Which Travel Insurance is Right for You?
Like every other category of insurance, there are many different types of travel insurance. This can make it difficult to decide which one is right for you and your trip. Travel insurance is available to purchase from many providers, such as travel agencies, banks, and supermarkets. You should check which provider offers the travel insurance cover that you need for the lowest premiums. This guide will explain what you need to look out for to get the right travel insurance.
What travel insurance should I get?
Whichever travel insurance plan you look at, it should always include the basics. This means cover for cancellations, delays, loss of personal items, and emergency medical treatment. It should also specifically cover your destination locations. The kind of travel insurance that you should get will depend on your answers to the following questions:
- Where are you going? (Is it within the UK, or within Europe? Are you travelling to multiple countries?)
- Who is going with you? (Are you travelling alone, or with family, or with a friend group?)
- How old are you? (Are you or is anyone in your group over 65 years old?)
- How will you be travelling? (Does it involve a cruise ship or a budget airline flight?)
- What will you be doing? (Do you plan to participate in adventurous activities or extreme sports?)
- How often do you travel? (Is this your only trip for this year, or will you be travelling again?)
You need to get a travel insurance policy which caters to your individual needs, or your overall group needs if you are taking out a group policy. Check whether or not you need extra cover or specialist insurance according to your age, activities, destination, or transportation methods. All of these things can increase premiums if they increase your risk.
Should I get single trip travel insurance or annual multi-trip insurance?
One of the first things to consider is how often you will be travelling. People who only go on one annual holiday or a maximum of two holidays per year may find it cheaper to get travel insurance on a single trip basis. On the other hand, if you travel every few months or even more frequently, then insuring trips individually could get expensive. It would be cheaper to get an annual travel insurance policy which covers multiple trips. You should be able to travel as many times as you like throughout the year. However, there may be restrictions on the length of travel and where you can travel to. For example, you may only be allowed to travel for up to 31 days at a time, and you would need worldwide coverage for travelling outside of Europe. You will need to update your policy to reflect any medical conditions and planned activities to ensure the cover is accurate. If you are only going on one trip, you only need short-term cover.
Do I need extra travel insurance for sports and activities?
Some common tourist activities are not actually covered by standard insurance policies. Adventurous activities like hiking and climbing above a certain altitude or diving and snorkelling may be excluded. Extreme sports like white-water rafting, jet skiing, and quad biking often require extra cover. Winter sports like skiing and snowboarding also require specialist insurance cover. These extra insurance policies should cover the expenses of medical treatment, personal liability for accidental damage or injury to someone else, and theft or loss of equipment. You need to follow legal safety requirements and policy restrictions in order to be eligible to claim for such incidents. If an activity is not included in the policy wording, then you could ask the insurer to tailor your policy by adding activities individually.
Can I get travel insurance if I have a medical condition?
Travel insurance policies do not cover undeclared pre-existing medical conditions. The term “pre-existing medical condition” could vary slightly in its definition from insurer to insurer. This is why it is important to check the exclusions for claim eligibility before purchasing a travel insurance policy. You need to declare pre-existing medical conditions, including those of travel companions or non-travelling relatives, before they can offer an accurate quote. They will need to know if you are taking any medication or if you will be taking any medical equipment with you as well. Some insurance policies may cover your pre-existing condition and some of them may not. If you don’t declare any of the following medical conditions or medical history, then any claims for them are likely to be rejected by your insurer.
- conditions you have had/will have an operation for
- conditions you are waiting for test results on
- any conditions you have seen a doctor for in the past year (even minor ones)
- any serious condition you have had in your lifetime
- any prescribed medications (even if you are not taking them)
- if you are/have been a smoker
Travel insurance can cover medical conditions from respiratory issues and diabetes to cancer and heart problems. It may exclude psychological conditions such as anxiety or depression. It is up to you to ensure that you can claim for conditions that increase your risk of needing to claim for them. Unfortunately, this can make premiums expensive.
Can I get travel insurance if I am over 65 years old?
The older you get, the more likely you are to develop a pre-existing condition. Having such medical conditions or being at greater risk of injury can make finding cheap travel insurance difficult. Even if you are over 65 years old, you should be able to get travel insurance with a specialist policy for older travellers. However, many travel insurers have maximum age limits of 80-85 years old. Cover for people between 65 and 85 years old may restrict destinations and the length of travel. It is a good idea to check with your bank account or home insurance provider for their own travel insurance options in case they could offer you a better deal. If not, you should check out specialist over-65 insurance.
Do I need travel insurance for business trips?
Business travel insurance is available as a specialist policy for people who travel for business. This type can offer more extensive cover for company cash, business equipment, and alternative travel. It makes it easier for business travellers if they lose a company computer or phone, or if a flight is cancelled. Business insurance policies may include courier cover for transporting documents or colleague replacement cover if another person has to travel instead. Of course, it should also cover personal belongings and medical treatment for the traveller as a standard policy should. However, you should look out for exclusions to business cover which would not cover leisure-related claims. Some business insurance policies may cover sports equipment, for example, if you were golfing while travelling for business. If you have an employer, check with them that you are covered by their business travel insurance. If you are self-employed, then it is your responsibility to organize and purchase the appropriate level of business travel insurance for yourself.