Compare travel insurance policies that provide potential cover for under-18s on a trip overseas.
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Have a look through the options as cost can vary significantly between providers. The cheapest travel insurance option might catch your eye however check the terms to ensure you're fully protected if you need to make a claim.
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Travel insurance for under-18s is simply insurance tailored to younger people. Teenagers need the protection of travel insurance just like any other traveller.
It can be a worrying time if you have 16–17-year-olds travelling alone. With the right under-18s travel insurance policy, you can relax a little more – or at least be reassured that they’re covered if something goes wrong.
Yes, but your choice of insurer may be more limited. Anyone under 18 is considered a minor, and some insurance providers either don’t offer individual policies to those fitting that definition or don’t insure minors who are unaccompanied.
For those that do, the price of your policy will be based on:
where they’re going
who they’re staying with
what they’ll be doing on their trip
how long they’ll be away for
the number of trips they’ll be making during the year
Travel insurance for under-18s offers similar benefits to any other travel policy. These include:
Medical expenses: pays out if your teenager is ill or injured abroad and needs medical treatment or attention. You can usually get up to £10 million cover
Cancellation and delay: pays out if the trip has to be cancelled, becomes delayed, or is cut short. This could happen if, for example, your teen had to have emergency medical treatment before they went away
Baggage, possessions and personal money: pays out if your teen’s baggage, belongings or money are lost, stolen or damaged. You can usually get up to £5,000 baggage cover
Repatriation: pays for your teen to be brought back to the UK if they’re ill or injured and would be better off being treated at home
Some activities and sports: pays out if your teen is injured while playing sport. Not all sports are included; if your child is going skiing or trying any other extreme sports, they’ll likely need extra cover. Check the policy carefully.
If your teen is taking a smartphone, tablet or laptop, they may need gadget cover too.
The cheapest deal isn’t always the best or the most suitable for your child. When comparing quotes, check the cover carefully.
Also think about things like:
Does your child have pre-existing medical conditions? If they do, you must declare them when you apply so they’re covered while your child’s away
How long are they going away for? Find a policy that covers the full length of their trip
Where are they going? Make sure the policy you’re looking at covers them for travel to the right place. You can usually buy insurance for one of:
Worldwide excluding the USA, Canada and the Caribbean
Worldwide including the USA, Canada and the Caribbean
Do they have a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)? A GHIC, the replacement for the EHIC, gives your child access to medical care in most European countries. Your child still needs travel insurance to cover things like lost baggage and cancellations
What will they be doing? If they’re doing winter sports (like skiing) or extreme sports (like bungee jumping), you’ll need to make sure the policy covers them for this. They might need a specialist policy for these activities
How many times will they be going away? Single-trip insurance is likely to be the most cost-effective option if this is their only planned trip away. If they’ll be going away a few times, annual multi-trip insurance may be a better option. Here’s how to work out whether single-trip or annual multi-trip insurance is the right option.
Once you’ve selected your cover, compare quotes and choose the cheapest from the options that give you what you need.
Yes. Separate travel insurance is usually necessary for 16- and 17-year-old travellers if you’re not travelling with them. As they’re unaccompanied minors, they need their own policy.
However, you can share a family policy if they’re travelling with you. Sometimes a family policy covers minors to travel on their own, but this is rare. Check your existing documents carefully to see if your family policy offers this feature.
Sometimes. The school may include group travel insurance in its package price. If insurance is not mentioned in the trip literature, it’s worth asking. There’s no sense in paying twice for the same thing.
If insurance is included, find out what it covers. You might decide you want more extensive coverage through a separate under-18s travel insurance policy for children aged 16–17.
Your child doesn’t count as an unaccompanied minor on a school trip. School staff are regarded as parents and are responsible for your children. You might find that your family travel insurance policy will cover them in this case, so it pays to check.
You can still get a quote through money.co.uk if you have a pre-existing condition, including cancer or severe heart or respiratory complaints. People who have had strokes or are terminally ill can also get a quote.
Some insurers might not cover you if you already have a severe medical disorder or a number of conditions, and others may only offer insurance at a much higher price. If you’re unable to find suitable cover, talk to the Money and Pension Service (MaPS). It has a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.
Some travel insurance policies cover children for free, but not all. If you need extra cover buy a family policy or get separate policies for your kids.
Yes, if your child is travelling with a friend's family you can get them an individual policy.
They don’t need medical cover because they’re covered by the NHS, but insurance can still cover cancellation and lost or stolen possessions.
Some insurers only offer individual policies to travellers over 16, but others set no age limit at all.
Yes, most adult travel insurance policies cover your baby or infant when you travel with them. Check first, because not all do.
If you have a medical problem, you may find it harder and more expensive to get travel insurance. Here is how to get cover even if you have a pre-existing condition.Read More
If you are heading off on holiday, you’ll need to choose between a single trip or annual travel insurance policy. But what is the difference, and which is right for you? Here is how to find out.Read More
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What you need to know to get as much holiday for your money as you possibly can - from where to go, how to get there, the best way to spend while away and your rights if anything goes wrong
Last updated: 2 May, 2022