When you buy any kind of insurance, you’ll agree a voluntary excess, which is the fee you pay when you make a claim.

For example, if you need to make a £1,000 claim, the insurer might need a £100 contribution from you. This means they’d pay you £900.

With travel insurance, no excess means that if you lost your baggage, couldn’t travel or fell ill while you were away, you wouldn’t have to pay this fee.

With no excess travel insurance, if you need to make a £1,000 claim, the insurer will pay you the full £1,000. You get 100% of the money you’re claiming.

Can you get no excess travel insurance?

Yes, some insurers do offer travel insurance with no excess. However, not all insurers offer this as an option.

With travel insurance, no excess policies can be used for domestic travel or abroad.

Why would I want no excess travel insurance?

The big advantage of having travel insurance with no excess is that if you needed to claim, you wouldn’t have to contribute anything. This can be reassuring.

You might feel that you’d rather pay a little more up front for a no excess travel insurance policy. This would mean you wouldn’t have to find any money if you needed to make a claim.

Travel insurance, no excess, sounds great. Are there any drawbacks?

Yes. There are a few things to think about before you get a policy with £0 excess.

With travel insurance, low excess or no excess can sound like you’re getting a great deal, but you may disadvantage yourself in other ways.

  • Cost. A no excess travel insurance policy is likely to cost more than a policy with a high excess.

  • Compulsory excess. No excess travel insurance policies usually still have a compulsory excess charge. The excess that you get to set is voluntary, but there’s a compulsory excess charge too. So check your policy carefully.

  • Limited choice. Not all travel insurance companies offer travel insurance with no excess.

  • You might lose focus on getting the right policy. As with any insurance, the most important thing is to have the right policy. For example, if you’re only taking a small bag, it’s unlikely that you’ll need £5,000 of baggage cover. It’s best to focus on which policy you want and, if the right policy is available with no excess, then you can consider it.

  • Exemptions. With travel insurance, no excess sounds like a tempting prospect. But even no excess travel insurance policies sometimes come with exemptions. Some insurers charge a compulsory excess on certain types of claims, even when it’s supposedly a no excess policy. So check carefully before you go ahead.

As travel insurance with no excess can be expensive, you should shop around. Make sure you get quotes with as many insurers as possible for the cover you need.

How to get the best price on travel insurance with no excess

When you’re looking for travel insurance, no excess can be one good feature to look for. But there are lots of other features you might want.

The best thing to do is decide what cover you want first. Once you know this, you can compare the right kind of policies and find the best price for the cover you need.

Getting the cheapest no excess travel insurance is one thing, but if it doesn’t give you the right level of cover, then there’s no point in having it.

You could look at the amount of cover offered on:

  • Lost luggage

  • Cancelled holidays

  • Flight delays

  • Illness abroad

  • Repatriation.

When you’re looking at travel insurance, no excess will always make the policy more expensive. You can lower the price by increasing the excess. But that means you'll have to pay a larger amount in the event of a claim. So, you need to find the right balance between the price of your insurance and the price of your excess in case you need to claim.

Won’t paying an excess make it pointless if I need to claim?>

No. You wouldn’t claim unless your claim was worth more than the excess.

You should be aware that medical claims, for example, can be for large amounts. If you fell ill while abroad, the costs could run into the £1,000s or £10,000s. Paying an excess of £100-500 on this would still make your claim worthwhile.

With that said, no excess travel insurance means you wouldn’t have to worry about weighing in the cost of your excess. You could just claim and feel reassured that you’d get the whole amount back without having to contribute anything.

Is there more than one excess on a policy?

Yes. Travel insurance excess is made up of two parts.

When you get a quote you choose the voluntary excess on the policy. But this will always be in addition to the compulsory excess set by the insurer.

When you make a claim, you'll pay both the compulsory and voluntary excess on your policy.

Policies may have different excesses depending on the type of claim. For example, your policy could have a £50 excess for repatriation and a £25 excess for lost luggage.

Is there anything else I should know about excess charges?

Yes. You should be aware that travel insurance can be charged more than once.

It could be charged per person, per incident or per policy section. For this reason, you’ll need to make sure you read the policy carefully.

If it’s charged per person, it means you can claim as many times as you need to but you’ll only pay the excess once.

If it’s charged per incident, you’ll be charged for each thing that leads you to make a claim. For example, if you fell ill and needed medical treatment, and then had your camera stolen, you’d pay the excess twice if you were claiming for both.

If the excess is charged per policy section, you’d pay one excess for each section that your claims fell under. For example, in the scenario above, you’d pay one for a claim under the medical section, and another under the personal belongings section.

When it comes to travel insurance, low excess or no excess sound good, but the policies are expensive. Is there way to get it cheaply?

It’ll always cost more to buy low excess or no excess travel insurance. The best thing you can do is shop around.

But don’t forget that having the wrong cover could be pointless. If you need to make a claim but you can’t because you had the wrong cover in place, you’ll be in a sticky situation.