Travel Insurance

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As the names suggest, single trip travel insurance covers you for one trip abroad, while annual – or multi-trip – cover will insure you no matter how many times you go away in a year. Given that you would pay around £25 per trip for insurance, if you go abroad more than three times in a year, you are likely to save money with an annual policy. The one thing to be careful of is that you do not exceed the maximum stay abroad allowed by your policy – it can be 21, 35, or 45 individual days away that are covered in one go.

Tempting though it is to have the day you start your holiday as the day your policy starts, if you need to cancel the holiday for a reason, such as a death in the close family, you would not be able to claim. So start the policy from the day you book your trip, that way you are covered for eventualities such as cancellations, delays and so on.

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If you are taking your children away with you, then getting a family policy is likely to be cheaper than taking out a policy for each person. You must check the terms of the policy before signing up as some companies will not specify how many children are allowed on the policy, while others will. If you have a big family, you are likely to get better value for money from the former.

Buying annual travel insurance is generally cheaper than buying single trip if you are making more than two trips a year that you need to cover yourself and your family for. But check the cost of both types to be sure you get the best deal for you. Remember that the right deal for you may not be the cheapest – the value of your insurance is never really tested until you need it, and paying a small amount for a policy that will not allow you to claim when you need to is as much a waste of money as paying more for a policy you never claim on.

The small print is called that for a reason, it is what the insurer will hope you do not read, so make sure you read it.

Your children must be under 18 to qualify for the family policy, and there may be other qualifying criteria, such as all of you living in the same house for example. So read the small print carefully.

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Winter Sports

Snowboarders and skiers are getting some great deals right now, but they also have the potential to be involved in an accident, so if you are considering winter sports, then get the right cover.

We are talking big numbers – breaking a leg in Switzerland could cost £25,000, or up to £70,000 in the USA. You can get winter sports as an add-on to many policies for an extra premium, but you may want to get some specific cover if you are a skiing or snowboarding enthusiast and likely to go ‘off piste’. Other sports covered include tobogganing, ice hockey and bobsleigh.

Equipment cover for skis, boots and clothing can also be included, but check whether you are covered only if you own the skis, or if you hire them.

Make sure there is snow on the slopes where you are going before you leave too by getting a snow report from the Ski Club of Great Britain as some insurers will not cover you if you have no snow when you get there.

Other Sports

If you are a sporty type and like to cycle, swim, canoe, kayak, hike, run, or any number of other things you can think of while you are away you should consider a sports insurance policy.

If you are simply doing a touring cycle ride through the Loire Valley, or even undertaking a cycle or triathlon training camp, your regular travel insurance might be sufficient. Check with your provider to be sure, and do not hold back on the details of what you are going to be doing, you could invalidate the policy.

If you know that you are going to be racing an event while you are away, then you should get specialist sports cover. Regular policies will generally not cover you for racing overseas, and if you get injured or fall ill while competing, you could find yourself with a hefty bill without the right cover.


Adventure activities will cover anything from white-water rafting to bungee-jumping, paragliding and scuba diving. In fact, there are quite a few ‘normal’ holiday activities that your insurer will consider a lot riskier than you do. So if you plan on taking up a challenge while you are away, you should check your policy before you leap to be sure if you get injured or something goes wrong, you are covered.

If you are planning an active holiday you may need to get specialist cover, and do not be tempted to think it will ‘be ok’ because you certainly do not want to find out too late that it isn’t. So if this is the type of holiday you prefer, make sure you have adventure travel insurance before you head off.

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If you are travelling for business, then you need to think about business travel insurance. Your company may provide this for you, so check before you go buying a new policy, but if it does not then get your own cover.

You can get both single trip and annual or multi-trip business travel policies, and if you travel often for work then the latter is likely to be the best value. As it is a business expense, it is something you should either be able to claim the cost of from your company, or if you are self-employed or a contractor, then this should be an allowable expense that you can charge to the taxman. So do not scrimp on your cover.

Office-related equipment such as mobile phones and laptops are added to the policy cover, and with so much business being done on the golf course, sports equipment may also be covered. You may also be able to get “colleague replacement cover” – no, not to replace an annoying business partner, but rather to allow someone else to go in your place if you need to.

The usual items that are covered on a general travel insurance policy are going to be covered, such as medical insurance if you are taken ill overseas, plus cancellation or curtailment cover, loss of your passport, legal cover and in some cases the replacement of items lost that are essential to continuing to work while you are abroad.

As with every insurance policy, you need to check the small print to find out what exclusions might apply, but you should get the best policy for you, which is not necessarily the cheapest.

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>For travel insurance, you should ensure you get these additional items either as part of your policy, or as an add-on:

Personal accident insurance – if you lose a limb or the sight in one eye, most policies will offer some compensation. It is not huge though, with around £25,000 offered for permanent disablement.

Public liability insurance – This helps to protect you if you are sued while abroad and is normally in the region of £1m. But if you are the one responsible for an accident because you are doing something silly, were drunk or under the influence of illegal drugs, you are on your own if someone sues you.

Lying about the circumstances will also make any claim void.

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