Can you recommend companies for travel insurance? (For UK resident)
April 24, 2013 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend companies for travel insurance? (For UK resident)

A quick look via comparison sites and media articles suggests that there are companies that appear to provide adequate cover for a lot less than the big brand names that I'm familiar with. Is that really the case, or is there some downside?

E.g. I got single-trip quotes for an upcoming short European trip, and HolidaySafe has reasonable cover for £7-8, while the First Direct quote was close to £25.

Anyone have experiences dealing with the likes of,

Any recommendations for companies that you have had good experiences with, which also provide good value for money?
posted by philipy to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
The NFU is not the cheapest, but in the event you have to claim they do not screw about. Holiday insurance is a bit of a cesspit because the companies shave costs by ramping up excesses and mucking about with exclusions.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:37 AM on April 24, 2013

I've used Sainsbury's for annual insurance and Direct Line for a longer trip, who have been fine though I haven't had to make a claim.

If it's just Europe do you really need insurance? Would an EHIC card suffice?
posted by kerplunk at 8:56 AM on April 24, 2013

I've usually bought insurance from the Post Office when I needed it. I've never had to claim from them, but they've been winning the British Travel Awards insurance category for most of the past decade, and it's a reassuring brand.

But, as kerplunk says, consider whether you actually need it. An EHIC card should cover your health needs within the EU. As to loss/damage/theft insurance, read the policy carefully. Often you'll find high deductibles, low maximum payouts, and explicit exclusions (or low per-item limits) for many of the things you'd be the most concerned about insuring (cameras, computers, etc.). Also you may find small print to the effect that theft is only covered if it's from your person, not from a hotel room, car etc.

tl;dr: insurance for possessions tends to exclude most of the things you actually want it for.

Most of these comments apply to some extent to the Post Office's policies; last year I bought a one-year multi-trip policy from them for £50 because I knew I'd be doing a lot of travelling in that year, but even at that price I was in two minds as to whether it was worth it.
posted by pont at 9:21 AM on April 24, 2013

If it's just Europe do you really need insurance? Would an EHIC card suffice?

Yes you absolutely need both EHIC and travel insurance. EHIC means they won't charge you for hospital visits, but it will not pay for repatriation, missing your flights due to hospital treatment, changing family's flights due to hospital stay, loss of luggage, problems with the hotel facilities, etc, etc, etc....
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:23 AM on April 24, 2013

My rule of thumb has always been to use a company that I've at least heard of. My latest travel insurance is actually from the AA. In the past I've also used First Direct. I've been lucky enough that I haven't had to use the insurance though, so I can't comment on how that would go.

MuffinMan has a point too: I always make sure I'm comfortable with the various levels of payout, limits and excesses that get applied.
posted by SuckPoppet at 5:34 AM on April 25, 2013

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