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Ten ways to save on your travel insurance

Hoping to head overseas this year? Here's some simple ways to cut the cost of cover.

By Esther Shaw

Updated: 22 October 2021

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Travel insurance is a must

Whilst holidays are back on the agenda, the pandemic isn't over yet, and there is still plenty of uncertainty.

Travel insurance is more crucial than ever. When buying a policy for your break abroad, it’s vital to check it comes with Covid-19 protection.

Equally, while cover for Covid-related events needs to be your main priority, it’s important not to pay over the odds for your policy. Here we help ensure your insurance offers the cover you need, without burning a hole in your pocket.

Check the Covid protection offered by your policy

When buying travel insurance, you need to check the policy terms carefully for cancellation – in case you need to claim for a trip cancelled or cut short due to Covid.

You need to check you are covered for Covid-related disruption, if, say, you fall ill with coronavirus, if you have to self-isolate, or if Government travel advice changes. You should also read the Ts and Cs to check if you are covered for medical costs if you contract Covid-19 while you’re away.

In addition, check if you’re covered if you test positive for Covid before returning to the UK and need to extend your stay – incurring additional hotel costs.

If you’re in any doubt about the cover offered by a policy, speak to the insurer to clarify the details.

Ten tips to help you keep a lid on travel insurance costs

A comprehensive travel policy should mean you’re protected against cancellation, delays, illness, and even lost luggage. But how can you keep costs down?

1. Shop around

Heading online and comparing deals should be a simple way to cut costs. But resist the temptation to go for the very cheapest option, as you want to be sure your policy is robust enough, and not riddled with exclusions.

2. Consider an annual policy

If you plan on travelling overseas more than three times a year, an annual policy covering unlimited trips and holidays is likely to be more cost-effective than a single trip policy.

3. Look at Europe-only cover

If you are only travelling to the Continent this year, European cover will usually work out cheaper than worldwide cover.

4. Check out policies for families or couples

See if you can save by combining cover for parents and children on a family policy, as this can be cheaper than insuring individuals separately. Policies for couples can also be better value than paying for two single policies.

5. Opt for a higher excess

A simple way to bring down the cost of a policy is by opting for a higher excess. This is the agreed amount of money you will pay towards a claim. But you need to ensure you can comfortably afford the excess you have gone for.

6. See if you already have cover via your bank account

Some packaged accounts may include travel insurance as one of the ‘perks’ you get in return for paying a monthly fee. Some credit cards also offer it as a feature.

But if you have got cover via your current account or card, it’s worth contacting the provider for details on what coronavirus-related events are covered.

7. Don’t buy travel insurance from a travel agent

If you arrange your holiday via a travel agent or tour operator, don’t fall into the trap of saying yes if they offer you a travel insurance policy to go with it. Policies can often be more pricey, and may not offer the right cover for your needs. Always shop around to find the right cover at the right price.

8. Make sure you’re not paying for features you don’t need

If you already have cover for belongings overseas via your home insurance, see if you can remove baggage cover from your travel insurance policy to make savings on your premium. And if you have your gadgets covered elsewhere, don’t double up on gadget insurance.

9. Take care not to pay for unnecessary extras

If you’re heading off on a relaxing beach holiday, there’s no point paying for ‘extreme sports cover’ or ‘winter sports cover’ as it won’t be relevant.

10. Apply for a free GHIC

A UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) – which replaces the old European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – entitles you to free or reduced-cost medical treatment in other EU countries.  

It shouldn’t be viewed as a substitute for travel insurance, but can be a useful extra alongside your policy as it means you can get the same treatment at state-run hospitals and GPs that locals are entitled to.

Don’t forget cover for UK breaks

Finally, if you are holidaying closer to home this year – as many families are – it’s still important to think about comprehensive travel insurance for your staycation.

If you scrimp on cover, you could be at risk of losing money in the event of delayed or cancelled transport, cancelled accommodation, baggage loss, or damage to valuables, including camping equipment.

Taking out comprehensive cover at the time of booking will give you peace of mind to go and enjoy your UK break without having to worry about what will happen should anything go wrong.

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