Free Spirit

For travellers of any age with medical conditions.

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Travel Insurance that gives you more.

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For hazardous activities while overseas.

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For all types of extended trips.

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Up to £50,000 additional cancellation cover.

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Cover for ultra high net worth travel.

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Especially for Coach Trips in the Uk & Europe.

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European motor breakdown cover.

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Giving travellers the freedom to travel, with confidence.

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Over thirty years providing specialist travel insurance solutions.

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travel insurance expensive

If you’ve recently questioned why is travel insurance expensive? Our knowledgeable team has uncovered the answers.

Travel insurance may add to the costs of a holiday. However, travelling with a good policy in place gives you the confidence to travel without worry. Especially if you’re living with a medical condition and/or disability.

Travel insurance may be expensive and you may have noticed that (post-pandemic) travel insurance premiums have increased in price. However, travel insurance is there to cover the cost of the unforeseen – unforeseen events – such as travel disruption and unexpected medical emergencies.

To provide a clear understanding of what affects the cost of a travel insurance policy and how to get the most value from one – from the moment it’s purchased – we’ve pinpointed five factors that affect the cost. Plus, seven ways you can get the most value from a travel insurance policy.

 

The average cost of a travel insurance policy

The cost of a policy depends on many factors including the specific coverage needed; for example, you’d need winter sports cover for a skiing trip.

Below we’ve given an idea of the costs of a single-trip policy for a solo traveller if they’re travelling to France or the USA. We did not include medical conditions when we did the quotes below:

  • A trip to France for a healthy 20-year-old without any pre-existing medical conditions for 10 days is £24.62.
  • For a healthy 80-year-old without any pre-existing medical conditions for 10 days, it would be £85.50.

You may be aware of ‘free’ insurance that is provided by some credit cards or bank account/s. However, it’s prudent to read the policy in detail. If more than a basic level of cover is needed or the policy’s exclusions, such as curtailment are not included, it may leave a traveller underinsured. This could mean that they’d have to foot the bill for the holiday – even if they can’t leave home to enjoy it.

If this happens, they’d be left out of pocket and frustrated. However, if someone has pre-existing medical conditions they need to be even more cautious because some policies will exclude cover for them. Be sure to check this. If they then have a related medical issue while away and it is not covered they’ll be liable for all medical and associated bills. These can often be substantial – in the tens and even hundreds of thousands of pounds.

What makes the cost of travel insurance expensive?

1. Health

Any pre-existing medical conditions and/or disabilities that are included on a policy may increase the price. However, not declaring a medical condition and/or disability to reduce a premium may incur risks, which the policyholder needs to be aware of. For instance, if a condition is not declared and a medical issue occurs abroad a claim could be rejected.

This would result in a trip being even more expensive. Medical costs abroad can exceed several thousands of pounds, which may need to be paid for by the traveller if the insurer won’t pay out because of non-disclosure.

You may know that the number of specialist insurers who provide cover for people living with serious pre-existing medical conditions and disabilities is limited. However, our Free Spirit Travel Insurance product was the first to cater specifically to people of all age groups who live with medical conditions, disabilities and the rest of their travelling party. So, you can get cover for one whole family under one policy.

2. Age

Unfortunately, reaching an age milestone makes a difference in the cost of travel insurance. When travellers reach 50 years old, they may start to see premiums increase. Also, travellers aged 64+ pay higher premiums and can be excluded from purchasing a policy altogether.

Higher premiums are demanded by insurers because there’s a greater risk of seniors claiming healthcare and medical expenses. To find a suitable quote for travel insurance shop around – there are specialist travel insurance providers who can offer competitive rates depending on the circumstances.

3. The destination

Many countries don’t provide the same level of healthcare as the NHS. So, the price for a travel insurance policy will vary depending on the destination. Instead, there are reciprocal healthcare agreements between UK and EU and non-EU countries but healthcare is more expensive depending on that country’s approach.

One way to reduce the cost of travel insurance while still receiving healthcare is to visit a European holiday destination. However, when visiting Switzerland or an EU country, applying for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) before leaving home is advisable. This makes a traveller eligible for reciprocal healthcare and may mean the insurer will reduce or waive the excess payable. Also, the cost to take them home (repatriation cover) will be lower.

The highest costs for medical treatment are in North America, (the USA and Canada). Although, Africa and Asia are not the cheapest continents to visit either.

To help you grasp the cost, in 2022, the cost of staying in a hospital, for one night in a European hospital (Belgium or France) was $157. Meanwhile, in Nigeria, it reached $372. As you can see, it’s easy for healthcare costs to escalate when you need medical treatment abroad quickly.

4. Expensive accessories and gadgets

A camera (and its accompanying lenses) may capture the perfect scene. An item of jewellery could be necessary to mark a special celebration. Whatever the reason for taking the item – if it is expensive it may exceed the maximum amount that can be claimed for (any single item) on the policy. So, more money will need to be paid out to source a suitable policy with increased cover. To travel without worry, expensive items that attract attention should be left at home.

Alternatively, check your Home Contents policy, as some will cover the full value of expensive items outside the home for up to 60 days. As always, check the policy terms and conditions.

5. Duration of the trip

In essence, the longer the trip the higher the cost of travel insurance. The shorter the trip the lower the cost of travel insurance. This is because if you’re in a destination for a longer time, there is more chance that a claim will be made.

How has the Coronavirus Pandemic made travel insurance expensive?

It’s true to say that the pandemic immediately put a strain on the world’s medical infrastructure due to a high and unprecedented demand for healthcare.

Therefore, the costs to maintain the medical workforce, infrastructure, as well as additional hygiene measures rose, causing a high rate of inflation in the medical sector. Alongside all this, the war in Ukraine continues to impact global supply chains and energy prices, exacerbating the rising prices.

As a result, the cost of medical claims on a travel insurance policy has risen, meaning that premiums have had to rise in line with them.

Why has the price of my travel insurance policy increased?

This could be due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • Changes to your health or medical condition.
  • The number of claims the insurer has received.
  • Reaching an age milestone.
  • If a travel insurance policy is purchased when travelling. It is possible to source travel insurance after setting off. However, already travelled cover will be more expensive.
  • Purchasing a policy in advance offers cancellation cover as soon as the policy starts. However, the further from the departure date the insurance is booked – the higher the cost may be.

How can I get the most value from my travel insurance policy?

 

1. Purchase a travel insurance policy as soon as you book your trip. (ASAYB)

Martin Lewis coined this phrase last year when there was a surge in demand for holidays – before several flight cancellations and strikes took place. It’s hard to predict if, when, and where flights will be cancelled after booking a trip, as well as other unexpected scenarios. Also, some policies don’t cover strikes or events that are known at the time of booking.

So, remember – a considerable portion of the travel insurance premiums cover pre-departure risks and purchase travel insurance ASAYB.

2. Read the terms and conditions

If you’re participating in any sport, ensure you’re wearing the appropriate safety clothing, such as gloves and belts. Plus, make sure the activity you plan to do matches your experience. For instance, if you know you’re an amateur diver build up your experience and confidence before attempting to dive down to the seabed.

Check that the policy covers the activities that will take place during the trip and read the exclusions that apply when taking part in these activities.

Also, it goes without saying that if you’ve had too many sherbets before being involved in an altercation, accident, or theft, then the travel insurance policy is unlikely to provide cover. It will then be hard for the travel insurance policy to provide full value.

3. Purchase an Annual or Multi-Trip Policy

Travel regularly? Save money by purchasing an annual or multi-trip travel insurance policy instead of a single-trip policy. Choose from our Adventures, Euro Plus, Travel Plus, and Free Spirit products that offer these types of policies.

Plus, cover will be provided for additional (even spontaneous trips) in the coming year inside or outside of the UK. Remember to check the terms and conditions. Some of these policies have an age limit. However, our Free Spirit annual policy has no upper age limit.

4. Consider a Family Travel Insurance Policy

Some policies only cover an individual and those whom they live with. This can be cheaper than purchasing a policy for each person. If you require cover for a medical condition and/or disability one of the benefits of a Free Spirit policy is that cover is provided for the whole party – on the same policy, whether they’re living with an existing medical condition or not.

This is a great benefit because if a trip had to be cancelled due to a medical condition, all companions on the policy would be covered. However, if a travelling party used more than one policy, it is much harder to claim under the polic(ies) that don’t include the injured person.

5. Consider an increased excess

To save further, consider purchasing a policy with a high excess. However, be aware that this means more will need to be paid if a claim is made on the policy.

We don’t have a policy that offers a choice to opt for an increased excess. However, you can look at the lower levels of cover to ensure that these cover limits are still included and adequate for your requirements.

6. Get the correct travel insurance policy

Whether you need a Single-Trip Policy or a Multi-Trip Policy for a solo trip or family holiday ensure you have full financial cover for any eventuality.

What will a good policy cover?

  • All destinations that will be visited.
  • All travelling companions.
  • All activities – our Travel Plus and Free Spirit products include 100 activities for free.
  • Baggage Cover from home to hotel and back again.
  • Cancellation and Curtailment Cover if a trip is cut short or cancelled completely.
  • Travel disruptions – missed departure and travel delays.
  • Travel abandonment.
  • Personal Liability Cover.
  • Emergency medical treatment.
  • Expenses for a close relative or friend to stay or travel from the UK.
  • Repatriation Cover.

View the documentation for each of our products to see what they include.

7. Source specialist travel insurance

Is your client travelling with a medical condition and/or disability? Going on an adventure, cruise, or winter sports holiday? They’ll need specialist travel insurance to cover their entire trip.

So, encourage them to contact our caring and compassionate UK-based call centre team. They’ll be happy to assist and will ensure they’ll be ready to set off with peace of mind.

A quote from our Chief Operating Officer

“Travel Insurance continues to navigate through ever-changing times is characterised by a noticeable change in the general market and a hardening of rates.

This change mirrors various factors such as rising holiday costs driven by UK inflation and the ever-escalating expenses associated with overseas medical care.

However, the desire to travel is as strong as ever, highlighting the importance of having a reliable travel insurance policy to ensure peace of mind and the ability to Travel, With Confidence.”

Travelling with Travel insurance is important

We hope you now have an understanding about why travel insurance is important to have in place as soon as a trip has been booked – despite the cost of travel insurance.

Last summer (despite the cost of living), many people spent more on their holidays than usual. Plus, they were wise. 73% were keen to protect their dream holidays they’d invested in because they were more or equally concerned about safeguarding the cost of their holiday – compared to previous years.

If your clients want to protect their holidays and are searching for a suitable travel insurance policy suggest one from our innovative product range.

Also, if they need a policy to cover a medical condition and/or disability, recommend Free Spirit.

Whichever policy they choose, help them compare the difference between the cost of an Annual Multi-Trip Policy and a Single-Trip Policy so they can get the most value from their travel insurance.

Overall, always find the most suitable policy to ensure everyone has the freedom to travel, with confidence.

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