Compare travel insurance

Learn about different types of travel insurance, compare types of policy and find out what’s covered.

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Covid-19 travel restrictions

Coronavirus continues to disrupt travel to some destinations. The UK government regularly updates the list of countries you can travel to, but that doesn’t mean there will be no restrictions. It’s your responsibility to check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice before you travel. Your travel insurance policy won’t be valid if you travel against it.

The same applies for any local entry requirements, such as testing, or restrictions in your destination country, like local lockdowns or curfews. Advice may differ by city or region or prevent certain activities. It’s up to you to check local coronavirus laws, guidelines and requirements in plenty of time before you go. Check what’s expected in your destination country.

The travel information below was written before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Healthcare for UK nationals in Europe

The European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) has now been replaced by the UK Global Health Insurance Card (Ghic) for UK citizens. Both let you get emergency and state healthcare in EU countries for free or at a reduced cost.

If you apply for a card now or you’ve applied and have yet to receive your Ehic, you’ll get the new Ghic instead. Your existing Ehic can still be used in the EU until it expires. The Ehic can no longer be used in Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein in most cases. Find out what’s changed.

Neither card covers all eventualities so make sure you also have robust travel insurance with appropriate health cover for trips to the EU or any overseas travel.

Not all travel insurance is created equal

While most travel insurance policies options have a few staple similarities, the specifics and the level of cover they offer can change depending on the kind of holiday you’re taking and your unique circumstances.

Before you buy a policy, it's important to compare holiday insurance options from a range of providers to find the product which most closely fits your travel needs and offers good value for money.

Make sure the policy you choose provides enough cover for those who will be travelling, activities you plan to take part in while you're away, and any devices you'll be taking that need protecting too.

Here, we've compared the three main types of policy available from Post Office Travel Insurance and the various add-ons for specific types of holiday.

Protect what matters when you go with good travel insurance

Compare the three main types of Post Office Travel Insurance

  • Single Trip Travel Insurance:

    This is a policy covering you for one, uninterrupted trip that begins and ends in the UK. The maximum trip duration can range from 31 days to 365 days

  • Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance:

    For people who get away two or more times a year, Annual Multi-Trip cover can be a cost-effective way of getting covered for all of your journeys without having to buy a new policy every time

  • Backpacker Insurance:

    For the intrepid explorers, Backpacker Insurance covers you for multiple destinations for as long as 18 months, and also allows you to return home 3 times for as long as 7 days at a time during your policy

On top of these baseline policies, there are add-ons you might need to give you an added layer of protection which require an additional premium. These are:

  • Winter Sport Cover:

    This protects you for a range of winter sports and activities and is necessary for anyone visiting the slopes, as normal cover won’t protect you against injuries and similar eventualities while skiing

  • Cruise Cover:

    If you’re a fan of sailing the seven seas, this cover is a necessary addition to protect you against the unique risks that cruising can involve, like falling sick at sea or failing to make land due to poor weather

  • Gadget Cover:

    For the people who need a little extra protection for the technology they travel with

  • Golf Cover:

    Ardent golfers can sleep easy knowing that their gear (up-to 3 years old) is covered and that they can claim for compensation if courses are closed

If you are booking a cruise, ski or winter sports trip, it's now mandatory to include Winter Sport Cover or Cruise Cover on your policy.

Travel insurance policy comparison from Post Office

There are a few features that all of our travel insurance policy types include. These are:

  • Medical cover
  • Curtailment and cancellation
  • Loss of belongings – including money/cash and passports
  • Legal protection
  • Personal liability

But depending on what level of cover you get, the extent to which these things are covered – or whether or not you'll need to pay an excess – can differ.

The type of holiday you’re taking can help you decide what level of cover you need and what sort of add-ons to consider, as well as if you have any existing medical conditions that need to be factored in.

Do you need cover for more than one trip abroad? If so, you might want to see whether it’d be better value to get Annual Multi-Trip or individual Single Trip policies. You can do this by getting quotes for both and choosing the one that suits you best.

Remember that even if you haven’t yet decided to go away more than once, the mood might take you. Only you know how prone you are to last-minute getaways, and with Annual Multi-Trip you may be able to save on your travel insurance by only buying it once in a year.

And if you’re only taking the one trip, is it a long one or a short one? If it’s a long one, compare the travel insurance options of Single Trip or Backpacker Insurance. Backpacker Insurance wouldn’t necessarily be the right cover for a long weekend in Paris, for example, but if you’ve spent your savings on a round-the-world plane ticket with a couple of pit stops at home* then Single Trip wouldn’t be the right option.

You’ll also need to factor in things like your age (policies aren’t available to people under the age of 18, and Backpacker Insurance isn’t available to people over 60) and any existing medical conditions.

Finally, there are add-ons to consider. Some activities or holiday types require you to have specialist coverage. The two most common are winter sports holidays and cruises, as these holidays pose unique risks.

If you’re not going on a specialist holiday, it’s still important to check your policy to make sure you’re covered for any activities you’ll be taking part in.

What does holiday insurance cover?

Medical cover

Medical cover is there for accidents, illnesses, injuries and any manner of afflictions that can happen while you’re away. Whether this is getting food poisoning, slipping and falling or getting an excruciating toothache looked at, travel insurance may be able to help.

Cancellation and curtailment

Sometimes things go wrong that are out of our control. An airline can go bust, a hotel can close or a family emergency can mean we have to cancel our plans. Travel insurance may be able to protect you against these eventualities.

For Single Trip policies, cover starts right away from the moment you take it out. For Annual policies, cover starts from the start date of the policy. If you have a trip booked already, be sure to start your Annual policy as soon as possible so you're covered for cancellation.

If something serious prevents you from going or you have to make alternative arrangements while you’re away because of events beyond your control, you may be able to make a claim.

Loss of belongings

Losing anything while away can be distressing, particularly if it’s valuable or important, like a passport. If it wasn’t the result of negligence on your part, you may be able to claim for items you’ve lost or had stolen and get contributions toward the cost of replacements.

Optional add-ons will cover more specific eventualities. For example, with Winter Sports Cover, you could be covered for loss or damage to your skis providing they're yours and less than 3 years old. There are important added benefits too, such as mountain rescue from a ski slope if you needed it, which wouldn’t be included without a Winter Sports add-on.

The right travel insurance for you

When you compare travel insurance policies, always ensure you’ve taken everything into account. This protects you against inadvertently invalidating your policy as well as giving you the most comprehensive cover possible.

So from existing medical conditions to the activities you’ll be taking part in while you’re away, knowing everything you need cover for will help you compare holiday insurance products with clarity.

*Backpacker Insurance allows 3 separate trips home to the UK of up to 7 days' duration each time. Your travel insurance won't cover you while you're back in the UK.

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