Saga travel insurance review: What do you get for your money?

· 8 min read

Saga travel insurance is seen by many as the best option for over 50s. On the surface, it appears to offer everything from single trips to annual travel insurance, flights and cruise travel insurance and more. But what exactly does Saga travel insurance cover? Does Saga travel insurance cover pre-existing and long-term medical conditions? How much flexibility is there on premiums?


Saga travel insurance: FAQs

  • Does Saga travel insurance cover issues relating to Covid-19?

    Thankfully, Saga reacted quickly to the challenges of Covid-19 and the potential for significant additional expenses. Whether you require treatment, other accommodation or repatriation, there is specific cover available.

  • Do Saga holidays include travel insurance?

    All holidays booked directly through Saga include the option of comprehensive travel insurance. However, where you choose to take travel insurance from another third party, this will be reflected in the reduced cost of your Saga holiday.

  • Can I add others to my Saga holiday insurance?

    There is the option to add others to your Saga holiday insurance policy. For example, where you take out a multi-trip policy, not only can you add family and friends of any age, but you don't need to travel together.

While many well-known travel insurance companies today have little history, this is not a criticism anyone can aim at Saga. Saga was founded in 1959 with a simple focus: to cater for over 50s regarding insurance, holidays, financial services and healthcare. The fact that Saga travel insurance is, for many, the first port of call today says everything about the company's reputation. While we are focusing on travel insurance, it's worth noting you can obtain other types of cover such as home and car insurance through Saga.

Let's look at Saga travel insurance, how much it costs, how flexible cover is, and the company's approach to existing medical conditions.

Do I qualify for Saga holiday insurance?

As we touched on above, Saga is focused on an array of different services for over 50s. Consequently, to qualify for Saga holiday insurance, you should:

  • Be at least 50 years of age
  • Live in the UK
  • Disclose any pre-existing medical conditions

While Saga will not request a medical certificate or direct advice from your doctor, the onus is on customers to be truthful when completing the online or telephone medical questionnaire. If medical information has been withheld, this may invalidate your cover.

Unlike many travel insurance providers, Saga has been able to keep things relatively simple and avoid customers having to overcome numerous hurdles. When it comes to regulatory cover, as a provider of insurance products, Saga travel insurance is covered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Different types of Saga travel insurance

Two central travel insurance policies are available with Saga, single trip travel insurance and annual multi-trip travel insurance. Note there is no upper age limit with Saga travel insurance products.

Saga single trip holiday insurance

While the Saga single trip policy only covers you for a single trip, this can include multiple destinations. Cover is valid for one trip a year, up to a maximum of 120 days, which may include an array of leisure activities. Compared to other insurance providers, Saga single trip policies can be a little more expensive. Still, you get what you pay for - as demonstrated by reviews on the Defaqto and Trustpilot websites.

This insurance product offers comprehensive cover that includes:

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Type of Cover

Maximum Cover

Cancellation cover

£10,000

Emergency medical cover

£10 million

Baggage cover

£5,000

Replacement flight cover

£1,500

Enforced stay cover

£1,500

Substitute accommodation cover

£5,000

Abandonment cover

£10,000

There is also a 24/7 travel helpline and the ability to add friends and family under 50 to your policy. While the above figures are standard, you can increase and reduce different types of coverage to lower the cost of your Saga insurance premiums.

Saga annual holiday insurance

As you would expect, Saga annual travel insurance policies offer precisely the same cover as the single trip policy. However, you're covered for multiple trips, up to 45 days per trip, for up to 120 days per year.

Worldwide travel insurance

When you begin to dig a little deeper, you become aware of the flexibility available with Saga travel insurance. There are three primary levels of cover:

  • Worldwide
  • Worldwide excluding USA, Canada and the Caribbean
  • Europe

If you are travelling predominately within Europe, European-focused travel insurance is cheaper than the worldwide cover. As we go through the various elements of Saga travel insurance policies, you will become aware of the enhanced degree of flexibility.

As a side note, more relevant with the onset of Covid-19, you would not be covered for countries listed as dangerous on the UK government travel advice website. So it is essential to keep up with the latest news.

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Medical conditions

Unlike many travel insurance companies, Saga does not exclude any pre-existing medical conditions when offering comprehensive cover. Consequently, Saga holiday insurance is very popular with over 50s, the company's prime target market. At times, the cost of Saga travel insurance policies can sometimes appear higher than others in the marketplace. However, it is important to compare like for like. Not all travel insurance companies will offer the same level of comprehensive cover for over 50s.

When obtaining your travel insurance quote, you will be asked to complete a simple health screening review online or over the phone. This ensures Saga is aware of any potential medical issues, thereby ensuring your policy remains valid.

Awaiting results of medical tests

Unfortunately, if you are awaiting the results of medical tests, you will not be able to secure cover. However, as soon as you receive the results, you will be free to apply for cover, whatever the condition.

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Am I covered for Covid-19 with Saga travel insurance?

Saga travel insurance covers you for the following scenarios:

Cancellation of holiday

In the event of a positive coronavirus test within 14 days of your travel commencing, for either:

  • You
  • A close relative
  • A member of your travelling party

You will receive a payment covering:

  • Unused travel expenses
  • Accommodation
  • Planned excursions
  • Prepaid charges
  • Other contracted payments

Abandonment

If you are forced to cut your trip short because of a positive test for Covid-19, you will receive payment for expenses as detailed above. The test could relate to you, a family member, someone you are staying with or a member of your travelling party.

Emergency medical expenses/repatriation

We only need to look at additional expenses incurred when receiving Covid-19 related treatment in the UK to appreciate overseas fees and the cost of repatriation. For example, Saga travel insurance includes up to £10 million in medical expenses and repatriation costs should Covid-19 impact you. In addition, the traditional £5,000 health insurance-related cover for UK holidays has been increased to £2 million due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As discussed above, Covid-19 related travel insurance cover will be invalidated if you travel to a country subject to UK government restrictions. Therefore, when taking out your Saga travel insurance, it is essential to discuss your travel plans and how they may or may not be impacted by Covid-19. Take nothing for granted!

Standard features of Saga travel insurance policies

On the surface, Saga travel insurance products may seem a little more expensive than other insurance providers. As ever, the devil is in the detail. It is only when you dig a little deeper that the differences become apparent. We will now expand on the earlier list, which shows the standard features you can expect for single and multi-trip insurance cover:

Alternative accommodation

You can claim up to £5,000 for alternative accommodation and transport costs should any of the following impact you:

  • Natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes
  • Insolvency of the provider
  • An outbreak of food poisoning
  • An episode of infectious disease

The fact that this is standard for all Saga travel insurance policies should give you peace of mind.

Transport issues

If your scheduled airline goes out of business before or after departure, an additional £1,500 is available to cover alternative arrangements.

Enforced stay

In the event of an enforced stay, you can claim £100 for each 24-hour delay, up to a maximum of £1,500. This may involve difficulty:

  • Reaching your destination
  • Returning to pre-booked accommodation
  • Returning home

If after 24 hours you're forced to make alternative arrangements, getting to your destination/returning home, you can claim expenses of up to £1,000.

Missed departure

There is also cover available if you miss your departure for any of the following reasons:

  • Public transport delays
  • Delay to a connecting flight
  • Denied access to your flight (overbooked)
  • Vehicle breakdown or accident on the way to the departure point

Up to £1,000 is available for extra accommodation or travel costs required to get you to your final destination.

Abandonment

If you are forced to abandon your trip due to unforeseen circumstances, Saga covers you up to £10,000. This can be used to reimburse unused travel and accommodation expenses and other prepaid charges. You are also covered for new flight tickets home.

Saga travel insurance helpline

As part of the comprehensive cover offered by Saga, you'll also have access to the Saga travel assistance helpline 24/7. This worldwide service offers assistance about an array of issues, including:

  • Replacement of passports, driver licenses, air tickets and other travel documents
  • Tracing luggage if lost or delayed
  • Contacting your local embassy/consulate
  • Sourcing additional funds from the UK if required
  • Guidance and assistance for your family if you are admitted to hospital
  • A "phone home" service if you are detained for medical treatment
  • Translation/interpretation services if required

It is fair to say that considering the numerous elements of cover provided as standard by Saga travel insurance policies, together with the helpline, this is a comprehensive offering.

How much does Saga travel insurance cost?

One of the benefits of Saga travel insurance is that you can mix and match, and there is excellent flexibility with no upper age limit. For example, a 60-year-old individual looking at a self-catering holiday to Spain would expect to pay around £33 for single trip cover. However, this would increase to just over £60 for Saga's annual holiday insurance cover.

These two premiums are based on:

  • An excess of £150
  • £10,000 of cancellation cover
  • No winter sports
  • No additional travellers

There are also other policy elements that you can remove, increase or decrease depending upon your requirements. For example, you may not require any medical cover if you already have overseas medical insurance through another party. If you are uncertain about the level of cover you need, speak to a Saga representative on the telephone. For those who are clear about their requirements, there is an online system where you can get a quote 24/7.

Does Saga travel insurance offer value for money?

If you look at the Trustpilot and Defaqto review websites, you will see that Saga travel insurance for over 50s has received high praise indeed. Whether it is the fact that existing medical conditions are catered for, the vast range of standard cover or the flexibility available, Saga travel insurance is extremely popular. Consequently, it is safe to say that independent third-party feedback from policyholders suggests Saga offers good value for money.

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Mark Benson
Mark Benson
Mark joined Pension Times in 2020 and has over 10 years’ experience specialising in writing around property, finance, and investment subjects.
The content on pensiontimes.co.uk is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial advisor. Any references to products, offers, rates and services from third parties advertised are served by those third parties and are subject to change. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors