Travel insurance (2024)

Travel insurance can give you extra protection if your holiday doesn't go as planned. So you should make sure you have cover if you're planning a trip away.

It's particularly important to take out travel insurance if you are travelling independently because you may find yourself stranded with no way to get home and no-one to help sort out your holiday problem.

Read this page for more information on what you need to think about before you take out a travel insurance policy.

Top tips

  • travel insurance is essential, particularly if you are travelling independently

  • choose a policy that covers your needs

  • compare policies on the cover they offer as well as the cost

  • check if you have other insurance that will cover you away from home

Why take out travel insurance?

Travel insurance can protect you against the following things going wrong:

If you don't have travel insurance you will have to pay out of your own pocket to deal with a problem while you're away. Or you may lose money if you have to cancel a trip and can't get your money back. This could cost you thousands of pounds.

Older travellers

If an insurer or broker can’t offer you insurance because of your age, most of them will refer you to an alternative insurer or give details of a signposting service such as the British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (BIBA’s) ‘Find a Broker’ service. You can use this service to find specialist insurers who can offer specific types of cover based on factors such as age and medical condition.

You can find the BIBA’s ‘Find a Broker’ service by phoning their helpline on 0870 950 1790 or by going to their website at www.biba.org.uk.

Where can you buy travel insurance?

Travel insurance is widely available. You can buy it from:

  • insurance companies

  • banks

  • retailers and supermarkets

  • travel agents

  • online comparison websites

  • holiday companies.

Sometimes, travel insurance might be included as an extra service offered through your bank account or credit card. You should check how much you're paying for this and what kind of cover it offers. For example, cover may be limited for your spouse or partner. It might be better to buy a stand alone policy.

Your travel agent may offer you travel insurance as part of a package holiday. You can opt for this if you want to but you don't have to buy this insurance. The travel agent is breaking the law if they try to make you take it out or charge you more for your holiday because you refuse to accept it. If this happens, you should get advice.

Before you buy holiday insurance

It's important to get the right type of cover for your needs. Think about:

  • where you're travelling to. For example, if you're travelling to the United States you will need extra medical cover

  • how old you are. Travel insurance can cost more if you're over 65. There are special policies for older travellers which may be worth looking at

  • how often you travel. If you go away several times a year, it may be better to buy an annual travel policy rather than several single-trip policies

  • what you'll be doing while you're away. You may need extra cover if you're taking part in dangerous sports, such as skiing or scuba diving

  • whether you're travelling independently or on a package holiday. Package holidays usually offer you greater protection if things go wrong with transport or accommodation so you may not need to make a claim on your travel insurance

  • how you're travelling. Cruises and budget airline flights may not be covered by some insurance policies.

What cover should travel insurance include?

Your travel insurance should always include the following cover:

  • medical expenses and cover for getting you home if you're injured or fall ill abroad

  • personal injury and cover for accidents or damage caused by you

  • cover for lost or damaged items

  • cover for lost or delayed baggage

  • cover for cancellation or missed departure.

How much you pay for your insurance depends on the amount of cover you're likely to need. You should never under-insure yourself just to save money. However, you may be able to keep costs down.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you're a UK resident and have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can still use it to get healthcare in EU countries until it expires.

If you don't have an EHIC or it has expired, you can apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) on the NHS website. You can use a GHIC to get healthcare in EU countries at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. You should still get travel insurance before your trip - even if you have an EHIC or GHIC.

Home contents insurance

Check if your household contents insurance policy covers you for items you take away from home. If it does, you could choose a larger excess on your travel insurance policy. The excess is the amount that your insurer won't pay out for the claim and is typically between £50 and £100. If you choose a higher excess, your travel insurance may cost less.

Choosing the right insurer

The cheapest policy may not offer best value for money, so it's important to check what the policy includes as well as how much it costs.

You can check what different policies offer and how much they cost by using an online comparison website. However, comparison websites usually only offer general cover. If you have particular needs, it may be better to find an insurer that offers specialist cover.

Next steps

Other useful information

Travel insurance (2024)

FAQs

What questions do they ask for travel insurance? ›

Examples of questions asked during medical screening include:
  • Have you had any surgery, inpatient, or outpatient treatment or any referrals or investigations?
  • Have you had any unplanned hospital admissions?
  • How many medications do you take?
  • Are you or have you ever been a smoker?
Feb 23, 2024

How much travel insurance is enough? ›

How much travel medical insurance do you need? Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison site, recommends buying at least $50,000 in emergency medical coverage for international travel. For travelers going on a cruise or to a remote destination, the site recommends at least $100,000 in coverage.

Is 100000 enough for travel insurance? ›

Every plan is different, but the coverage amounts and benefits may vary. Determine how much you really need. For example, SquareMouth recommends international travelers get around $50,000 in Emergency Medical coverage and $100,000 for cruises or travel to remote areas.

What does travel insurance not cover? ›

Most travel insurance policies won't pay out if you're negligent while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and have an accident or have property stolen.

Does travel insurance ask for proof? ›

If your trip is cancelled or disrupted, and the incident is covered under your travel insurance plan, you file a claim with your insurer. You may be asked to submit documentation so your losses can be verified and your benefits can be approved.

Do you have to prove illness for travel insurance? ›

Regardless, if you feel too sick to travel it's important to have your opinion confirmed and your diagnosis documented by a doctor. Medical documentation will be required if you're looking to be reimbursed for your non-refundable trip costs if you have to cancel your trip.

Is 250000 enough for medical travel insurance? ›

If you read any of our other articles, you'll remember that we always offer a simple recommendation for Medical Insurance. Overseas travelers should have these minimum levels of protection: Medical Insurance Coverage - $100,000. Medical Evacuation Coverage - $250,000.

How to get a travel insurance claim approved? ›

Examples include receipts from your trip and proof of paid healthcare costs. These are proof that you paid out of pocket to cover services. In addition, you should have receipts for any trip cancellations or lost baggage. It's important to gather these if they become relevant to your claim.

Does travel insurance cover 100%? ›

If all conditions are met, most of the policies will reimburse you 50% to 75% of your trip costs, unless otherwise noted.

What should I pay for travel insurance? ›

Travel insurance typically costs between 4 and 10% of the overall price tag for your trip. The cost can vary: Plans with higher limits and more optional coverage cost more. A plan with a CFAR benefit can cost up to 40% more.

What percent of trip should travel insurance cost? ›

Travel insurance is not one-size-fits-all, so the price and conditions of a plan will vary. However, it may be useful to understand pricing guidelines to plan your travel insurance purchase. In general, you should expect a plan will cost anywhere from 4%-10% of your total pre-paid, nonrefundable trip cost.

How much travel insurance do I need for Europe? ›

Without this coverage, you are responsible for any medical expenses. The average cost of travel insurance is between 5% and 10% of the total price of your trip. This can be worth it for the medical benefits alone when traveling in Europe.

Does travel insurance ever pay out? ›

Comprehensive travel insurance plans include trip cancellation insurance, but you can make a cancellation claim only if your reason is listed in the policy. For the broadest ability to cancel a trip and get some reimbursem*nt, look for a policy where you can add ”cancel for any reason” travel insurance.

Does travel insurance cover a cancelled flight? ›

Cancellation cover is a common inclusion with most standard travel insurance policies, but you can take it out separately if it doesn't offer enough cover. Alternatively, if you only want cancellation cover to protect you against cancelled flights rather than baggage protection, you can get it for that.

When should I buy travel insurance? ›

In general, you can buy coverage any time before the date of your trip. That said, it's always best to buy coverage as soon as you make your reservations. The sooner you buy travel insurance, the sooner you'll be protected and the more benefits you may be eligible to receive.

What to expect in an insurance interview? ›

During the interview, you should be ready to discuss topics such as your motivation and interest in working for the company and in the insurance industry, your strengths and weaknesses as an insurance professional, your knowledge of the insurance products, policies, regulations, and trends, your experience and skills ...

What do I need in my travel insurance? ›

Purchasing Travel Insurance
  1. medical expenses (paying for medical treatment whilst you are abroad)
  2. medical repatriation (return you to your home country)
  3. loss or theft of luggage, money, passport or personal possessions.
  4. cancellation or curtailment of trip.
  5. scheduled airline failure.

What is the most common travel insurance claim? ›

By far, the most common and often most significant travel insurance claim is for medical emergencies. A sudden illness or injury during your trip can not only ruin your plans but also cause a severe financial strain.

How soon before a trip should you get travel insurance? ›

When Is the Best Time to Get Travel Insurance? If you're wondering when you should buy travel insurance, the simple answer is as soon as possible. Ideally, you'll buy coverage no later than 15 days prior to your trip.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tuan Roob DDS

Last Updated:

Views: 5309

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tuan Roob DDS

Birthday: 1999-11-20

Address: Suite 592 642 Pfannerstill Island, South Keila, LA 74970-3076

Phone: +9617721773649

Job: Marketing Producer

Hobby: Skydiving, Flag Football, Knitting, Running, Lego building, Hunting, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Tuan Roob DDS, I am a friendly, good, energetic, faithful, fantastic, gentle, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.