Travel insurance providers have a huge amount of competition in the modern market so you can often find yourself receiving very low quotes for travel insurance.
This rings very true if you’re just heading off to Europe for a week and you’re not partaking in high risk sports.
It is important to remember that certain travellers have very specific needs. For example, there are a number of differences between annual and single-trip policies, including the cover limits and what is covered.
We’ve broken down the main categories of travel insurance offered below with a quick explanation of each.
What is the difference between single trip and annual travel insurance?
Single trip insurance: Single trip policies are valid for one set holiday only, the terms will state a start and finish date for the policy as well as a location.
Annual travel insurance: Annual travel insurance will cover an individual for travel over a year.
It is very important that a traveller with an annual policy is careful that their policy is suitable for all of their travelling needs.
For example, if you are going on a skiing holiday your annual policy may not be valid. Most policies will have an upgrade option, for a fee of course!
If you’re going on a particularly long single trip, say longer than 30 days, an annual policy may be cheaper than a single trip policy.
What is ski insurance?
Ski Insurance (also known as winter sports insurance): No prizes for guessing the purpose of this one. Although a standard single trip travel policy does cover medical expenses your policy will not pay out if they find your medical expenses are due to a skiing accident so don’t think you can get away with that one.
If you are going skiing get ski insurance, hospital bills for even a simple break can be in the thousands. If you want your ski insurance to cover your ski equipment then check the policy. Ski insurance is more expensive but shop around and you’ll find a good deal.
Basic ski insurance doesn’t usually cover you if you go off Piste. If you are looking to go off Piste then check your policy.
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What is backpacker insurance?
Backpacker insurance: Backpacker insurance is designed for travellers on a long trip. Backpacker insurance can vary hugely between policies so make sure you look at your needs. Some variables to consider with backpacker insurance:
- Are you planning on returning home in the middle of the trip? This can finish your policy.
- Will you be taking part in extreme sports including skiing? Make sure your policy covers such sports.
- Does your policy cover the value of the items you are taking travelling?
- Will you be travelling through the USA? Due to the high cost of medical bills in the USA some basic policies do not include the USA, always check.
- Does the insurance include missed or cancelled flights?
If you’re going away for a long length of time you need to be prepared for every eventuality and your insurance should reflect your considerations. Make sure you get a policy to suit your needs.
Family travel insurance
Family Travel Insurance: If you’re travelling with children then a group policy may be the cheapest way to go. Again you need to check the exact terms of the policy, make sure your little ones fall within the age range defined on the policy.
Any slight discrepancy can result in the policy being void and the policy holders being held accountable for any bills. If you go on regular holidays with your family then an annual family policy may be the one for you.
Golf travel insurance
Golf Travel Insurance: The most leisurely of sports to have its own category.
It is worth noting that most travel insurance policies are very poor when it comes to insuring expensive individual items, a lot of policies only cover individual items up to the value of £500.
This is where gold travel insurance comes in to save your precious and expensive equipment. However, if you’re hiring equipment on holiday then insurance may be included, negating the need for gold insurance.
Why is travel insurance to the USA more expensive?
Policies that cover travel in the USA will be more expensive due to the increased cost of medical treatment in the USA. If you are travelling to the USA make sure you get a policy suitable.
I have previous medical conditions?
If you have any existing medical conditions that you think may affect your insurance policy (ie. An in growing toe nail is fine but heart problems less so) then you must tell the insurance company before.
If you end up in hospital due to a medical condition existing before your holiday your travel insurance company may not pay out resulting in you having to foot the bill.
Expensive items and travel insurance
It surprises most people to know that it is very hard to find a travel insurance policy that will cover expensive items such as digital cameras or laptops. Most travel insurance policies won’t cover items over the value of about £500.
If you want to cover more expensive items use your home contents insurance. Call them up and say you want to extend coverage to items outside of your house and outside of the UK, if this isn’t already included in your premium then they’ll give you a quote to add on this option.
Check that the numbers add up before agreeing, ie do the maximum values cover your items.