Most insurance companies offer cover specifically intended for families, couple and groups travelling together. Purchasing family, couple or group policies is usually significantly cheaper than buying separate individual cover for each traveller. The most important thing to consider when buying a family policy is the way a provider defines a family as this can vary depending on the company. All our providers account for two adults and up to four dependant children aged 18 below in a family policy (although Club Direct counts anyone under 23 years old as a child providing they are still in full time education) Couples are usually classified as two adults who share an address although this could vary depending on the provider.
One major advantage of family policies is that, in general, they cover any named family member travelling separately from the rest of the family (although under 18s are usually excepted) This means that families can enjoy the financial benefits of a family policy even if they are all travelling to different corners of the world!
Most providers offer free cover to children under two years of age on their family policies but some providers give free cover to all children who are travelling with a named adult. These providers include Direct Travel, Club Direct, Go Travel Insurance, Post Office, Two Point Five. (Club Direct includes an unlimited number of children in the family policy) Many of our providers also recognise that not all families will want to name two parents a policy. To account for that most companies offer reduced rates for single parent families so that they can still enjoy the financial benefits offered by a family policy.
It is worth noting that most family policies are based on a calculation of 2.5 the cost of an individual policy so although it is usually much cheaper for larger families, it may work out more cost effective for one-child families to purchase separate couple and child policies. Another restriction is that parents or grandparents aged 65 or over can not usually be named on a family policy (or if they can it is at a greatly increased premium) as they are perceived as being a much higher medical risk than other family members. If older travellers are included on the trip it is usually more cost effective for them to take out over 65s insurance which is specially designed to accommodate their travel needs. Pertinent to older children who are not yet 18 (specifically 16 and 17 year olds) another restriction is that family policies do not cover any child who is travelling unaccompanied by a named adult, even for a short amount of time. If older teens are travelling alone they are usually required to take out an individual policy.
It is worth considering the family needs carefully when choosing a policy. It may be that some families view a missed departure as a significant risk so it is better for them to choose a policy that offers a higher upper limit for missed flights. Alternatively others may decide that late luggage is a greater worry and choose a policy which covers baggage delay as a named feature on the policy.
Different insurance providers offer extra cover for additional eventualities not included on our basic list (see below) For example, many family and couple policies cover customers for additional accommodation and travel cover which covers the costs of a parent or partner if they are required to accompany an insured person home due to a medical need. Other cover is intended to meet the needs of children who are classified as more vulnerable travellers (although if it is on the policy it will also be cover other family members as well) This could include airline seat bumping, search and rescue costs and cover for an emergency return home. Family and couples policies may also cover:
- Catastrophe/ hijacking/ mugging
- Trip abandonment
- Emergency dental treatment
- Hospital stay benefit
- Trip delay
- Funeral expenses
- Overseas credit card fraud
- Rental vehicle return
- Delayed departure
- Unused Excursions
- Golf equipment/ pre-paid green fees (in general this only applies with golf cover which usually comes under a separate premium)
- Ski equipment/ ski pack/ piste closure/avalanche and landslide cover (in general this only applies with winter sports cover which usually comes under a separate premium)
In addition to the various extras covered by different policy providers, each company offers different way of customising family policies which allows customers to tailor their policy to their individual needs. For example, families usually have the option of increasing their personal baggage cover in recognition of the large amount of luggage required for those travelling with small children and the extra worry involved if possessions are lost. Intended specifically for couples, most providers offer the option to include wedding cover in recognition of the extra risks which can arise when getting married overseas. Other policy options could include:
- Option to exclude baggage and personal money cover
- Winter Sports Cover which may include piste closure
- Golfing Cover
- Option to exclude cancellation cover
- Option to customise the limit of days trips can last for (e.g. 45 days/ 60 days)
- Cancellation top-up
- Option to include pre-booked accommodation cover