Getting travel insurance for your trip is just as important as buying your tickets or remembering to renew your passport, and it's also vital to decide on a policy that makes sense for you.
Whether you're going away for a few days, treating the family to a summer holiday getaway or taking a round-the-world backpacking trip, Compare Cover helps you to compare travel insurance quotes online, for you to find a policy that suits your individual travel needs (and your pocket).
We believe travel insurance comparison should be quick, simple and informative. We'll help you to make an informed choice by providing the key features and benefits of each policy, as well as the price.
Our online quote form is simple to use, and our travel insurance guides are full of helpful facts and information to answer questions you may have about the different policies, including the various forms of additional or specialist travel cover that may be applicable in specific situations.
Travel insurance is designed to cover you for unforeseen circumstances while you're away. Wherever you're travelling and however long you're going for, if there is any potential for something expensive or inconvenient to happen, you should think about taking out travel cover.
One common need for travel insurance is to cover you in case of cancellation. It's a good idea to think about travel insurance as soon as you can after you've made your travel arrangements. That way you can have peace of mind right the way up to your departure date that if your trip is cancelled due to unforeseen events beyond your control, you can recover your losses.
It's also important to remember that when you take a trip away, you won't necessarily have access to a healthcare system like our NHS. If you or someone you're travelling with becomes ill while you're on a holiday, the cost of treatment could run into the hundreds or thousands of pounds, depending where in the world you are. A good travel insurance policy can provide cover for treatment, expenses and in cases where you're unable to fly home on schedule due to a health issue, even hotel or travel costs.
On the 1st January 2021, the UK completed its formal separation from the European Union. There are now some changes you should consider before you travel to the EU.
Before the UK's departure from the EU, British citizens could use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to gain access to state-provided healthcare in EU member countries. This EHIC remains valid for travel in the EU until it expires. You can find the expiry date on the front of your card.
Once your EHIC expiry date has passed, you'll be able to replace it with a new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
Just like the EHIC, the new GHIC is free and gives you the right to access state-provided medical care during a temporary stay in the EU. You do not need to apply for a GHIC if you already have a valid EHIC.
Remember a GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance.
It will not cover any private medical costs or help towards costs for emergencies such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property. The EHIC or GHIC is also not valid for travel on cruise ships.
It's also important to note that unlike the old EHIC which was valid for travel in the EU, extending to non-EU counties Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland, from the 1st January 2021, both the EHIC and GHIC are only valid for travel to EU member countries.
To find out more about visiting Europe from this date, the government has published a range of guidance and notes
Our travel insurance comparison service orders quotes by price, meaning the cheapest deal that could be available to you from our panel will be displayed first. But the cheapest travel insurance deals aren't necessarily the best or most suitable for your circumstances or requirements.
The great thing about our travel insurance comparison is that it's quick and easy to compare features, cover levels, excess amounts and exclusions. We show Defaqto star ratings with every result, so you can get a quick idea of the level of features a policy is likely to provide. You can even filter your results to only show policies that reach a minimum star rating.
Of course, you should still dive into the features and wording to make sure you find the policy that meets your requirements.
Below are a few ideas of things you might consider while analysing your quotes:
Single trip travel insurance will cover you for travel to one or more destinations as part of one trip. Single trip holiday cover would be a sensible choice if you're only going away once or twice a year.
Annual multi-trip travel insurance provides cover for a number of trips and destinations during a 12-month period. This can often provide good value if you do a lot of travelling over the course of a year.
Backpacker travel insurance provides cover for a single trip to multiple destinations over an extended period, making it a good option for gap-year travellers or explorers.
Although standard policies don't always cover pre-existing medical conditions, this shouldn't put the kibosh on your trip. Many of our standard panel of insurers can provide quotes for pre-existing conditions and if your condition is more severe, we have access to providers who are more specialised in this area.
There are even travel insurance providers that offer cover specifically for those with certain pre-existing conditions.
This means you could still compare travel cover insurance deals and obtain the cover you need for your trip. Crucially, you must always declare any pre-existing medical conditions when you request quotes and apply for travel insurance. If you don't, your policy would be at risk of being invalid should you become ill while you're away as a result of a condition you've been diagnosed with before.
It's also worth noting that if you have a serious pre-existing medical condition but you're looking for annual multi-trip cover, you may be more likely to obtain quotes for individual single trips, rather than a multi-trip policy. In these cases, it would be worth running quotes for both policy types, just in case.
Visit our information on travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions to find out more.
Our panel of providers includes 33 partners who provide quotations that include cover for many declared serious medical conditions.
Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has launched a directory of insurers who may be able to provide telephone quotes if you have more extreme and serious medical conditions. You can contact them at www.maps.org.uk or telephone 0800 138 7777.
Additional cover specific to winter sports activities is available and may include cover for skiing and snowboarding, loss of ski equipment or weather-related disruptions. Standard travel insurance policies are unlikely to include this level of cover but if you choose 'winter sports' in the options when you fill out our quote form, we'll only return quotes that provide winter sports travel insurance. You can then check into the policy details to see exactly what's covered.
You can also find additional cover specific to the requirements of your business trip. If you find yourself travelling far and wide for work, business travel insurance policies may cover the likes of business equipment (like laptops or mobile phones), clothing or expenses incurred due to travel delays. Even if you take out an annual multi-trip policy to cover several business trips in a year, you should still specify your requirement for business cover.
A cruise travel insurance policy can provide potentially crucial additional benefits for cruise travellers, such as missed shore visits due to illness or extreme weather, cabin confinement, potential travel to hospital or extended baggage cover. The nature of a cruise break and the need for additional coverage means standard travel insurance is unlikely to be sufficient, so be sure to specify cruise cover when you compare travel insurance quotes.
If you have a valid EHIC, it is certainly a worthy addition to your passport wallet. The card entitles its holder to state medical care either for free or at a reduced cost whilst on a trip within the EU.
Now the UK has left the European Union, the EHIC is being phased out and replaced by a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
As long as your current EHIC is still in date, it will remain valid for travel to EU countries. Once your current EHIC expires, you'll be able to replace it with a new GHIC.
However, an EHIC or GHIC should not be considered a substitute for travel insurance. To give a few examples, they will not provide cover for lost property, cancellations, repatriation or misplaced luggage. They are also not valid for use on a cruise trip.
It's also important to note that despite being called a 'Global' Health Insurance Card, like the EHIC, it too is only valid for travel within the EU. And while the old EHIC was valid for travel within the EU, extending to non-EU counties Norway, Iceland, Lichenstein and Switzerland, from 1 st January 2021, both the EHIC and GHIC are only valid for travel in EU member countries.
Just like the EHIC, the new UK GHIC is free, available via the NHS website and could be useful if you find yourself in need of medical attention in EU countries. Just remember that everyone in your party will require their own card.
For more information, read our guide to the UK Global Health Insurance Card
Cancellation cover typically forms part of a travel insurance policy, however you're very unlikely to be covered for circumstances that could have been avoided, such as failing to secure your visa, passport or documentation before travelling. You also won't be able to claim if you simply change your mind about your trip.
It's a good idea to check the Government website's foreign travel advice section to ensure your intended destination is safe to visit. If the FCDO advises not to travel to a country for any reason including terror threats, natural disasters or conflicts, there is a risk that you won't be covered should you choose to ignore the warnings and proceed with your planned journey.
If you happen to require medical assistance, lose your baggage or incur financial loss as a result of reckless behaviour, excessive drinking or use of drugs, you're much less likely to succeed in a claim with your insurer. Of course, it's not uncommon to enjoy a drink while you're on holiday, so to make sure you're covered, it's your responsibility to consider the possible impact of your decisions on a potential claim.
This is a big one. If you fall ill due to a known pre-existing medical condition while you're away but haven't declared this condition when you took out your policy, there is a very high risk that your insurer won't cover you and they could even invalidate the policy. This is why it is always better to declare all previous medical conditions for yourself and anyone in your party when you obtain a quote; even though doing so may affect the premium you pay.
For a full list of exclusions and to understand what is or isn't covered, you will need to read the insurer's documentation carefully before you commit to a travel insurance policy. It may be that some policy types offer a greater level of cover that's a better fit for you.