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A Travel Insurance Comparison Guide

Travel insurance protects holiday expenses against adverse events such as cancellation and interruption and reimburses medical expenses, property loss or damage, and transit delays while you’re away.

Many millions of travellers and holidaymakers purchase some form of insurance every year. Considering this, very few people know what it is and how it can be defined. Knowing what is included and what is not, you can take advantage of your protection and get reimbursed fairly.

There are four main categories of travel insurance:

1. Health and Medical reasons for Emergency evacuation: 

This generally covers emergency transportation to a local hospital if the traveller cannot get there alone or back to a hospital near their home town. If the same policy covers family members, they might also be able to travel back home. Medical reasons: This reimburses emergency medical and dental costs. Nearly all holiday insurance plans work by returning the traveller after they have paid locally for treatment. Claims are usually delivered within 7 – 10 working days. Your policy may cover pre-existing medical conditions, and checking if you need to factor this into your insurance is essential.

2. Delays and cancellation or curtailment


Reimbursement generally comes into effect if travellers have booked and paid for a holiday but are unable to embark because of personal illness or injury, death (of the individual or a family member), adverse weather conditions, transport strikes, terrorism, bankruptcy, sudden unemployment, jury duty or by sustaining severe damage to their home causing it to be uninhabitable due to fire or flooding. Delay: This usually reimburses travellers for hotel, food or clothing expenses in case of a flight delay. Some plans also cover costs associated with catching up with a cruise should another delay cause the traveller to miss embarkation.


Insurance companies may pay money to policyholders abroad if they have to cut short their trip due to illness, death (of the traveller or a family member), terrorism, weather, airline strikes, bankruptcy, sudden unemployment, and other adverse conditions which mean that, due to events outside the control of the holidaymaker, a trip has to be curtailed.

3. Death:

Accidental death – can cover death or dismemberment at any time of your trip. Usually guarantees the lowest coverage due to a higher risk Air Flight accident – this may cover death or dismemberment during an air flight only. Usually ensures the highest coverage due to the reasonably low likelihood of this occurring. Common carrier – often covers death or dismemberment while travelling on public transport such as a plane, ferry, train, bus or taxi.

4. Loss or property damage:

Baggage loss – may reimburse travellers for lost, stolen or damaged personal items. This coverage is usually restricted to the duration of the trip and not confined to baggage damaged or lost by the airline. There are two policy limits: total claim and per item maximum.


Some policies also limit the items that can be claimed. Examples include things such as precious jewellery, laptops and sporting goods.

Hire Car damage

This reimburses travellers for damage or loss to a rental vehicle. It is designed to allow the traveller to decline collision damage waiver (CDW) coverage offered by car rental companies. Liability coverage should still be purchased through the car rental company. Car insurance is essential abroad, just as it is in the UK.

Rental Car Damage

Rental Car Damage coverage is also often included with the credit card used to pay for the car rental, which usually matches the coverage provided in the policy. Assistance services – may guarantee a 24-hour collect telephone advice and assistance service to travellers. This service can be used anytime a traveller needs advice. Ensure you keep a copy of this number in several places in your luggage or your person when you move around.

Travel Stats

Travel insurance shields your holiday expenses from unexpected cancellations and interruptions and ensures reimbursements for medical bills, property damage or loss, and travel delays.

UK Travel Statistics

In 2019, over 70 million UK residents travelled abroad for tourism purposes. However, a surprising 20% of these travellers went uninsured, exposing themselves to potentially significant financial risks.

The Risks of Travelling Uninsured

Uninsured travellers face considerable financial risks. For instance, the average cost of overseas medical treatment is £1,300 but can skyrocket to tens of thousands depending on the region and severity. A broken bone in the USA can cost upwards of £10,000, and an air ambulance from the Canary Islands to the UK can cost as much as £25,000.


SEOPA provides this Insurance comparison tool. does not take responsibility for the content of the comparisons you obtain.

The information on this page is not to be taken as advice. You should always perform your research and make sure that you understand the conditions of any insurance you decide to take out.

The information contained within this page is for editorial purposes only and not intended as financial advice.

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