Travel Insurance FAQs

Travel insurance can be complex, so we're here to help you make sense of it with some answers to frequently asked questions on the topic.

What is a single trip policy?

Single trip travel insurance covers you for the duration of one trip. You'll be asked on our quote form for the number of days you're going away for, and you will be insured during that time.

What is an annual policy?

An annual or multi-trip policy covers you for a 12-month period of travel. If you're planning on taking a number of trips within 365 days, getting an annual policy can be a cost-effective way of getting insurance. There are usually limitations on the maximum length of each trip that can be taken, often 31 days, as well as limitations on the total number of days you can travel within the year. These limits vary by provider so you should check the policy details before you buy.

What is backpacker insurance?

Backpacker insurance will cover you for longer trips, visiting multiple countries. For example if you're taking a year out to travel around Asia. These usually include sports and adventure cover for certain activities as standard, but always check before you buy.

Am I covered for different sporting activities?

You'll need to check the terms and conditions of a policy to see what is covered under it. Many standard policies either don't cover sports activities or have specific exclusions, although some providers are able to include activities if requested, at additional cost.

It should be noted that any such activities would only be covered if provided by registered licensed companies. For winter sports you will need to stipulate that this is required at the time you generate your quotes and there are many providers who provide this extra cover.

Are my family covered under my policy?

Your family won't be covered under an individual travel insurance policy, you'll need a family policy which will cover you all under one policy.

You'll be asked if you're travelling with your family when you fill in our online quote form, so any quotes returned will include them.

Bear in mind, a standard family policy will usually cover one or two adults living at the same address, plus at least one child under the age of 18, who permanently lives with you. So, if you have children or stepchildren who split their time between two households, check with your chosen provider to see if they are covered.

I'm over 65. Can I get cover?

Yes, there are many providers that provide cover for those over 65 and depending on your health, you should be able to obtain quotes right through your 70s, 80s and 90s. You'll be asked for your date of birth when you fill in our online quote form, and the quotes returned will be specific to your age and any declared medical conditions.

Will my policy cover me for a business trip?

You'll usually need to specify that you require business cover if you're going on a business trip, for items not usually covered under a standard policy. You should check your chosen provider's policy documentation for details.

I'm going on a cruise; will I be covered?

You won't usually be fully covered under a standard policy but going on a cruise is a popular holiday for which insurance is widely available. When you request quotes, be sure to specify that you require cruise cover in order to only receive quotes from providers who provide such policies.

Are there any limitations on how long I can go away for?

This depends on what kind of policy you buy. A single trip policy will cover you for the length of your trip which can be for many months, whereas there will usually be limits, often 31 days under an annual policy (some policies will give you up to 90 days). Check the policy documentation before you buy to make sure this covers what you need.

What is an excess?

An excess is your contribution towards the cost of a claim. If you make a claim for £1000 and your excess is £100, you will receive £900 from your insurance company. You can usually select how much excess you wish to be applied and typically, the greater the excess chosen, the cheaper the policy will cost.

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

This is a medical condition or illness you already have or have previously had. You must declare any such conditions or illnesses when requesting your quotes. Failure to disclose information about any condition may lead to your policy being invalidated. If you use Compare Cover to obtain quotes, you can disclose all medical conditions online. If you're unsure about which conditions you should or shouldn't disclose, it's better to be safe than sorry and disclose the condition!

Will a pre-existing medical condition affect my insurance?

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it's important you tell your insurance company about it. Failure to disclose your condition may invalidate your policy, meaning you won't be covered should you need medical treatment while you're away. The severity of the condition as considered by the providers may increase the cost of your premiums. If you declare a medical condition on our quote form, all quotes returned will include cover for this.

How do I make a claim on my policy?

In case you need to make a claim while you are away, your provider will provide you with a 24-hour phone number you can use to contact them. They'll then advise you what information they need from you, and offer help if it's needed, for example in a medical emergency.

If you don't need to make a claim until you get home, you just need to contact your provider and request a claim form, or they may ask you to use their online claims service.

Your policy documentation will have information about how to make a claim.

What is an EHIC and do I need one?

A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives British travellers access to state provided medical care in member countries of the European Union. You'll get the same treatment as residents in those countries, but unlike the UK, it isn't always free. This means you may be asked to contribute a portion of, or all of the costs of any medical treatment you undergo, so travel insurance to cover medical costs is still important.

You should also be aware that an EHIC will not cover private healthcare services, lost luggage, flight delays or repatriation back home, to name a few examples.

Can I use my EHIC after Brexit?

The UK has now completed its formal separation from the European Union. As a result, the EHIC is being phased out and replaced by a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

Your current EHIC will remain valid for travel in the EU until it expires. You can find the expiry date on the front of your card. Once this expiry date has passed, you'll be able to replace it with the new GHIC.

Just like the EHIC, the new GHIC is free, available via the NHS website , 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.

While the EHIC or GHIC is a great addition to your passport wallet, it's not a suitable replacement for travel insurance. Neither will provide cover for lost luggage, flight delays or repatriation back home, for example.

It's also important to know that unlike the old EHIC, which provided cover for non-EU countries Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein, from the 1st January 2021, both the EHIC and GHIC are only valid in EU member countries.

How Brexit could affect your Travel Insurance

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 .

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