Do I need travel insurance?
Once you’ve booked your holiday, the last thing you want to think about is what can go wrong. Unfortunately, no matter what type of holiday you’re going on, accidents can happen.
Getting travel insurance before you go away can help cover medical costs if you get injured or ill abroad, so you don’t have to worry about footing the bill. It can also cover delayed flights and lost or stolen items.
How to get cheap travel insurance
Getting a good deal on your travel insurance doesn’t have to be confusing. Shopping around can save you time and money, especially when you can compare lots of providers at the same time.
At Confused.com, we compare up to 54 travel insurance providers to help you find a policy at the right price that suits your needs. We can compare policies in minutes and you could have your documents emailed to you within an hour.
To help you even more, when you get a quote we show ratings from the independent financial researcher, Defaqto, next to each provider. So you could make a better-informed decision, quickly.
The UK is set to leave the European Union on 31 January, unless a further extension is agreed. To visit Europe after Brexit there may be things you'll need to do before you travel, including:
- Checking your passport is valid for at least 6 months
- Ensuring your travel insurance covers your healthcare
- Checking you have the right driving documents
- Organising pet travel if required
Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) may become unusable following the UK leaving the European Union so it’s important to have European travel insurance too.
The government has published a range of guidance and notes for Brexit available online from www.gov.uk/brexit. Also, the Financial Conduct Authority has published guidance on financial services to help you prepare for Brexit, including detail for travellers.
What does travel insurance cover? Comparing travel insurance not only saves you time and money, but takes away the stress of anything going wrong while you’re on holiday. Submit your personal details and get a quote in minutes. Here’s a list of what you could be covered against, and what could stop companies from paying out.
Most policies should cover you for:
- Emergency medical expense: If you fall ill on holiday and need to seek medical assistance, travel insurance could cover the cost of treatments as well as transportation back to the UK if needed.
- Baggage and personal possessions: A policy could cover accidental loss, damage or theft of your luggage, other personal possessions and money.
- Cancellations: If your flight is cancelled or you have to cut your trip short due to family bereavement or illness, a policy could cover any costs. It's worth looking for a policy that comes with enough cancellation cover to at least repay what you paid for the holiday.
Most policies offer a 24-hour helpline that provides worldwide support and advice to help you deal with your emergency.
Broadly speaking, most policies won’t cover you for:
Failure to declare pre-existing medical conditions: Insurers may refuse claims if you fail to declare any pre-existing medical conditions for you or any of your travelling party.
Alcohol or drug related incidents: Most policies are unlikely to cover incidents where you’ve consumed alcohol or drugs.
Activities and winter sports: If you plan on taking part in sports or activities, check your policy wording to see whether they are covered. Winter sports cover is usually available as a policy add-on, so look out for it if you’re planning on hitting the snow.
Failure to report stolen or lost possessions: Lost or stolen items should be reported to the local police within 24 hours, otherwise you may invalidate the terms of your cover if you try and make a claim.
As the name suggests, single trip insurance covers you for a one-off trip. And, depending on when you arrange your cover, protects you against any unexpected cancellations or amendments to your journey. A single trip policy will cover you for the length of your holiday, up to a maximum of 120 days depending on your insurer.
Annual trip insurance, also called multi-trip, covers you for multiple journeys across a 12-month period. This type of cover is usually limited to 31 days per trip within the year, but it can vary for each provider. You should check how many days you’ll be covered for per trip if you’re planning an extended holiday.
Which type of cover is better for me?
But there are some exceptions. For example, if you’re planning on a skiing holiday at some point too, it may be more cost-effective for you to take out two separate policies. This is due to the additional expense of winter sports cover.
I’m going skiing, will that affect my cover?
First you should check whether winter sports or other adventure activities are covered by your policy. As well as cover against injury, you’ll want to check whether your gear is covered against loss or damage. To look for policies that include winter sports cover, simply pick winter sports from the extras section when getting a quote.
I’m going on a cruise, will this make a difference?
Cruise holidays may not necessarily be covered by all providers. You can tick the cruise holiday option when getting a quote to find policies that do.
What is a pre-existing medical condition?
Any personal illness or medical condition that is known or existing before buying an insurance policy is considered a pre-existing medical condition.
You are required to tell your insurer about any previous or current medical conditions. Failure to do so could result in the insurer refusing to pay out in the event of a claim, or the policy being invalidated.
I've already started my holiday, can I get covered now?
Sadly we’re not able to offer quotations for travellers who start their trip from outside of the UK or offer quotes to extend your current policy if it expires while you are away.
Do I need European travel insurance if I have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
For more comprehensive cover, it’s best to have European travel insurance as well as your EHIC. This is because the EHIC will only provide state-level treatment for free, or at a reduced cost, depending on the European country you’re in. The EHIC would cover conditions such as maternity care or pre-existing conditions, but it wouldn’t cover repatriation or private hospital care, for example.
According to Citizens Advice, if the UK leaves the EU without a Brexit deal EHICs won’t be valid for use in the EU and you’ll need to take out relevant insurance for travel.
Does my travel insurance cover laptops and gadgets?
Standard travel insurance may cover some of your gadgets but not all of them. That's why it's important to check your policy to see if you need to add additional cover for high value items like laptops or high-spec cameras.
What is couples travel insurance?
If you and your partner are going abroad a couples travel insurance policy will cover both of you for the duration of your trip. However, if one of you has a pre-existing medical condition it may be cheaper to buy two individual policies.
To qualify for couples travel insurance, you must both live at the same address or you could risk invalidating your insurance.
What is group travel insurance?
Group cover protects you and the people travelling with you abroad under one policy. Group travel insurance usually has a similar cover as a single policy, so if you’re taking part in any activities make sure you have the right cover.
Our service is free and compares a wide range of trusted household names. Confused.com is an intermediary and receives commission from theidol.com if you decide to buy through our website which is based on a percentage of the total annual premium. We pride ourselves on impartiality and independence – therefore we don't promote any one insurance provider over another.