What Are The Best Travel Insurance Companies?

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Watch out!

The COVID-19 cover doesn't protect you against any cancellation or travel disruption costs related to COVID-19 if you travel against FCO advice. You must have a positive COVID-19 NHS test certificate. To check latest FCO updates on travel destination exempt from 'all but essential' mention, check our map.

You're about to leave UK for a super exciting trip in Europe or worldwide and travel insurance is the least interesting thing about your coming holidays?

But did you know that 1 Brit out of 5 has, at some point, needed medical care abroad?

Take as granted that we absolutely never know what may happen and that bad things do not only happen to others...

Travel insurance is nothing but one of the highest insurance product in terms of value for money. For as cheap as £1/day, you could travel with complete peace of mind and get some deserved rest. Stay tuned!

Consult our trusted travel insurance providers

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance covers you in case something unexpected happens while you are travelling abroad.

That could be anything: medical or repatriation expenses, trip cancellation expenses, baggage loss, personal liability problem etc. while you are travelling abroad.

You will need to carefully choose your travel insurance depending on:

  • the destination of your trip;
  • the duration of it;
  • your age;
  • the nature of your stay abroad (vacation, professional, WHV, etc.).

Watch out!

Insurance coverage must be valid for the entire duration of your stay abroad.

Why do I need travel insurance?

You are not protected from any accident or illness that could go so far as your repatriation to the UK. There are many examples: infections, transport accidents, loss or theft of luggage. Bad things not only happen to others and can represent significant expenses if you are not properly covered.

Travel insurance is a combination of two components:

  • The insurance component: compensation part, for example the advance or reimbursement of fees caused by an accident, illness, damage caused to third parties, etc.
  • The assistance component: assistance or support when you find yourself in a complicated situation (repatriation, loss or theft of your luggage, legal fees).

In addition, you must know that you will not, abroad, have your usual landmarks and won't necessarily know where to go and who to contact in case something goes wrong. We therefore strongly advise you to apply for travel insurance whatever the kind of trip you are planning.

Abroad, medical and hospital costs are often much more expensive than in UK, especially in the USA, Canada and in some asian countries. In USA, hospital treatment and stay for a stomach illness may cost you around £100,000.

What does travel insurance cover?

Each travel insurance policy is different, since it is the insurer who determines the contract's content: guarantees, compensation limits, deductibles, travel insurance prices, etc.

However, all contracts on the market must include at least the following guarantees:

  • Medical expenses: compensation by the insurer for your health expenses during your stay (consultation, analysis, emergency treatment, longer hospital stay, etc.).
  • Repatriation assistance to the UK: financial and logistical support by a dedicated 24/7 team for your early return to your country of residence if it proves necessary.
  • Trip cancellation and cover for delayed or missed departure: compensation if you need to cancel your trip for whatever reason or if you missed your departure.
  • Personal liability: compensation for any damage or injury made to a third-party (consider adding it as extra if not included in standard cover).
  • Baggage: compensation for any lost or theft of baggage while travelling (consider adding it as extra if not included in standard cover).

Good to know

Most of the time, travel insurers offer different formulas from the most basic to the most premium ones (check out our reviews by providers). Cover types involved are usually the same, but the compensation limits and deductibles vary.

Our advices on travel insurance limits you should get

CoverLimitGood to check
Medical travel insurance

  • Any emergency transport, medical procedures and treatments at the hospital
  • 24/7 assistance team and helplines
Average £1 million limit
  • Are private or public hospitals included in your policy?
  • Will your insurer pay directly medical fees (instead of you having to advance cash)?
  • Are dental emergency treatments included?
  • Will any “accompanying person” fees be reimbursed?
  • If you haven’t declared any pre-existing medical conditions or a pending diagnosis, any claim related to healthcare will be declared as invalidated by your insurer.

>> Get to know more on medical travel insurances.
Trip cancellation / curtailment
  • Illness, injury or even death of you or one of your relatives at the time of departure
  • Very bad weather conditions at your destination
  • Terrorist attack at your destination
Minimum £2,000 limit
  • Is it included as standard or as an option?
  • Will you get compensation if you cancel your trip for “all justified reasons”?
  • Which reasons exactly are included to get compensation for your trip cancellation?
  • Compensation for baggage and belongings theft or loss up to the limit known
  • No receipt required
Minimum £1,500 limit
  • Is it only valid during return transport or during the entire stay?
  • Do you need the receipts for any belongings for baggage claims?
Missed departure, delay
Compensation if you miss your flight or train when it is beyond your control or if your journey is delayedMinimum £500 limit
(minimum £200 limit for delay)
  • Are all justified reasons for missed departure covered?
  • How many hours delay to get compensation?
Cost of repatriation before or after your original ticketReal feesIs any transportation mode included (by alternative schedule flight or by air ambulance)?
Personal liability
Compensation for any damage or injury made to a third-party during your trip up to the limit knownAverage £2 million limit What is the limit by article and valuables (don’t focus on overall limit only especially for valuable items)?
Legal expenses
Legal fees for claiming compensation to another personAverage £15,000 limitDoes it cover any lawyer fees (including appointment fees)?
Must-have features of travel insurance

You may additionally have other features included such as:

  • money and cash protection
  • loss of passport or official documents
  • dental emergency.

You can also apply to upgrades depending on the kind of trip you're doing such as:

  • cruise cover
  • gadget cover
  • winter or any extreme sport protection etc.

Is holiday insurance compulsory?

Most of the time, travel insurance is not a legal requirement.

However, you will need to show proof of travel insurance to get your visa for some countries. You'll find out whether you need a visa or not, as a british resident, in our review per country.

Check out our advices per destination

What are the different types of travel insurance?

Whether you are travelling alone, with your partner or family, whether you are planning a short trip or 6 months holidays, you will need to choose the right travel. Let's find out what travel insurances types of cover are available.

Good to know

You would need to check whether it is more competitive to buy two or three single trip insurance policies or an annual multi-trip policy.

Good to know

As a group or a family, you can often benefit from very interesting discounts while purchasing travel insurance online.

Can I get sports travel insurances?

Of course, and you must!

You must get covered in case you get injured while doing sports.

Most insurers cover some sport practices as standard. But in most of the cases, winter sports and golf have to be added on top of your basic contract at an extra charge (you will get the exact cover details for each insurers in our reviews by providers).

Winter sports insurance

You are crazy about ski and you are about to plan ski holidays to practice your favorite sport? You would like to find travel insurance that is tailored for your activity in case something goes wrong? Check out our guide.

Get to know more >

Golf cover

You are going on a golf break in France? You should definitely get golf travel insurance.
Golf holiday insurance is not exactly the same as standard travel insurance as it is tailored for your needs as a recurrent golfer.

Get to know more >

However, for extreme and hazardous sports such as rock climbing, scuba diving etc. you will, in most of the cases, need to purchase specific travel insurance or you will not be covered in case something happens.

How much does travel insurance cost?

The cost of travel insurance depends on a range of factors. It is now possible to tailor your travel insurance and avoid paying for guarantees that you do not need.

(incl. USA/Canada)
Single trip*
Annual multi-trip
Family trip*
Travel insurance average cost depending on travelers' profile

*Single trip quotes are for a single traveler of 30 years old and for a 7 days trip / Family trip quotes are for 2 young parents of around 35 and 2 children of 6 and 4.

The insurance provider determines the cost of travel policies based on the following criteria:

  • The type of trip: the nature and purpose of your stay will have a significant impact on the final premium you'll have to pay (single or annual trip, gap year, backpackers).
  • The duration of your trip: depending on whether you are leaving for 3 days or whether you need travel insurance for a trip around the world, the insurer will apply different price grids.
  • The destination of your stay: medical expenses are for instance much more expensive in the USA and will therefore lead to an increase of your insurance premium.
  • Your age and medical record: health risks increase with age. This affects the price of the contract.
  • Insured persons: as a general rule, your spouse and your dependent children are also fiscally insured, but make sure to read the small prints of your travel insurance policy.

How do I get quote for travel insurance online?

Nothing simpler. Just use the comparison platform above and click on the offer you'd like to purchase. You will be redirected to the insurer's website and be able to purchase your policy online.

A travel insurance contract can now be fully subscribed online in a few clicks, after filling out a questionnaire and providing the requested documents. Administrative formalities are considerably reduced compared to a "traditional" subscription with an insurer and the cost is very often much lower. You pay the premium online.

Coverage is therefore almost immediate. You will obtain your provisional certificate by email immediately after subscription as well as in some cases, a paper version at the address indicated, as well as the contract. The certificate will be the proof of your coverage and may be attached to your request for a quote, especially when it is mandatory if you are traveling to China, Russia, Algeria or Cuba.

You can also purchase travel insurance at your travel agency, the airline you're travelling with or the tour operator, and even banking establishments.

Don't forget to get your certificate while travelling in case any unexpected event occurs (fingers crossed)!

What should you pay attention to while comparing travel insurances?

Depending on your stay abroad and your profile, our holiday insurance comparison will guide you through the most suitable contracts.

It also gives you all the information you may need to make the right choice. It is then up to you to compare the proposed policies according to your real needs abroad and the criteria that matter to you. Here are 4 points to be particularly attentive to:

  • Price: everyone is looking for cheap travel insurance. That said, taking out a policy with the price for consideration alone is a bad idea. The question of the premium is central, but should not be the only criteria involved.
  • Additional guarantees: the same offers are often offered, namely compensation for medical and hospital expenses, repatriation assistance and civil liability abroad. But you should also look into the issue of additional guarantees, useful in the event of an unexpected event: luggage guarantee, travel cancellation insurance.
  • Compensation limits: each insurer sets its own compensation limits and these maximum amounts are to be considered, especially if you leave the Schengen area and go to the USA or Canada where health costs are very expensive.
  • Exclusions: again, remember to consult the exclusions provided for in the contract in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. Note that legally, any exclusion must necessarily be entered in the general conditions of the insurance policy.

Do I have travel insurance with my credit card?

Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card holders usually have overseas coverage included, often mistakenly associated with travel insurance.

Watch out!

In order to benefit from this, the bearer must have paid for the entire trip with his card.

Also note that the coverage provided by these credit card agreements is much less extensive than that of a dedicated contract taken out with an insurer, and it only concerns stays abroad of less than 3 months.

Holders of a high-end bank card (prime visa, for example) are better off with higher compensation limits. In general, repatriation assistance, civil liability abroad, death / disability insurance and medical care are included (with compensation ceilings generally lower than those of travel insurance contracts).

Can I get travel insurance if I have pre-existing medical conditions?

Yes you can. But your health record will have an impact on your insurance premium. This is not a reason not to tell your insurer about your pre-existing medical condition. Not declaring it will invalidate any claim you could make and could even invalidate your entire travel policy.

Check out our advices per medical condition.

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Alexandre Desoutter

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.

In this sense, his role leads him to carry out steering and support work with all HelloSafe editors and contributors so that the editorial line defined by the company is fully respected. and declined through the texts published daily on our platforms.

As such, Alexandre is responsible for implementing and maintaining the strictest journalistic standards within the HelloSafe editorial staff, in order to guarantee the most accurate, up-to-date information on our platforms. and expert as possible. Alexandre has in particular undertaken for two years now the implementation of a system of systematic double-checking of all the articles published within the HelloSafe ecosystem, able to guarantee the highest quality of information.