Get the right travel insurance for you
When you take out a policy, you are effectively wrapping a blanket of protection around your holiday needs...
The core of any policy is medical cover in case of the need for a doctor or hospital admission. Most countries will charge you if you do not have insurance for everything from a minor cut through to a major injury. And a good policy will repatriate you if you fall ill.
However, family travel insurance is not just about medical costs. A good policy will offer:
For the ultimate in cheap family travel insurance protection, also look out for catastrophe cover for things like ash clouds and earthquakes. And if you book DIY trips as opposed to full packaged holidays then look for a policy with end supplier failure for when companies go out of business. This will prevent you from being left high and dry.
This is a fairly simple one to decide as it will depend on how often you travel both in the UK and overseas...
If you go on holiday two or more times a year (including stays of two to three nights away in the UK) then you will probably be better off with an annual policy. The benefit of taking out an annual policy is that you no longer need to worry about whether you are covered or not once you have selected it. And the more you travel the better the value you get out of the policy - so an excuse for more holidays! Just be wary of the fine print around maximum trip length and, if you are taking the option of winter sports cover as an extra, remember you will be limited to the number and length of trips for skiing and snowboarding.
All those who take out an annual policy should make a diary note to renew it each year. But don't just take out the same policy again when it runs out; compare all policies available to ensure you get the best value.
Policies are also sold as either UK only, European or Worldwide. The latter will either include or exclude USA/Canada so do check the countries covered to get the best price for your single or annual trip.
Knowing whether a family travel insurance policy is right for you is essential to ensure you don't make an expensive mistake...
Anyone who is a parent with children living at their address can apply for a family policy. Policies can cover one or two parents as well as their dependent children, usually up to and including anyone who is 18 years of age - note that some policies will allow children of up to 22.
However, it shows how important it is to verify this when buying in order to either save more money or to ensure you buy the relevant policy.
Be careful to check whether a policy covers your children if they go on holiday with other relatives. The best policies will cover them subject to some conditions, so it's worth checking this before spending any money on a separate policy.
Single parents can also apply for a family policy.
Many people buy travel insurance purely on price. And, if you are motivated by this, you can find extremely cheap deals. However, there are downsides...
Buying a cheap policy may actually turn out to be a false economy. So it's really important to check the items that are covered as well as the small print in case you need to make a claim. Having the reassurance that you have a suitable policy to protect you and your loved ones will allow you to fully enjoy your holiday free from worry.
Cheaply priced policies typically have low levels of cover and tend to come with high excess payments if you need to make a claim. So always compare policies that are even a few pounds more expensive. You will often find they give you much higher levels of protection and have lower excess limits for only a small additional premium.
It's also good to look for activities that are included in the cover and those that are excluded. The last thing you'll want is your family adventure not to be covered. Additionally, cruise holidays may require an extra premium, so check this is included in your policy if you are taking the family away on the open seas.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions for either yourself or anyone on the policy these should be declared at the point of purchase. You should also mention any relative who is dependent on you.
Be wary of geographical limits too. Some policies classify Turkey as worldwide whereas others think of it as Europe, making a huge difference to the price of a policy.
Finally, do read the policy wording carefully when you buy it, so you are aware of its terms and conditions. Spending a few minutes going over the document will help to ensure you know how to use your policy and will remind you of what to do if something does go wrong. Being aware of the policy will pay dividends if you do need to make a claim or seek assistance.
And, if you find something in the policy that is not suitable for your family's needs, you can of course cancel the policy within 14 days of buying it if you have not yet travelled.