There can be a lot to think about when you're comparing travel insurance. From what type of policy to buy to what level of medical cover you'll need. The cheapest policy isn't always the best fit for your needs, so it's important to find the right cover for your trip.
In this guide you'll find out what your travel insurance should cover and the differences between annual and single trip policies.
What should your travel policy cover?
Not all travel insurance policies are built the same. There are usually options to add extra cover for things like cruises or winter sports, and some will be able to offer more medical cover than others. But most will include cover for:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Getting you home (repatriation)
- Travel delays
- Lost/stolen baggage
- Lost/stolen money and passport
That's why it's important to check the policy limits you’ve chosen and read your policy and product document before you buy your travel insurance to get the best cover to suit you.
What type of travel insurance do I need?
When it comes to travel insurance, you should think about the trips you’re taking:
- How long you’re going away for
- Any medical conditions that you’ll need to tell us about
- How old everybody is in your travel party
- Type of trip - whether you’re taking part in any special activities like winter sports, jet skiing etc
- How many trips you're planning to take in a year.
Knowing the answers to these questions will help when choosing whether to take out a single trip or annual multi-trip policy.
What is annual travel insurance?
Some of the benefits of annual travel insurance include:
- You'll get cover for several trips over a year. If you're taking more than one holiday, it means you don't need to sort out a new policy every trip.
- It's usually better value. This will depend on your age and where you're going, but you'll often find it's cheaper to cover more than one holiday with an annual policy than several new single trip policies.
- Cover for UK holidays and staycations. You'll have a whole year's worth of trips covered with an annual policy, so you could get cover if you need to cancel a weekend break.
Some of the drawbacks can be:
- You'll pay more upfront for annual travel insurance because you're covering lots of trips under one policy.
- Your cover depends on where you're going. Annual travel insurance is split into different regions, so if you have cover for Europe, you won't be covered for USA trips.
- There's a limit to how many days you can be away per trip. So it won't cover you for a three month travelling trip.
What is single trip travel insurance?
Some of the benefits of single trip travel insurance include:
- They are usually cheaper if you only plan on taking one trip in a year. This means you won't pay for cover that you won't be using.
- More flexibility as you can take longer trips on a single trip policy.
- Taking out a policy in advance. Most single trip policies can cover you up to 18 months before you travel, so you'll be covered for cancellations before you go on holiday.
Some of the drawbacks can be:
- You need a new policy each time you travel abroad, which can be a hassle to sort if you travel a lot.
- More policies mean you'll usually pay more for individual cover.
What else do I need to think about?
When choosing the right policy for you, there are other things to think about such as:
Medical cover for pre-existing conditions
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to medical conditions, so standard travel policies won’t cover them. But telling us about your medical conditions when you take out your policy means that you’ll get the right cover to suit your needs. If you don’t, then you run the risk of a claim being rejected (whether it’s related to your condition or not).
This includes any conditions you’ve had in the past 2 years where you’ve:
- Had treatment
- Been prescribed or are currently taking medication
- Had any consultations, investigations or check-ups
Even if it’s a condition that’s well-managed, you should still tell us about these.
If you’ve ever been treated for:
- High blood pressure, raised cholesterol, blood clots, aneurysm or any circulatory disease
- Heart attack, angina, chest pain(s) or any other heart condition
- Any form of stroke, transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke) or brain haemorrhage
You’ll always need to tell us about these when taking out your medical travel insurance.
If you’re going on a cruise, you’ll want to make sure you add cruise cover to your travel insurance policy. This will cover you for things that might only happen on a cruise ship, such as missed ports, cabin confinement and unused excursions.
If you take out a single trip policy with cruise cover, then you’ll need to tell us about every country you’ll be stopping at.
For annual policies, you’ll need to check that you added cruise cover when you took out your policy. It will need to cover all destinations you’re planning on stopping at - even if you’re not getting off the ship.
Winter sports cover
Adding winter sports cover to your travel policy means you’ll be protected when you hit the slopes. It might surprise you that, apart from popular sports such as skiing and snowboarding, you’ll also need cover for activities such as:
- Outdoor ice-skating
- Reindeer sleigh rides
So make sure winter sports are included in your travel policy or add it as an optional extra. Before you buy, check for any age restrictions from your provider, as not all travel insurance providers will offer winter sports cover to those over 65. This way you're covered if things don't go as planned on your next winter adventure.
Picking the right travel insurance takes some thought. But by comparing travel insurance quotes at PayingTooMuch, you can find a great value policy that works best for you.
By Mikaela Bartlett
Mikaela Bartlett is SEO Editor at PayingTooMuch. She loves to explore places off the beaten path and sharing tips to make travel as easy and stress-free as possible.