Couples' travel insurance

Couples' travel insurance is a policy that protects both you and your partner while you’re travelling abroad.

Key points

  • Couples' travel insurance is designed for two people living at the same address, but honeymoon travel insurance may protect you if you're newly married but still living in different places
  • If you want to start your trip separately, or part ways mid-trip, a couples' policy may accommodate, but read the terms and conditions before purchasing
  • It may be cheaper to buy two single travel insurance policies if one of you has a pre-existing medical condition

There are few things more romantic than jetting off into the sunrise with a lover, or more fun than travelling with a friend.

But whether you spend hours planning the perfect romantic break or you just grab your passports and your partner and go, you still need travel insurance to keep you safe.

What is couples travel insurance?

Couples travel insurance is a policy that protects both you and your partner while you’re travelling abroad.

As with any travel insurance policy, it’s vital you take cover out as soon as you have booked your break.

Travel insurance doesn’t just protect you when you’re away; most policies also protect your booking so that if something happens to stop you going you can claim.

A travel insurance policy for a couple is much the same as a policy for a single person or a family.
 
It’ll typically provide:

  • A degree of medical cover
  • Protection for your belongings
  • Disruption on your journey
  • Cancellation cover

Insurance for couples living at different addresses

Just because you’re travelling as a couple doesn’t necessarily mean you will live in the same house.

Most couples travel insurance policies are designed for spouses or co-habiting partners.

In fact, most will specify that you live at the same address in order to qualify.

However, there are some providers that will insure two people heading off on holiday together, whether they’re a couple who live apart from each other or even a pair of friends.

You can look for couples’ policies, but remember to compare the price of single travel insurance policies too.
 
That way you won’t end up paying more than you need to because only a few insurers cover you.

On that note, if you’re a just-married couple and you weren’t living together before you tied the knot then you may find that a joint policy doesn’t cover you.

There are honeymoon travel insurance policies, though, which should provide the cover you need.

Going your separate ways

If you’ve bought couples insurance you’re probably wondering whether you have to stay glued to each other at all times or risk invalidating your cover.

Top tip: Check whether buying a joint policy limits your cover. For example, if you have cover for up to £500 of currency per policy rather than per person then that could mean buying cover as a couple means you have just £250-worth of cover each

A lot can happen on the road - you may start the adventure together but separate mid-way (sometimes, not amicably) to explore different corners of the world.

The good news is that many insurance policies for couples allow you to travel separately.

As with every insurance product ever sold, the key is to check the paperwork so you understand what you can do.

You could also look at annual or multi-trip travel insurance for couples.

These policies may offer better value if you’re regular jetsetters. Again, if you pick a policy that covers you for travelling alone as well then you can head off by yourself or with friends without paying extra.

Exclusions for couples

Of course, every policy varies and there are always exclusions so it’s essential to check what protection you have.

For example, it’s very common for travel insurance policies to exclude winter sports such as skiing or any high-risk activities.

If you’re a couple of thrill-seekers then you need to find a policy that includes any risky activities.

Another common exclusion is any undeclared pre-existing medical condition.

Don’t panic if you have one - you'll just need to declare it or potentially find specialist travel insurance if it’s something more complex.

You should also check what limitations the travel insurance policy has.

Most will have a maximum amount they pay out for a single item, for example, so if you’re taking expensive jewellery or other items with you then you should find a policy that provides enough cover for both of your stuff.

Top tip: Check whether buying a joint policy limits your cover. For example, if you have cover for up to £500 of currency per policy rather than per person then that could mean buying cover as a couple means you have just £250-worth of cover each.

Importantly, buying cover as a couple can often be considerably cheaper than buying two separate policies.

Find cheaper couples insurance

The less you spend on insurance, the more you have for ice creams by the Eiffel Tower or cocktails in Cuba (although not too many - being drunk can invalidate your cover!).

Did I mention the pickpockets I faced in Barcelona or my New York to London flight that had to turn back? That left us stranded and paying out of pocket for a hotel

You may find it’s cheaper to take out protection as a couple rather than two separate policies, in much the same way as it may be more affordable to take out family travel insurance rather than find an individual policy for each individual.

The only time that might not be the case is if you have different insurance needs, for example if one of you has a pre-existing medical condition, or if one of you intends to ski but the other is just planning to laze around in a hot tub with a hot chocolate.

One good way to check is to compare joint travel insurance and the cost of two single policies so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal.

Just remember, though, that you want the best price on the right travel insurance, not the cheapest price overall.

Don’t skimp on cover you really need just to bring the price down.

Top tip: Before buying any cover check you actually need it. If one of you has travel insurance included with a packaged bank account, for example, then you want to avoid paying twice.

Separate policies versus couples insurance

Holidaying alone can be lonely and with a group can be a logistical challenge, but traveling with a partner can be exactly the right mix. You have company but you can also be spontaneous.

Shikha, the writer behind the blog Why Waste Annual Leave?, often heads overseas with her husband and knows how romantic travel can be - even when it goes wrong.

“I should wax lyrical about standing hand in hand against the backdrop of a blazing Balinese sunset,” she says, “but truthfully, it’s the intangible things I love the most: the way your husband’s shoulder makes your travel pillow redundant, and the way you jointly seek out the silver linings when things go wrong (notably when we giggled our way through our unplanned overnight sleep on Tokyo’s airport floor!).”

But when she’s not making the absolute most of her annual leave, she has a job that means she fully understands how important insurance can be.

“When I'm not blogging, I’m actually a doctor so I see the reverse side of how stressful it is when patients fall ill abroad.

"Being unwell in a foreign country is daunting enough without added anxiety about financial implications.

“And did I mention the pickpockets I faced in Barcelona or my New York to London flight that had to turn back? [That left us] stranded and paying out of pocket for a hotel.”

by Felicity Hannah