Best cheap travel insurance – How to cover your holiday from £9 from Leisure Guard to Coverwise

TRAVEL insurance varies greatly in price and cover – we explain the cheapest policies available and what protection they give you.

Booking a holiday has never been more confusing, with the coronavirus pandemic leaving many Brits not wanting to travel.

The rapidly changing advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has also left holidaymakers puzzled about where is safe to go.

At the time of writing, countries including Portugal, Spain and France are all on UK quarantine list, meaning you need to self-isolate for 14 days when returning back to the UK.

But this list changes on a weekly basis, meaning you'll need to be keeping up to date with the latest travel advice before jetting off.

It you decide to travel against FCO advice, it's likely that you'll invalidate any existing travel insurance policy and you won't be covered.

What should you look for in a good travel insurance policy?

HERE are some “must have

  • Medical expenses – A good policy will give cover of £1million or more for travel in Europe and £2million or more for the USA
  • Repatriation service – The costs of getting you back to the UK for medical reasons should be covered automatically by your policy
  • Cancellation and curtailment – A good policy will cover you for £2,000 or more if you have to cancel or shorten your holiday
  • Missed departure – Covers additional accommodation costs and travel expenses up to £500 or more if you miss your flight due to circumstances out of your control
  • Delay – You'll usually be covered for £250 or more if your travel plans are delayed due to circumstances out of your control
  • Baggage cover – Covers you if your baggage is lost, damaged or stolen. Look for policies that have cover of £1,500 or more.

The exception is if you're already abroad, in which case your policy is likely to remain in play until you get home.

Some insurance companies stopped selling new travel policies altogether in the wake of Covid-19, or they added clauses to remove cover for trouble caused by Covid-19.

But a handful of providers are now offering new policies that cover medical costs if you catch the virus while abroad – although they stop short of covering cancellation costs if you no longer want to travel.

The number of travel insurance policies taken out in March ballooned by 277% in the wake of coronavirus, according to comparison site GoCompare.com.

What is travel insurance and what does it cover?

Travel insurance is there to help you when something goes wrong.

For example, you can pay for cover that protects you if your luggage has been stolen, if you need to cancel your trip, or if you need medical treatment while abroad.

If your insurance covers these scenarios, you won't be left out of pocket if your holiday is spoiled.

When it comes to coronavirus, it largely depends on when you took out your travel insurance policy and if it covers Covid-19.

Policies purchased before Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on March 11 may include cover for travel disruption and cancellations.

Check the small print of your policy thoroughly to see if you're covered.

What isn't covered by travel insurance?

It's important to remember that all policies have different inclusions and exclusions, so you'll need to a bit of research to make sure it offers you the right level of cover.

For example, cover for lost or stolen bags might be an additional extra, which you'll have to pay more for with some policies.

Generally there are a few things that aren't always covered.

Adventure and winter sports most likely won't be covered by standard polices so you'll have to take out additional or specialist cover instead.

Cover for events such as strikes, acts of terrorism and earthquakes is also typically excluded too.

If you're over 65 or have an ongoing medical condition, you might need to take out specialist insurance.

When looking for cover make sure you answer the questions about your health honestly – otherwise you risk invalidating your policy.


How to compare travel insurance prices

THERE are plenty of websites out there to help you compare travel insurance prices.

  • Comparethemarket
  • Moneysupermarket
  • Go Compare
  • Confused.com

To find prices, you'll need to input the following information:

  • Date of travel
  • Destination
  • Number of travellers
  • Pre-existing conditions

Should I get a single or multi-trip policy?

If you're lucky enough to be having at least two holidays in a year, then it can often work out cheaper for you to take out an annual policy instead of taking out a single policy for each trip you take.

Comparison website MoneySuperMarket says frequent travellers making three trips in 12 months, can save up to a third (33%) with an annual policy, when compared to taking out three individual policies for each trip.

If you are buying an annual policy, make sure you know how long you can be away for on each trip.

Although you'll get cover for an unlimited amount of trips, some insurers will cap the amount of time you can be on holiday for, usually around 31 days.

If you're planning on being away for longer than that on a backpacking trip, you'll need to look specialist backpacking insurance.

What are the cheapest single trip travel insurance policies?

These are some of the cheapest "no-frills" single insurance polices for a one-week trip, according to MoneySavingExpert.

They're based on there being no government warning in place against travel, along with no pre-existing medical conditions.

Remember to check your policy very carefully – if you want additional cover you'll have to pay more.

The below prices are accurate at the time of writing.

  • Leisure Guard (standard) – Apply here

Excess: £100

Europe cover: from £6.98

Worldwide cover: from £23.35

Coronavirus cover: You're covered if yourself, or one of your travelling companions or people you're due to travel with, is diagnosed with Covid-19 within 14 days of your trip. You won't be covered if you decide you no longer want to travel, if you have to self-isolate, or you're shielding.

  • Insurefor.com (premier) – Apply here

Excess: £75

Europe cover: from £7.30

Worldwide cover: from £59

Coronavirus cover: You're covered if yourself, or one of your travelling companions or people you're due to travel with, is diagnosed with Covid-19 within 14 days of your trip. You won't be covered if you decide you no longer want to travel, if you have to self-isolate, or you're shielding.

  • Coverwise (silver) – Apply here

Excess: £100

Europe cover: from £7.42

Worldwide cover: from £14.40

Coronavirus cover: You're covered if yourself, or one of your travelling companions or people you're due to travel with, is diagnosed with Covid-19. You won't be covered if you decide you no longer want to travel.

What are the cheapest annual multi-trip travel insurance policies?

Again, these are based on the traveller having no pre-existing medial conditions, and there being no government warnings in place for your destination.

The below prices are accurate at the time of writing.

  • Leisure Guard (standard) – Apply here

Excess: £100

Europe cover: from £17.99
Worldwide cover: from £42.91

Coronavirus cover: You're covered if yourself, or one of your travelling companions or people you're due to travel with, is diagnosed with Covid-19 within 14 days of your trip. You won't be covered if you decide you no longer want to travel, if you have to self-isolate, or you're shielding.

  • Coverwise (silver) – Apply here

Excess: £100

Europe cover: from £18.55

Worldwide cover: from £49.95

Coronavirus cover: You're covered if yourself, or one of your travelling companions or people you're due to travel with, is diagnosed with Covid-19. You won't be covered if you decide you no longer want to travel.

  • Insurefor.com (premier) – Apply here

Excess: £75

Europe cover: from £24

Worldwide cover: from £80.30

Coronavirus cover: You're covered if yourself, or one of your travelling companions or people you're due to travel with, is diagnosed with Covid-19 within 14 days of your trip. You won't be covered if you decide you no longer want to travel, if you have to self-isolate, or you're shielding.

 

Thousands of Brits faced losing cash on French holidays after new coronavirus quarantine rules announced.

When it comes to travel insurance, always check the wording of your policy carefully to see what cover you have – if in doubt, speak to your provider.

Many airlines are continuing to fly to no-go destinations, leaving customers struggling to get a refund.

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