How to get travel insurance

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Fact checked.
May 19, 2024

In a nutshell

To get travel insurance, first you'll need to know what type of cover you’d like, for instance, from essential cover for a regular holiday, to full cover for hitting the slopes in the Alps and everything in between. Then simply head to a comparison site (we’ve got the best below), answer a few questions and pick the best quote for you. logo

Find the best insurance deal in no time.

Visit Confused.com¹

Getting away for a nice break? Or perhaps planning a longer stay or travelling for work. Here’s how to get travel insurance (holiday insurance), and how to find the best deal for you.

Do I need travel insurance?

First things first, you should ask yourself if you do actually need travel insurance – we always recommend getting travel insurance for every trip and holiday you take, you never know what might happen, and it could be very costly if you don't have it – particularly emergency medical bills.

However, you might already have travel insurance in place as part of another service you have, such as with your bank account, so it’s worth checking. If you are paying a monthly fee for your current account (usually above £10 per month), you might have insurance in place for you and your family.

Do I need travel insurance?

Nuts About Money tip: it’s not worth the risk of travelling without holiday insurance. You might feel invincible now, but a simple fall and breaking a bone can result in a £10,000+ medical bill, and even replacing a lost mobile phone can cost you hundreds of pounds.

Get a quick insurance quote

Head over to to find the best deal for you. They search almost every deal out there.

Visit Confused.com¹Visit Confused.com¹

Determine what cover you need

Here’s the complicated part, there’s lots of different elements to travel insurance cover, some you’ll need and some you won’t – but to get the best deal, it’s worth deciding exactly what cover you’ll need, so you don’t pay for any unnecessary extras, which can sometimes really add up.

What does travel insurance cover?

Here’s what we recommend as the minimum you should include:

  • Medical cover and costs to get home
  • Holiday cancellation and abandonment cover
  • Cover for missed travel departures and delays
  • Cover for lost luggage (baggage) and personal belongings
  • Cover for damage to property or injuring someone else, and legal costs (called personal liability cover)

And here’s what we recommend as great additions:

  • Dental cover (for emergencies)
  • Cover for lost or stolen cash and money equivalents (e.g. pre-paid tickets)
  • Lost passport cover
  • Terrorism cover (we’re not joking)
Passport cover

Extras you’ll need for specific trips:

  • Winter sports cover (e.g. skiing)
  • Extreme sports cover (e.g. bungee jumping)

There can also be a few more, such as gadget cover (a bit more cover expensive items), but as you get a quote, you’ll be able to add or remove cover you’d like or not like (we’ll cover getting a quote below).

Level of cover

There can sometimes be lots of numbers flying around when talking about travel insurance, but here’s a rough guide of the level of financial cover for the essentials:

  • Medical cover: £5 million (this might sound a lot but medical bills can really add up, we're really lucky to have the NHS!)
  • Holiday cancellation cover and missed travel departures: the cost of your holiday, or around £5,000
  • Personal belongings cover: the value of your items (e.g. clothing and electronics), or around £2,000 - £5,000
  • Personal liability cover: £1 million+

Your excess

Normally with all types of insurance (e.g. car insurance), you’ll have what’s called an excess. This is how much you would pay yourself, if you were to make a claim (a claim is where you ask your insurer to pay out because something has happened, e.g. you’ve had an accident).

Insurance excess

Insurers have an excess in place to stop people from claiming low amounts, and to deter fraudulent claims.

So, with travel insurance, you’ll normally need to determine the amount of excess you want on your insurance policy. It’s normally in the region of £150-200, however you can adjust this if you like. With a higher excess, your insurance premium (how much you pay for insurance) normally reduces, and with a lower excess, your premium increases.

Excess amount

Travelling with your family?

Hopefully your holiday and travelling is more stress-free than stressful, and to make it a bit easier, you can normally get family travel insurance for a holiday, which will cover all of you under one policy. You’ll normally save a bit of cash doing this too (instead of buying it all individually).

What about annual cover?

You can also get annual multi-trip travel insurance to cover you for the whole year (often called annual cover). So, however many holidays or trips you go on, it’s all covered. 

Annual multi-trip insurance

Depending on the types of trips you’re heading on in the next year, and how many, it can work out cheaper per trip overall than travel insurance just for your one trip (single trip travel insurance), although not always…

If they’re all similar trips it’s probably worth it, and you’ll save some cash, but if they’re all a bit difference (such as a ski trip and then a beach trip, or a long-stay holiday), it’s likely not worth it – but it’s always best to get a quote for both and compare, it’s super easy and quick to do, we’ll run through how below.

How to get travel insurance

The good news is getting travel insurance is super easy. In fact, you don’t need to actually do too much – and it’s all handled online. If you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, you’ll be able to get your insurance all sorted, ready to go (unless you want to read the 100 page T&Cs, officially we should say you should read this).

Then, you can start worrying about which cocktail you’re going to get when you land or that important business meeting you're attending.

The best way to get travel insurance is to use an online service to compare all the different insurance companies in one go to get you the best quote. Don’t worry, it’s all handled automatically – you just need to answer a few simple questions about your trip and the cover you’d like.

After that, you’ll be sent to the insurers website to confirm the policy and pay. Everything should be pre-filled with your details, but it’s worth double checking. They’ll then send you the insurance documents (your policy), and normally open an online account for you, where all the documents are kept too.

How to get travel insurance

Nuts About Money tip: it’s worth printing off your documents and taking them with you on holiday, so you’ll have a copy ready if you need it. Or, save a copy to your phone.

Below are the best travel insurance comparison sites – start with the first, you’ll normally find the best deal there, and then if you’ve got time, check out the other sites and see if you can find any better deals.

Best travel insurance comparison sites

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Best overall

This normally has the cheapest travel insurance quote for most people. will compare up to 40 travel insurance companies (and all the largest companies).

They'll cover all the main types of insurance (e.g. pre-existing medical conditions, winter sports etc).

You can get a quote in just a few minutes too.

Learn more

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Meerkat Meals

Compare The Market will search 42 travel insurance companies to find you the right deal.

They'll cover all the main types of insurance (e.g. pre-existing medical conditions, winter sports etc.)

Learn more

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Quick quote


MoneySuperMarket compares 35 travel insurance companies to find a great deal for you.

They'll cover all the main types of insurance (e.g. pre-existing medical conditions, winter sports etc.)

Learn more

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Get a quick insurance quote

Head over to to find the best deal for you. They search almost every deal out there.

Visit Confused.com¹Visit Confused.com¹

Should I just get the cheapest insurance?

You probably shouldn’t just go for the cheapest out there. Everyone is different, and they’ll need different travel insurance suited for them.  For instance, the holiday itself will be different, and the cost of the holiday will be different too – you might have pre-existing medical conditions which can have an impact on your insurance premium (how much you’ll pay) too. And, all have different personal items which of course, have different values (e.g. watches and gadgets).

It’s best to compare all the deals you can (using a comparison site like Confused.com¹), selecting the right options for your circumstances, and then you can go for the cheapest deal out of the top options – providing they all offer a similar level of cover to what you’re after.


Unfortunately, Covid-19 hasn’t quite disappeared yet. Each country has its own policies when it comes to travel, which you can check on the Government website.

However, most travel insurance companies do now offer ‘covid cover’ as part of the travel insurance policy. But, that doesn’t mean everything related to Covid-19 is covered, it’s best to check the ‘exclusions’ list on the policy you’d like to buy, which will show you what isn’t covered.

Travelling to Europe?

For us travelling from the UK, and holidaying in Europe, we’ll get free state-provided health care (similar to the NHS here), if we need medical attention while travelling (e.g. emergency medical treatment). 

To get this you’ll need your current European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), if you have one, it will last until the expiry date…

After the expiry date, you’ll need a different card, a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). Which is the replacement following Brexit (the UK leaving the European Union). Which you can do through the NHS online.

However, it’s not a replacement for travel insurance!! It won’t cover all of your medical bills, and won’t cover getting you back to the UK (called repatriation), which can be expensive. It’s still worth getting travel insurance alongside this.

Have a pre-existing medical condition?

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, make sure you add it to your cover. Otherwise, it’s likely the insurer won’t pay out if something goes wrong, resulting in potentially huge emergency medical expenses, and costs to get home. It’s not worth it.

Pre-existing medical condition

Nuts About Money tip: be honest when getting any type of insurance, otherwise your insurer might not pay out when you actually need it.

When to get travel insurance

We recommend getting travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday, so you’ve got peace of mind that everything is in place before anything bad can happen (such as your holiday being cancelled). If you don’t have insurance in place, you most likely won’t get any money back.

We also recommend finding your own insurance, rather than using one that might be offered to you by a travel agent or holiday provider – it might not cover everything you need, and might not be the cheapest option either. It’s worth spending 10 minutes yourself to make sure you’re getting a good deal and the right cover for you.

Let’s recap

There we have it. How to get travel insurance. Easier than you thought?

Travel insurance

All you need to do is first work out what sort of coverage you’d like, for instance, just the essentials for a ‘regular’ holiday, that covers medical bills, cancellations and getting you home should anything happen. Or, more specialist cover such as cover for skiing and extreme sports.

After that, simply head over to a comparison site. We recommend Confused.com¹ for travel insurance, they tend to have the best range of insurance providers, and typically the best deals. There’s also Compare The Market, and MoneySuperMarket if you want to make sure you're getting the best deal.

They’ll give you a list of the top deals for you after answering a few questions about the cover you’re looking for. Then simply pick the best deal for you from the options (typically the cheapest), however make sure you’re happy with the cover, and the amount of cover you’re getting (e.g. it covers the value of your possessions and holiday cost).

Once you’ve found the right deal for you, you’ll then have to confirm your details on the insurers website (normally all pre-filled), and pay. Your documents will be sent to you via email, and you might have an online account opened with your insurer too with them saved. It’s also a good idea to print a copy out or save it to your phone.

All that’s left to do is have a great trip! Enjoy!

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Get a quick insurance quote

Head over to to find the best deal for you. They search almost every deal out there.

Visit Confused.com¹Visit Confused.com¹
No items found.

Get a quick insurance quote

Head over to to find the best deal for you. They search almost every deal out there.

Visit Confused.com¹Visit Confused.com¹
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This article was written, reviewed and fact checked by the expert team at Nuts About Money. You’re in safe hands. Learn more.

Get a quick insurance quote

Head over to to find the best deal for you. They search almost every deal out there.

Visit Confused.com¹Visit Confused.com¹

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