Deciding which type of travel insurance policy to take out can be a difficult decision, and is often forgotten amongst the excitement of planning a holiday. Travel insurance is not compulsory, but it is most definitely advisable; even if you are travelling within your own country. There are a number of different types of policy available, but in general all give you peace of mind that if something goes wrong you will be financially compensated.
Most policies will pay out if, for example, you lose your luggage, your flight is cancelled or delayed, or if you are a victim of theft whilst you are on holiday. They will also pay your medical expenses, and cover the cost of returning you to your home country on medical grounds.
When deciding which type of travel insurance policy best suits your needs you need to take into account a number of factors, namely, who you are travelling with, how long you are travelling for, how many times you plan to travel during the year, your age, and the type of activities you plan to undertake whilst you are away.
If you are planning a trip away with family or friends then it may be cheaper to take out either a family travel insurance policy, or group travel insurance. A family policy will provide cover for you, your partner, and your children, and is simpler to purchase than separate insurance policies for all family members. Some policies offer enhanced cover in certain areas, and many insurance providers also provide free cover for those family members who are under the age of eighteen.
Group travel insurance is similar to family travel insurance in that it provides cover for a party of people who are traveling together, for example, if you are going away with friends to celebrate a birthday, or on a stag or hen weekend. Most policies stipulate that you must all be travelling from the same country, and many provide additional cover for activities often undertaken whilst holidaying with friends. Again, this type of policy is easier to arrange than taking out individual policies for all group members, and is often cheaper.
You may be planning a trip that takes you away from home for a long period of time. Students and backpackers can often travel for between six to eighteen months, and can visit a number of different countries, often working temporary jobs, during the course of their trip. This makes it more difficult to find travel insurance that covers all your needs, but many providers do offer backpackers insurance which is a type of travel insurance policy that is specifically tailored towards your particular requirements, and usually includes cover for the types of activities you might undertake on this type of trip; cover which is not normally included in a standard travel insurance policy. It is important that you check the small print thoroughly before you set off to find out exactly what is, and what isn’t included, particularly with regard to the destinations covered as you may find that some countries are excluded.
If you are planning on taking a number of trips away during the year then you will probably save money by purchasing annual multi trip travel insurance. This type of policy usually works out cheaper than a policy that covers just one trip, and is certainly worth a look if you plan on taking two or more holidays during the year. Policy terms and conditions vary, but the majority of policies last for a full twelve months, and most do not set a limit as to how many times you are able to travel during this time. However, many policies do stipulate that you cannot spend more than a certain number of days away from home; this is usually up to ninety days. If you are making just one, single trip then a single trip travel insurance policy should meet your needs, and is available for individuals, couples, or families.
Your age plays a crucial role in determining your travel insurance premium. The cost of travel insurance generally increases the older you are, and some providers may even refuse to insure you after the age of sixty five. The reason for this is, of course, that as we age we are more likely to become ill whilst on holiday making it more likely that the travel insurance provider will have to pay out. However, specialist cover is available for retired individuals from some providers, but you may well end up paying far more than you would for a standard policy aimed at younger travelers.
If you enjoy more extreme sports, such as skiing, sledging or snowboarding, then it is vital that you take out specialist winter sports travel insurance. Most traditional travel insurance policies exclude accidents sustained whilst taking part in winter sports as medical attention given up a mountain can be extremely costly! In addition, you are also likely to have in your possession a large amount of valuable equipment which will need extra cover should it be lost or stolen. A specialist winter sports travel insurance policy will pay out if you are injured whilst taking part in winter sports, and will cover your expensive equipment; you should, however, expect to pay a higher premium than you would for a standard travel policy.
When taking out travel insurance think carefully about what sort of policy is best suited to your requirements, and shop around for the best deals.