Sunscreen and sunglasses are essential when traveling, but insurance is perhaps the most important thing you can pack on vacation.
The average cost starts at around £20, according to GoCompare. It might seem like money you could be better off spending on a few bottles of wine or a nice meal, Finder said, but “it’s dwarfed by the average claim amount of £800”.
Travel insurance can cover you for everything from lost luggage to flight delays and cancellations. The biggest concern for most travelers while on holiday, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said, is needing emergency medical treatment abroad. “And rightly so,” the trade body said, “because those costs can be extremely high.”
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In one case, the cost of medical treatment in Spain following a fall and emergency medical repatriation to the UK was £124,000. In another, treating a traveler who caught Covid in Cyprus and returning them safely to the UK cost £70,000, the ABI said.
Insurance can help cover the bill for these unexpected costs. Here’s how to find the best deal.
Compare the prices
As with any financial product, shopping around is important. Use comparison websites and compare lots of quotes.
An agent or airline may offer you additional insurance when you book a flight or vacation, This Is Money said, but that may not be the best choice for you.
“Low insurance costs can mean a lot,” the financial website added, “or can be a sign that a policy doesn’t have the specific coverage you need.”
Also, if you have pre-existing medical conditions, many traditional insurers on price comparison websites may not cover you at all.
Single trip or multi-trip policies
If you plan to travel abroad more than three times a year, MoneySuperMarket said, an annual policy covering unlimited trips and vacations is likely to be more cost effective than a single trip policy.
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In some cases, Which? said, it may actually be cheaper to buy an annual policy to insure a single stay, especially for extended trips to destinations further afield than Europe. “That won’t always be true, but it’s worth investigating annual and one-way cover prices when shopping.”
If you’re traveling with a partner, friends or family, The Money Edit said, you can usually get a discount if you buy travel insurance from the same provider, and that will make it easier to process a claim.
How much coverage do you need?
Travel insurance policies offer different levels of cover and the more you need, the higher the cost or premium.
You can select an amount to cover yourself in the event of baggage loss or cancellation, but don’t pay more coverage than necessary. Assess whether you really need cancellation insurance or an annual policy.
A low price doesn’t necessarily mean great value, however. There can be major differences between policies – some, for example, will not include any cancellation cover. Others might not cover your luggage or personal effects.
Some travelers may even find they’re covered for overseas possessions through their homeowners insurance, MoneySuperMarket said. Packaged checking accounts can also include travel insurance as a benefit, the comparison website said.
Increase your deductible
Two important numbers determine the cost of your travel insurance.
The premium is the cost of the policy but there is also a deductible to pay if you have to make a claim.
A simple way to reduce the cost of a policy is to opt for a higher deductible, MoneySuperMarket said. Make sure you can still “comfortably afford” to pay this amount, should you have to make a claim.
Check your policy to find out what is covered and what is excluded.
Most insurers cover Covid medical costs, This Is Money said, but few offer cover if you have to cancel or self-isolate due to a positive test, as it is now considered a “risk known” when traveling.
Similarly, “natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, floods and earthquakes will be excluded from claims, as well as acts of terrorism or civil unrest.”
While standard travel insurance policies can cover most sporting activities, The Money Edit said, those that are “more adventurous” like extreme sports or skiing may be excluded or have specific terms and conditions around them. them, so you will need a specialist. blanket.
There are also ways to invalidate your insurance, the financial website said, such as if you travel to areas advised against by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or if you have an accident after drinking too much or taking dope.
You might wonder how many drinks are considered too many, The Money Edit said, but all insurers have their own guidelines ranging from the vague “drink too much” to the more specific “about four pints.”