How to pick the right type of travel insurance

As I mentioned in a previous post, travel insurance is the most important thing you should think about prior to departure on any trip abroad. Picking the right travel insurance to fit your particular type of trip, or style of travel, is also very important however. Everybody is different. Some people may go on a one off week long holiday; others will go on a round the world backpacking adventure for 12 months, or may go on multiple trips over the course of an entire year. You’ll also find the activities that certain people do on their travels vary from person to person. While I may like adventure trips involving things like skiing or surfing, many other people just enjoy a lounge on the beach. All of these factors can effect which type of travel insurance is best for you, as can something as simple as where in the world you go. To make it easier for you, I have decided to compare the different types of travel insurance available to all the 3 main styles of travel listed above.

First things first, before picking which type of travel insurance suits you, you must decide what type of trip you are going on, for how long for, what type of activities you will be doing abroad, and where in the world you will be spending your trip. These are the main factors which affect the price of your insurance quote if you are a person travelling solo.

For instance, if I was going on a backpacking trip around the world for say 12 months, where I would be taking part in some adventure sports over the course of the trip, then I could expect to pay anything from £300 – £700 for annual cover depending on which provider I went with and which countries I was travelling through. Take away the adventure activities however, and it would reduce the price by around £100 – £150. Alternatively, if I was simply to pick annual travel insurance, these policies usually cover you for trips where you return home within 30 days, so are better for those people who are going on more than one trip abroad during the course of a year, but for shorter time periods, so are more suited to someone going on 2 or 3 holidays a year, or basing themselves at home, rather than a backpacker. If you fit into the annual travel insurance category then you could be looking to pay something much cheaper, in the region of around £50 to cover the entire year.

Equally, if you were just looking to go on one short week long trip abroad, something that is more of a vacation than travelling, then you could be looking to pay as little as £5 for your cover. It all depends on the risk you pose to the insurance company, as to how likely they will have to pay out, and therefore the more risk the more money you are likely to pay for your travel insurance in order to compensate for some of that. Obviously, the longer you are away the more chance there is of something happening where you would have to claim, as is where you go in the world, and how risky the activities you are doing. So if you are taking part in activities where you are more likely to injure yourself, then this means more risk for an insurance company, and therefore a higher insurance quote for you.

A key tip to saving money on travel insurance is to book online. You will more often than not get a cheaper price for the exact same travel insurance, from the exact same company, if you simply go online to book. It costs a company a lot less to give you a quote online than over the phone or in person because they don’t have the labour costs, and so it means they can offer you a cheaper price but still have the same profit margins, so it works out for both parties better.

Another tip, if you don’t have a set plan of where you want to go, then avoid North America! For some reason, when I book round the world travel insurance, if I book excluding North America it gives me a much cheaper price. That is booking as a UK resident from the UK (it may be different for other countries). Obviously, if you want or need to go to these areas than make sure you are covered, but if you are happy to go elsewhere, or don’t have a set plan or itinerary, then it could save you a bit of money by just being a bit more selective about where you go. Obviously, going to high risk areas where your local government warns against will also increase the price of your travel insurance considerably.

Travel insurance is the most important aspect of your trip pre-departure that you should organise. It is quite simply just not worth the risk of gambling your health or finances on the fact you think nothing will ever happen to you. It’s also not worth the stress. Having adequate travel insurance will provide you and your family peace of mind while you head off on your travels, and also could end up saving you a fortune should anything bad happen.

One Response to “How to pick the right type of travel insurance”

  1. Joel says:

    Great post – this was definitely one of parts of planning my travel that I found challenging. Sadly, the ridiculous cost of health care in the US is what drives those higher premiums you found. I could go on a rant about that now, but I don’t want to tangent too much!


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