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Travel insurance FAQs

Your top travel insurance questions answered here

published: 03 March 2020
Read time: 5 minutes

We run through some of the most commonly asked questions about travel insurance

Travel insurance should be an essential part of your holiday planning. As well as providing financial protection in case things go wrong during your trip, it means you have cancellation cover in place if you can’t go. But policies can be complex, so here’s the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic

1. Who can I cover with my travel insurance policy?

When you take out travel insurance, you can cover:

  • Yourself, with an individual policy

  • You and your partner, with a couple’s policy

  • Your family, with a family policy – up to two adults and up to five children under 18

  • A group, with a group policy – including two or more adults travelling together with or without children, up to a maximum of seven people

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2. If I select a group/couple/family policy, am I or is anyone else named on the policy covered if they travel alone?

Some insurance policies may cover you to travel by yourself, but most won’t. It’s always advisable to contact your insurer before travelling to clarify this sort of information.

3. What types of travel insurance cover can I take out?

The type of travel insurance you’ll need will depend on where you’re going and for how long. When it comes to the length of time you’ll be travelling, you’ll get to choose either:

  • Single trip cover: A single-trip travel insurance policy covers you for one trip to a specific region for a set period

  • Backpacking cover: Backpacking travel insurance offers protection for an extended period, during which you’ll be able to visit multiple regions

  • Annual multi-trip cover: An annual multi-trip policy insures you for a full year, so you’ll be able to take multiple holidays across the 12-month period to any regions you’ve included on your policy

Your policy will also reflect the parts of the world you plan to visit:

  • European: This covers you for travel to mainland Europe, and some insurers also extend this to Morocco and Egypt. Check the extent of cover you’re buying if you’re not sure

  • Worldwide: This covers you to visit any destination worldwide, apart from those specifically listed on the policy (typically high-risk areas such as war zones)

  • Worldwide (excluding the USA, Canada and the Caribbean): This covers you for travel to anywhere in the world except these countries and named high-risk destinations. This distinction is often made as these destinations have very high medical treatment costs, so removing travel to the USA, Canada and the Caribbean makes the policies less expensive

4. Will I be covered for day trips, excursions, and holidays with multiple destinations?

Many travel insurance policies provide cover for excursions such as visiting another country for a day or two as part of your holiday. However, check with the insurance company as there may be conditions and limits to how the cover applies.

For single trip holidays with multiple destinations, you'll need to enter each destination you will be visiting and then check with the insurer that you are covered for all destinations – including any time spent travelling.

You could also purchase an annual multi-trip policy, which ensures you’ll be covered for all destinations, subject to your policy conditions.

5. What additional cover can I take out with travel insurance?

When you take out a travel insurance policy, you’ll be able to bolster your cover with several additional options:

  • Adventure, winter and water sports cover: If you’re going snowboarding, jet-skiing or swimming with dolphins you’ll need either an adventure, winter or water sports policy. They’ll cover you for a range of activities that a standard policy wouldn’t

  • Cruise cover: if you’re going on a cruise this tailored policy will insure your belongings and medical costs should something happen once you set sail. You’ll also have cancellation cover in case you are unable to go on your holiday

  • Gadget cover: If you have any gadgets that cost more than the single-item value limit most insurers have in place, you’ll need to cover them and any other expensive items with a policy

6. Which companies pay out in the event of natural disaster, terrorism or an outbreak of a viral illness?

There is no single answer as each policy is different – some will cover you for natural disasters, terrorism or viral outbreaks and others won’t. You’ll need to read the key facts and policy documents to be sure for your own specific policy and cover level.

Important - Insurers will not provide insurance if you are travelling to a country where the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) have advised against travel. For advice on countries not to travel to and for global information prior to travel visit the FCDO website.

7. How much will travel insurance cost?

The premiums you’ll pay for travel insurance depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Your age: younger travellers get cheaper insurance premiums than their older counterparts

  • Your destination: Factors specific to your destination, such as local medical treatment or repatriation costs, can affect the price you pay

  • Your holiday duration: As you would expect, the longer you’re away the more you’ll need to pay

  • Your activities: If you’re taking part in risky activities like winter or water sports, you’ll need to pay extra for the right cover

  • Your medical conditions: If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, as discussed in the next question, you’ll need to pay extra for the right medical treatment cover

  • Your policies: Adding extra cover for gadget, designer clothes or valuables does bolster your protection, but it will cost more

Your premiums are a one-off payment for the entire policy, rather than a price-per-person for everyone covered.

8. Why do I need cover for my existing medical condition?

Medical costs abroad can be very expensive and without adequate insurance cover you could be left severely out of pocket.

9. What is a pre-existing medical condition, and can I be covered?

A pre-existing condition usually means any medical condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment was/is recommended or received.

Cover will only be provided for pre-existing medical conditions that you have declared. If you fall ill from a pre-existing condition that you have not declared, you are unlikely to make a successful claim on your travel insurance.

It’s always a good idea to speak to the insurer you’re thinking of using to check whether they will include your condition on the policy, and how much it will cost.

If you're pregnant, certain exclusions may apply if you travel after a certain point during the period of your pregnancy.

We would advise you to read the key facts policy summary and the policy wording thoroughly prior to purchasing the product, to see which exclusions and conditions may be in place. For complete peace of mind, you can also ask your insurer any questions you may have.

We offer a full list of companies who specialise in cover for pre-existing medical conditions. Please click to see our panel of insurers who provide travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions – you’ll be asked to disclose the conditions you have.

10. What is medical screening?

Medical screening is a multiple-choice question process to assess the severity of your condition.

11. Why am I having problems completing payment?

If you are having problems completing payment, these issues are often related to your card provider. You should first check to see if your card has had any issues – your card provider should help you resolve these.

However, if your payment method is declined during your purchase process, the security features used by our payment partners – Pay360 and Stripe – will prevent any other cards from being used for two hours.

If this happens please close your browser and wait before completing your search and purchase with an alternative card. We appreciate this may cause some inconvenience, but we do this to prevent card fraud.

12. Can I purchase this insurance over the telephone?

In most cases you can. As MoneySuperMarket is a price comparison website we provide customers access to the full policy documentation once a quotation has been obtained. Contact details for the provider can usually be located within their travel policy document.

13. Can I purchase this insurance online?

Yes. Once you have chosen your provider, we will ask you to enter a few more personal details and you will then be directed to make your payment online. Once payment has been made, confirmation will be sent to the email address you provided.

14. What should I do if I haven’t received a copy of my travel insurance policy?

If you haven’t received your travel insurance documents, first check your junk/spam folder as they can occasionally end up there.

Please ensure you have added the below emails to your safe sender list, this is where your email confirmation is sent from:

If you have not received your email within 24 hours, please contact your chosen provider directly.

15. Why can’t MoneySuperMarket resend my policy documents?

MoneySuperMarket is a price comparison service, so we’re unable to access your policy – your insurer will be able to amend, resend or cancel a policy for you.

16. What to do if you need to make a change or you would like to cancel your policy

You should contact the insurance provider directly – as MoneySuperMarket is a price comparison service we won’t have access to your policy. The contact details for your chosen provider can be found in your policy confirmation email.

For annual multi-trip policies, you’re entitled to cancel your policy within 14 days of purchasing without any penalty. In this case, you should contact your insurance provider for a full refund. You’ll still be able to cancel the policy after the 14-day cancellation period but you won’t get your money back.

For single trip policies lasting less than a month, you will be able to cancel but you may have to pay a cancellation penalty fee as a result. Please contact your insurance provider directly to discuss their refund policy.

17. When does my policy expire?

Your policy will expire at midnight on the final day it's valid for. For single trip polices your cover will end on the day you return to the UK – this will be on your confirmation email.

For an annual policy your cover will expire a full year later. For example, if you purchase on the 2nd of January 2020, your policy will expire at midnight on the 1st of January 2021, by which time you must have arrived back in the UK or you won’t be covered.

Remember, an annual policy covers multiple trips within a 12-month period.

18. I have a question about the MoneySuperMarket website and need to contact you

Please contact us here.

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