Compare Best Travel Insurance Companies 2018
What is the Best Travel Insurance?
Travel Insurance companies offer so many different types of cover under their various policies and each has their own unique limits, which can make it difficult to figure out which is the best Travel Insurance policy for you.
Most providers also offer different variations of cover. At the very beginning of looking for your policy, you will need to decide between a Single-Trip and Multi-trip policy. This will determine how many trips you can take while covered by your policy.
After this, you will likely need to choose where you want to be covered. Standard coverage areas are often Europe, Worldwide (excluding North America) and Worldwide (including North America), reflecting higher medical expenses in North America.
You’ll also need to decide how comprehensive you want your policy to be and if you want to add any optional add-ons you would like to your policy, such as Winter Sports Cover.
All these different options mean it’s so important to seriously consider which types of cover you need how much you need before you shop around. The best Travel Insurance policy isn’t necessarily one that covers more or costs the least; it’s the one that ticks all your boxes for the best price
Compare Top UK Travel Insurance Companies
For ease of comparison, the below policies are all the best Travel Insurance policies offered by the insurers. Some providers have tiers of cover available ranging from basic to fully comprehensive – check the insurer review pages for more on this.
Drewberry’s Best Travel Insurance Tips
- Don’t ignore pre-existing health conditions – if you are suffering from any health problems, it is vital that you declare them to your insurer when you take out your policy. If you do not inform your insurer of a health problem you can jeopardise your coverage. This also includes health problems that you are still waiting for a diagnosis for if you have yet to get your results from investigations.
- Double check that your holiday activities are covered – Insurers have a set list of activities and sports that they are willing to cover you for while you are abroad, with winter sports and activities typically offered as an optional add-on. Before you make great plans on your holiday, it pays to double check that all of the fun activities that you have planned are covered by your policy.
- Take the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of your belongings – A common exclusion for most policies is the loss or damage of possessions that are improperly cared for. If you don’t take the necessary steps to protect your valuables – such as leaving them unattended while you take a dip in the sea – then your insurer is likely to reject your claim if something unfortunate were to happen.
- Consider your choice between a Single-Trip or Multi-Trip Policy – Multi-trip policies can be great value if you travel abroad frequently, but it may be cheaper to buy Single-Trip policies for each trip if you don’t travel as frequently.
- Buy your policy early and leave enough time before your trip – One of the most useful types of cover offered by Travel Insurance is Cancellation Cover. Buying your policy far ahead of going on your trip means that your insurance protection will be in place if anything happens that causes you to cancel or delay your trip. In fact, the best time to buy your policy is when you book your trip.
- Don’t ignore the excess – If you are looking for cheap Holiday Cover then there are plenty of basic policies to choose from that still offer valid cover for things that matter. However, it is important that you look out for your policy’s excess before shopping around. Some of the cheaper policies available may be so because the excess is a lot higher than normal.
How Much Does the Best Travel Insurance Cost?
When comparing Travel Insurance policies, it is important that you look at more than just the cost. While it can be tempting to opt for a cheaper policy, some of the low-cost Travel Insurance options may have a high excess or may not offer enough cover to fulfil your needs while you’re abroad.
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry
- Level of Cover: The extent of cover that you get from your policy will be depend on the insurer you choose and the available options they offer you. Many of the best Travel Insurance companies offer a range of policies that give different levels of cover. More expensive policies may offer more types of cover while you’re abroad or more compensation for your claims.
- Excess: Most policies – apart from some of the most comprehensive – will have a mandatory excess that will apply to certain types of claims.
- Health and Medical History: If you aren’t in a good state of health or if you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may face the difficult choice of having to pay more for your cover to ensure you are covered or having your health problems excluded from your cover. Fortunately, there are certain providers on the market who will consider cover for those with pre-existing conditions.
- Destination: European trips will typically cost less compared to trips elsewhere around the world. The level of risk that comes with travelling to your country of choice will contribute to the cost of your policy. Worldwide policies that cover you anywhere in the world will cost the most.
- Multi-trip or Single Trip: Multi-trip Travel Insurance can sometimes cost as much as double a Single-trip policy. If you travel frequently throughout the year, however, a Multi-trip can save you money in the long run provided you travel frequently enough to get the most out of your policy.
By choosing a policy and the appropriate options that apply specifically to your needs, you can avoid overpaying for cover you don’t need or settling for insufficient, cheaper cover.
Travel Insurance Cover Definitions
Definition: This will cover the cost of some or all of your medical bills while you are abroad if you suffer from a serious accident or illness during your trip. This does not cover the cost of medical tourism or any procedures arranged prior to your trip.
What to look for: If you have any pre-existing health conditions that you require cover for, it is important that you find a policy with the right type of underwriting that will not exclude the health problem(s) from your cover.
You’ll typically pay more for Travel Insurance that covers pre-existing conditions, but when thinking about premiums consider just how much your medical costs could be while you’re abroad if a pre-existing condition flared up while you were on your trip.
Cancellation and Curtailment Cover
Definition: If you find that you need to cancel your holiday plans at the last minute or if you need to cut your holiday short due to an emergency, this cover could allow you to reclaim some or all of the cost of your trip.
What to look for: This type of cover is usually included as standard with the best Travel Insurance policies, although some providers can offer extended cover for any derailments of your trip. Some even offer cover if you need to cancel your trip because a pet is taken ill, so it’s important you look at just what’s covered by this element of your insurance policy.
Definition: This cover will pay out a daily benefit if your flight is delayed for more than 12 hours, although usually up to a limit.
What to look for: When you choose this type of cover, it’s worth it to consider policies that cover the delay of your luggage as well. It’s one thing to be forced to hang around for your flight, but the situation can be just as dire if you are stuck in a different country without any of your luggage. Compensation for your luggage will ensure that you can at least afford a change of clothes and toiletries if your luggage is delayed for more than 12 hours.
Accidental Death & Disability Cover
Definition: Accidental Death & Disability Cover will pay out a lump sum if a person covered by your policy dies or is made severely or permanently disabled while you’re travelling.
What to look for: Most insurance providers will offer this or a variation of this benefit to provide you with general compensation and support. Cover can reach up to £50,000, which can provide valuable financial support, but should not be relied upon if you return home from your holiday with a severe disability and unable to work.
Baggage and Personal Belongings Cover
Definition: This cover will pay out to cover the loss or damage of any of your baggage or personal belongings up to a certain amount.
What to look for: If you plan to take any particularly valuable items with you while you are abroad, you will need to look carefully for your policy’s ‘per item’ cover limit. Some policies offer quite a low cover limit per item for your valuables but instead offer optional Gadget Cover or Tech Cover that will cover your expensive electronics for an extra fee. You will need to work out for yourself the value of your luggage and decide how much cover is the appropriate amount.
Money and Travel Documents Cover
Definition: This cover will provide you with compensation if your travel money, travel documents or passport are stolen or lost while you are abroad.
What to look for: This type of cover often has strict terms that ensure that you are not responsible for losing your money. Cover for these types of items can also be split up in some policies, with different cover limits applying to travel money, tickets, passports etc. Check the cover limits carefully and avoid carrying around an excess of travel money that may exceed your policy’s cover limit, otherwise you will not be fully compensated.
Personal Liability and Legal Expenses Cover
Definition: Personal Liability and cover for Legal Expenses are usually offered at the same time, but not always. Personal Liability Cover will cover you if you are guilty of accidentally injuring someone or damaging property while you’re abroad. Legal Expenses Cover will pay out if the opposite occurs and if someone is responsible for harming you or your personal property and you wish to take legal action.
What to look for: Some of the best Travel Insurance companies will appoint a lawyer on your behalf if you need one, which is a great benefit to have in addition to cover for the other legal expenses. Other providers will typically give you access to a legal helpline or remote service where you can make your claim and get basic advice about your case. These can be valuable benefits to look out for while you shop for your policy.
Sports / Winter Sports and Hazardous Activities Cover
Definition: You will usually find most insurance companies exclude ‘risky’ activities such as winter sports cover when you take out your policy. However, most insurers have an optional extra Ski Travel Insurance that will allow cover for winter sports if you add it to the policy. This usually even covers mountain rescue if you’re injured on the slopes.
Some providers are willing to cover – either as an option or automatically – dangerous activities such as skydiving and even base jumping, depending on the provider and the policy.
What to look for: Cover for dangerous activities can be expensive when you are given the choice to add it to your policy. If you tend to take part in a lot of sporting activities while you are abroad, then this cover can be very valuable as you don’t want to risk being injured in the pursuit of such activities and not being able to claim.
Major Incident / Catastrophe / Force Majeure Cover
Definition: If a major incident ruins your holiday plans, like an earthquake, flood or fire, this cover will pay for the cost of alternative accommodation and your travel expenses.
What to look for: This cover is vital if you prefer to organise your own holidays rather than booking package holidays. While resorts and agencies may offer some compensation if these incidents happen, booking your holiday alone means that you may need to pay out of your own pocket to resolve the problem if, say, a hurricane destroys your hotel. However, look carefully at exactly the types of incidents that your provider will cover because some will not cover all serious natural disasters.