There is really no argument for not taking out travel insurance – it is a necessary expense. But as you will see from our How We Compare page, there are vast differences in prices for policies offering similar levels of cover. So how can you find the best value policy for your needs?
Choosing the right policy
There are three main policy types to chose from; Single Trip, Annual Multi-Trip and Backpacker but the right choice to save you money depends on what sort of travelling you are likely to be doing.
Annual Multi-trip policies
If you are likely to travel more than twice per year (including weekend breaks), you will most likely be better off purchasing an annual policy. Don’t forget that annual policies also cover you for trips in the UK provided they involve pre-booked accommodation or travel†. Also remember that annual policies will have a single trip limit so make sure this is sufficient for your needs. If you are uncertain of your travel plans, consider purchasing an annual policy for Europe only – you can always upgrade it later. 24/7 Travel Insurance offers annual multi-trip policies from just £35.25*.
If you are going away for more than a month, you could potentially be covered by all three types of policy (check your maximum trip length on annual policies however – many only permit up to 31 days†). The cheapest option here is most likely to be a Backpacker policy, but check that it offers the level of cover that you require (Backpacker policies tend to have lower cancellation cover limits in particular). A 1-month backpacker policy for a trip to Europe costs just £5.48 with 24/7 Travel Insurance, wheras a single-trip policy for the same length costs £14.31**
Single trip policies
For a short trip, and if you are unlikely to travel enough to warrant an annual policy, a single trip policy is great value. A 24/7 Travel Insurance policy for a single trip starts at less than a fiver***.
Deleting covers you don’t needSome policies offer discounts for removing certain sections of cover that you don’t need. For example, if you are looking for insurance for a last-minute bargain holiday, you may not need cancellation cover. Check your home contents insurance policy too, as you may already have cover for your personal possessions while abroad.
Shop around for the best deal!
It was not so long ago that purchasing travel insurance either meant buying an expensive policy from the travel agent, or having to phone around providers obtaining quotes. But this is a thing of the past thanks to price comparison sites such as Moneysupermarket which enables you to compare a large number of policies online in just a few clicks.
It’s also worth shopping around if you are seeking a couple or family policy – some insurers offer free child cover for children up to a certain age, or a discount for couples. Some policies will even cover children up to age 22 if they are in full time education and living at home†(but check whether they would be able to travel independently under the policy).
If you are travelling to an EU country or Switzerland, obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It is no substitute for travel insurance as it does not cover large bills or repatriation, but some providers will waive the claims excess if this is produced when obtaining medical treatment.
Finally, don’t scrimp on travel insurance as one day you may need to rely on it to get you out of a tight spot. The savvy traveller should read the Key Facts document for the policy before buying it, and check the policy wording for any specific queries you have – so you can relax and really enjoy your trip!
*Including Insurance Premium Tax;based on an individual traveller aged under 55 taking out a Standard Annual Multi-trip policy for travel in Europe
**Including Insurance Premium Tax: both quotes based on an individual traveller aged under 36 taking out a Standard policy and purchased within 14 days of departure date.
***Premium £4.76 includes Insurance Premium Tax; based on an individual traveller aged under 55 taking out a Standard single-trip policy for 3 days in Europe and purchased within 14 days of departure date.
† May vary between policies so check the policy wording before you buy