A good travel insurance policy will protect you against the cost of potential problems like cancellation, lost luggage, stolen property, illness and injury.
If you fall ill overseas the bill could run into the tens of thousands of pounds or more, so never travel without a good travel insurance policy in place.
Before you buy your policy you must make sure you get the right cover for your trip and look for a travel insurer you can trust.
Single trip or annual cover?
There are two main types of travel insurance you can choose between:
Single trip insurance: This covers you for one trip to just one location for a specific period of time
Annual insurance: Also known as multi trip policies, which cover you for every trip you make during a 12 month period
The best policy for you will depend on how often you travel. If you are only going on one holiday in the next year get a single trip policy, but if you travel more often an annual policy could be cheaper.
Declare your medical conditions
You must declare any pre-existing medical conditions when you apply for a policy.
If you do not you will be unable to claim if you fall ill as a result of your condition, for example if you have angina and suffer a heart attack while on holiday.
Not all travel insurers cover certain health problems, so compare travel insurance with medical conditions here to find a policy that will protect you.
Do you need extra protection?
You may need to add extra cover for some activities that are not normally included as standard, like:
If you are going away for an extended time, like a gap year, you may need a specialist policy to cover you. You can find backpacker travel insurance policies here.
Find a travel insurer you can trust
When you know what cover you need you can use our review page to help find the best travel insurance company.
Do not just buy on price alone, but consider looking for a travel insurer that has proved to be reliable in the past.
Read our reviews of popular companies to find out which have been recommended by other customers. Look for those that have handled claims well in the past and paid out promptly.
Travel insurance FAQs
Do I legally need to have travel insurance?
No, but you should never travel without it because medical treatment abroad can cost tens of thousands of pounds or more.
Should I get a single or annual multi trip policy?
It depends, but usually if you travel 3 times or more a year you should get annual cover. This guide will help you choose which is right for you.
How can I get cheaper travel insurance?
The best way to get the cheapest deal is to shop around for quotes using the table above. You can also try these 8 ways to cut your travel insurance costs.
Can I get travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions?
Yes, but it can be more expensive and not all insurers will cover you. This guide explains how to find travel insurance with pre-existing conditions.
Will my destination be covered?
Most will be, but check your policy and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) because some countries may not be if they are deemed dangerous.
How long can I go away for?
It depends on your policy, but most insurers offer maximum single trips lengths of between 31 and 365 days.
Can I claim for cancellation before my holiday starts?
Yes, as soon as you take out your policy you will be covered, so always buy travel insurance as soon as you book your trip.
Do I need travel insurance in Europe if I have a EHIC?
Yes, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) only gives you access to basic state-provided healthcare when in European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
Will travel insurance cover me if I travel for business?
Yes, and some policies will offer business cover as an extra to cover things like your laptop, mobile phone and any other business equipment.