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It is a sad fact that than one in five people will not be covered with insurance on a holiday or trip emergency. Be that a medical one, personal or accidental emergency. This ranges from cancelled flights to falling over outside a restaurant and breaking a wrist or worse being in an RTA and ending up in hospital with injuries.


So what’s the point in spending money on something that might not happen? Indeed, it probably won’t happen, I mean, it never has before, right?


Wrong! Travel Insurance is exactly that, insurance. Meant to save your skin in the unlikely event something does happen that was unplanned and unexpected. It also has the added benefit of making us feel that bit safer which is a good thing in a chaotic and unpredictable world.


Travel Insurance – How can help me?


In our mission to write the best possible guide and find you the best travel insurance out there, our simple mission was to help you find the best insurance cover, for the lowest price! Added to this was our SOP (standard operating procedure!) of finding the best insurance cover for the best price, and in doing so keep it easy to read.


Here’s what you need to know and how to policy compare prices.

Don’t be convinced to take out your travel insurance with an airline or your holiday company – you can get better deals for a lesser price online every minute of every day of the year!


Our recommended comparison sites give you hands down the best deals on the internet, saving you time trawling through the bundles of possibilities available. After all, you want the best travel insurance correct? Why waste time when we are giving you it right here on the plate having done masses of market and competition research for you!



Holiday Insurance Facts at a Glance


Every year people’s holidays are spoiled by sickness, robberies or maybe the need to drop everything and race home because somebody in the family is ill.

There are no legal requirements to take out any holiday insurance policy but in the event you are ever faced one of the above events you will thank your lucky stars you did buy a policy.

Literally, the cost of even a very well rounded , comprehensive holiday insurance policy Vs what you stand to lose by not having one makes it unthinkable to go on holiday without being insured.

As competition in the holiday insurance market has increased, resultantly the prices have tumbled and the cover that is offered has got better, as companies compete with each other to garner new customers. The cheapest holiday insurance is not necessarily the best and you will usually need to pay a bit more if you want the best levels of reliable cover.

Not heard of an insurance company that is offering a super cheap price??.. There could be a reason and it can pay to do a quick google search on the company before taking out a policy with them. Eg use Google and type in “ whatever travel insurance company reviews” but without the commas! Another option is to stick with the household names that you know or have heard of if you are not comfortable going with a smaller company to save a few quid.


These are the most important things to check in a holiday insurance policy:

What is included in the policy, like lost luggage, electronic items (eg iphone), missed flights, illness cover, repatriation cover, lost money , winter sports cover, extreme sports cover (if needed)

Check the levels of cover offered, does it meet your needs?

How much is the excess amount and are you happy with that?


Choosing Holiday Insurance Cover


Buying your insurance cover from the travel agent used to be the defacto method of getting holiday insurance in the early days of the internet, not so anymore

Some holiday companies will even offer ‘free insurance’ in the package, but that is not the case as it is usually built into the holiday price!

As a lot of people now order holidays online, it is a big bonus to be able to shop around for the best holiday insurance deal.

One thing to remember is that travel agents get paid a healthy commission for twisting your arm to sign up with their package offering, that commission is something you can save paying by shopping online in addition to getting a better price. You can get a general holiday travel insurance quote here



Less than honest travel agents may even try to dissuade you by saying the insurance you have is not good enough in a desperate bid to make you pay them for cover. Tell them thanks but you have a great policy sorted already and if they still don’t listen change agents.

It is often useful to sort insurance out before booking if you know where and when you are going, that way you can give the travel agent your policy number and sign a form declaring you were offered it by them but declined as you already had a policy thanks to online travel insurance comparison.


Getting the best cover for you  travel suitcase

It all depends on how much you go abroad but if you go more than a couple of times per year then it is definitely worth taking out a policy for annual cover.This is a much better value for money product than one of cover if you are going to make use of it.


At the time you sign up for the travel insurance you need to find out what the excess is and if it applies to one fixed payment or multiple payments if the claim has several elements (eg you were stolen from and broke your ankle at the same time!) *hopefully this is not going to happen though!

If you have valuables you need to check the max cover per item, and types of items for example tech gadgets usually have limits. You would need a higher value if you are taking expensive jewellery or watches for example (not a good idea to take these abroad for obvious reasons).

You might also want to check what personal possessions are covered under your home insurance policy as it may cover you for some items away from home.


Be sure to make sure you have full cover for any sporting or extreme activities you may require for example a skydive, or whitewater rafting or bungee jumping.

If you are going specifically on an activity or winter sports holiday the cover price will be more pricey because these activities generate more claims than a standard family holiday for obvious reasons.

Lastly be sure to check what current account you have as it may already have travel insurance in it if it’s a benefits account.



Plane and airport delays

 Do not expect much if any recompense for flight delays or other travel time issues. Most policies specifically exclude this cover although you can take out specific cover policies it is usually expensive and has lots of criteria.


 Being ill while abroad

 Injured abroad - travel insurance picture

Most modern travel insurance policies offer holiday insurance cover with built in illness cover. After all that is one of the main reasons for taking a policy out, Illness or accident cover.

You would not be covered by a standard policy if you have undeclared pre-existing health conditions, or are travelling purely to get medical treatment or if you are travelling against medical advice given to you by your doctor (or any medical body).

The older generation of traveller, usually classed as 65 plus although that is not actually considered old in modern times, for insurance purposes costs increase above and beyond this as the older traveller is more likely to make a claim.


Booking your holiday – safeguarding yourself and your money


It is always worth booking your holiday on a credit card, or paying at least the deposit on it. This gives you protection for the entire cost of the holiday under section 75 of the CCA (consumer credit act) but this requires the payment to be over £100.

The basic premise is that the card company is also liable with the holiday provider for offering a refund in the event the goods or services are not satisfactory.

You can of course pay off the card payment as soon as you have made it, the fact you paid with credit card is enough to initiate this secondary cover.

Booking  through an ABTA agent

Booking your holiday package through a member of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) will ensure you can get your cash back in the event the tour operator goes into liquidation before you go on holiday.

Also make sure you book your flights and holiday with an operator that has an ATOL (Air Travel Organisers License) because if either one goes under you will still be refunded.


If you are putting your own holiday together make sure you book accommodation with an ABTA travel agent and flights with a provider which holds an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence – if either go bust your money will be refunded.

Our last tip on booking your holiday and flights is to take the time to read the small print. If you later have an issue with anything and missed key information in the small print, just saying ‘I didn’t know it was there’ will not change the situation unfortunately.



Average costs and claims on holiday travel insurance policies?


The cost of the average medical claim on a travel policy comes in at £1000, sometimes much higher

For the unfortunate scenario of someone dyeing while on holiday, the cost for repatriation back to their home country can be £20,000 plus medical and other expenses.


With all this said most solo policies start from only £5 and about £18 for families for the most basic cover.

Buying the policy in good time can also cover you in the event  that someone falls ill or the holiday is cancelled for some reason outside your control (again, read the policy small print to see exactly what you’re getting)


Travelling in Europe

A lot of people are not aware that if you are in the EU and are an EU citizen (as long as the UK remains in the EU that is) then the costs of emergency medical care are covered providing you have an EHIC card, otherwise known as the European Health Insurance Card.

This means that all EU citizens are covered when in Europe, and are offered the same fundamental medical support. So for example someone visiting France from the UK will receive medical treatment in a French hospital of they fell ill, free of charge provided they have a valid EHIC.

The NHS themselves say ‘A valid European Health Insurance Card gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.

“The EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home. Treatment should be provided on the same basis as it would to a resident of that country, either at a reduced cost or, in many cases, for free.”

Also, the EHIC actually covers treating pre existing conditions and some routine pregnancy care provided you are not purely travelling to get treatment or give birth.


It is completely free to register for an EHIC and you can do so here LINK. Beware, if you are being charged for something or any admin fees, you went to the EHIC site another way and are on a scammers site, again, use this LINK to the validated EHIC website as some scammers are charging to get you an EHIC which they get for free.


Having sung the praises of the EHIC, it is in no way a travel insurance replacement, it should purely be used as an addition to a proper travel insurance policy and not alone. It will do nothing for you if your bags get stolen, or your flights are cancelled!

So, we know that having a valid travel insurance policy is crucial. How do you know which type to choose though?


Family travel insurance policies

 kids holiday insurance

These policies are aimed at families going on holiday together. This sort of insurance cover is generally aimed at 2 adults and up to 4 children and is almost always cheaper than insuring family members separately.

Family travel insurance often offers higher levels of cover for items like baggage, accommodation alternatives and even cover for cancellation.


Some policies will add kids for children for free to a policy but make sure you check for restrictions on age in the policy small print, and also if you are a single parent family this can affect cover too.



Travel insurance for the over 65s age group

 65 is still relatively young in the world today and the insurance industry was a little slow to work this out and realise that many retired people now want to travel the world in their retirement and spend their hard earned savings!

It is possible to actually get specialist annual travel policies for over 65’s from companies like SAGA and they account for medical history, any other requirements and tailor the policy to suit.

It is a fact that the older that people get, the more likely that they are to make a claim on medical ground or cancellations due to health or other reasons. This does mean an increased policy cost however you will get extra cover tailored to this sort of policy ensuring that any emergency medical costs are covered. Medical history will need to be declared and the application can sometimes be a bit more in depth however some pre-existing medical conditions will still allow you to get a policy whereas certain other conditions may prevent travel with a standard over 65 travel insurancepolicy



Travel insurance for medical conditions

 If you do have health issues that you think may prevent you from getting a travel insurance policy do not despair. There are specialist companies that cater for a wide range of medical ailments including heart problems here  or even cancer at all stages of the disease here all clear travel


It is crucial you are totally honest when taking out your policy because seeking medical treatment for this type of condition while abroad is extremely expensive for insurers so they will want to be sure you have told them the truth with your medical history.


Your holiday destination will also make a significant difference to the price of your travel cover so factor this into your choices.


Backpackers travel insurance

 Backpacking or hiking holidays are not normal run of the mill holidays to insurers and the insurance is often needed to cover for you for an extended period across a variety of countries or places. It will often include extra cover for things like white water rafting, possibly tandem skydives and other high octane sports that young travellers like to partake in!

Beware though, you need to precisely check what extreme sports the policy will cover and the type of work you may be if you plan to do any.

Very often backpacker type policies are geared towards younger age groups and people with no pre existing health issues. A backpacker travel insurance policy will likely also not cover you for travel in riskier or dangerous area so be sure to check the exact coverage that the policy offers.


Check out these great prices for backpacker travel insurance here


Best travel insurance for winter sports or adventure/watersports

 water sports travel insurance

If you are headed to the mountains, you will need a full bore comprehensive winter sports policy to offer you the cover you need. This will cover you for injury on the slopes, loss or theft of your equipment in addition to the benefits of a normal travel insurance policy. You will also have the vital medical and repatriation cover under a winter sports policy as well.


You will need to specify what sports you will be doing when you set the policy up eg skiing and snowboarding, off piste skiing, even speed flying and heli ski. You need to be truthful down to the last detail or in the event you are injured doing something you are not insured for, you will not be getting a pay out from the insurers!

Small print for winter sports travel insurance can be quite gnarly, so you really need to make sure you read it from cover to cover.

For example most policies will not cover you for off piste skiing unless you are accompanied by an instructor. Likewise, pre existing medical conditions like a damaged knee, hip or shoulder could rule you out as too high risk for the majority of insurers.

See here for some great winter sports travel insurance deals


Best travel insurance for skydivers

 Skydiving sounds like a very high risk activity but in fact only on in 1 in 653,000 tandems ended with a fatality so the tandem is the safest form of parachuting without doubt.

Moving on to solo parachute courses, the most common injuries are twisted or broken ankles or similar such injuries and are about 1:1000 jumps.

If you are going to sunny climes to undertake a parachuting course, eg the AFF course at somewhere like skydive Algarve  then having a skydive specific insurance policy is crucial as normal travel insurance will not cover you for any types of skydiving.


If you are an experienced skydiver going jumping anywhere in the world then you also need to have proper insurance, unfortunately accidents can and DO happen in parachuting and sometimes participants can be left seriously injured and needing hugely expensive medical care and repatriation. Check out the skydiving travel insurance link HERE for some great deals on a specific policy for your needs



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