12 tips for a cheap travel insurance that works

Most of us know it’s better to be safe than sorry – even if many still choose not to get good cover when they go away. But how do you find cheap travel insurance that’s right for you?

Flight delays and medical treatment abroad are among the most common disruptions to our coveted getaways, and compensating for those can be pricey enough.

But holidaymakers face other, much wider challenges too. Like financial instability and the threat of strikes in sunny but tumultuous Greece. Or natural disasters, from storms and tsunamis to eruptions of volcanic ash.

So unless your credit-card provider or your bank already covers you for these eventualities (check with them directly), be smart and buy piece of mind in the shape of a good, cheap travel insurance package.

What does good cover look like? According to Moneywise UK, your insurance should offer at least £2 million for medical expenses, £1 million for personal liability, £3,000 for cancellation, £1,500 as baggage cover and £250 cover for cash. Then there’s cover for delays, as well as airlines, hotels or other service providers going bust.

If all of this seems far too much to negotiate, don’t worry; we’ve compiled a checklist to make the search quicker and more focused.

Here’s everything you need to think about when you’re looking for cheap travel insurance that doesn’t just save you pennies but is effective too.

Cheap travel insurance DOs:
  1. Use price-comparison sites to help you narrow things down – both in terms of price and the right policy for you. You’ll find a good range of insurers, but remember that not all are included.
  2. Always, always, always (always!) read the small print. For example, does the insurance cover all the activities you’ll be doing – yoga, Pilates, horse-riding, wind-surfing, etc? Are there any significant exclusions from the policy that might affect you – for example ‘acts of nature’ or ’acts of God’? How does the provider define ‘weather-related events’, and do they include ash from volcanic eruptions?
  3. Check if you’re covered for financial failure of service providers such as airlines and hotels. This is advisable in the current economic climate.
  4. Make sure you’re happy with the excess on the policy. This can go into the hundreds of pounds – can you absorb it?
  5. Take out travel insurance even if your wellbeing holiday is in the UK. Travel disruption, problems with accommodation and natural disasters can spoil any getaway.
  6. Bring your EHIC card if you have one and you’re travelling in Europe. If not, apply for one now. It’s free. See our recent blog with tips for free EHIC card.
Cheap travel insurance DON’Ts:
  1. Don’t wait to take out insurance. Buy one when you book your trip, and you’ll be covered immediately in case of cancellation.
  2. Don’t pick a cover that doesn’t cover you. Make sure you have comprehensive travel and medical insurance that’s right for your trip.
  3. Don’t lie about your medical history, or you’ll likely end up paying for your medical care.
  4. Don’t assume anything. Double-check all insurance details directly with your provider.
  5. Don’t forget to check the reviews. Is the provider reputable? Do they have a good track record in paying up for justified claims?
  6. Don’t hesitate to take out an annual insurance – it can save you money. You might find it does if you’re making more than one journey in the year.

We hope this gets you going! For more detailed help and advice, consult the MoneySavingExpert, MoneyWise, or Which?

Updated 27 June 2018.

By Denny

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