Whether you are going on just one trip abroad or several in a year, buying travel insurance can be a dull yet necessary activity. Ensuring you're covered financially for the potential problems you may experience on holiday gives you peace of mind. However, while we have an extensive travel insurance market in the UK, knowing which company is the best can be challenging.
In reality, there is no one-size fits all travel insurance. Companies like Defaqto try to help consumers by assigning travel insurance companies with a star rating - five stars being the best. One company that has such a five-star rating is InsureandGo, a firm which says to offer some of the most comprehensive travel insurance cover available.
We've taken a look at InsureandGo and the cover available so you can ascertain whether it’s an appropriate company for you or not.
Types of travel insurance cover
First, knowing what type of travel insurance cover you need is a good idea. These are the types of travel insurance that InsureandGo currently offer.
Single-trip policies are typically the cheapest type of travel insurance. You would buy a single-trip policy with a specific trip in mind, which can help you tailor it to your particular needs.
Buying annual multi-trip insurance can often be more cost-effective if you think you'll travel abroad more than once a year. These policies are usually far cheaper than if you were to purchase several single-trip insurance policies. However, you may need to add cover in the future for aspects of a trip that you did not foresee when you initially purchased the policy. For example, if you plan on travelling to a destination outside the EU or
want to participate in winter sports, you may need to add these elements to your policy.
You'll need winter sports travel insurance if you're off skiing or snowboarding. The increased risk of injury means these policies are often more expensive than those without winter sports cover. With InsureandGo, you can add cover to single trips or for up to 17 days on annual multi-trip policies.
Coronavirus travel insurance
InsureandGo is one of many companies that can and will cover you for issues that may occur due to the coronavirus. For example, they may cover the costs of your trip if you need to cancel because you or another member of your travelling party are diagnosed with coronavirus within 14 days of your departure date. Or, they may cover your costs incurred due to having to return home earlier than planned.
However, it's crucial that you know and understand what could invalidate your cover. Examples include if the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against travel to a destination or if you aren't up to date with vaccinations.
Levels of cover
Different insurance companies will pay out varying amounts for varying reasons. For example, while one company may pay a significant figure for the costs incurred due to cancellations, others may pay very little. Therefore, you must decide what cover is essential to give you peace of mind.
Below are some of the variables that can change your level of coverage.
Medical expenses can be astronomical when travelling abroad, which is easy to forget when we have the NHS. You should ensure you have coverage for any healthcare costs you may incur abroad. For instance, you may have an accident and require emergency medical assistance.
InsureandGo has different levels of coverage for medical expenses, which impacts the final cost of the premium you pay.
Pre-existing medical conditions
Buying travel insurance when you have a pre-existing medical condition can be more difficult. You want to make sure that you purchase a policy that will actually pay out if you have a problem when abroad due to your previous condition.
It may be laborious, but InsureandGo has an extensive list of what conditions they do and don't cover. You must also declare any pre-existing condition with them for your policy to be valid, even if they say they cover it on their website.
Worldwide vs European travel
Travel insurance companies, including InsureandGo, often make their policies cheaper for travellers holidaying in Europe over places that are further afield. While that can mean a more expensive policy if you go to far-flung destinations like Australia, the coverage you require may also increase your premium if you go to the United States or the Caribbean. That is often reflective of the cost of medical care in a country, but not always.
Remember when getting a quote with InsureandGo that if looking at annual multi-trip travel insurance, you should consider ALL your possible destinations. For example, if you only buy European cover but end up travelling to Bali, you will need to amend your multi-trip policy or take out a separate single-trip policy.
On the other end of the scale, InsureandGo policies all cover trips within the UK. So if you stay in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland this year, you will be covered for any issues as detailed in your policy documents.
The longer your trips, the more expensive your premium will usually be. That makes sense - the longer the trip, the more chance there is of something happening for which you need to make a claim. However, the price of policies will change according to other variables in your cover and from company to company.
InsureandGo single trip policies can cover you for a one-off trip of up to 365 days. Annual policies which cover multiple trips do have duration limits for those trips. At the time of writing, depending on the level of cover you purchase, those limits can be 31, 45, or 55 days. However, check the upper age limit on your specific policy to see if the maximum trip length changes.
Repatriation is when your insurance company pays the costs of getting you back to the UK. While you would only need this in selected and potentially extreme circumstances, it's still a good idea to decide whether you want it in your policy or not. Different companies will pay out different amounts for repatriation and have different levels of flexibility regarding what costs they will and will not cover.
Currently, InsureandGo includes repatriation as standard
If you're taking valuables, like mobile phones, DSLR cameras or jewellery on your trip, ask how to cover them when getting your quote. You may find that some items are already covered elsewhere in other forms of insurance. Your home insurance might cover your mobile phone anywhere in the world, for example.
Another typical example is if you are travelling with golf clubs. If your clubs are stolen or lost, they'll be covered up to the valuables limit defined in your policy. However, the company also offers a more specific 'golf cover’. This means you get extra cover for your golf equipment, cover for hiring golf equipment if yours are delayed in transit, lost or damaged, and also for any green fees you may have paid that you cannot use.
There are many standard exclusions that insurance companies don't cover, which they will outline in your policy. These exclusions are critical to check to ensure you don't buy a policy that becomes invalid due to ignorance on your part.
Upper age limits
Commonly, insurance companies put an age limit on the policies they sell. However, some may be a little more flexible with upper age limits regarding single-trip travel insurance. Still, annual multi-trip policies are typically only sold to individuals under 70.
InsureandGo are different, however. One way they differentiate themselves from the wider crowd is by having no upper age limit on their single trip or annual multi-trip cover.
If you want to participate in a potentially dangerous activity and then incur an injury, you may find that some policies won't pay out in such instances. Good examples of this could be bungee jumping or scuba diving. Both activities are commonplace, so you may not realise that your cover won't pay out before doing it. So, read your policy wording before doing anything dangerous or "unusual".
InsureandGo’s policies will sometimes cover certain activities depending on the level of cover you purchased. The company offers a range of upgrades so you can personalise your holiday cover according to what you'll be doing abroad. Winter sports cover is an excellent example of specialised policies for a potentially hazardous activity.
FCDO travel advice
Most insurance companies will not cover you for travel made to a country against the advice of the FCDO. The FCDO may advise against travel to certain countries due to the danger being in that country could pose to citizens.
Reasons for advising against travel could be an outbreak of disease in an area (ebola, for instance) or war (as in Ukraine). During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, there were many countries on the list. Still, it is ever-changing, so it is always a good idea to check before you travel - even if you think it’s safe.
InsureandGo Travel Insurance - to buy or not to buy
InsureandGo has earned its five-star Defaqto rating. They're a company that offers robust and comprehensive policies while providing excellent customer service. Their claims procedure is smooth, and their website is easy to navigate.
These are all aspects of a travel insurance company that consumers sometimes overlook yet are necessary to consider with an eye on potentially having to make a claim. Just having a robust policy isn't enough. If you have been financially impacted by something that you are legally covered for when abroad, it’s crucial that your company pays out as soon as possible. You don’t want to be covered by a company with such a convoluted process that you are out of pocket for months.