If you are looking for the cheapest travel insurance you may be disappointed to hear that there is not one provider that is the cheapest for everyone. That is because each provider has different criteria that they use to price their policies. A policy with winter sports cover will of course be more expensive than a policy that does not cover you for hazardous activities. If you need extreme sports cover however, then you will want to find the cheapest policy with this option.
The first step in finding the very best value travel insurance, is to understand all of the different features of a standard travel insurance policy.
Travel insurance can seem like a complicated product at first glance. Once you begin to understand the different components of a standard policy however, you will find it easier to compare policies from each of the different providers. We have compiled a simple to understand list of some features that most standard travel insurance policies will include. We should emphasise that even if most policies include these feature, not all will so check before you buy. We would also recommend consulting with an independent financial advisor before making any financial decision.
A quick foreword to our list; a travel insurance policy is designed to protect you financially from unforeseen circumstances whilst travelling away from your usual place of residence. You will always be expected to behave in a sensible way, and you can generally not claim if you are already aware when taking out your policy that a claim may be imminent.
1. Cover for baggage
Most travel insurance policies will cover you if your baggage is lost or stolen. You should take time to consider the value of replacing your baggage, which includes both the contents and the actual bags themselves. There will usually be an upper baggage limit (the average is around 2,000 GBP). The type of trip you are planning will influence the level of baggage cover that your policy will need to cover. If you are flying, then the chance of your bags being lost or stolen, is probably higher than if you are driving for example. Our tip for saving money on this aspect of your travel insurance, is to choose a policy which has a baggage cover limit that is relevant to your own situation. Don’t pay for insurance that you don’t need.
2. Valuables Cover
You may consider your valuables part of your baggage, as most people carry their valuables in their baggage rather than on their person. Most insurers however will ask you to specify any single items of particularly high value. Always check each policy separately, however if you plan on travelling with possessions costing more than one or two hundred pounds each, you should tell your insurer when getting a quote. If you cover valuables on your policy, it will affect your premium cost, so don’t insure valuables that you may not be taking with you. Some items to think about are things like cameras, tablets, laptops, phones or even watches or jewellery. Our top tip for saving money on the valuables aspect of your insurance is to check whether your home contents insurance policy will cover your items away from your home or even abroad. If so, there’s no need to take additional cover via your travel insurance policy.
3. Cover for glasses and lenses
Whilst you may see your glasses as a valuable item to you, some insurers will not cover the cost of replacing prescription glasses if they are lost or stolen. If you do have a particularly expensive pair of glasses then we would advise searching for a policy that does specifically cover loss or damage to glasses. Our tip? Leave your expensive glasses at home, take a cheap pair and buy a policy that doesn’t charge you extra to cover glasses.
4. Cover for cash
Despite what you may think most modern travel insurance policies will provide some kind of financial protection if you lose cash whilst on holiday. There are usually some pretty strict caveats surrounding this aspect of travel insurance.
First of all, most policies will have a limit on the amount of cash they will pay out. This is usually around the three or four hundred pound mark. We would advise checking the cash pay out limit before you travel, and to never carry more than that amount on your person at any time. This amount usually includes travellers cheques.
The second, and most important caveat is regarding how you can make a claim against this policy feature if you do happen to lose any cash or travellers cheques. If you lose your cash, you will be required to report your loss to the nearest policy station within 24 hours, and to obtain a crime reference number. You may also be required to report the loss or theft to your host or the company that you booked with, and will almost always need to provide proof that you had ownership of the cash. A cash machine or foreign exchange receipt will normally suffice.
4. Medical Cover
This is the part of a travel insurance policy that tends to give buyers the most peace of mind. One can find many horror stories online of uninsured individuals running into thousands of pounds worth of debt when they have to seek emergency medical care whilst abroad. You should consider the level of medical cover that you take out very carefully. Most travel insurance policies offer cover into the millions of pounds, as this should usually cover repatriation to your home country if things go wrong.
One thing to be careful about, is being honest in your declaration to your insurer when taking out a policy. All insurers questions will vary, but most will require that you tell them about any pre existing medical conditions, which are present at the time of requesting a quote. There are usually some exclusions, such as if you have been discharged from hospital over a year ago. If you are currently suffering from a condition however, you must declare it. Failure to do so may invalidate your policy. Always check the specific terms of any insurance which you purchase.