Travel Insurance: What You Can't Afford Not to Know

Recommended Policies:

World Nomads - All Nationalities

Insure & Go - UK

STA Travel - Premium

When planning a holiday, travel insurance is one of the things left till the last minute, but it's not something travellers can afford to get wrong! Researching travel insurance isn't as fun as planning the rest of your holiday so here are a couple of companies WR is happy to recommend for advice on travel insurance.

World Nomads has a reputation for looking after travellers at the more adventurous end of the market and provides a range of travel insurance policies for all nationalities, travelling for short or long periods, though all sorts of regions. Recommended by Lonely Planet, World Nomads is strong on covering medical and evacuation costs, as well as the more risky activities like swimming with sharks in South Africa, cave diving under the Nullarbor, or bungee jumping over Victoria Falls - these are not travel experiences to be under-prepared for!

For UK based travellers, Insure and Go offer simple, no frills, and good value policies for people wanting cover for the basics, as well as more tailored options for travellers planning a trip that's potentially more hazardous – anyone fancy glacier climbing? What we like about Insure and Go are their easy to use online booking interface, their great customer and after sales service (check out their customer testimonials and see for yourself), and those small but important details - like the ability to opt out of those annoying excess charges, as well as the fact that on their ski policies (and on all their annual policies, which cover you for 17 days skiing a year), they provide insurance cover for off-piste as well as on-piste skiing and snowboarding, as standard. World Reviewers are known with their often adventurous favourite skiing destinations: How does Heliskiing in the Himalayas, or on rocky fingers dusted with snow in Chile sound?

Last, for a slightly more expensive but 'gold bottomed' option, consider the Premier cover offered by STA Travel. Underwritten by Towergate Insurance, one of the best travel underwriters in the UK, this policy includes - not that you want to think about it too much - hostage and hijack cover and search and rescue, as well as travel delay insurance, repayment of up to £5,000 of your student loan, travel trade indemnity (in case your travel company or airline goes belly-up because, let's face it, the bonding arrangements do not always cover everything and look increasingly antiquated), and a whopping ten million pounds medical and repatriation cover.

Other things you NEED to know about travel insurance:

We've given you some recommendation on who to use, but there are some other simple pointers we've learned from experience that can make all the difference.

  • It's obvious, but don't feel partronised when we say: Read the cancellation policy on your insurance: some insurers only cover cancellation if you buy your insurance at the same time as you buy your trip. The only thing worse than having to cancel would be not being able to go and paying for it anyway!

  • Have an idea what your gear is worth. Most travel insurance policies have a per-item value limit on their lost and stolen gear payouts, so no point paying for insurance that's not going to replace your stuff!

  • If you're travelling to countries without reciprocal health care agreements make sure your cover includes medical care and evacuation costs - insurance providers will usually insist on getting you home as soon as you are fit enough to travel. You might also want to check for dental cover. In places like North America emergency dental costs can be unexpectedly rude.

  • Choose cover that will cover your adventures if you're planning some. Some policies don't cover activities they deem high risk - even if you don't think they're high risk. Why would anyone think Genghis Khan Warrior Training would be unsafe?

  • Consider personal liability: Accidents happen. If it's found to be your fault and someone decides to sue you, you want to be covered.

More detailed Travel Insurance Tips and Hints from WR

Comments by other travellers

I would never recommend towergate travel insurance they have let my son down

Badly and sta travel push this insurance on unsuspecting first time travellers

Mainly students whom do not have much money .

And of course yhey get a commission for every contract sold which by the way

Is not worth the paper it is written on .

R j woollcott

Very Nice post. Travel insurance policies may not also cover dangerous or extreme activity, such as snowboarding or surfing. Most dangerous activities, such as rock climbing, kite surfing, hunting, bungee jumping and underwater activities involving the use of artificial breathing apparatus, may be classified as general exclusions in a travel insurance policy. Its always good to keep in handy.

2 Replies

Excellent point! If you're planning anything like that you gotta be extra covered. And cover your gear as well.

As a surfer i was worried about being covered, but did find EssentalTravel had a useful sports page that shows which sports are covered in which policy grade, obviously the more extreme the more the price goes up... but worth it


Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks

This is a wonderful article. The things mentioned need to be appreciated by everyone.


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