pub-4576806260745905

Best travel insurance companies and policies 2024

In 2024, several travel insurance companies stand out for their comprehensive coverage and customer service. Allianz Global Assistance is highly regarded for its extensive coverage options and 24/7 customer support. World Nomads is a favorite among adventurous travelers, offering coverage for a wide range of activities. IMG provides flexible plans suitable for both short-term and long-term travelers, with strong medical coverage.

Travel Guard by AIG is praised for its customizable plans and robust travel assistance services. Lastly Nationwide offers comprehensive and affordable plans, with excellent coverage for trip cancellations and interruptions. Each of these companies provides a range of policies that can be tailored to meet various travel needs and budgets.

How do you find the Best Travel Insurance?

There are a few key steps to finding the best travel insurance for your needs:

Compare Travel Insurance Deals

The first step is to compare deals from different travel insurance providers. Some of the top insurers to consider include NFU Mutual, All Clear, and Insure and Go. When comparing deals, look at factors like:

  • Annual multi-trip vs single trip policies
  • Maximum trip length (e.g. 31 days vs 62 days)
  • Medical cover limits
  • Cancellation protection amounts
  • Excess amounts for claims
  • Add-ons like luggage cover, winter sports cover, etc.

You can easily get quotes from multiple providers online to compare prices. Make sure to enter your travel details accurately, including destination country, trip length, ages, and health conditions.

It’s also worth checking review sites and forums to see customer experiences with different insurers. Things like claims service, ease of making claims, and reputation for paying out on legitimate claims are important.

Best Travel Insurance Policies

Some of the top-rated travel insurance policies currently available include:

NFU Mutual Home and Lifestyle

NFU Mutual is a popular choice for annual multi trip travel insurance due to its comprehensive cover and reasonable pricing. Their Home and Lifestyle policy provides up to £10 million medical cover abroad along with £3,000 cancellation protection as standard. It also includes £1500 baggage cover and £250 excess on claims. Customers praise NFU Mutual s excellent customer service.

All Clear travel insurance  Platinum

All Clear is a specialist travel insurance provider known for its high-end Platinum policy. This provides unlimited medical cover abroad along with £5,000 cancellation protection. It also includes £2,000 baggage cover and no excess on claims. However, the Platinum policy does come at a higher premium than most.

Insure and Go Black

As one of the largest travel insurance providers, Insure and Go offers competitive rates along with reliable coverage. Their Black policy provides £10 million medical cover as well as £3,000 cancellation protection. It also includes £1,500 baggage cover and £150 excess on claims. Insure and Go policies are popular for their easy claims process.

This covers the key aspects of how to find the best travel insurance and an overview of some top policies currently available on the market according to reviews. In the next section, we will deeper dive into comparing companies and policies.

Best Travel insurance: Companies and Policies Compared

To make the best choice, it helps to compare specifics of different insurers’ policies side by side. Here is a detailed breakdown:

Insurer Medical Cover Cancellation Cover Baggage Cover Excess Additional Cover
NFU Mutual £10 million £3,000 £1,500 £250 Winter sports, gadget cover options
All Clear – Platinum Unlimited £5,000 £2,000 N/A Missed departure, winter sports included
Insure and Go – Black £10 million £3,000 £1,500 £150 Cruise cover, rental vehicle excess
STA Travel £5 million £1,500 £750 £75 17-34 year olds, single trips from £7

As you can see, All Clear provides the highest levels of cancellation and baggage cover but no excess, while STA Travel offers an affordable single trip option for younger travelers. Insure and Go and NFU Mutual strike a balanced approach with robust medical cover and average excesses.

It’s also worth exploring additional benefits like winter sports cover, cruise add-ons, or gadget insurance if relevant to your needs and destination. Overall, the best options will offer comprehensive protection at reasonable pricing tailored to individual travel plans.

Best Buy policies

The Financial Conduct Authority recognizes insurers with policies that provide consistently reliable protection at low cost as “Best Buy”. Currently only a small handful of policies hold this designation.

To achieve Best Buy status, policies must meet standards such as high customer service ratings, fair terms and conditions, and competitive pricing backed by a strong insurer financially capable of paying claims. They must also be presented clearly for easy comparisons.

Due to these stringent criteria, most insurers and policies fail to make the Best Buy list. However, it serves as a useful guideline for identifying minimal coverage levels set by independent regulators. Consumers can feel assured knowing recommended policies meet high quality and customer service benchmarks.

This covers the key information on comparing top insurers, analyzing their specific policies, and understanding what constitutes recommended Best Buy policies. In the next section we will discuss important considerations when choosing and purchasing travel insurance.

What’s the best Type of Travel Insurance?

There are a few main types of travel insurance policies to consider:

Single trip vs multi-trip/annual policies: Single trip covers one specific journey, while multi-trip policies offer year-round coverage for multiple trips up to a certain number of days (usually 30-90 days per trip). Multi-trip works out more cost effective for frequent travelers.

Medical only vs all-inclusive policies: Medical only covers healthcare abroad, while all-inclusive also provides extras like cancellation, baggage, legal expenses. For full protection, an all-inclusive plan is generally best.

Family vs individual policies: Family policies provide coverage for all travelers on the same booking, which is usually cheaper than separate individual policies. Couples and families should consider a joint policy.

Winter sports vs standard policies: Dedicated winter sports policies offer higher mountain rescue and related coverage if engaging in skiing or snowboarding. Standard policies may have lower sub-limits or exclude these activities.

In general, an annual multi-trip all-inclusive plan works best for most travelers, providing year-round protection for multiple trips abroad under one policy. However, single trip medical-only may be preferable for certain one-off situations or budgets.

How can I save money on travel insurance?

There are some effective ways to reduce the cost of travel insurance:

  • Compare quotes from multiple providers online. Prices can vary significantly between insurers.
  • Use comparison sites like Compare the Market to easily see options side by side.
  • Buy further in advance when prices are usually cheaper compared to last minute purchases.
  • Check if existing annual home or health insurance includes any travel cover before arranging a new policy.
  • Look for student, young traveler or senior discounts available from some insurers.
  • Consider a higher excess which lowers premiums if you can afford to pay more in the event of a claim.
  • Buy an annual multi-trip policy if traveling multiple times within 12 months rather than individual single trip cover.
  • Look for code-sharing deals where insurers offer lower rates through affiliated companies.

With smart comparisons and advance planning, it’s often possible to save 20-50% on travel insurance costs. A little effort up front can mean substantial savings for protection while traveling abroad.

When Should you buy Travel Insurance?

It’s best to purchase travel insurance as soon as you book your trip to ensure you’re covered in the early stages of planning. However, certain situations may change how far in advance to buy:

  • More than 4 months before travel: Buy if possible, to lock in initial cheaper rates on annual multi-trip policies that cover future bookings.
  • 4-6 weeks before travel: Prices are stable and you’ll be covered should any cancellations be needed for changing plans or life circumstances.
  • 2 weeks-1 months before: Last minute deals can still be found, but prices rise quickly so it may not be the cheapest option.
  • At time of booking: Immediate cover is provided from the date of purchase if organizing travel details. Some airlines/agents include it as part of reservations.
  • Within 1-2 weeks of departure: Only buy as a last resort if abroad more than a few days as cancellation cover won’t be included or applicable so near to travel.

For last minute trips under 4 weeks planned, prices are higher so it helps to seek estimated quotes as a reference point before formalizing arrangements. And always take out cover before any non-refundable payments are made.

Should you buy Travel Insurance from the Tour operator or Airline?

There are pros and cons to consider:

  • Convenient: Included with package holidays and flights, meaning one less thing to organize.
  • Tailored: May include specific protections for included activities or supplier insolvency protection not always found elsewhere.
  • Limited options: Coverage is pre-set with little flexibility for individual needs compared to third party options.
  • Higher cost: Airline/agent insurance tends to cost more than policies directly from insurers due to automatic inclusion.

For maximum choice and value, it can be better to purchase a third party annual multi-trip policy independently. But tour operator insurance ensures baseline cover if organizing package vacations. Either way, always check exact terms and coverage amounts.

Do you Already have Insurance?

Before purchasing new travel insurance, check what coverage you may already have:

  • Home/contents insurance: Some policies include limited travel cover for medical expenses or lost baggage abroad.
  • Private health insurance: May provide medical cost coverage in certain countries for up to 6-12 months, but coverage amounts tend to be capped.
  • Employer or university insurance: Organizations sometimes offer supplemental travel benefits for employees/students traveling on business/education.
  • Driving insurance: Rental car excess cover may be included when renting abroad.
  • Credit cards: High-end travel rewards cards sometimes incorporate travel insurance perks like emergency medical assistance. Coverage amounts are usually low.

If existing plans don’t provide appropriate coverage amounts and ranges of benefits needed, separate travel insurance will likely still be required. But check terms thoroughly first to maximize use of existing protections and avoid overlap or duplication when arranging new policies.

Do you need Travel Insurance if you have an Ehic or Ghic?

Citizens of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland can use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for medical treatment during state-provided healthcare in Europe – but it does not replace the need for travel insurance entirely.

  • EHIC only covers state healthcare costs that would be paid nationally, not additional private medical expenses.
  • It does not cover any other non-medical costs like cancellation or lost baggage.
  • Bear in mind the GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) replacing EHIC post-Brexit may have reduced coverage compared to EHIC depending on future UK-EU deals.

So while the EHIC/GHIC offsets some health costs abroad, travel insurance provides vital extra coverage for other risks and benefits the state schemes do not include. Adequate insurance is still strongly recommended even when the EHIC/GHIC is held.

How much Travel Insurance Cover do I Need?

The appropriate level of coverage will depend on individual circumstances, but as a general guideline:

  • Medical expenses: Aim for at least £2 million per person for European travel, £5 million outside Europe including USA.
  • Trip cancellation: Around £3,000 is standard but consider trip cost if high-value vacation. £5,000+ for luxury tours.
  • Travel delay: £150-300pp per full 12 hours for meals/hotels if flights delayed over 12 hours.
  • Baggage/luggage: £1,500 cover for valuables/cash, £300 for glasses/keys etc. More for pro equipment.
  • Personal liability: Minimum £1 million to cover liability claims from injuring others/damage abroad.
  • Legal expenses: £25,000-50,000 is sufficient for defense costs/representation if accused of crime.
  • 24/7 medical assistance: Help arranging treatment, hospital admission, repatriation if needed.

Consider any hazardous/extreme activities planned when deciding cover levels and excesses. Opt for valuables totals that would replace all lost belongings rather than minimum levels. Annual multi-trip policies provide flexibility to add cover as needs change.

How to Compare Travel Insurance Companies

Thorough research is vital to find the ideal policy at the best price. Here are the key steps:

1. Check our tables and reviews

Compare multiple insurers side-by-side in our detailed breakdown tables. Consult trustworthy review sites for customer feedback and expert evaluations.

2. Get a travel insurance quote

Use insurer quote engines or comparison sites to get customized prices tailored for your specific trip details. Factors like destination country, ages, travel dates impact rates.

3. Check the T&Cs

Review full policy wordings online for any exclusions, obligations or limits not included in marketing. Check obligations in claims process are clear.

Comparing small details and verifying fine print can highlight major differences between seemingly similar policies from various insurers. Taking time upfront makes choosing easier and prevents surprises later on.

Why there are so few Best Buy policies?

There are several key reasons for the limited number of policies achieving Best Buy status:

Rigorous requirements: The criteria to attain Best Buy are extremely stringent, evaluating dozens of factors around coverage, pricing, customer treatment, clarity of policies and company financial security. It is difficult for most insurers to meet such high benchmarks consistently.

Regular reassessment: Insurers must reapply and qualify every year, subjecting policies to close ongoing scrutiny of performance and value. Policies that previously received Best Buy can lose the designation if standards slip. Reviews catch issues like premium hikes or declining customer satisfaction.

Conservative approach: Regulators take a cautious stance, concentrating recommendations on only the top performing insurers and policies proven over time to avoid potential consumer detriment from riskier newcomers.

Complex market dynamics: Constant changes in claims ratios, treatment costs, travel risks and competitor prices make stability challenging. Achieving Best Buy involves balancing comprehensive cover with low cost annually despite fluctuations.

Awareness levels: Becoming a Best Buy brings prestige but no guarantee of consumer recognition. Customers often pick based on familiar brands or promotions over independent endorsements.

In prioritizing consumer protection so stringently, regulators inevitably limit Best Buy status to an elite level representing best of class in the tough-to-achieve triple goal of coverage, price and service reliability. Most policies fall short of this highest bar.

FAQ’s

Are travel insurance premiums refundable?

Typically within a “free look” period, often 10-15 days after purchase.

How does travel insurance handle trip delays?

Provides reimbursement for additional expenses like meals and accommodation.

What is the maximum trip length covered by annual policies?

Usually up to 90 days per trip, but it varies by provider.

Does travel insurance cover trip interruptions?

Yes, most policies include trip interruption coverage.

Is there an age limit for purchasing travel insurance?

Some policies have age limits, typically around 65-75 years old.

Conclusion

In 2024, the top travel insurance companies offer comprehensive policies with strong customer service. Allianz Global Assistance is notable for its extensive coverage and 24/7 support. World Nomads appeals to adventurous travelers with coverage for various activities. IMG provides flexible plans suitable for different trip durations and robust medical coverage. Travel Guard by AIG is known for customizable plans and excellent travel assistance.

Nationwide offers affordable, comprehensive plans, particularly strong in trip cancellation and interruption coverage. Each company presents tailored policies to meet diverse travel needs and budgets, ensuring travelers can find suitable protection for their trips.

Related Post:

Leave a Comment