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buy travel insurance online

Looking to buy travel insurance online? Travel insurance is a holiday essential, but you don't have to pay through the nose for it. If you're travelling from the UK and looking for cheap travel insurance, we will tell you to find it.

Page down for price comparison tables - telling you where to buy excellent quality travel insurance online at the best prices, whether you're single, a couple or a family travelling to Europe or worldwide.

It's possible to buy good quality travel insurance (as recommended by Which?) for up to 80% less than you would pay if you were to buy it from your bank, a supermarket or one of the leading high street travel agents.

For example, an annual travel insurance policy for a family of four costs £236 from Thomas Cook. But you can get a comparable family policy from Essential Travel Insurance for £60.00 a year, saving you over 70%.

The travel insurance companies we recommend are ranked by price for the different types of cheap travel insurance policy in the tables below.

But before you go, remember that travel insurance companies offer different levels of cover. We've tried to compare 'like with like' - which means, for example, that we're comparing the OptionsTravel Insurance 'Premier' policy with the Direct Travel Insurance 'Standard' policy. Also, as different travel insurance policies have different terms and conditions, make sure you choose the policy that's right for you. (All prices are correct at 31.05.07.)

Cheap travel insurance for one adult

Single Trip 8 Days to Europe

 
excluding winter sports
including winter sports
Insurefortravel
£4.04
£15.97
Essential Travel
£9.49
£17.99
Insure & go
£10.97
£23.56
Primary Insurance
£12.00
£22.19
Tesco
£14.99
£41.99

Single Trip 15 days to the USA

 
excluding winter sports
including winter sports
Insurefortravel
£10.50
£41.30
Essential Travel
£27.99
£41.99
Primary Insurance
£28.80
£53.28
Insure & go
£34.48
£62.06
Tesco
£39.99
£83.98

An Annual Travel Insurance Policy for Europe only

 
excluding winter sports
including winter sports
Insurefortravel
£24.56
£33.02
Essential Travel
£27.99
£34.99
Insure & go
£29.84
£29.84
Primary Insurance
£31.50
£48.94
Tesco
£74.99
£74.99

An Annual Travel Insurance Policy for Worldwide including the USA

 
excluding winter sports
including winter sports
Insurefortravel
£31.68
£42.59
Essential Travel
£39.99
£43.99
Insure & go
£42.08
£42.08
Primary Insurance
£49.51
£76.03
Tesco
£74.99
£74.99

Cheap travel insurance for a couple

Single Trip 8 Days to Europe

 
excluding winter sports
including winter sports
Insurefortravel
£8.08
£31.94
Essential Travel
£14.49
£29.99
Primary Insurance
£21.60
£39.96
Insure & go
£21.93
£30.25
Tesco
£27.99
£69.99

Single Trip 15 days to the USA

 
excluding winter sports
including winter sports
Insurefortravel
£21.00
£82.60
Essential Travel
£45.99
£58.99
Primary Insurance
£51.83
£95.89
Insure & go
£68.95
£68.95
Tesco
£69.99
£139.98

An Annual Travel Insurance Policy for Europe only

 
excluding winter sports
including winter sports
Essential Travel
£45.99
£85.55
Insurefortravel
£49.12
£66.04
Insure & go
£52.79
£52.79
Primary Insurance
£55.03
£85.55
Tesco
£114.99
£114.99

An Annual Travel Insurance Policy for Worldwide including the USA

 
excluding winter sports
including winter sports
Insurefortravel
£49.12
£66.04
Essential Travel
£54.99
£60.00
Insure & go
£65.03
£65.03
Primary Insurance
£79.01
£125.42
Tesco
£114.99
£114.99

Cheap travel insurance for a family of four

Single Trip 8 days to Europe

 
excluding winter sports
including winter sports
Insurefortravel
£8.28
£35.93
Essential Travel
£14.49
£35.99
Insure & go
£21.93
£30.25
Primary Insurance
£24.00
£44.41
Tesco
£39.99
£109.99

Single Trip 15 days to the USA

 
excluding winter sports
including winter sports
Insurefortravel
£21.46
£92.91
Essential Travel
£48.99
£58.99
Insure & go
£68.95
£124.12
Tesco
£94.99
£219.98

An Annual Travel Insurance Policy for Europe only

 
excluding winter sports
including winter sports
Essential Travel
£45.99
£52.99
Insurefortravel
£49.09
£65.45
Insure & go
£52.79
£52.79
Primary Insurance
£55.03
£85.55
Tesco
£129.99
£129.99

An Annual Travel Insurance Policy for Worldwide including the USA

 
excluding winter sports
including winter sports
Essential Travel
£54.99
£60.00
Insure & go
£65.03
£65.03
Insurefortravel
£65.04
£84.45
Primary Insurance
£79.01
£125.42
Tesco
£129.99
£129.99

Travel Insurance Checklist

  1. Only buy good quality travel insurance.
  2. Know what cover you want and check that the policy provides that cover. Some policies have non-standard exclusions - for example, the JourneyWise policy excludes cover for your glasses.
  3. As a minimum, make sure your policy cover provides for:
    a. all medical bills
    b. an air ambulance in case you need to be flown home
    c. bringing your family home in the event of your illness or injury
    d. any potentially hazardous sporting activities you may be planning
    e. replacing and / or bringing your car home if you are taking it abroad
  4. If you plan to rely on free travel insurance cover provided as a benefit on your credit card, get a copy of the cover and read it carefully. For example, it may not cover your return journey, or may only cover you if the full amount of the holiday was paid via the card.
  5. Consider leaving valuables and jewellery at home. If you do take them make sure your insurance cover is sufficient and that you abide by the policy terms (such as storing them in a safe).
  6. How often will you travel? As you can see from the tables above, if you plan to spend 15 days in the USA, and another 7 days in Europe, it is cheaper to buy an annual travel insurance policy.
  7. Some travel insurers exclude trips within the UK, or only include them if you are staying at a hotel or other paid accommodation. If you take regular trips in the UK and want to be covered for these, check the policy terms before you buy.
  8. If you are travelling within Western Europe, obtain a EHIC (Emergency Health Insurance Card), available on line or from the Post Office. Not only does it give you access to free or reduced cost emergency medical treatment, many insurers insist that you carry one and / or waive their insurance excess if you have used it. But don't rely on it as a replacement for the medical section of your travel insurance - it is only for emergencies, it won't get you flown home, it doesn't cover emergency dental treatment (unless it's life threatening) and some European countries do not accept it.
  9. Remember to declare all pre-existing medical conditions. This will usually include asthmatic children, for example. This is one of the main reasons holiday insurance claims are refused.
  10. If you're travelling as a couple then buy a couples policy. They are normally much cheaper than buying two single policies.
  11. Check you're not paying for the same cover twice. Insurers will offer a discount of between 10 - 30% if your baggage is already covered on your home contents policy.
  12. Couples usually do better with a joint policy, but the policy may only cover you if you travel together.

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