How to keep travel insurance costs down

Travel insurance is notoriously expensive and only seems to be getting more expensive year on year, particularly as you get older.

Why is travel insurance do expensive?

Medical costs around the world are on the increase and only getting worse! Your average bill from an American hospital can literally bankrupt even middle class people!

travel insurance cheaper

Shop around for travel insurance!

There will be better-value alternatives to the policy being offered by the holiday company you’re booking with, or the one featured on the website of the airline you’re flying with. Price-comparison websites such as www.moneysupermarket.com and www.confused.com are good starting points, but don’t assume cheapest policies offer levels of cover you need.

For those aged 65 or older, premiums vary wildly. The price-comparison websites can point you towards some of the more competitive options. Though general insurers can offer cheap policies, you may also want to get quotes from oldie specialists, such as Intune (www.intunegroup.co.uk) and Staysure (www.staysure.co.uk). Moneysupermarket.com has a useful list of insurers sympathetic to those with pre-existing medical conditions.

If you’re young, insurers such as AXA and Direct Travel Insurance (www.direct-travel.co.uk), with agerated policies, may be good value.

Consider Multi trip annual cover

Consider an annual, multi-trip policy. If you go abroad more than twice a year, it’s likely to be cheaper than single-trip policies. Companies offer annual cover for just Europe (much cheaper than worldwide), and for couples and families. Premiums can be far lower than the ones I quoted above for my family (which included winter sports and a pre-existing medical condition) – as little as £60 worldwide for a family.

annual travel insurance

EHIC European Health Insurance Card

Get a European Health Insurance Card (www.ehic.org.uk). Though no substitute for insurance, it costs nothing to obtain, entitles you to free or reduced-cost state medical treatment in many European countries, and your insurer may waive the excess on a medical claim if you use the card.

Don’t duplicate cover. Your possessions may already be covered on your home contents insurance – so you could exclude baggage from your travel insurance and cut the premium.

The Travel Insurance Small Print

Don’t buy solely on price. Check small print to ensure you have appropriate cover. Things to consider include:

General levels of cover: The consumer group Which? recommends policies with at least £2 million of medical cover for Europe and £5million worldwide, £1,500 baggage and personal belongings cover, and £3,000 cancellation cover.

Unexpected event cover: My AXA policy provides cover against the airline I’m booked with going bust, strikes and various natural disasters such as earthquakes (think volcanic ash) and hurricanes. Though this ‘travel disruption’ cover costs extra, I’ve coughed up for it. Without some insurance for these eventualities, if travelling independently you could be seriously out of pocket. (If you’re on a package, the tour operator has a duty of care to help, so such cover is less essential.) Many policies don’t cover all these areas: check wordings carefully. Which? says JLT Travel Insurance (www.jlttravel.co.uk) offers particularly thorough cover.

australia travel insurance

Travel Tips and Advice from FCO Travel Aware

When you travel abroad, it’s important to plan for your trip well in advance, even if you are a seasoned traveller. The Foreign Office has some great advice on their website about overseas travel, which we have reflected in our tips below:

Buy comprehensive travel insurance and declare any pre existing medical conditions
Apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get cheap, or sometimes free, state provided healthcare in the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

Research the country you will be visiting, even if you have travelled there before. Find out if the Foreign Office has advised against travelling to certain parts of a country or if there is a threat of terrorism.
The FCO publish continually updated travel advice by country; check the latest information before you travel.

Travel Advice by Country

You can also sign up for email alerts to get the latest updates for the countries you are visiting, follow the FCO on twitter (@fcotravel) and on Facebook.
Check that your passport is valid – for some countries it needs to be valid for six months
Make copies of your passport and travel documents and store them separately to the originals
Visit your doctor to ask about travel vaccinations or for advice about travelling with a pre existing medical condition if you have one
If you need to take medication abroad, store it in your hand luggage and get a letter from your doctor detailing your entitlement to medication. Take plenty of spare medication with you in case you are delayed on the way home
Research local laws and customs and pack clothing that abides by them.

Practical Travel Tips and Advice

1. Travel Light
Travelling with just hand-luggage should be your goal. Do you really need six pairs of heels, tea bags, and an iron? Take less and you’ll travel cheaper (no check-in luggage fees), travel faster (no waiting for your bags), and travel easier (one bag means less to lug around). More: 7 best hand-luggage bags
Sam Baldwin, Skyscanner Travel Editor

2. Leave the guidebook at home
Rather than taking your entire copy of the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet, just photocopy the pages you need, then discard after you have used them. Saves space and weight.
James Teideman, Skyscanner Marketing Communications Executive

3. Never join the security queue with kids in
Go for the one with the ‘suits’. It will move much quicker.
Alistair Hann, Skyscanner Chief Technology Officer

4. Never wear flip flops (on a plane)
I used to work for an airline and we were told never to wear sandals on board an aircraft. In the unlikely event of an emergency, it’s best to have a good set of sturdy shoes that will protect your feet from heat or sharp objects.
Matthew Smith, Skyscanner Content Partnership Executive

5. Jiggle it (just a little bit)
If you’re petrified of turbulence during flights, try slightly jiggling your body when you hit some rough air. No one will notice because everyone is being moved around due to the aircraft movement. Sounds a little crazy but your movement will counteract that of the aircraft and you won’t feel the turbulence so much. It really does work!
Jamie Wortley, Skyscanner PR Consultant

6. Choose your seat-mate carefully

If you get the choice of plane seat, always sit far away from: babies, groups of friends who will chat, or women (men tend to need the toilet less often than ladies). More: REVEALED: the perfect plane seat
Miss Evodie Fleury, Skyscanner Market Development Assistant, France

7. Learn a little lingo
Memorise a handful of words of the local language, and have the courage to use them! It’s amazing how just a few words will go a long way; locals tend to warm to those who have made the effort to communicate with them in their own tongue. More: 7 secrets of learning a language fast
Rachel Evatt, Skyscanner Product Director

8. Keep your mouth shut
If you are in a country where it is unsafe to drink the water, keep your mouth shut in the shower.
Suzanne Morrison, Skyscanner Project Manager

9. Hotels are not the only fruit
Staying in a hotel when you’re on holiday is not the only option. Or in a hostel for that matter. Apartments or rooms in private homes are where the savvy travellers rest their heads these days.
Sam Baldwin, Skyscanner Travel Editor

10. Ditch your friends
Travelling all by your lonesome might seem daunting at first, but it gives you a chance to really immerse yourself in the travel experience. I’ve met friends for life, learnt a new language, and had amazing experiences by travelling solo. More: 10 tips for travelling solo
Victoria Bailie, Skyscanner PR Manager

11. Always travel in a hoodie

They may have become the uniform of unruly ASBO-teenagers, but hooded tops make excellent travel garments. Just slip up your hood to retreat from the world of noise and light when you want to sleep on a flight/airport seat/bus.
Sam Baldwin, Skyscanner Travel Editor

12. Choose the Asian-vegetarian option on the plane
You get fed before anyone else, you avoid anything too greasy and stodgy (helps the jetlag allegedly) and I’m convinced the more niche meals are much better quality as they’re made in smaller batches.
Victoria Baillie, Skyscanner PR Manager

 

Is Morocco in Europe for travel insurance?

Morocco is a hugely popular mid haul travel destination for Brits. It’s usually only a four to five hour flight across Spain to Morocco. The country itself has an abundant amount of things to do.

Will my European Travel Insurance cover Morocco?

This question is often asked and there is really no straight answer because it will often depend on the insurance company themselves. The main rule is to ensure it’s actually listed when the insurance quote is for Europe. It is often displayed as Europe incl. Morocco, Egypt etc, rather than just being covered by Europe. You should aways check the small print and make sure the country is listed. Even some mainland European countries like Spain are not included! It’s always important to check the UK Gov travel advisory for Morocco too. Here is a list of travel insurers who will cover Morocco.

Alpha Insurance Alpha Travel Insurance ( up to 24 months)

Doctor managed medical emergency helpline 24 hours a day, every day of the year

> Quote from ALPHA INSURANCE - Link not working? try this


Travel Insurance for Medical

Optional Independent Traveller Insurance to provide cover when individual elements of a trip are booked separately, rather than as part of a package.

> Quote from TRAVEL INSURANCE 4 MEDICAL - Link not working? try this


explorer cover Explorer Travel Insurance (up to 18 months)
Explorer provides cover for anyone of any age so where ever you are going in holiday this year you can be sure of getting travel insurance.

> Quote from EXPLORER - Link not working? try this


Get Going Get Going longer stay up to 18 months
Get going, as specialists in medical travel insurance, they understand the difficulties of finding the right medical travel insurance cover at the right price.1,000s of medical

> Quote from GETGOING INSURANCE - Link not working? try this


good to go Over 65s Good to go Insurance (up to 90 days)

Will cover the age group of 65 plus with no upper age limit.
- Cover is available to travellers on a course of chemotherapy or radiotherapy

> Quote from GOOD TO GO - Link not working? try this


Jet2 Jet2 Insurance (up to 12 months)
With Jet2Insurance.com single trip insurance you can have complete peace of mind for the duration of your holiday, from 3 days to 3 weeks or more!

> Quote from JET2 INSURANCE - Link not working? try this


Columbis Columbus Direct Insurance (up to 365 days)
Will cover Holidaylers up to the age of 85.

> VISIT COLUMBUS DIRECT - Link not working? try this


Columbis Travel Supermarket (up to 18 months)
Will give you a broad view of the whole of the travel insurance options for your longer stay trip.

> VISIT TRAVEL SUPERMARKET - Link not working? try this


Saga  Insurance SAGA Over 50s Travel Insurance (up to 180 days)
Saga'st policies cover European and worldwide Holiday insurance for persons of any age!

> Quote from SAGA INSURANCE - not working? try this


Jet2 Coverwise (up to 12 months)
Coverwise we appreciate customers have either chosen to or are considering placing their business with us. We feel that travel insurance is essential to ensure peace of mind

> Quote from Coverwise INSURANCE - Link not working? try this


Columbis WorldNomads Insurance up to 18 months

Travel insurance for independent travellers. Buy, extend & claim online, even after you’ve left home.

> Quote from WORLDNOMADS - Link not working? try this


Aviva Insurance AVIVA Travel Insurance for up to 4 months

Aviva who are formally known as Norwich Union will cover the for single trips and some multi.

> Quote from AVIVA INSURANCE - not working? try this

 

Gap Year Insurance for Grown Ups?

Taking a gap year was often only done by people who were between school and university. We then saw more graduates taking a gapyear before starting work.

Then more people who had been working for a few years starting taking gap years, even people in their 30s. In this day and age the gap year is reserved for anyone of any age. Even the retired are taking a ‘gay year’. It may not be a traditional one, but it will be a year away from their home country.

An issue when you travel is of course insurance. Medical bills can be sky high around the world, particularly in countries like the USA. It doesn’t matter if you are going for a week or a year, you will still need travel insurance.

Listed below are a number of UK travel insurance companies that will cover for longer periods than normal. In some cases there are no age limits too.

Don’t be put off the idea of a travelling at whatever age. Medical and health insurance is more widely available now. You just have to do your research and find it.


Alpha Insurance Alpha Travel Insurance ( up to 24 months)

Doctor managed medical emergency helpline 24 hours a day, every day of the year

> Quote from ALPHA INSURANCE - Link not working? try this


Travel Insurance for Medical

Optional Independent Traveller Insurance to provide cover when individual elements of a trip are booked separately, rather than as part of a package.

> Quote from TRAVEL INSURANCE 4 MEDICAL - Link not working? try this


explorer cover Explorer Travel Insurance (up to 18 months)
Explorer provides cover for anyone of any age so where ever you are going in holiday this year you can be sure of getting travel insurance.

> Quote from EXPLORER - Link not working? try this


Get Going Get Going longer stay up to 18 months
Get going, as specialists in medical travel insurance, they understand the difficulties of finding the right medical travel insurance cover at the right price.1,000s of medical

> Quote from GETGOING INSURANCE - Link not working? try this


good to go Over 65s Good to go Insurance (up to 90 days)

Will cover the age group of 65 plus with no upper age limit.
- Cover is available to travellers on a course of chemotherapy or radiotherapy

> Quote from GOOD TO GO - Link not working? try this


Jet2 Jet2 Insurance (up to 12 months)
With Jet2Insurance.com single trip insurance you can have complete peace of mind for the duration of your holiday, from 3 days to 3 weeks or more!

> Quote from JET2 INSURANCE - Link not working? try this


Columbis Columbus Direct Insurance (up to 365 days)
Will cover Holidaylers up to the age of 85.

> VISIT COLUMBUS DIRECT - Link not working? try this


Columbis Travel Supermarket (up to 18 months)
Will give you a broad view of the whole of the travel insurance options for your longer stay trip.

> VISIT TRAVEL SUPERMARKET - Link not working? try this


Saga  Insurance SAGA Over 50s Travel Insurance (up to 180 days)
Saga'st policies cover European and worldwide Holiday insurance for persons of any age!

> Quote from SAGA INSURANCE - not working? try this


Jet2 Coverwise (up to 12 months)
Coverwise we appreciate customers have either chosen to or are considering placing their business with us. We feel that travel insurance is essential to ensure peace of mind

> Quote from Coverwise INSURANCE - Link not working? try this


Columbis WorldNomads Insurance up to 18 months

Travel insurance for independent travellers. Buy, extend & claim online, even after you’ve left home.

> Quote from WORLDNOMADS - Link not working? try this


Aviva Insurance AVIVA Travel Insurance for up to 4 months

Aviva who are formally known as Norwich Union will cover the for single trips and some multi.

> Quote from AVIVA INSURANCE - not working? try this

 

Travel News from Europe

Travel Insurance in the UKcould be increasing soon

The news that car insurance in the UK is going up might soon be translated across to the travel insurance sector. A recent court ruling has seen car cover expected to rise by 30 percent.

TOURISM IN LUXEMBOURG: LEISURE AND BUSINESS SECTOR GROWING

Tourism in Luxemburg stabilized last year. Despite diverging rates of success depending on the sector and region, the tourism sector reported positive numbers for the year 2016, according to State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Francine Closener.
Read the whole story

MONTENEGRO: TOURISM REVENUE REACHES ALL-TIME HIGH

Tourism revenue in Montenegro increased to nearly 900 million euros in 2016, which was 100 million more than the year before.
Read the whole story

TOURISM IN PORTUGAL ANNOUNCED A 13% INCREASE

Tourism in Portugal finished the year 2016 by welcoming almost 11 million visitors, an increase of 13% as compared to the previous year, crossing the 10 million visitor threshold for the first time, according to the preliminary data published by Statistics Portugal.
Read the whole story

RUSSIA: OUTBOUND TRAVEL MARKET TO GO UP BY 30%

More than 3 million Russians are expected to travel to Turkey in 2017, according to experts. The outbound travel market is likely to grow again.
Read the whole story

BAVARIAN TOURISM SECTOR REPORTED NEW RECORDS

Foreign tourists have always come to Bavaria to explore its cities as well as health resorts. Last year, the Dutch were the most numerous group of visitors, but there was also an increase in the inflow from China and the Arabic world boosting substantially the Bavarian tourism sector.
Read the whole story

TOURISM IN SENEGAL IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Tourism in Senegal reported positive numbers. In 2016, local authorities recorded 1.6 million tourists as compared to the 984 000 visitors in 2015.