Get the right travel insurance for you
Annual policies cover you for every holiday you make over the course of a year. They can even cover you for UK trips...
By opting for an annual travel insurance policy, you know you have travel cover for a full year and don't have to face paying out for single trip policies for each trip.
When does it make sense to use it? Is it worth it?
If you know you will be making more than two trips abroad then an multi trip insurance policy is cheaper than buying several single trip policies. This is particularly the case if you are travelling to far-flung destinations, as you can choose a worldwide annual policy to cover all your holiday needs. You may also be covered for domestic trips too - so if you want to visit another UK destination for a long weekend, say, you'll be insured for this.
A huge advantage of an annual policy is that you are covered continuously and don't have to shop for a new policy each time you book - which is often a last-minute headache.
From family to single person or couple policies, European to worldwide; there are a range of annual travel insurance policies to choose from...
You can get various types of policy to suit your needs. For example, you could choose an annual multi trip travel insurance policy for a single person or a couple, or a family policy to cover all your kids' needs as well as your own and your partner's. The latter can protect all your loved ones abroad, so you don't have to worry that they're not covered.
You can also choose from European or worldwide policies. If you're choosing a worldwide policy but are not planning to visit North America, keep an eye out for policies which exclude the United States and Canada, as those can save you money. However, make sure the policy covers the destinations that are on your wish list.
If you are planning a ski or snowboard trip then ensure you buy an annual policy which extends to winter sports cover or that you can add it on at a later date should you book a trip to the slopes.
Never buy just on price. Always look at the cover on offer and ensure you know what you are covered for and excluded from...
Policies do vary so check for levels of cover. As a fundamental base, however, policies will have medical cover in place up to a certain limit. If you don't have cover, most countries will charge you for treatment, whether it's a minor cut or major accident.
Typically, you will also have cancellation cover included in your policy. So if, say, you were forced to cancel your holiday due to an illness, redundancy or family bereavement, you could claim back the cost of missed flights and hotels.
Travel insurance policies will also cover you for trips up to a certain number of days each - so check the amount fits your needs. You should also have adequate cover for your baggage and personal belongings while away, and a limit for any cash that you might lose or have stolen.
At TravelSupermarket we recommend the following levels of cover as a minimum:
What am I likely to need?
Check the cover levels carefully to make sure you choose the best travel insurance for your circumstances. This will depend on your age, the value of your luggage, the type of travelling you do - whether adventurous and outdoors, or a relaxing beach break, for example - among other factors.
What should I check for in the small print of a policy?
Consider what you plan to do while away, and whether the fine print of the policy covers you for any activities you want to take part in. There are sometimes endless exclusions for risky activities, so bear this in mind when picking a policy if you're an adrenaline junkie. If you are planning on taking a cruise, ensure this is also covered.
Is it worth buying a gold-plated policy or can I save money? We recommend the things to look at to keep a lid on costs without compromising your cover...
By comparing policies you will see there are some cheap ones available. But cheapest isn't always best. While a cheap policy might seem the obvious option to keep costs down, in the long run it could prove an expensive mistake. So check the levels of cover are definitely suitable for you. Many cover levels are low, especially for the cancellation cost, so ensure all elements are covered.
It's worth checking your home insurance policy too as if it includes personal possessions cover outside the home, this may save you money on your annual travel insurance policy. However, making a claim on your home insurance policy could well affect your premium when you come to renew it.
Also, consider the excess - or the amount you will have to pay yourself in the event of a claim. A lower excess might be worth choosing, even though it'll ramp up the cost of the policy, if you want to make sure you're not paying hundreds of pounds out of your own pocket if you come to claim.