All Policies Include Coronavirus Cover

Finding a policy that suits you and your journey plans could be the most important travel decision you make

Choosing the right travel insurance policy

There are lots of travel insurance policies out there.

How do you choose the right one?

When you have paid for travel insurance, you are entitled to expect a policy that's there for you when you need it. Unfortunately it's not until something unexpected happens that some holiday-makers realise their policy doesn't provide the level of cover they thought.

The nitty gritty of travel insurance is important. Every insurer and every policy is different – and the cheapest option may not be right for you and your plans. Here are the key things to keep in mind to make sure your cover works well for you.

Our guide covers:

  • The importance of declaring your medical conditions
  • Knowing what your policy doesn't cover
  • What to know before comparing policies
  • How to avoid getting caught out
  • Emergency medical care
  • What happens if you need to cancel your holiday
  • Tips for annual travel insurance
  • Taking part in sports and activities
  • Making a successful claim
  • Travel insurance for holidays in the UK

And remember: if you ever have any travel insurance questions, our friendly customer service team will be happy to give you some clarity. There are plenty of ways to contact us.

Your decision matters. But you can change it.

There are so many different travel insurance policies and providers. It can seem daunting to search through them. But a few extra minutes spent doing your homework is worth it if you end up with a policy that you know you can trust.

And if you change your mind? That's okay.

Insurers are legally obliged to give you a 14-day period from the date your policy is issued, during which you can cancel your policy and get a full refund if you decide your cover isn't quite right – as long as you haven't already made a claim with your policy, of course.

Declare your medical conditions

When you are taking out travel insurance, you will have the option to declare any medical conditions that you are living with. It's really important that you're honest here – and it's better to provide too much detail than too little. Failing to declare your medical conditions could invalidate your entire policy. And yes, in the event of a claim your insurer may check your medical details with your doctor.

Anything you declare will be confirmed in writing by your insurer. Check the details are correct and contact your insurer if you need to change anything. Also note that certain medical conditions can dramatically increase your premium with some travel insurers. Here at World First we believe in providing cover for medical conditions at a price that's fair. Find out more here.

Make sure you know what isn't covered

If there's one part of your policy we recommend reading carefully, it's the General Exclusions section. All travel insurance policies have exclusions that apply to the entire policy. Knowing what they are before you jet off will prevent you from accidentally invalidating your cover.

Here are some examples of common exclusions:

  • Wilful exposure to exceptional risk (unless you are trying to save someone's life).
  • Accidents that occur as a result of you being under the influence of alcohol, solvents or drugs (unless the drugs have been prescribed by a medical practitioner).
  • Suicide, attempted suicide and self-inflicted injuries.
  • Incidents relating to any pre-existing medical conditions, unless you declared them to your insurance provider.
  • Some policies exclude cover for claims arising from depression, stress, anxiety or mental disorders. Thankfully this is changing – and we are one of a growing number of insurers that can provide cover for customers with mental health considerations. Find out more here.
  • Many insurers do not cover acts of terrorism. At World First we can cover for emergency medical expenses, repatriation and additional hospital benefit in the unlikely event of a terrorist attack. Check our Policy Wording for the details.

Comparing travel insurance policies

Comparing policies is a smart way to find the travel insurance that's right for you. But be careful. The specific meaning of certain words and terms will differ across policies. That's why it's important to check the Definitions section of each insurer's Policy Wording (it's usually near start of the document).

For example, insurers have different definitions for certain types of holidays such as a cruise holiday or a winter sports holiday. The insurers you are considering may also differ in how they define certain destinations. Even 'Europe' means different things to different insurers. Check the Definitions section of the Policy Wording if you want to be sure.

Don't get caught out

All travel insurance policies have a list of rules about using your policy. You will likely find them near the beginning of the Policy Wording. The points are usually straightforward and apply to the majority of travel insurance policies.

Here's a summary and a few pointers:

  • Let your insurer know if there is a change in risk associated with your trip. For example, if you declared a pre-existing medical condition when you purchased your policy, it's important to update your insurer if your health condition changes before your trip.
  • Make sure the minimum and maximum claim limits of your policy are enough to cover the costs associated with your holiday – such as the belongings you are taking or the price you paid for flights and accommodation.
  • If you are thinking of riding a motorbike on holiday, check your policy covers you. Not all insurers offer this cover.
  • Check your passports and visas are up to date and, if necessary, get all relevant jabs and vaccinations before you leave the UK. You can find out if you need any vaccinations for the destination(s) you are visiting on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
  • Travelling for work? Under the terms of most policies you will not be covered for manual work overseas unless specified in your Policy Wording.

Emergency medical expenses

Do not underestimate the value of getting comprehensive cover for medical assistance while you are abroad, even if your budget is limited. Foreign medical bills can easily run into tens of thousands of pounds – and it's important that you're covered if something unexpected happens and you end up in hospital.

All travel insurance policies from World First come with up to £10m of cover for medical costs as well as access to our 24-hour multi-lingual emergency assistance service and helpline – available 365 days a year.

Cancellation and curtailment

Jury service. The ill health of a close family member. A major problem with your business. Sometimes, something unexpected could force you to cancel your holiday or return home early. And that can be pricey. Thankfully most travel insurance providers offer cancellation and curtailment cover, with cover limits ranging from around £500 right up to £30,000 or more. The limits are different with each provider, so shop around and choose something that matches the costs of your holiday.

With most policies cancellation covers all pre-booked accommodation and flights. At World First we also include cover for timeshare management changes and cancellation if you’ve been made redundant or it is a requirement of HM forces.

When should you select your cover to start?

With single trip cover your policy is active from the day of purchase. Simple. Annual cover works slightly differently. You choose the date from which your policy becomes active. If you already have future holidays booked, it's best to make sure your annual policy starts from the day you purchase it – rather than the start date of your next holiday – otherwise you won't be covered if something forces you to cancel your trip.

Another thing worth noting about annual cover: not all policies will cover you to travel independently of other people named on your policy. We do. That means if you have an annual policy for the whole family, whether it is a business trip or a weekend away with friends, you don't all need to travel to be covered. So your policy goes further, and you save money.

Sports and activities

Getting active on holiday? Then make sure you're covered. Many insurers do not automatically provide cover for sports and outdoor activities. So if the worst happens and you get injured during the action, you could be left facing a hefty medical bill. At World First we offer specialist cover for hundreds of sports and outdoor activities – and many of them are included in your policy for free. Take a look here.

Additional expenses

Most policies, including those from World First, also include cover for "reasonable" additional travelling expenses. These are intended to cover the costs of things like returning home early due to accidental injury, serious illness, complications in pregnancy, your home being made uninhabitable or a police summons.

Making a claim

The majority of complaints about travel insurance develop when it comes to making a claim. Unfortunately it's often because people forget to read the Policy Wording and get caught out by the claims conditions. Try to research your provider's claims procedure before you commit to your policy. It could save a lot hassle if the unexpected happens.

World First is backed by one of the best underwriters in the business. We have a dedicated and sympathetic claims team and offer 24/7 emergency assistance. Here is some advice for making a successful claim.

Do you need travel insurance for holidays in the UK?

You should still consider taking out travel insurance for holidays in the UK. That's because you may lose any money you have spent on accommodation and transport if you have to cancel your holiday unexpectedly. There's also the matter of your belongings and valuables to protect. We have a sister company called Guest First who specialise in lightweight, affordable policies for UK holidays. For one small fee you get all the cover you need. Visit Guest First to find out more.

Any questions? Let us help you.

We know that searching for travel insurance can be frustrating sometimes. But if you have any questions, our UK customer service team would be very happy to help you. Just get in touch.

Click here if you are a non UK resident or have already travelled.
All major credit and debit cards accepted and more...
Defaqto Expert Rated Travel Insurance
Click here and we'll call you back when it suits you.
  • 14 day money back guarantee
  • No credit or debit card fees
  • UK customer services
    & claims team
  • For travel up to 12 months in advance