Compare cheap travel insurance quotes
When it comes to holidays, excursions and trips abroad, there are many things that may qualify as ‘essentials’ - from sun cream and snorkels to passports and pocket money.
Nevertheless, one of the most important things you don’t want to overlook is travel insurance. Covering you for a whole host of eventualities, travel insurance is the invisible holiday safety net, ready to catch you if you happen to stumble along the way.
However, like any net, a trawl through the ocean of policies available can see you reel in a load that’s rife with useless or irrelevant pickings. Luckily, GoCompare is here to help you wade through the haul and filter out the rubbish to find the travel insurance ‘catch of the day’, served up on a silver GoCo platter.
What does travel insurance cover?
A typical travel insurance policy will see you covered for medical expenses, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment, as well as lost, stolen or damaged possessions. Plus any good policy worth its salt will also cover personal liability and legal cover, should you run into any third-party issues while you’re away.
However, it’s important to read the small print on any policy as exclusions may apply. For example, many insurance companies won’t cover you for activities such as extreme sports as standard. Others may be hesitant to cover you for certain pre-existing medical conditions.
As such, it’s always smart to know exactly what you’re paying for and not to overestimate your cover. Simply assuming you’re covered for the full works could see you faced with a nasty shock if you need to make a claim down the line.
What type of travel insurance is right for me?
As you may have guessed, the variety of categories for travel insurance can be wide ranging, covering everything from under-18 travel insurance to pregnancy travel insurance. There are also options that can be confusingly similar – such as student travel insurance and gap year travel insurance.
With so many policies to choose from, the sheer volume of insurance avenues can leave you feeling spoilt for choice and out of your depth – a combination that can be a recipe for disaster. Luckily, there are a few simple tricks designed to help navigate your way around the market.
Continental drifter or Mr Worldwide?
The titles of these policies can also be confusing at times, with certain countries also falling into peculiar categories; e.g. Egypt is often included in European policies, despite being in Africa.
If you’re going on a cruise, that’ll likely require a specific policy - you'll have the option to choose cruise travel insurance when you compare with us. There are also winter sports and business trip options available.
Riding solo or a family affair?
Secondly, who you’re travelling with can also have an impact on the insurance needed. This covers a lot of ground, ranging from solo policies and couples’ cover to family packages and group insurance.
One-trip wonder or frequent flyer?
It’s also worth keeping in mind how much you plan on travelling over the next 12 months. If you see yourself jet-setting a number of times, it could be worth opting for an annual travel insurance policy instead of single-trip cover. Multi-trip travel insurance can be a lot more cost-effective, covering you for all of your trips within a one-year period, as opposed to insuring each trip individually.
The amount of time spent will also influence your choices: anything over 90 days may require a long-stay policy.
Younger or older traveller?
Another key factor that may influence which kind of policy you should opt for is age. Under-16 travel insurance will obviously be very different to seniors’ travel insurance, due to factors such as health, dependence, etc. However, senior travel insurance falls into several sub-categories.
When it comes to travel insurance for pensioners, even a couple of years can make a notable difference in cover and price. Many insurance companies even separate these policies in five-year increments; eg travel insurance for over 70 years old, travel insurance for over 75 years old, travel insurance for over 80s, etc.
Do I need travel insurance if I have an EHIC?
Free for UK citizens, the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) allows you to receive state healthcare either free of charge or at a reduced cost while you're on holiday in the EU.
But it’s important to note that it isn't a like-for-like substitute for travel insurance. For example, the EHIC won't cover things like medical repatriation, non-urgent treatment, or any non-medical features like lost/stolen property. It’s also not valid on cruises, even if you’re travelling through European waters. Plus, the level of treatment available will vary between countries.
Nevertheless, it’s still a worthy addition to any traveller’s pocket. To apply for an EHIC or renew your current one, visit the NHS.uk site for further details.†
Do I need travel insurance for holidays in the UK?
Also known as a staycation, holidays at home can be just as good as holidays abroad, particularly if budget is a concern.
However, just because you’re not venturing outside of the British Isles doesn’t mean you won’t need travel insurance for your trip. After all, riding a jetski in Swansea can be just as dangerous as jetskiing in San Antonio Bay.
Buying travel insurance for UK trips could be a great trump card to have in your back pocket. Policies that include such features as missed transport and cancellation cover can be particularly useful if you’re taking an internal flight, while gadget cover can be a real lifesaver if you travel with items such as laptops, tablets or expensive smart devices.
Where can I find the best travel insurance?
The best travel insurance for you will be the one that suits your needs and offers you everything you’re looking for.
To find out which insurance companies are legit and worthy of consideration, do your homework beforehand. Independent travel insurance reviews from respectable sources are a great way to sort the champs from the chumps.
Defaqto, with their star rating system, provides an independent ranking of which insurers are shining bright and which ones are hiding in the shadows.
To a lesser extent, user reviews sites such as Trustpilot can also be quite handy in gaining an overall view of the market, particularly if there have been a significant number of reviews submitted. However, it’s worth remembering that many review sites that depend on user submissions aren’t vetted and verified, which can bring their validity into question.
- 7.3 million Brits had a staycation in the first quarter of 2016, choosing to holiday in England
- Brits made 65.7m trips overseas in 2015, 13 million of which were to Spain
How to save money on travel insurance
As important and useful as travel insurance can be, it can also make an expensive dent in your holiday budget. However, there are tactics you can employ to help lower the cost of your travel insurance.
One of the easiest ways to cut costs is to make sure you’re not paying for things you don’t need. It can be all too easy to sign up for optional extras under pressure. Remember that optional extras are just that – optional. While adequate cover is important, make sure you’re not being oversold for features you’ll never need to claim on.
Most package holidays will include ATOL protection that covers you for potential airline issues, such as if they go out of business. But if you want to be sure you’re covered, you could look into getting scheduled airline failure insurance. If you’ve bought your flights using a credit card, you may also be able to claim back from your credit card provider under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
If you’re already covered for some aspects of travel, there’s no sense in paying twice for the same purpose. Having said that, it’s also important not to blindly opt for the cheapest price available. If it seems too good to be true, it may well be – inadequate cover can lead to financial heartbreak later on.
Of course, one of the easiest ways of finding cheap travel insurance is to simply weigh up your options with GoCompare. A quick search with us can help you compare travel insurance quotes from a whole host of companies in moments. Plus it could help you save some money in the process, allowing you to free up some additional funds for the holiday itself.
While travel insurance isn’t compulsory, it is strongly advisable. Without it, you could leave yourself liable for some serious fees if the worst comes to the worst.
In addition to the financial compensation you can receive in the event of a problem occurring during your travels, insurance can also provide peace of mind, leaving you safe in the knowledge that you’re covered for a variety of eventualities while you’re away.
The Foreign Office recommends a minimum of £1m medical cover for Europe and £2m for the rest of the world. Use your discretion in determining the cover you need for valuables.
The price of travel insurance will vary from person to person depending on a variety of criteria, such as age, where you’re going, purpose of visit, etc.
If you’re buying cover for a single trip, you won't be able to purchase your insurance until you know when and where you’re going. However, if you’re looking to buy an annual policy, you can secure your cover at any time.
Purchasing your insurance coverage when you book your holiday can be advantageous as you will be covered should you need to cancel. However, travel insurance from travel agents is rarely the cheapest option, so don’t feel obligated to buy insurance from your holiday provider.
Stance on cover for natural disasters often varies from one insurance provider to the next. As a general rule, known or expected events – such as a forecasted storm, hurricane or volcanic eruption – are typically not covered if you purchase your insurance after a warning has been announced.
Most policies won’t cover you if you travel to a country that the FCO advises against all or all but essential travel to at the time you buy your ticket. If you are travelling to an area where terrorist acts aren’t uncommon, there are a small number of insurers offering specialist policies that may include a higher level of terrorism cover.
Many policies cover some of the costs associated with obtaining emergency travel documents when abroad, but you're unlikely to have the cost of replacing your passport when you get back to the UK covered. Read more in our guide to passport cover on travel insurance.
You might already have travel insurance through another financial product such as a packaged bank account or premium credit card. If you have existing cover, taking out a stand-alone policy could lead to you paying twice for the same thing.