The cost of medical treatment overseas can be extortionate, and particularly if you have to be repatriated - making it false economy to go without cover.
The good news is, there are steps you can take to keep costs down, and one of the simplest ways is to purchase short stay travel insurance, rather than annual or multi-trip cover, as it is usually cheaper.
What is short term travel insurance?
Short stay travel insurance, also known as single trip insurance, can be a useful product if you are looking for cover for a particular trip.
With some policies, the trip doesn't even have to be just for a couple of days, as policies can stretch up to 31 days' coverage for one break. Unlike multi-trip policies which usually cover travel anywhere in the world, short term holiday insurance tends to cover a specific destination - so is cheaper.
But short stay travel insurance still offers you complete coverage - giving you peace of mind while you're overseas
Travel Insurance for Older travelers
Older travellers, and particularly those over 65, may find it difficult to get travel insurance at an affordable level because insurers view these individuals as being higher risk.
Generally speaking, short-term holiday insurance or single trip policies are more cost-effective for these travellers, especially as many insurers place an age limit on annual policies.
Short Stay Cover for Frequent travelers
While short stay holiday insurance policies are the cheaper form of cover, if you travel abroad more than three times a year, buying annual, multi-trip cover is likely to be better value - and especially if one of the trips is long haul.
Getting cover each time for three trips a year could cost around 15% more than using annual cover.
Annual policies tend to provide greater levels of cover, particularly for medical expenses, baggage and cancellation - as well as covering more destinations - but this will be reflected in the price.
Buying a Short Stay policy
When buying short term holiday insurance, you need to shop around, comparing the cost and levels of cover from a range of providers; the best deals tend to be available online.
Generally speaking, there are savings to be made by choosing the best deal from an independent provider, rather than accepting the standard deal from your travel agent.
With a short term travel medical insurance policy, you need to think about how many days you need the cover to last for, and check the limits placed on each type of claim.
To ensure you get the right type and level of cover for your trip, you need to focus on identifying the features you need from a policy, such as whether winter sports cover is included if you're heading for the slopes.
Price is important, but you should not buy on price alone, as this could end up being the most expensive option if the policy doesn't provide adequate cover.
Remove extras you don't need
If you are looking to keep costs down, you could think about removing extraneous costs from your premium. For example, while cancellation cover can provide considerable benefit should you be unable to travel after booking your holiday, there's no point paying for a policy with more cancellation cover than you need.
Also check whether you already have cover for personal belongings with your home insurance, as this may mean you require less baggage cover with your travel insurance.
However, it is vital not to strip out any aspect of your cover that you might need just to make the premium cheaper. The key is to ensure you have the right level of cover for your needs.