It can make good financial sense to buy a family travel insurance policy. It usually provides cover for two adults and up to four children, and could be your cheapest option, particularly if you’re likely to take a family holiday more than once a year.
However, cheap travel insurance is a false economy if it doesn’t provide the cover you need. There are several exclusions and pitfalls to be aware of, so make sure you do your research and read all the small print before you choose your cover!
Age and address limitations
The number of people covered by a family travel insurance policy – and the age definition of ‘children’ – can vary.
In addition, some insurers may have issues if the family members on the policy don’t all live at the same address. So, check all these factors before you buy your cover.
Does your family holiday involve sports?
If you or your kids are planning to take part in sports while on holiday, make sure your policy doesn’t exclude them.
Some policies highlight certain sporting activities as ‘dangerous’ or ‘extreme’ and exclude them altogether. Others may set restrictions on particular sports – for example, a certain depth below which you shouldn’t dive – so even if a sport is covered, go through the small print with a fine-toothed comb.
If you or your older kids are planning to drink while on holiday, consider how this will affect your travel cover. Some insurers state that they won’t pay out for foreign medical treatment if you have an accident or injure yourself while ‘under the influence’.
Are you paying twice?
You can keep the cost of your family travel insurance down by making sure you’re not paying twice for cover.
For example, if you have personal possessions cover as part of your home insurance, your valuables should be covered if they’re lost or damaged outside of the home.
And this applies to holiday luggage as well as the items in your handbag! So, see if you’re already covered, and if so, remove the ‘luggage’ element from the travel policy. Your premium should come down as a result.
Book family travel insurance early
In the rush to get everyone sorted for their family holiday, many parents make the mistake of buying the travel insurance at the last minute. However, leaving it late could prove financially disastrous.
This is because decent travel insurance should protect you if your airline or holiday operator cancels your trip in advance. However, if your holiday is cancelled and you haven’t yet bought your insurance, you may be left high and dry!
Holidaying in the UK
If your family holiday is in the UK this year, you may think you don’t need to buy travel insurance. In fact, it could still save you a lot of money and hassle.
For example, you’ll be covered if your holiday company goes bust. And what if you need to cancel your holiday, due to family illness for example? Having a good family travel insurance policy should mean you can claim back at least some of the costs.
In addition, the right travel insurance policy should cover any cash you take (something that often isn’t covered by home insurance). And if one of your kids has an accident while in a faraway UK spot, travel cover should ensure he or she is transferred to a hospital close to where you live.