The figures speak for themselves. Travel insurance quotes can be for as little as the equivalent of a couple of sangrias, but medical charges if you fall ill abroad can quickly rise into the £thousands. Despite the math, one in four of us still doesn’t bother to take out travel insurance.
If you’re one of the wise 75% who does take out travel insurance, make sure you’re getting the best deal for your money. Read our guide to help you get the best travel insurance quotes – with comprehensive cover at low prices.
Why do I need to take out travel insurance?
Holidays are supposed to be relaxing. Unfortunately, cancelled or missed flights, crime, and illness can all make going away turn into a nightmare. With travel insurance, you’re buying peace of mind that whatever happens, wherever you are, you can get it sorted out quickly.
In 2016, insurance companies paid out a record-busting £1million a day to travellers according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). This cash helped 480,000 individuals and families stuck without their baggage, facing a cancelled holiday, or in need of medical attention abroad.
The cost of falling ill on holiday
From tripping on a pavement and hurting your ankle to more serious injuries, you never know what’s going to happen when you’re away. The average claim for medical treatment was £1,300. But the ABI reports on one claim for a whopping £760,000 to treat a stroke in the USA. At average UK salaries, that would take over 25 years of work to pay for.
The ABI also gives these examples of medical claims paid out to British travellers:
- £136,000 for treating complications following an insect bite in Chile. This included paying for a nurse to escort the traveller home
- £125,000 to pay for surgery following a jet-ski accident while holidaying in Turkey
- £81,000 to cover ongoing costs of treating a holidaymaker who contracted pancreatitis in Greece
- £74,000 paid to treat a brain haemorrhage in Cuba
- £60,000 to treat injuries sustained in a road accident in El Salvador. This included £33,000 for an air ambulance back to the UK
What else should my travel insurance quote cover?
As well as paying medical costs for emergency treatment, your travel insurance can pay out if you miss your connecting flight, have to cancel or cut short your holiday for an unforeseen reason, lost baggage, and for emergency documents that allow you to travel if you lose your passport or it is stolen.
Things to do:
- Take a copy of your passport and keep that somewhere separate. If your passport is lost or stolen, it will make it quicker and easier to apply for a temporary travel document.
- If your passport is stolen or lost, report it to local police.
- You can apply for an emergency travel document online here.
Travel insurance will pay for any emergency treatment needed if you’re the victim of a terror attack.
Things to do:
- Before you travel, check here so you are aware of any travel warnings for your destination. If there is a terrorist attack whilst you are away, you should again check to see if information and advice on your destination has changed.
- Check out this map of safe destinations.
What happens if your airline goes bust?
Thanks to Monarch and RyanAir, carriers going bust or cancelling flights has been in the media recently. Many travellers have lost out because they did not realise that ATOL only protects you (and guarantees that you’ll be brought home or refunded for travel) if you book accommodation and flights together as a package. If you book flights separately, even if it is through an ATOL-protected operator, there is no legal obligation for the travel company to refund you or repatriate you. With travel insurance, you have peace of mind that you’ll be compensated if your flight operator goes bust or cancels.
Things to do: If you’re an independent traveller booking your flights and accommodation separately, make sure your travel insurance policy covers you for scheduled airline failure.
Where to start when you’re looking for travel insurance quotes
Single trip or annual policy? Europe or worldwide? Individual or family? There are lots of different choices when it comes to travel insurance. So what is right for you? If you go away once a year, look for a single trip policy. This can be tailored exactly to the location you’re travelling to and the activities you’ll be doing for the best value deal.
If you love travelling, and are likely to take two or more trips abroad or in the UK in a year, then annual cover will normally work out cheaper that taking out separate single-trip policies. Buying these policies as a couple or a family, can also work out better value than individual policies.
Things to do: Get an online quote now from Park Insurance to see how little you’ll need to pay.
Winter sports or extreme sports cover
If you’re taking a skiing trip, you’ll need specialist travel cover as it’s considered a riskier activity. Make sure you’re clear what is and isn’t covered by your policy. For example, many winter sports policies won’t cover you off-piste unless you’re with a guide. If you’re taking out a standard policy , it’s important to see what activities are covered. For example, some insurers may even consider golf or banana boat rides a risky sport. That means if you have an accident whilst enjoying these, and you don’t have the right level of insurance, you won’t be covered.
Things to do: Check your policy. You might not know what sports you’re going to do when you’re away yet. But if you think you may be tempted by bungee jumping or horse-riding, make sure you’re covered before you travel to avoid problems.
When should I take out travel insurance?
Your travel insurance can cover the cost of flights and accommodation if you are unable to travel, for example because of unforeseen illness of someone in the travelling party or a close family member. That means it’s wise to take out your travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday. That way those potential losses are covered from day one.
Things to do: Get an online quote now from Park Insurance to avoid missing out on compensation.
24-hour peace of mind
You never know when you’ll need help abroad. And time difference can make the middle of your day the middle of the night here. Look for travel insurance that offers a 24-hour assistance line that you can contact wherever you are in the world.
Travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions
Most travel insurance policies contain important health restrictions. Make sure you read these carefully before you take the insurance out. For standard travel insurance policies, you must be able to make the following declaration for yourself and each insured person.
To the best of my knowledge, the following apply:
- Nobody is waiting for an operation, hospital consultation (other than for regular check-ups), or other hospital treatment or investigations.
- Nobody has received treatment, other than regular medication in the last 12 months for any:
– blood disorder
– psychiatric illness
– form of cancer, leukaemia or tumour
– dialysis treatment
- Nobody has:
– been diagnosed as HIV positive has required treatment for HIV or any HIV-related illness.
– any breathing or heart problem which has needed hospital treatment in the last 12 months.
– been seen by a specialist in the last three months (other than for regular check-ups) or been admitted to a hospital overnight.
- Nobody will travel against medical advice or to get medical treatment.
- Nobody has been given a terminal prognosis by a registered doctor.
- I do not know of any reason (medical or otherwise) why the trip is likely to be cancelled or cut short.
Things to do:
- If your circumstances change, and you can no longer declare these statements as true you’ll need to get in touch with your insurer.
- If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you’ll need to speak to your broker to arrange appropriate cover.
Top tips for getting the best value deal on your travel insurance quote
1) Don’t just take out insurance offered by your travel provider
Your tour operator, travel agent, and airline are all likely to offer you insurance. Be wary of just opting for these as they could cost you more. Just like any insurance, it pays to shop around.
Things to do: Give yourself time to call several insurance providers or get in touch with an independent insurance broker like Park insurance. We can search all the available travel deals to find you the best price.
2) Check what’s already covered
Before you start looking at travel insurance quotes, always check to see if your bank account offers travel insurance as part of its benefits. Make sure you carefully read the small print as well. That way you can be confident that there are no exclusions to age, destination, activities, or the duration of your trip that could leave you un-insured.
Also, check your home insurance policy, or speak to your insurance broker, to see if your home insurance already covers personal items, like jewellery and gadgets like iPads and cameras when you are abroad.
3) Adjust your excess
Opting for a higher excess can reduce your premiums. But be careful not to make your excess too high. If it is, you may find your insurance is not really worth having.
4) Register for a European Health Insurance Card
Just because you’ve taken out insurance, it’s still wise to have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) when you travel in the EU. This free card entitles you to state-provided healthcare on the same basis as a national of that country. Travel insurance companies often reduce your excess if you have one of these cards and you need to make a claim.
Remember, although it is useful, it’s not a substitute for travel insurance. It will not cover the costs of any private emergency medical treatment. And it won’t cover the costs if you need to return to the UK on health grounds.
Things to do: Apply for or renew a European Health Insurance Card here.
Travel insurance you can count on
At Park Insurance we’ve teamed up with respected Fortis Insurance Ltd to provide you with travel insurance quotes and policies that make travelling a whole lot less stressful. They not only protect you financially against medical bills and the cost of repatriation but also offer a 24-hour assistance service to ensure that even in an emergency situation you are in safe hands.
Cover for the whole family
We don’t just cover you, either. If you’re travelling with your family then we can arrange insurance for your children and spouse. Our deals can also include cover for lost luggage, delays or cancellations. So whether you’re a once-a-year traveller, or go abroad frequently to visit family and friends, have to travel overseas for business, or are off around the world on a gap year, talk to our friendly, impartial advisers today.
Things to do: Get a travel insurance quote now or call our friendly team on 0117 9556835.