. If you all had different policies, they would not pay out for this purpose.
How many people can be covered by one policy?
This will depend on the insurer you choose, but it’s easy to find group travel insurance policies that cover as many as 10 people (adults and children) at a time. Commonly everyone covered under a group policy must live in the same country and be travelling together on the same flight/train/bus as the other members of the group.
Are there any exclusions?
Yes, as with any type of insurance there are factors that may make you ineligible for group travel insurance, or make a policy harder to find/more expensive. These vary from insurer to insurer, but commonly include:
- Undeclared pre-existing medical conditions. If one of the people in your group has a pre-existing condition, they will not be covered for any medical care related to that condition unless they declare it. You may find it is cheaper to take out separate policies for anyone with pre-existing health conditions.
- Extreme or winter sports. Standard policies will not usually insure your group for extreme or winter sports, for these you will have to pay extra or take out a specific policy.
- Alcohol or drug related injury or illness. Group travel insurance will not cover the cost of treatment for an illness or injury sustained while a person is inebriated.
- Age. Check your policy for the maximum age for which they will offer cover. This is usually around 65 years old, but can be as low as 45 years, especially if you’re getting insurance for a sports trip.
- People living in different countries. If there are people in your group who live in a different country to the others (for instance if you’re from the UK and they live in Ireland), then it will be hard for you to find a group travel insurance policy.
How does group travel insurance work?
Group travel insurance works similarly to other forms of travel insurance: if one of your group falls ill/gets injured, or has a valuable item stolen while on holiday, then you’ll be able to claim through your insurance to cover the cost. It’s important to alert your insurer as soon as possible when something happens for which you might need to make a claim, and to give your insurance details to any medical professionals you deal with.
Is group travel insurance cheaper than regular policies?
It depends. You may be able to save money with a group travel insurance policy providing that nobody in your group has a pre-existing medical condition or something else that may make them more expensive to insure (such as being substantially older than the rest of the group).
Are there reasons that group travel insurance may not be the best option?
Yes, group travel insurance works best for single trips taken together by groups of people who live in the same country. If you want to be insured for more than one trip, then you may want to consider an annual multi-trip policy. If you’re all unable to travel together or live in different countries, then it might be a better option to take out individual policies.
What are my other travel insurance options?
If group travel insurance doesn’t sound like it provides the type of cover that you need, you’ll want to consider these other insurance options:
If you’re looking for cover for your family while going abroad, then family travel insurance is a better option than a group policy. These policies commonly provide cover for two adults and between 5 and 10 children. They can also be taken out as annual policies as well as cover for a single trip, so your family can be protected wherever they go.
Planning a romantic getaway? Then couples’ travel insurance is your best option. This type of policy is designed specifically to cover two people who live at the same address and are in a relationship. You will usually find that you will save money by taking out couples’ insurance rather than two individual policies when going away.
The most basic form of travel insurance, single-trip travel insurance policies give you cover for one trip and expire upon your return. You can add cover for any extra sports or activities you want to undertake on your travels to the policy, or leave them out and make the policy cheaper.
If you’re planning on taking more than two trips over the course of a year, then a multi-trip travel insurance policy will usually save you both time and money. You can take out annual travel insurance policies that will cover you for travel just within Europe, and also those that will insure your for trips worldwide.
For extended periods of travelling, for instance a gap year, you’ll need backpacker travel insurance. Like multi-trip policies, you can get backpacker insurance to cover just one part of the world (e.g. Europe or Australia and New Zealand), or you can get a policy that will cover you for worldwide travel. Multi-trip policies are commonly limit each individual trip to 31 days, but backpacker insurance lets you continually travel for up to a year - or even longer with some policies.
What if I have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
Even everyone in your group has a European Health Insurance Card and you’re travelling to Europe, you still need to take out travel insurance. The EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance, what it entitles you to is the same level of medical care that would be available for a citizen of the country which you are visiting. This is often less comprehensive than you may think, and will also often cost some money up front.
Travel insurance, on the other hand, will cover you and everyone in your group for millions of pounds worth of private health care provision in case something were to go wrong on your trip. In addition to this, travel insurance policies also cover the cost of repatriation back to your home country if necessary, flight cancellations, lost luggage, and damaged valuables. The European Health Insurance Card covers you for none of these things.
Should I get group travel insurance?
That’s up to you. If you are travelling in a large group and want to save yourselves lots of paperwork, and probably some money too, then it’s a great option. If somebody in your group has a pre-existing medical condition, or you want to get coverage that will last more than one trip, then you may want to look into other options. But if not, then group travel insurance is a great option.
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