Like a lot of things, travel insurance prices are on the rise. Nothing to do with soaring energy costs in this case. More down to the fact that travel insurance companies have found themselves paying out on a lot more claims over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In amongst all the other financial doom and gloom that’s been hitting us lately, that’s hardly welcome news. The last thing hard-pressed families need as they try to budget for a holiday is yet another additional cost.
Yet there are still ways and means of making sure you get the best deal possible on your holiday insurance. Only it doesn’t mean relying purely on comparison sites and picking out the lowest priced deal that springs up.
Sounds counterintuitive? Read on to find out why, if you want the best deal on holiday insurance these days, it pays to know exactly what you’re getting.
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Calculate the full cost of your trip
When is a great deal not a great deal? With travel insurance, when it doesn’t cover the cost of your trip. Yes you can still find bargain-basement prices on comparison sites. But how much cover do they actually give you? What are the payout limits? What’s the excess?
Before you start shopping around for travel insurance, work out what your holiday is actually going to cost you. Not just the price you paid for flights and accommodation, but things like airport transfers, mandatory COVID tests, pre-booked car hire etc. You want the cancellation payout limit on any policy to be higher than this total.
Otherwise, if something goes wrong (like your flight being cancelled because of airline staff shortages, for example), you could still end up losing a lot of money, even if you do put in a successful claim. Paying a little extra for a better policy works out cheaper in the long run. Or at least safer.
Single trip or multi trip?
Planning on going away more than once this year? You might be able to save money with a multi-trip travel insurance policy.
Standard travel insurance, also known as single trip insurance, covers you for fixed dates. Each time you go away, you have to pay for a new policy.
Multi-trip travel insurance, on the other hand, is valid for 12 months. Within that period, you are covered for a number of trips (not quite ‘as many as you like’ – most insurers put caps on the number of times you can use one policy).
As well as convenience, the big attraction of multi-trip insurance is that it works out cheaper than buying separate single trip policies every time. If you are sure you will go away at least twice, it’s well worth running some price comparisons to see if a multi-trip policy works out cheaper than two single trips.
If you reckon you could well end up travelling three times or more in a 12-month period, annual insurance is guaranteed to work out cheaper.
Family policies can save you money
Travel insurance is available on a per-person basis, or you can buy group policies for a number of named individuals. These policies are often aimed at families with children. But many will not specify that any of the people named on the policy have to be under the age of 18. They are generic group policies sold for however many people are in your party.
As group policies tend to work out cheaper on a per-person basis than individual policies, they make a great option for groups of adults, too. Or, if you are travelling in a larger group with other families, you could look into taking out one big policy for everyone.
But take care if you are travelling with elderly relatives
Where you have to be careful with family or group policies is if you are travelling with an elderly relative. Many travel insurance companies charge considerably more to insure people over the age of 60, with costs increasing as you get older. The reason is that insurers see older travellers as carrying a higher risk of making a claim for medical treatment, the most valuable part of a travel insurance policy.
Putting someone aged 60 or above on a family policy could push the whole premium way up. You will often find it cheaper to take out a group policy for everyone else, and then look for an individual policy from a provider that specialises in travel insurance for the elderly.
The same applies if anyone in your group has a medical condition. Again, the extra risk of them needing medical attention means insurers will charge more to cover them, and that will push the cost of a group policy right up. It will be more economical to find them insurance separately through a specialist provider who can offer bespoke cover tailored to their specific medical needs.