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.

Not sure when you should buy travel insurance?

The easiest way to look at this is when you buy a car when do you buy your insurance? Most people would say straight after you sign the dotted line and the same applies to your travel insurance. The simple way to look at it is “when is my money at risk?” in other words as soon as you have made a financial commitment towards your trip, you should book your travel insurance too.

If you’ve purchased a flight, put a deposit down on a holiday or paid out for accommodation, now’s the time to get travel insurance in place. Think of travel insurance as a backup if things don’t go to plan – it’s your security blanket if something should happen.

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When to buy single trip insurance

Single trip insurance covers you for one trip where you depart, and then return to the UK, and can cover you for multiple destinations as part of the same trip. If you’re buying single trip travel insurance, providing the policy includes cancellation cover, you will be protected from the moment you pay.

This means, that if you are forced to cancel your trip between the time you purchase your cover and your holiday departure date, you can turn to your insurance policy to recover your holiday costs (minus any excess applied to the policy).

When to buy annual multi trip insurance

Annual multi trip travel insurance covers you for multiple trips across a 12 month period, so it works a little differently. Unlike single trip insurance where the cancellation cover becomes active the moment you pay for the policy, the cancellation cover on annual multi trip kicks in from the policy start date instead.

So for instance, if you pay for your policy today but it doesn’t start until 4 weeks’ time, you actually have no cancellation protection in place for those 4 weeks. This isn’t necessarily a problem providing you have not already booked and paid out money towards a holiday. If you have, it’s wise to start your annual policy on the same day you pay for it, just in case.

When to buy cruise cover

Again, you should get cruise travel insurance in place as soon as you’ve booked the cruise to protect you in case you have to cancel.

If you’re booking your cruise holiday well in advance, say a year to 18 months, the cost of travel insurance can be a bit more to insure against cancellation, as of course there is a long period before your departure date.

As well as the usual benefits you would receive from standard travel insurance, adding ‘Cruise Cover’ to your policy can also provide cover for:

  • Airlifting from the cruise ship to the mainland should you need to be hospitalised 
  • Missed port departure
  • Cabin confinement
  • Cruise interruption
  • Change of itinerary
  • Cover of unused excursions
  • Cruise cancellation
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When to buy cover for a UK holiday

If you’re planning a staycation, whether it be a week away or a weekend, the same rules of travel insurance apply. Once you have paid towards a hotel or accommodation you need to consider how much you stand to lose if you were to cancel, and if the amount is significant, then it’s time to get travel insurance. UK travel insurance will cover you for:

  • Cancelled accommodation
  • Cancelled/ delayed transport
  • Lost, stolen or damaged valuables

You can compare quotes for specialist UK travel insurance if you need to.  

What does travel insurance cover?

  • Medical treatment: if you need emergency treatment whilst away, you can get reimbursed for these costs, which can sometimes run into thousands of pounds. And, if you need to be brought home for treatment, it'll cover the costs to get you home safely too. 
  • Holiday disruptions: you could get reimbursed if there are cancellations of delays to your travel or accommodation. 
  • Possessions: if your luggage gets lost, your misplace your passport or you lose your phone these things can all be covered under travel insurance.
  • Legal costs: If you have to pay legal fees for an incident that wasn’t your fault, this may be covered under your insurance. Alternatively, you may also be covered if you need to pay personal liability if something happened that was your fault.

What doesn’t travel insurance cover?

  • Expensive tech: if you’re taking a lot of expensive gadgets like a smartphone, camera and laptop then these probably won’t all be covered under your standard travel insurance. So make sure that when you search for a quote you add the gadget cover, then we can show you quotes that will cover your more valuable gadgets.
  • Winter sports: winter sports like skiing and snowboarding aren’t usually covered under standard travel insurance, because they’re more of a high-risk activity. But don’t worry, just make sure you include winter sports cover when you’re searching for a quote with us. Then you can ski to your hearts content, knowing you’ve got the right cover should anything happen on, or off-piste.
  • Cruise cover: Going on a cruise is great fun, but it also needs a different type of insurance. If you were taken ill in the idle of the sea, it’s not as simple as popping out the local hospital. So cruise cover takes into account the extra implications in case you fall ill, it’s well worth the extra insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cancellation amounts will be per person. So, if you were going on a trip for 2 people which cost £1,000 in total you would ideally need cancellation cover for at least £500.
If you don't travel much then a single trip cover is perfect as you can cover specific dates suited to your trip. If you have cancellation cover, you'll also benefit from this as soon as you buy your policy. If you travel 2 or more times a year, it may be cheaper for you to go for an annual trip cover. It's best to start your annual trip cover as soon as possible, as if you have cancellation cover, you'll only benefit from this from your policy start date.
No. We can search for travel insurance quotes for all ages. However, the number of annual multi-trip quotes for older travellers may be limited due to age restrictions imposed by the providers that we search. If you are unable to get an annual trip quote, try a single trip quote instead.
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!
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