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A guide to travel insurance: how to buy the best policy

12 March, 2018

When preparing to set off for a getaway, whether that will be taking place this summer or sooner, you might not put too much thought to the subject of travel insurance. However, failing to thoroughly research options for this insurance or taking it out only when you need it can be risky.

The riskiness of treating travel insurance as an afterthought has been highlighted in the case of holidaymaker Michael Doyle detailed by The Telegraph. In July 2016, he contracted blood poisoning on a stay in Bulgaria, leading his family to try to fly him back to the UK.
His father John later recalled that Michael “only got [travel insurance] the day he got sick with his bad stomach.

He took the insurance out, he thought he was covered.” However, the insurer said he wasn’t – and so refused to fund his flight or medical bills.

Weeks later, Michael due to kidney failure.

Carefully consider who you will be travelling with

Deciding on the appropriate travel insurance policy for your needs will depend on the nature of your trip.

For travel with family or friends, the Money Advice Service lists several options – including the largely self-explanatory single-parent family cover and, if you share your residential address with your partner, couple travel insurance.

Family holiday insurance is another option and would cover two adults as well as up to four children joining them on the journey.

However, if you have just one child who will be coming along, couple and child cover could easily turn out to be less expensive than a family policy.

Carefully read through the small print of any policies you seriously consider; after all, you don’t want to inadvertently slip through any loopholes. Keep in mind, for example, that a family policy could be invalidated if the otherwise eligible family members journey independently.

Where will you go and what will you do?

Each travel insurance policy will often specify the part – or parts – of the world to which it is applicable.

While it’s possible to opt for a policy that will be valid across the globe, other policies’ validity might be restricted to Europe or cover every area internationally except the United States. A policy could be based in a single country but still cover day trips to neighbouring countries.

This kind of policy can appeal if, for example, you fancy interrupting a Gibraltar stay with a brief visit to Morocco across the sea.

Alternatively, a covered Greece trip could allow for a bit of time in Turkey.

What do you anticipate doing in your destination country?

If you will be heading off to somewhere snowy for some winter sports, many policies cover this – including the risks of injury or piste closure. Want to bungee jump or scuba dive?

These will be covered by insurance applying to “adventure sports”; however, insurers also attach the “adventurous” tag to other activities you might not have deemed as such, like horse riding, motorcycling and canoeing.

Don’t rule out the possible need to cancel a journey

With many policies covering trips lasting up to 90, 120 or 180 days, you probably won’t need to fret about your travel insurance expiring at an inconvenient time.

However, opting for cancellation cover remains a good idea, as your trip could be unexpectedly cut short due to unforeseen circumstances.

An insurance broker like Call Wiser can help you source appealingly-priced cover.

If you will be travelling for business reasons, also don’t overlook other forms of insurance which you might need and Be Wiser Business Insurance can, with its quote comparison services, help you obtain.


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