Sun, sand, sea and fun are the key ingredients for the perfect dream getaway, but if something happens to you or someone in your party, the dream holiday can quickly turn into a nightmare. There is no lonelier feeling than being thousands of miles from home and in trouble, whether you have a health emergency or you are a victim of crime, but fortunately travel insurance can come to your rescue.
Amazingly, thousands of Brits travel abroad each year without travel insurance. Some are put off by the seemingly complicated rules surrounding insurance for travelling to different countries and some are put off by the costlier policies that seem to cover every possible eventuality. But what are the insurance requirements for travelling to different countries? What needs to be covered by an insurance policy? And where can you find the best cheap travel insurance policies on the web?
When travelling within the European Economic Area (EEA) you will need to ensure that you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC is completely free and entitles you to reduced cost or even free healthcare in many countries such as France, Spain or Italy. Travel insurance is still required, however, as the EHIC doesn’t cover the cost of private healthcare, the cost of flying home or other associated expenses. In fact, most insurers will insist that you have an EHIC before they insure you.
The EHIC is also valid in many non-European countries such as New Zealand, Australia and Barbados but not in one of the top tourist destinations, the USA. If you are travelling to the USA, South America or Canada, you must have full travel insurance otherwise you could be left with a costly bill.
To find the best cheap travel insurance, it is important to shop around as prices vary wildly depending on the destination, the number of people to be covered and the length of cover. To compare fairly, we looked across the board for the best and cheapest travel insurance policies for a family of four travelling to the USA.
The cheapest insurance was with 24DR who quoted £30.30 for up to £5m worth of cover; next was Cover For You who were slightly more expensive at £37.75 but that was for up to £10m cover and also included cancellation and baggage cover. Of the big insurers, Virgin came out best at £42.13 for the trip with a generous £10m worth of cover, with Debenhams close behind at £43.97 for the same coverage.
When travel insurance is cheaper than your taxi ride to the airport, there really is no excuse not to be covered.