If you are planning a break this year you should also be considering some travel insurance. We all want our holidays to pass without incident, but too often this is not the case, and we all need to be covered against mishaps on a holiday.

Here are some things for you to think about when looking for a suitable travel policy. Bear in mind that if you’re going on an “unusual” holiday, somewhere like Mt. Everest, or Afghanistan, you’ll probably need specialist travel insurance from a specialist insurer like Lloyd’s of London. For your standard trips abroad though, read below.

Single or annual

The first thing you need to look at is whether you want to get a single or annual policy, and the easiest way to decide is to simply think about how often you travel (remember that travel policies can cover you for the UK too).

If you expect to travel often, always go for an annual policy as you’ll get a much better deal. Use this time to think about a family policy too, as your children in university could well be covered on their trips if you pick the right option.

Reclaim money or the insurer pays direct

Nothing will spoil your holiday more than having to spend all your holiday money on medical expenses and, as the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have discovered, the majority of travel insurance claims are for medical expenses.

You need to think carefully about whether you want to foot the bill and reclaim or whether you need the insurer to pay direct.


Make sure you read the small print in any policy relating to luggage as this can vary widely. You will need your policy to cover not only the clothes you take, but also anything else that could spend time in your luggage as well as the luggage itself.

Holiday cancellation policy

Holidays can need to be cancelled for many reasons, and a good policy will include allowable cancellations such as: sickness, a missed flight, a cancelled flight, and a death or illness in the family.
Nobody believes that they will need to cancel their holiday, but the sad fact is that many do.


This is one of the most important things to make sure you understand about your insurance policy, and is the reason that you need to give correct information when completing an application or making a claim.
Pay attention to things like your age and past medical history. If you put the wrong age on a form it could mean your insurance being invalid, and holes in your medical history could cause trouble as things that may not seem important to you could mean non-payment.

One more thing that is important to look into (especially if you are young) is outdoor activities. If you plan activities such as climbing, scuba diving or skiing, you will probably need to check they are covered. If not, you will need a special policy.


Always check the excess on a policy. You don’t want to pay £200 excess on a claim for £250. The best excess terms are with policies that charge one excess per claim; so look out for them.
You can also find some easily accessible and interesting information in about travel insurance facts in this government leaflet.