Specialist Travel Insurance Companies

Buying travel insurance is for many, just a last minute hassle before a holiday, but one which should not be forgotten. While the EHIC card still protects most of us in Europe (at least, for now) a standard travel insurance policy costs around £30. Compare this to the average cost of medical expenses incurred abroad, which the ABI reports to be a whopping £1200. 

But a “basic” travel insurance policy isn’t one size fits all, and for those who require non-standard policies, there are a whole host of companies which will insure their specific requirements, no matter how specialist.

That could be cover for those who’ve suffered a stroke or cancer, cover for a cruise around the world, or even those who are taking their company staff abseiling in the far reaches of South America. So before trekking off on your next adventure, consider which policy might be right for you, always check the T&Cs, and always take a look at some of our reviews of specialist travel insurance company to help you find the best providers.

Travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions

Those who have been unfortunate enough to have had a serious medical condition in the past, or have a chronic illness will often receive a higher than average quote from a “regular” travel company. 

Specialist travel insurance companies like Staysure, Insurancewith, or Avanti specialise in this type of customer, and can offer a suitable level of cover. Expect a screening questionnaire when booking any policy - the more insurers know about any conditions, the more accurately they can assess the risk. Word of warning for those with medical conditions - it isn’t wise to "forget" to declare any conditions to your insurer in the hope of getting a cheaper quote - in the event of a claim, it’s unlikely the insurer will pay out.

Other companies specialising in travel insurance for medical conditions - MIA, Good to Go, Global, and Insurance Choice Awards 2016 “Best Travel Insurance Provider” winner, World First.

Travel insurance for business

Not a holiday per se, but it still makes sense to insure business travel, even if this isn’t across the world, and is just within the UK. This can cover the cost of cancelled flights, hotels, missed trips due to illness, laptops, mobile phones and other equipment, as well as suits, workwear, and anything else that might come under the banner of “work”! With business trips typically being of a shorter nature than most holidays, cover tends to be quite specific and the items covered should be clearly documented in the policy.

If your business trip is a one-off as opposed to a regular meeting, a single-trip insurance policy might prove more cost effective. And while it might not be quite as common, look out for insurers who offer a greater level of cover, like Allianz, who cover golf equipment under “business equipment” on many of their policies. Some other companies offering dedicated insurance policies for business travel are Insureadngo, Globelink International, Endsleigh, and Hiscox.

Travel insurance for over 50s

Insurers price policies based upon risk, and they deem those who’ve reached the grand age of 50+ at an increased risk. Which means higher premiums, and this is exacerbated at 60+, 70+, etc.

With the over-50 demographic increasingly taking longer, and more frequent holidays, it’s now a commonly purchased policy, with 90% of travellers over 50 taking out insurance. The main thing to look out for is that being older often means the chance of medical conditions more prevalent, and if this is the case, insurers will ask several questions to determine the customer's state of health. There are even specialist companies for those who are 50+ and have medical conditions - try ERV for example.

Medical treatment, repatriation, baggage cover are common insurance features, but as ever, check what’s specifically covered, and what isn’t before buying.

Saga has long been specialists in insurance policies for the elderly, but there are several others - AllClear, covered2go, and even Age UK offer dedicated policies for the 50+ and beyond.

Travel insurance for skiing or extreme sports

As you might expect, a holiday which includes something a little more energetic than sitting on the beach for a week will not typically be covered by a “regular” travel insurance policy. If your holiday is likely to include skiing, SCUBA diving, or abseiling (or similar!) be sure to check your existing travel cover, or head for a specialist company like True Traveller to make sure your level of cover is adequate. There’s no limits here, with insurers specifically mentioning swimming with sharks, cycle triathlons, physiotherapy, rock climbing gear and falls among things covered, but as ever, if you have a specific activity in mind - check the level of cover your policy provides, or perhaps try an insurance broker to help you source the best insurance policy for your needs.

If you’re looking for a specialist extreme sport travel insurance company, take a look at Pedalcover, who will cover you and your bike for a cycling race out of the UK, Holidaysafe, Alpha Travel Insurance, Flexicover, or Sportscover are others firms that it might be worth looking at.

Travel insurance for backpacking, or round-the-world-trips

A relatively standard travel insurance policy may cover your journey for up to 31 days or a calendar month. If your next holiday is longer than that, or a full-on gap year round-the-world experience, you might want to consider a specialist insurer who deals with extended travel.

The level of cover doesn’t differ too much from a regular travel insurance policy, but may include additional extras such as lost passport cover, and cover for missed flights due to delayed connections. One other thing to consider, which again is much the same as with a regular short-term travel insurance policy, is whether the trip includes any dangerous regions such as war zones, or areas of political unrest. Again, there may be some crossover, but if you’re planning on SCUBA diving in Bali, or climbing Mount Everest, check that your policy covers extreme sports as well.

One last thing to check is that your cover is continuous and isn’t broken into increments - some insurers might cover multiple trips of up to six months, but not a year-long trip. And one exception to round-the-word trips is cruise holidays, which nearly always require specialist travel insurance cover which specifically mentions cruises. Check out CoverForYou, Go Walkabout, and Navigator who all offer specialist insurance policies for extended trips.

Choosing a specialist travel insurance provider

With an enormous range of options available, if you’re heading on holiday - be it just for a weekend, or around the world on an adventure, there’s more than likely a travel insurance policy out there for you. Often, the most difficult part can be finding the right policy to exactly fit your needs, and at a good price, so if you’ve used a specialist insurance company in the past, please share a quick review of your experiences, the level of cover you had, and how successful any claim was (if you needed to make one). Your feedback helps others who are in the same position as you, and helps us to make financial services better for everyone. As part of the Insurance Choice Awards, if you leave a review before 1st October 2017, your review could win you £1000!