Choosing a Policy

The first major decision to make when considering buying travel insurance is whether you want single tripannual multi-trip or specialist policy cover. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of insurance summarised below.

We have researched the insurance providers who offer the cheapest cover and those who offer the highest cover amounts, including their excess.
Click on any of the links below to find out more.

Single Trip

Single trip insurance is recommended if you are not a frequent traveller. Purchasing a policy that covers only the trip you are taking means you avoid paying for extra days that you will not be using. A single trip policy also allows you to tailor your policy to the exact type of trip you are taking. For example, with the case of dangerous sports a large number of annual multi-trip policies provide a set number of days cover for activities such as winter sports. It also means you do not have to add on an extra block of days if your trip goes over the standard limit set for annual multi-trip policies, which could end up costing you more in the long run.

Annual Multi-Trip

The advantage for annual multi trip insurance is that you are covered for every trip you make within the year (provided its duration is under a specific number of days – this varies between providers). This is very useful for frequent travellers as it often works out cheaper than paying single trip insurance every time you travel. This is a good option for travellers who take advantage of last minute travel deals and those who travel more than 3 times a year.

Specialist Policies

Specialist policies cover anything outside the normal range of expected use.
Typical single and annual multi-trip travel insurance quotes are based on certain expectations. These are usually that you are:

  • physically and mentally fit,
  • that you will not be engaging in any activities or sports that would put you at risk of injury or death (such as hazardous sports or work that takes you abroad) beyond what you would encounter on an average trip,
  • that you are within the age range of 18 to 50 (or 65 for some providers),
  • and that you will not be travelling abroad for an unusually long period of time.

If your needs are outside this range either for physical or planned activity reasons then you may want to consider a specialist policy, such as the ones listed below.

We have researched the insurance providers who offer the cheapest cover and those who offer the highest cover amounts, including their excess.
Click on any of the links below to find out more.

Winter Sports

If you are travelling abroad for a skiing, snowboarding or general winter sports holiday you may find yourself exempt from several areas of a typical travel insurance policy. Expensive items such as sporting equipment will not usually be covered as standard and certainly not if you are renting the equipment.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Finding travel insurance to cover you when you have a pre-existing medical condition can be tricky. However, it is very important that you declare any medical conditions that you have to your insurer when getting a quote, to avoid having to pay massive medical bills should anything go wrong. There are many insurers who will cover you, but the process will involve a few more questions than a typical single or annual policy quote.

Business Travel

Most policies have exemption clauses for matters concerning business, meaning you are unable to claim if you are injured while working abroad or for the loss of business documents or equipment which belong to your company. Business cover is generally not offered as standard, which means you’ll have to purchase extra cover if you intend on working while you are abroad. It is well worth it as most business policies offer higher amounts of cover, sometimes double! They may also offer extras such as replacement employee cover, where insurers will fly out one of your colleague’s to take over your work commitments if you are taken ill.

Over 65’s

An upper age limit is placed on those covered by the policy, with most providers not covering members of the party who are aged over 65 years old. If you or a member of your party is over the age of 65 you may want to find a provider who specialises in offering cover for this age range. Because of the volume of users they may be able to give you comprehensive cover at a better rate.

Backpackers and Long Term Travellers

Most policies have a maximum length of stay, it is usually 45 days for annual multi-trip policies and can be up to 180 days for some single trip policies – not very useful if you are backpacking around Asia for a year! Fortunately there are providers who cater to longer term travellers. They will have tailored policies for backpackers, gap year students, and other travellers that will enable you to stay safely covered for the length of your trip.

Families, Couples & Groups

Buying travel insurance can be an expensive business, especially when you are purchasing separate policies for more than one person. This is why some providers will now offer discounted policies to insure your whole family under one policy and many insurers will even offer you a discount if you buy your policy as a couple. Group policies are also available, and are perfect for trips taken by schools and organisations. Read our guide to find out more, and make sure that you check the definitions of a family, child, couple and group with your provider before booking your insurance.

What does it cost?

Many people assume that “specialist policy” = “expensive” but this is not necessarily the case. As specialist providers these companies will have helped thousands of people in the same (or similar) situation and based on sheer volume alone they might even be able to offer you a cheaper rate than you would get from a provider who offers fewer policies of this nature.