Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, and his primary focus is helping travellers find the right cover for their medical conditions.

Originally posted: 15th Jan 2019

Policy types explained

When arranging a holiday or making travel plans the last thing any of us want to think about is ‘what could go wrong?’, and whilst travel insurance is not compulsory, it’s far better to have cover in place than to run the risk of being out of pocket or left stranded abroad should the unthinkable happen. What type of travel insurance policy should you choose and what level of cover do you need? This guide explains all.

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Travel insurance policy benefits

Cover limits vary from insurer to insurer, but a comprehensive policy will typically include the following cover benefits:

  • Cancellation
  • Curtailment
  • Lost, stolen or damaged personal belongings
  • Personal Accident
  • Emergency Medical Expenses and Repatriation
  • Personal Liability
  • Legal Expenses
  • Travel Delay

It’s important that you opt for a policy that covers you and your travelling companions properly, so base your decision to buy a policy on the level of cover it provides rather than price alone. You can use our comparison tool by clicking the "Compare Quotes Now" button above or below to help you quickly compare policies and prices.

Having adequate personal accident, medical expenses and repatriation cover should be a high priority when choosing cover. If you need medical treatment abroad and need to be brought home, the costs could far outweigh the premium of travel insurance, making it an important security measure to take! Do pay attention to the maximum amount that will be paid out in the event of a claim.

For instance, if your holiday is costing a total of £2,000, select a policy that provides at least £2,000 cancellation cover so you can recoup the full cost if you have to cancel. It’s also worth checking the excess. If you’re willing to pay a high excess, the cost of the policy may be cheaper, but you must be prepared to pay the excess amount upfront when claiming. 

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What travel insurance policy type do I need?

This very much depends on how frequently you travel, where you’re going, how long for and who’s going with you.

Single Trip Travel Insurance

This is a cost-effective option if you’re taking one, maybe two trips per year and is good for short and long breaks alike with cover being tailored around your destination and travel dates. You may find it easier to get accepted for single trip travel insurance over annual cover if you live with pre-existing medical conditions or are over 65. Most policies allow for a maximum of eight people to be on one policy, so you and your travelling companions can be insured together. 

View more information about Single Trip Travel Insurance.

Annual Multi Trip Travel Insurance

If you’re a frequent traveller and partial to taking last minute breaks, an Annual policy will cover you for 365 days and give you the freedom to travel multiple times without having to arrange cover every time you go away. If you’re taking more than two holidays a year, you may find it’s also a cheaper solution. You can choose an individual, couple or family policy type. Adults insured on a couple or family policy will be permitted to travel separately, but children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult insured on the same policy, unless agreed otherwise with the insurer. Annual policies are sold based on area of travel and priced accordingly.

  • European – the cheapest
  • Worldwide excluding USA, Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean – in the middle
  • Worldwide (this will include USA, Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean) – the most expensive

All trips must start and end in the UK. Normally, there will be a limit on how long you can be away for per trip, so if you’re planning any long breaks, it’s wise to check the policy duration limit.

Visit our Annual Multi Trip Insurance page for more information.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Cover

Travel insurance policies do not automatically include cover for pre-existing medical conditions, so you will need to agree cover for past and current medical conditions in order to be able to claim under the cancellation, medical expenses and repatriation sections of your policy in the event you become unwell because of them. Medical Travel Compared offers an online medical screening facility where you can declare your conditions and then compare cover and quotes from leading medical travel insurers – simply hit the ‘Compare Quotes Now’ button above or below.

Visit our Medical Travel Insurance page for more information.

Cruise Travel Insurance

This is a good extension to add to your travel insurance policy if you’re planning a cruise. It can cover things that standard policies do not, such as: missed port departure, cabin confinement and cover of unused excursions. Take a look at our page on ‘Travel Insurance for Cruises’ for further information.

Winter Sports Cover

If you’re going skiing or taking part in other types of winter sports such as snowboarding or sledging, you will want a policy that not only covers you in case you have an accident and need to be rescued from the mountain side, but also insures your expensive equipment, ski hire or compensates for piste closure. Normally, you will need to add ‘Winter Sports Cover’ to your policy for an extra fee, although some annual multi-trip policies incorporate up to 17 days winter sports cover as part of the package. Here on Medical Travel Compared you can compare travel insurance quotes that include winter sports cover by ticking the ‘winter sports’ option when using our online quoting system.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You must have a permanent UK address, have lived in the UK for the last 6 months and be registered with a medical practitioner in the UK. All trips must start and end in the UK and you must purchase the insurance before you depart for your first trip.
Annual and Single policies can be arranged for individuals, couples, families and groups. An individual policy provides cover for one person only. A couple is two individuals living at the same address. A family is either one or two parents travelling with their child or up to 10 children (under 18 years) for whom they are legal guardians and who all reside together.  A group is 2 or more people travelling together, regardless of their relationship, up to a maximum of 12. Check with your insurance provider whether everyone insured on an Annual policy must live at the same address.
You will need to add each country that you are visiting. If you are on a flight stopover this will include any countries where you leave the airport. If you are on a cruise it includes any countries where your ship will be docking at.

A pre-existing condition is a diagnosed medical condition that existed before taking out a policy. We'll ask a series of questions about the medical history for you and any travellers on your quote. If you answer yes to any of these, you will need to tell us about the traveller's conditions. This could be a condition that a traveller has now or has had in the past. If you are not sure what conditions you need to declare, we have online support available to help you 24/7!

Once you've declared all of your relevant pre-existing medical conditions, we'll only show you quotes based on the conditions you have told us about.

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