Travel insurance
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A Complete Guide to Travel Insurance – What, Where, When, How & Everything Else

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Travel insurance is a kind of safety net for the holidays. Of course, it is not legally required, but it protects you in case of problems. This type of insurance is designed to help you deal with unpredictable situations. It, therefore, allows travellers to leave with more peace of mind.

During your trip, insurance policies can cover various unexpected and unforeseeable events. These could be small expenses, such as lost or delayed baggage or the loss of small items. But it also applies to more costly situations, such as medical emergencies or accidents with your valuables.

Likewise, this type of arrangement also takes into account any travel delays or cancellations beyond your control.

What Are the Different Types of Travel Insurance?

There are many options for travel insurance. Which one works best will depend on the type of trip planned and who is covered by this policy.

Single Trip and Multi-Trip Travel Insurance

First of all, you can choose an insurance policy for a single trip (a one-off and specific stay). There is also annual multi-trip insurance for those who wish to travel twice a year or more. These plans are often more advantageous than taking out several single travel insurance policies. This will be one less thing to plan for your future trip!

Location-Based Travel Insurance

Policies often only cover specific locations, for example, Europe only. (If you’re planning to visit Europe sometime soon, this Europe travel guide can make your life much easier.) However, some insurance will cover virtually anywhere in the world you want to go. So, you need to ensure you are covered where you go, especially if you go to several places during a single trip!

Event-Based Travel Insurance

For sports vacations and some really specific trips (advice to thrill-seekers…!), there are special trekking, skiing, or snowboarding insurance options. It is, therefore, important to take out specialist cover. You may also need to verify that you have purchased specific coverage for all of your equipment.

Insurance for Extended Trips

If you’re in luck to enjoy travelling for an extended period, first make sure the policy covers the entire period. A lot of insurance only covers 90 or 180 days of travel.

In addition, there are tailor-made policies that offer you better protection tailored to your personal situation. For instance, if you are over 65 or if you are travelling with your family or in a group. It’s important to choose the insurance that best matches what you plan to do on your trip.

What is the Difference Between Travel Insurance and Travel Assistance?

Both services are commonly called travel insurance. However, you must be careful when researching and closing the contract. In practice, the main difference is who will pay for the service when it is used. It is a question of who will disburse the payment.

Travel Insurance

The travel insurance provides that the traveller pays all medical expenses out of pocket and then asks for reimbursement to the insurance company (within limit values established in the contract). For this, it will be necessary to present proof of medical expenses, reports, invoices, and anything else that can confirm the service.

It’s bureaucratic and can bring a lot of headaches. The advantage is that travellers can choose any place to be attended, regardless of being part of the insurance network.

Travel Assistance

The travel assistance works differently. The service will be fully borne by the contracted insurer (of course, within limits provided for in the contract). Unlike travel insurance, travel assistance provides that the insured must contact the contracted company before receiving assistance.

The insurer will then indicate a location for the service to be provided, and the insured will not need to pay anything. All payments will be borne by the insurance company. The disadvantage is the obligation to be assisted at the indicated location, except in emergencies.

It is important to say that many insurance companies sell both services in the same package, so you are guaranteed anyway. It is essential to know this information at the time of contracting the service so as not to be overwhelmed later.

Why is Travel Insurance Important and What Risks Does It Protect Me Against?

At first glance, travel insurance may seem overrated. But no one is immune to the unexpected, whether it’s a medical problem before departure or an incident while travelling. To get out in peace, consider getting travel insurance.

It is a set of guarantees and services that accompany you before (trip cancellation), during (medical repatriation, medical expenses abroad, early return), and after the trip (housekeeper, etc.).

Travel insurance is tailored to your needs depending on your destination (France, European Union, or other countries), the reason for your stay if it is a vacation or a stay with sports activities such as skiing or studying abroad.

Insurance contracts can offer five main categories of guarantees:

1. Emergency Medical Care

This warranty protects you in the event of illness or injury while you are travelling. It covers the following costs:

  • Hospital costs
  • Doctor’s fees
  • Ground or air transport to hospital in case of emergency
  • Dental care in an emergency
  • Prescription drugs
  • Transportation and accommodation of a loved one at your bedside if you are travelling alone
  • Telephone support to help you get the services you need anytime, and so forth

2. Transportation in a Medical Emergency

This guarantee is usually included in a standard medical insurance contract, but it is important to mention it. Coverage will pay for the cost of airfare with medical care, as applicable. Such fees can easily reach tens of thousands of pounds.

3. Trip Cancellation and Interruption

The guarantee offered for trip cancellation allows you to obtain a refund for all expenses incurred and is non-refundable if you have to cancel your trip due to illness, injury, or death of a member of your family.

As for the trip interruption, it is used to reimburse you if your trip must be interrupted for one of the reasons listed above, in addition to other covered events mentioned in the insurance contract.

This type of coverage can be part of a contract that includes medical insurance or can be purchased separately.

4. Lost or Delayed Baggage & Delayed Flights

This coverage is usually part of an insurance contract that includes trip cancellation. In case you lose your baggage, someone steals it, or damages it, you will get a refund. If your baggage is delayed upon arrival at your destination, this guarantee will cover the purchase of essential items while your baggage arrives.

In case your flight hits a delay, you will be reimbursed for certain expenses, such as meals or a hotel night.

5. Covid-19 Cover

If you wish to travel abroad despite being sick, the coronavirus can infect your travel in many ways. Most insurance companies provide some form of “Covid travel insurance”, but many of them do not cover all of the aforementioned risks. So, you better run through the contract details very carefully.

How to Choose Your Travel Insurance?

Here are 4 points to pay particular attention to:

The Price: Everyone is looking for inexpensive travel insurance. Having said that, purchasing a policy with the price as the sole consideration is a bad idea. The price issue is central, but it should not alone decide which contract to take out.

Additional Guarantees: The same offers are often offered, namely compensation for medical and hospital costs, repatriation assistance, and civil liability abroad. But you must also look into the question of additional guarantees, useful in case of an unexpected event: luggage guarantee, travel cancellation insurance.

Compensation Ceilings: Each insurer sets its own compensation ceilings, and these maximum amounts must be considered, especially if you leave the Schengen area and go to the USA or Canada, where health costs are very expensive.

Exclusions: Here again, remember to consult the exclusions provided in the contract to avoid unpleasant surprises. Note that legally, any exclusion must necessarily be included in the general conditions of the insurance policy.

The objective is simple: to find the travel insurance contract with the best quality-price ratio or cover-price. If you do not wish to use an online tool, you can contact several independent insurers or banking establishments in order to obtain a paper or email quotes, but the selection criteria will be the same.

What to Look in Travel Insurance Before Buying?

Overseas travel insurance can be a real blessing when you need it. However, the factors mentioned below are to be kept in mind while you decide to choose your overseas travel insurance.

Length of Travel

The most common way of purchasing a protection plan should be arranged. At the point when you need to purchase the best travel protection plan for your foreign trip, you want to think about the term of your visit.

As expected, the length of your excursion will decide the expense of your travel protection. For instance, if you want to go abroad for just a week, the plan should cost you way lesser than when you buy one for a few months or a whole year.

Distance of Travel

The length of your flights and the distance you’d travel also play a vital role in the expense and inclusion of your travel protection plan.

Planned Activities

The inclusion of the best reasonable travel protection additionally relies upon how you intend to spend your get-away. Assuming you are participating in specific sports activities that are extreme, involving some element of danger, the plan will differ significantly as compared to flying away for a business meeting.

Side Trips and Extra Destinations

Area-specific foreign travel protection approaches are typically outright. You need to see the terms of your potential insurance partner very comprehensively. Do they cover any unexpected events in case you deviate from your proposed travel itinerary? If not, make sure you get one that covers your whole travel saga, irrespective of your itinerary.

Ailments

It is another major area of concern to pay attention to when you’re looking for an appropriate travel cover. You cannot overlook your well-being while you’re travelling. Nowadays, many viral and bacterial strains of diseases surface in different localities (including the variations of COVID-19), increasing your likelihood of getting affected.

What if you assume an insurer covers COVID-related risks and illnesses, but it doesn’t? So, make sure you read the contract details thoroughly before buying a protection plan for your next visit abroad.

How To Claim Your Travel Insurance?

There are different ways of claiming your travel insurance:

Filing a Travel Insurance Claim in Transit

Be sure to bring your insurance number and emergency contact information. This will let you know who to talk to first when you have an issue, so it can be resolved as soon as possible. If you are travelling abroad, make sure you have a mobile number from a provider that offers the “roaming” facility.

Since most providers charge insanely high for roaming services, make sure you carry along with a SIM that offers the best roaming rates.

Making a Claim on Returning Home

If you need to file a travel insurance claim when you get home, check the following before filing a claim:

  • You are on time to file a claim.
  • Your plan allows you to cover for what you want to claim.
  • How much the excess is? The excess is the amount of money that your insurer will take off the claim. It may not be worth making a claim if the amount you’re claiming for is less than this.
  • Make sure there are no terms and conditions that prevent you from making a request.
  • Whether it’s new for old policy. If it isn’t, the amount you get for items you’re claiming will be less than the cost of replacing them. This is because the insurer takes off money for wear and tear.

Contact your insurer as soon as possible and ask them to submit an application form. Maybe they can send this email to you to speed things up. Please complete the application form carefully and keep a copy for yourself.

You must provide copies of all documents to assist with your claim, including receipts or medical certificates. You must also keep copies of the original documents in case your complaint is challenged or denied.

Your insurer may ask if you are in possession of some other insurance plan that can cover the claim. You will need to let them know if you have other insurance that may also provide coverage, for example, home insurance.

Filing a Claim for Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Items or Baggage

You are expected to take good care of your belongings while travelling. The insurer will want to see evidence that you did this.

If your item is lost or stolen, you must notify the police within 24 hours of the loss. And if this is not possible, notify someone such as your visiting representative, hotel manager, or transport company and bring a written report.

If you need to exchange valuables, such as bathing suits or emergency clothes, ask for a receipt to be sent as proof of your claim.

Filing a Claim for Medical Emergencies and Personal Injuries

If you need medical care while you are away, try to contact your insurance company directly and ask them to approve the treatment. You should do this beforehand, although it may not be possible by accident.

  • You may have to pay for medical treatment in advance and bring it back when you get home. Make sure you always get a receipt for any treatment or medication given to you.
  • If you do not notify your travel insurance company of any health problems you have before you take out insurance, you may not be able to cover it. Seek treatment for this condition while you are away.
  • You may not be able to claim the cost of any medications you usually need, and you may have to go on the go.
  • If you are a UK resident and have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can still use it to receive health care in EU countries until further notice.
  • If you do not have an EHIC or have already completed it, you can apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) on the NHS website. You can use GHIC to provide health care in EU countries at low cost or sometimes free of charge.
  • If you are visiting Norway, you can use your British passport to get the health care you need there. Many countries have agreements with the UK to provide emergency measures.
  • Travel insurance should cover you for pregnancy if you are in good health. However, some airlines do not allow you to fly when your baby is born within a few weeks.

Filing a Complaint if Your Trip Needs to be Cancelled or Shortened

If you want to make a claim because you have cancelled or shortened your trip, your insurance company will only accept your claim if you have a good reason to do so. Reasons may include:

  • Accidental death, illness, or injury to you, your spouse, or those travelling with you.
  • Fire, burglary, or an accident in your home.
  • You are pregnant and are advised not to travel after you have taken out insurance.
  • You are called to be a jury or a witness at the trial.

If you must reach back early, your insurance company will usually refund the additional cost of travel and the cost of any unused time at your vacation home.

Best Travel Insurance UK Offers for 2022

We have compiled a list of the most feasible travel insurance providers in the UK for 2022 so that you can make an informed and easy choice. The options include:

Coverwise

Plan: Select Platinum

Medical Cover: £20 million

Cancellation Cover: £6,000

Pros

  • It offers some of the best levels of cover across the board, including cancellation cover (up to £6,000), curtailment cover (up to £6,000), and medical cover of £20 million.
  • Provision of up to £2,000 in the name of hospital benefit.

Cons

  • Slightly lags behind in hospital benefit compared to some other options, but still quite generous overall.
  • £50 excess levied on claims.

Why Do We Recommend This Plan?

Coverwise’s Select Platinum plan provides unmatched medical, cancellation, and curtailment cover we found. You also get cancellation cover for Covid-19 related risks in this plan.

Southdowns

Plan: Select Platinum

Medical Cover: £20 million

Cancellation Cover: £6,000

Pros

  • You get some of the top-level covers in all areas, including cancellation cover (up to £6,000), curtailment cover (amounting to £6,000), and medical cover of £20 million.
  • It offers a hospital benefits cover of up to £2,000.

Cons

  • Though its overall coverage is better than most, it doesn’t offer as many hospital benefits as some other competitors offer.
  • £50 excess levied on claims.

Why Do We Recommend This Plan?

The plan does well in areas of medical, cancellation, and curtailment covers. It also covers cancellation for Covid-19-related risks.

CoverForYou

Plan: Premier

Medical Cover: £15 million

Cancellation Cover: £6,000

Pros 

  • Some of the best cancellation and curtailment covers in the industry (up to £6,000 each).
  • Though it lacks in offering medical cover as great as the ones mentioned above, it is still generous (£15 million).

Cons

  • Your claims are subject to medical excess (£50) and cancellation excess (also £50).
  • Better hospital benefit is available elsewhere despite this plan being quite generous overall.

Why Do We Recommend This Plan?

CoverForYou’s Premier plan fares well in cancellation cover and curtailment cover. You also get cancellation cover for Covid-19 related risks.

Able2Travel

Plan: A2T Platinum CYTI

Medical Cover: £10 million

Cancellation Cover: £5,000

Pros

  • Generous level of cancellation and curtailment cover (£5,000 each).
  • A good amount of hospital benefit (£2,000).

Cons

  • A lower level of medical cover (£10 million).
  • Medical excess (£50) and cancellation excess (£50) are payable on claims.

Why Do We Recommend This Plan?

This plan offers generous cancellation and curtailment cover.

Coverwise

Plan: Select Gold

Medical Cover: £20 million

Cancellation Cover: £3,000

Pros

  • Generous level of medical cover (£20 million).
  • £2,000 provided in hospital benefit.

Cons 

  • Lower levels of cancellation and curtailment cover (£3,000 each).
  • Medical excess (£50) and cancellation excess (£50) are payable on claims.

Why Do We Recommend This Plan?

The plan offers generous medical cover and hospital benefits along with cancellation cover for Covid-19 related risks.

Esure

Plan: Extra Med

Medical Cover: £15 million

Cancellation Cover: £5,000

Pros 

  • Generous level of medical cover (£15 million).
  • It also offers a generous level of cancellation and curtailment cover (£5,000 each).

Cons

  • Medical excess (£70) and cancellation excess (£70) are payable on claims.
  • You get a relatively lower level of hospital benefit with it (£1,500).

Why Do We Recommend This Plan?

The plan provides generous levels of cover, including the cancellation cover for Covid-related risks. However, it is only valid if you have had the recommended Covid vaccinations.

RAC

Plan: Black Travel Plus

Medical Cover: £15 million

Cancellation Cover: £5,000

Pros

  • Generous level of medical cover (£15 million).
  • It lends you a generous level of cancellation and curtailment cover (£5,000 each).
  • You can avail yourself of a sizeable amount of hospital benefits (£1,500) with it.

Cons

Your insurance claims are liable for medical excess (£70) and cancellation excess (£70).

Why Do We Recommend This Plan?

The plan provides generous medical, cancellation, and curtailment cover.

Sainsbury’s Bank

Plan: Premier Travel Plus

Medical Cover: £15 million

Cancellation Cover: £5,000

Pros

  • You get a broader level of medical cover (£15 million).
  • It offers you ample cancellation and curtailment cover (£5,000 each).

Cons

  • Medical excess (£70) and cancellation excess (£70) are payable on claims.
  • There is only a limited level of hospital benefit (£1,500).

Why Do We Recommend This Plan?

The plan provides generous cover across all areas.

Southdowns

Plan: Select Gold

Medical Cover: £20 million

Cancellation Cover: £3,000

Pros

  • Generous level of medical cover (£20 million).
  • £2,000 provided in hospital benefit.

Cons

  • It offers only an average level cancellation and curtailment cover (£3,000 each).
  • Your claim will be subjected to medical excess (£50) and cancellation excess (£50).

Why Do We Recommend This Plan?

The plan provides best-in-class medical cover with generous hospital benefits.

While you can compare travel insurance here to find out which one works best, you can also streamline the planning of your next trip abroad with the help of these travel apps.

Planning to Travel to and From the UK – How Talk Home Can Help?

Let’s admit, COVID or no COVID, it’s human nature to continue moving around and exploring new locations, people, and opportunities. Instead of getting scared and overwhelmed by the circumstances, you better learn to optimise how you travel.

For instance, you can go through this UK travel guide if you want to visit the UK. So, now you’re wondering what and how to do when you get to London safe and sound. Not an issue, just go through this London travel guide and make the most of your stay in London.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the world realise how short and unpredictable life is.

Whether you’re travelling to the UK or moving out of here for studies, business, or vacations, don’t forget to stay in touch with your loved ones.

It doesn’t matter if you’re old school and nostalgic about calling cards or fascinated by modern-day communication apps, you’ll find the Talk Home right by your side. From the cheapest calling cards to the best SIM-only deals and the most user-friendly calling app, we cover you everywhere.

FAQs

Can travel insurance be extended?

‘Long-stay’ travel insurance can cover extended periods of continuous travel. Check carefully the maximum duration allowed in any policy you consider buying to ensure that it meets your needs.

We recommend you ensure that the policy is in line with your needs, including specific activities and work (paid or unpaid) you may undertake.

Are travel insurance and health insurance similar or different?

You need to understand the difference between international health insurance and travel insurance. The major points include:

  • You can obtain travel insurance if you are travelling for a vacation, business trip, or other forms of foreign trips for less than six months. Travel insurance covers medical emergencies and other travel accidents.
  • You get international health insurance if you move for work, school, retirement, and so on, spending most of your time outdoors. International health insurance is long-term and covers most medical expenses you have abroad, not travel expenses.

You must obtain travel insurance if you:

  • Go on vacation, travel on business, or take a short trip abroad.
  • Have been away for at least six months.

You must obtain international health insurance if you:

  • Moved abroad to work, study, with your spouse, retire, or for other reasons.
  • Will live most of the year outdoors.
  • Intend to take an international trip (e.g. back to your country).
  • Want the opportunity to be repatriated (sent back) to your country for treatment in case of an emergency.

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